Initially I was really stumped about what to write for this blog post. For one thing, it's hard to write a general "top ten Mother's Day Gift Guide" when mothers are so annoyingly diverse. Some want breakfast in bed, others want a nice bottle of wine...some want a nice bottle of wine in bed and to be honest, it's their day so you'd better give it to them and brush off any concerned thoughts.
For another thing, I am not a mother and nor do I have any plans to become one any time soon, so I can't even legitimately say/hint at what I would want for Mother's Day! But I do HAVE a mother and so I text her asking what she wants for Mother's Day. Unfortunately I forgot to specify this was for a blog post and she replied; "Just something little from Venice" as a genuine request. Not only does this mean I can't tell her that actually, this was for a blog post without it being awkward and me seeming to be an awful daughter, BUT I now also have to remember to buy her something little from Venice when I go for the weekend (just joking mum, of course I'll get you something from Venice!)
So yeah, after that backfired, it's me against the world and so here are ten gift ideas which I think my mum would like (and mum - if I get this list horribly wrong, feel free to forget my birthday next year - I'll understand!).
1. A Nice Pair of Jeans
This is a little bit of a cheat as I know it's something my mum actually genuinely wants. I appreciate that clothes are a tricky thing as before you could either flatter or mortally offend someone as the look at the sizing before they've even tried it on. If you're like me and my mum, where the whole clothes borrowing thing now works both ways, it might be a bit easier for you. If not, maybe a nice scarf or a pair of gloves would be a safer option. Jodie Aziz silk scarves are lovely and can be worn in two colourways too!
2. A Siamese Cat
Again, pets can be a little risky if you're unsure that your mum has the time, or the desire, to look after something else especially if she's only recently got rid of the last things that were dependent on her (aka you). My mum has such a soft spot for animals, so much so that she overrode my dad's initial wariness of pets and our house is like a petting zoo. Our most recently acquired addition is a white rabbit, which was the last one waiting to be sold and thus, my mum didn't stand a chance. My dad was fairly surprised when he came home from work that evening - but not as surprised as a few years ago when my mum went out to get some pet food and came back with a kitten. Anyway, remember that animals are a big commitment and that you should probably double check with anyone else living in the house first, even if it's a surprise for your mum. My mum would love a Siamese - but has agreed to wait until her fiftieth birthday... and I'm sure my dad's pretty relieved!
You can also consider rehoming a cat from Battersea Home for Cats.
3. Stickers for her Car
My mum does a lot of town driving, so she has a little Citroen C1. It's bright red and used to have all these funky stickers on them. Unfortunately, the stickers suffered when I accidentally scraped the side of the car against my dad's Jag while trying to get it off the driveway, and then they had to be taken off completely when my dad scraped his Jag against the car a few weeks later doing exactly the same thing (the Jag, incidentally, was no worse for wear). While your mum may not necessarily want stickers all over the car, there's no denying that she probably spends a lot of time in it; going to work or ferrying people around, so something to make it happier or cheerier is always a plus.
4. A Teddy Bear
My mum adores teddy bears. And, my friend, if you assume that teddy bears are just for children and can't be valuable or designer then I wish you to look up "Steiff Teddy Bears", purchase one and smack yourself in the face with it before loving it for all eternity.
There are more teddy bears than animals in our house (which says something - see suggestion no. 2) but they're all gorgeous and my mum will always accept another. So, if your mum has a passion or a favourite hobby separate from raising a little brood of monsters, support her in it and get her something which she'll truly value, even if it's not necessarily the traditional Mother's Day gift.
5. Tickets to Iceland
Who doesn't want to go away on holiday? Reykjavik in Iceland is top of my mum's list (is it any wonder she spawned a Viking daughter?), with Melbourne in Australia coming in a close second. Go on - get the tickets, let her experience a week or so of escapism, and if your budget stretches as far as the Blue Lagoon then do not hesitate to truly spoil her silly!
6. Tickets to a play/musical
If you're in London, or within a feasible train journey to London, then there's absolutely no excuse to give a rubbish Mother's Day gift this year! The West End spoils for choice with a range of wonderful plays and there's even a discount theatre tickets kiosk in Leicester Square! If however, this is still too expensive, then you can buy a soundtrack for £7.99 on iTunes and stage your own rendition in your living room, but it might be slightly less spectacular (even if the ice creams in the interval will be cheaper!).
7. Kath & Kimderella
The feature film based on the "Kath and Kim" tv series (the Australian version, not the American re-make) which is absolutely hilarious. My mum has a pretty stressful week with various weights on her mind, so the couple of hours in the day which are hers, she likes to spend watching her Kath and Kim box sets amid a constant battle with one of our cats over who gets to eat her sausage roll. She has all the box sets now so really, the film is necessary to complete the collection. If your mum has a favourite film or tv series, why not get it for her? You can even throw in a box of chocolates if you're feeling really generous and, unlike our cat, actually allow her to eat them all undisturbed.
8. A Murder Mystery Dinner Party
When she's not watching Australian soap operas, my mum's probably watching a murder mystery. Things like Midsummer Murders, Foyle's War, Poirot, Miss Marple - she loves all of them and once alarmed a repairman by loudly proclaiming; "Ooh, I do love a good murder!". Therefore I could give her a box set OR I could go one step further and actually give her a murder - without the potentially life-threatening consequences! It would preferably be one of those vintage ones too - like a 1940s or 1950s style as I've heard that those are pretty impressive! Alternatively, you could host a big family get together and take the opportunity to bump off that one relative everyone hates, but I feel like that might put a sombre tone on the evening.
9. An Anges Sweet Surprise Treat Gift Box (with a generous shot of chocolate lava!)
I don't know about your mum, but my mum would happily accept macarons or marshmallows. However, and I can't justify this with any concrete evidence, I feel like she would be more of a marshmallow person - particularly with a shot of melted chocolate goodness to dunk each one in. To hedge my bets however, I'm going to be really clever and surprise her with a Sweet Treat Box which will literally tick...all the box!
You can even have them delivered to your mum's doorstep so she can get a great Mother's Day gift even if you're far away
Speaking of being far away, probably one of the best gifts you can give your mum is actually coming home and making time for her. An even better gift however, would be coming home, doing all the chores so she doesn't have to and not fighting with your siblings/parents/that one relative everyone hates. Sounds sentimental but it's kind of true... even if you're like me and have an extremely large family which is only quiet when Doctor Who is on telly. And this one only costs you the money you spent getting home and you possibly even get one of her own cooked meals before you go (which, speaking as a student, is entirely enough motivation!)
So there you go! I hope this list inspires you on some ideas for your own mum even if an exact copy might not suit. And mum, if you're reading this and approve - I promise I will gift you that Iceland trip and limited edition Steiff bear one day.... after I've finished uni and am a fully fledged Viking in the working world rat race.