Australian mums speak: Guidance on gifts this Mother's Day

Friday, May 06, 2016

As Australians, we love the chance to give back to our mothers, especially on Mother’s Day. For many Australians, Mother’s Day is regarded as the most meaningful special day, superseding the importance of Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day.

Choosing the right gift on Mother’s Day isn’t always an easy task. Our time-poor schedules often act as a deterrent to activating the genuine, heartfelt generosity we feel towards our mums. In a recent nationwide study of 1,008 respondents, we asked 323 mothers around Australia what they really want this Mother’s Day.

Mums most desired gift is ‘something for her’

This Mother’s Day, mums would most like to receive something for them personally (20%) or something hand-made (15%). This aspect highlights the non-materialistic nature of mums generally, and that for mums, Mother’s Day isn’t about getting more stuff but about the experience and about the thought and intention behind the gift.

The least desirable categories of Mother’s Day gifts according to mums themselves is something for the home (5%) and least of all, something that can be used for cooking or cleaning (2%).

“Interestingly, flowers, which people often think to buy when Mother’s Day approaches, is one of the least desirable gifts for mums, so we may need to reconsider. Mums also don’t want something that will just sit around the home, and they certainly aren’t hoping for another appliance related to domestic duties.” – Mark McCrindle.

Aussie’s on point with gifts for mum

This Mother’s Day, Australians will most likely be gifting their mums with something for her (10%), which we know is what most mothers would like to receive. We will also be gifting our mums with something for her home (10%), however we know this is lower down on her wish list. At least only 5% plan on buying our mums an appliance she can use!

Avoid gifts that create more work!

When asked about the worst gifts ever received for Mother’s Day, mothers repeatedly said that the worst ‘gifts’ they had received are ‘no-gifts’ – having their spouse/children give unappealing or dying flowers, not receiving a gift or receiving only a card.

In a more tangible sense, there were a number of gifts that mothers received that were undesirable, including:

“A Toilet Seat.”

“Toiletries gift basket.”

“A pet rock.”

Gifts that show you don’t know your mother, such as buying her earrings when her ears aren’t pierced, gifts that show it was a last minute purchase and gifts that create more work for her are also likely to be listed on the ‘worst received list’ by Aussie mums.

“I gave her flowers- she is allergic.”;

“I forgot [Mother’s Day] and just took something from my grandmother’s collection.”

“[I gave] some flowers that were not as fresh as they could have been, they were limp by Sunday and died within a couple of days.”

“I gave her a saucepan – it was very expensive but she hated it!”

Mums are gracious, after all

What showcased itself most clearly in our research is that mothers are unconditional in their love and appreciate every gift. Mothers also noted that oftentimes, while not being overly enthusiastic about a particular item, they treasure any gift as an expression of their children/spouse’s love for them:

“I love every gift given to me as it's specially chosen for me by my precious children and hubby.”

“No gift is bad because it is something the kids think is great hence you think it’s great regardless – they buy it out of love.”

“Anything given with love is fantastic.”

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