Type of Place: Special Events
Mothers' Day is almost here; and in these days of "blended families," rediscovered birth mothers, ex-step-mothers, and Angelina Jolie, finding a great gift isn't always a simple prospect. (I think Angelina's terrific; but imagine trying to shop for her!) Even if you've got a relatively straightforward Mom situation, you want a gift that suits. Here's some advice to help you choose.- Pamela Grossman; May 7, 2007
Q: Practical is Mom's middle name, and she wants me to be practical too. But I refuse to get her yet another black sweater or pair of forgettable earrings, functional though they may be; and let's just forget her request for a new paper-towel holder. Isn't there something useful *and* fun?
A: Sure there is. Think functional items in fun forms: umbrellas in cheery colors; socks with happy prints. I love the handbags from Elaine Arsenault, handmade from beautiful textiles the designer carefully chooses. Mom gets a sturdy, well-made, and very practical bag; you get to know she got something lovely as well.
Q: I've got my mom, my mother-in-law, my step-mom, my childhood nanny, *and* my ex-step-mom (with whom i have lunch every Tuesday) to shop for. I'm so glad I have these women in my life; but I'm not made of money!
A: Indeed, you are lucky. And a heartfelt note to say so would probably feel like more than enough to any of these women. But of course, you want to do a bit more. And the The Fragrance Shop is there to help. The shop's got a huge variety of yummy scents, lotions, and balms at very reasonable prices. If you're in a rush, there are even nice and affordable gifts that are pre-wrapped--how's that for convenient? (And if you're regrettably not so close with, say, Step-mother Number 3, a pleasant soap or lotion makes a thoughtful but not overly emotional present.)
Q: Mom loves books. I hate chains. Where should I look?
A: Biography Books and McNally Robinson are two great choices. Browse their carefully curated aisles and know that, with your purchase, you're helping to keep local business alive. Bonus: If Mom likes poetry, the section reserved for it is at McNally Robinson is pretty damn good.
Q: Mom hasn't had the easiest year. Where can I come up with something super-special?
A: Time with you is probably what Mom wants the most. Suggestion: Take her to Auto. or Bond No. 9 for shopping, and afterward grab coffee or a meal. At Auto, the jewelry choices are especially wonderful; Bond No. 9 offers luxury perfume (Mom can even create her own blend--"Eau de Mommy"!).
Q: I can't spend Mother's Day with Mom this year. What can I do to honor her when she's not here and I'm not there?
A: Write her a letter--a real one, on actual paper. Donate to one of her favorite charities. Plant something in her honor; Planetesimals has a nice selection. And know that wherever your mom is, she is always with you.
Happy Mother's Day to Mommas everywhere!