POSTED ON MAY 7, 2008:
It's all about Mom this week and great gifts are all about town
Young and Hip. Clothing can be a touchy subject and, like any gift, you also want to ensure that the items you pick are in accordance with Mom's tastes, not what you think she should wear.
While clicking through one of my favorite blogs last week, I came upon a posting about a new book. Author Stephan B. Poulter is a clinical psychologist whose book discusses how the relationship a person has with his or her mother affects the rest of his or her life. Now I don't know the whole story and I probably care little; this information was courtesy of a blog, essentially a Cliff Notes' with commentary, and I feel that's probably all I need.
The blog lists the supposed five types of mothers there are, as assembled by Dr. Poulter. They are, in no particular order: The Perfectionist Mother, the one whose family must look perfect in every way; the Unpredictable Mother, whose ups and downs can create lifelong anxiety and depression in her son or daughter; the "Me First" Mother whose children come second or last; the "Best Friend" Mother who's in vogue but can wreak havoc; and lastly the Complete Mother who provides guidance and shows compassion to her child.
No matter which category you zeroed in on with a "Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!" that lady still has a special day dedicated only to herself. It's called Mother's Day and it's this Sunday, May 11. Show whatever type of mother you have that you care and get her a decent gift.
As anyone who has ever met me can attest, I am about as lovey-dovey and emotional as a robot, so if the plan for your gift is to narrow in on a soft spot in your mother's heart that induces tears, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. There is not enough time to craft a hand-sewn quilt made from your old baby clothes anyways. What I do proffer are ideas a notch above a gift certificate from a gas station, although if Moms has been grumbling about the ever soaring gas prices, that gift actually works.
It's about hitting that middle ground; something she'll like, something loving and mildly practical as all gifts should be. Sometimes the practical part is just that they will enjoy it; if they won't enjoy it, it's impractical. I'm a good gift giver because I listen to things people mention in passing and retain the information. Tap your brain for stuff like that. Or, just read the rest of this article.
Oh and one more piece of information to take into consideration as you make up your mind about potential Mother's Day gifts--the idea of a mother. There are two definitions of a mother. One is the more obvious, the more literal translation of the woman that gave birth to you, but there are many different people that are maternal role models in your life. So, the other definition of a mother would include any woman who has made an impact in your life. Mother's Day should honor those women too. So whether your mother is an important part of your life or not, don't neglect those stepmothers, grandmothers, aunts, family friends or whomever has helped make sure you didn't grow up to become a serial killer. Dad, if the kids are too young, this day rests entirely on your shoulders. I'm sure they'll make something artsy-crafty at school, but if this is Mom's first Mother's Day, it's on par with neglecting Valentine's Day or her birthday. And if you've got a pregnant girlfriend or spouse, it's no excuse to ignore her on this day. She may already feel like a mother.
Something to Cherish
Mother's Day gifts can be narrowed down to three different sections: items for her, items for her home, or gift cards. Buying something personal for the lady (whom I sure put you before herself at least once...I'm talking to those of you with "Me First" mothers) whether it is clothing or jewelry or whatever, is something she can retain, unlike flowers or a meal. It's a tangible reminder. Something for her home--bric-a-bracs if you will--are also a constant reminder. Both of these are something she can show off, as all mothers want to do when they are proud of their offspring.
Rather than buying something for her home just for the sake of it, invest the time to make it personalized. The best option is a picture frame. Gather up her kids or grandkids for a group photo; make it unique to her. Don't use one of the kid's school pictures or the photo you'll put on your Christmas card. With digital cameras and printing accessibility, you don't need to get a professional portrait, just a photo that was taken especially for her. Something engraved is also a nice touch. Several stores allow you to bring in your items for engraving.
As for the gift cards, I've said it before and I'll reiterate it here. They can be a thoughtful gift, only you actually have to put some thought into them. Those universal credit card-like cards you can buy from the mall don't really seem personalized, but one to her favorite store, something she does as a hobby, one to her salon, or favorite restaurant shows that you know this special lady.
All right, fine, but where does one find all this stuff? This town is crawling with places in select pockets. Cases in point, let's start with Utica Square. Located at 21st and Utica, this outdoor shopping arena gives you access to clothing stores like Flirt, a great resource for young, hip Moms. Clothing can be a touchy subject as you don't want to buy the wrong size. Too big or too small sends Mom a horrible holiday message. Like any gift, you also want to ensure that the items you pick are in accordance with her tastes, not what you think she should wear.
Described as "Tulsa's ultimate bed and bath store," The Dolphin is also a great resource at Utica Square. A gift should feel luxurious and pampering and nothing seems to cover that more than great soaps and soft pajamas. And if you truly love your Mom all the way to the bank, Miss Jackson's is bound to have a designer item fit for a queen. And as a one-stop shopping location, BoxWorks can help you get all your wrapping essentials. The stationary at Pengaro's is great for writing those touching words...or in my case, awkward standard sentiments so as to not get too emotional.
What to Buy, Where to Go
Midtown also offers you the opportunity to stroll down Cherry Street. There you'll find Chrome Clothing Company and Modo for mothers staying up with current fashion trends. T.A. Lorton also has great gifts for your mother. Located right off 15th and Quincy, their hodgepodge of merchandise has something for any kind of mother with prices for any kind of child's pocketbook. Look through their selection of antiques, clothing, fragrances, decorations, garden items (can't go wrong there) and linens to become inspired for your Mom's gift.
Midtown is also where you'll find Brookside. From the jewelry of Nattie Bleu, home furnishings and personal gifts at La Bella Vita and Sideways, any kind of clothing for any kind of mother at Ribbons, Isabella's or Aberson's, and furniture at S.R. Hughes and Urban Furnishings, this section of Peoria is strewn with mother-loving stores.
Midtown is pretty special and all, but certainly not the end-all, be-all. Check out King's Landing at roughly 99th and Riverside. It has stores like Pink Daisy and Luxe Couture for clothing and J. Cole for shoes. The Plaza at 81st and Lewis offers Terri's, Ishi Woman, and Zella's for clothing, and The Glass Slipper for shoes. For great doo-dads, there's also Nielson's Exclusive Gifts.
It's essentially safe to say that no matter where you live in Tulsa, there's a shopping center right around the corner to assist in times of gift giving.
But please do keep in mind that many local boutiques (read: the stores I just listed) are closed on Sundays. Not all of them, but certainly a majority, so it's always important to plan ahead. And if you do have to send your gift away courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service, give yourself sometime to send it early as well. A gift is always appreciated, but when given on its actual day (or in this case, delivered the Saturday before) it just shows how much more you care. It really is about the details. These are what make a person's day. So this Sunday, make it your mother's day.
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