Mother’s Day 2013: Best gifts don’t have pricetags

Adrienne Down Coulson knows exactly what she wants for Mother’s Day, and it’s not bubble bath or new earrings.

“I would love some time to myself,” says Down Coulson, a mother of two kids aged 11 and seven and the general manager of eBates.ca, a Canadian cash-back shopping site. “I usually get flowers and hand-made cards, and those are great. But to have some time to yourself doing something of your choice would be ideal — not on Mother’s Day itself. On that day, I want to spend time with my family and have brunch or dinner or go for a bike ride.”

It may well be that the best Mother’s Day gifts are the ones that don’t have price tags — think quality family time, along with some peace and quiet. But a new eBates survey reveals that there are certain tangible items that are more likely to earn bonus points with Mom than others.

Nearly 50 per cent of the 1,056 moms surveyed by said they wanted spa treatments, followed by vacations (44 per cent) and jewellery (31 per cent). Just 7 per cent wanted cookbooks. (The sum of the responses is over 100 per cent because respondents could pick more than one answer.)

What do moms usually get, by contrast?

  • 41 per cent get flowers
  • 15 per cent get gift cards
  • 14 per cent get home-made gifts
  • 13 per cent are treated to home-cooked meals

Just 8 per cent said they received jewellery. And spa treatments? Only for a lucky four per cent scored them.

Canadians plan to spend an average of $107 on Mom this year, up from $84 in 2012, according to BMO’s 2013 Mother’s Day Survey.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also revealed that 68 per cent of the 1,000 respondents planned to give their mom some kind of gift, with 45 per cent picking flowers and 38 per cent opting to take her out for dinner.

Men appear more generous than women, spending an average of $119 compared to $96 respectively.

Moms deserve a bonus

According to a recent survey of 1,500 adults conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Walmart Canada, Canadians would pay their mom an average annual salary of $161,287 for all the work she does. Twenty-one per cent say they would pay their mom more than $50,000 a year. This is especially true of those who have children of their own (33 per cent). People between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to say they would pay their mom over $100,000 (17 per cent).

Who actually buys those Mother’s Day gifts?

According to the eBates survey, 50 per cent of respondents said their spouse does the shopping, followed by children (33 per cent). But get this: 17 per cent of moms have to buy their own gift.

If you’re panicking because Mother’s Day is so close and you haven’t figured out a gift yet, you’re not alone. Fifty-five per cent of eBates respondents said they buy their mom a gift a few days prior, while 26 per cent shop well in advance. Eight per cent shop on Mother’s Day itself while another 10 per cent admit forgetting to buy anything at all.

Ways to saves money include having flowers delivered the day before, since some florists offer discounts for deliveries a day or two before a major holiday to help them handle with the rush.

Then there are sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Ethical Deal (eBates offers cash-back on purchases via those sites as well.)

Whatever you do, do something.

“I was a little shocked at the number of people that forget about Mother’s Day, and the number of moms who have to buy their own gift,” Down Coulson says. “I think collectively guys can pick up their socks a little bit.

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