Have you ever wondered why your mother figure is so stressed around the holidays? It’s because mothers hold the responsibility of making Christmas magical.
They’re often obliged, through love and social pressure, to drive themselves crazy by cooking, baking, shopping, decorating, and mediating between squabbling relatives. Dads are usually content with shoveling the driveway, buying the flashy gifts, and picking up the booze.
It’s a stressful, exhausting, and expensive ordeal for the older ladies in our lives. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a gift guide—with help from my own mom—so you can pay extra attention to your own embattled mother or mother figure this Christmas.
Avoid ‘Grandma Fare’ and uninspired gifts
First off, avoid the obvious gifts that could just as easily be given to a stranger: scented candles, faux fur throws, slippers, tea towels, and chocolate. These are generic, cop-out gifts requiring little thought or creativity.
While this is all stuff your grandmother would probably love, try putting a little more effort in for your (still young and hip) mom.
Be especially aware of pre-packaged gift sets filled with cheap, cosmetic junk if you don’t want coal in your stocking. My mother says, “If she wants that stuff, she’ll buy it her damn self. No one wants to get stuff with ‘granny grunt’ written all over it.”
Buy her something she wouldn’t buy for herself.
Focus on something she may want but feels embarrassed to purchase or something she hasn’t even thought of. Buy her something feminine, not matronly, so she can feel hip enjoying it.
If you’re really stuck for an idea, consider buying your mom something you want yourself. Chances are, you have your finger on the pulse of what’s trendy this season. If you get your mom something you and other 20-somethings think is cool, she’ll feel like she’s part of the in-crowd.
My mum recommends an anklet, often called ankle bracelet, because they’re young, fun and stylish. She also recommends a pair of high-knee boots because “boots shrink to your ankles as you get older, no more!”
Get her an outing or experience with you
Take her out. As children get older and busier and expand their own lives, one-on-one time between guardian and child becomes rarer.
It could be a play, a concert, a camping trip, a hockey game or even something as simple a visit to a favourite restaurant—but you’d better do the leg work, so she doesn’t have another thing to organize. Why is this a good present? Because you’re the best present a parent could ask for.
Please pay special attention to your mother or mother figure this and every Christmas. Also, don’t be lazy: help clean up after Christmas dinner.
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