Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Holiday Expectations

I admit it. I have "issues" with holidays. Not big holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, but all the other small holidays that seem to require a gift - like Valentine's Day, Father's Day, and Mother's Day. With Mother's Day rapidly approaching, these issues once again surface.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is good to have a day to celebrate love, or a day to celebrate your mother, or celebrate being a mother. We all want to be appreciated and these holidays give us a chance to be showered with love and attention for a few hours. But I hate the gift giving expectations that come along with those days.

The gifts advertised during these times are always the same. For a woman your choices are flowers, candy, jewelry, or girly pampering stuff. For a man, you can choose a tie, wallet, electronic equipment, or a barbequer of some sort. None of these items are things I really want to either get as a gift (except flowers on occasion) or give as a gift. I don't want Mark to buy me a gift just because society says he should. And I especially don't want any of the advertised gifts for this holiday. Flowers? I like to get those "just because", not because it is expected on a certain day. And they die quickly. Candy? That will make me fat (although there is a great little sweet shop out here). Jewelry? I wear very little and so that's not a great choice. Girly pampering stuff? I have very sensitive skin and can't use most of it, especially not bath beads or bubble bath.

So what do I want on these holidays? All I want for Mother's Day is time with Camden and Mark, maybe a nice dinner, and a chance for a nap. If really pressed for what I would want as a gift, it would be things like new clothes or a new cell phone. But I'll get those eventually anyway, so it doesn't matter if I get it for Mother's Day or not. I look forward to the days when Camden makes me cute little things or chooses out a small gift, but until that point, I don't really want presents because society says I should get one on this holiday.

Worse than trying to think of a gift for myself is trying to think of one for my mother. She is at that stage in life that anything she wants, she buys. And she says she doesn't want more knickknacks or clutter around her house, so any gift that would contribute to that is out. I've been wracking my brain for a gift for her for days for now and am still drawing a blank. Mother's Day is just a few days away and I don't have a clue what to get my mother. I may go with the old stand by - a gift card of some sort.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Do you look forward to these holidays? What do you want in terms of receiving a gift? What are you giving to your mother as a gift? Share with me your feelings. Maybe you'll be the one to help me get over my holiday issues.

19 comments:

Gina said...

all I wanted for V-day was a full night's rest... got flowers instead :(

for mother's day I want Liam's 6 month picture custom framed.

for my mothers... we are sending favorite prints of all the pictures we've had taken of Liamm and candid ones we have taken. all grandma's want are pictures or flowers for their yards...

Mama D said...

I'm a sucker for a pedicure. Or something of that nature. I treated myself to one last week. I'm a weirdo. I like presents. But I'm with you on the flowers, candy and jewlery part. I'd like season one of 'Lost' or 'Grey's Anatomy' or something. That'd be cool.

QueenMeadow said...

I have the same issues. I usually resort to calling and saying happy mothers day :S. I feel like a slacker though. We have taken our mom to dinner from time to time though. And last year all of us (myself and siblings) pitched in and got our mom a two hour massage at the local spa, pedicure, manicure and shoulders massage. She seemed to enjoy that.

beth said...

Wow, a nap sounds like a very good gift...if he asks again what I want I'll be sure to tell him that. I am also big on the whole spa/break experience like Mama D. I'll be using up a left over gift certificate for a massage TOMORROW:)

We are giving my mom a video tape of everything we recorded of Sam's first year and a framed black and white pic that Hubby took of Sam and me.

Dawnyel said...

I get frustrated with these little gift giving holidays too. (I really get frustrated at Mothers' Day...because of the tributes they give at church!) Anyway...I went easy on my hubby this year...I found a replica of my piggy slippers online and demanded them! (I'm getting them...YAY!!)
For my mom, I usually give her a small flowering plant that she can plant in her flowerbed. We rarely have a lot of money, so it's a cheap alternative. I also try to make a homemade card with pics of Cam or me in them. For my hubby's mom we are going to burn her some CDs that she wants and we're going to mail them to her. We try to keep things simple and inexpensive. But I'm sure a nap would be the best gift! :D

Maine Mom said...

I think time is a great gift. Give me a day to clean my house, or a day to go out by myself to shop/read/visit with friends, that's really all I want. And of course time with my husband and children.
Give time to your mother...a dinner out, a day of cleaning with your mom, a leisure walk together. If she lives far away, spend more time than you normally would talking on the phone to her.
If you want a tangible gift idea, one year I made a book for my mom and mother-in-law. I made the cover and back from patterned paper and the rest of the book was made with white paper (cut to any size you want). I went to Staples and had it bound. Then I put pictures of our family and quotes about mothers and families in it. It was a big hit.

Andrea said...

Its the only time i even have a remote chance of getting a gift!! I never get 'just because' gifts or flowers.

Carrie said...

I totally hear what you are saying. I have no real ideas or suggestions on presents, but I hear what you are saying.

Stephanie said...

Hi Rachelle. You've been tagged. Come and see me for the details.

ubercyl said...

My boy got me the cutest little adjustable $3 ring. I love it because it was exciting for him. You'll have that soon, as you said.

I'd rather have a home-cooked meal and 2 hours at the library by myself than anything else!

Stephanie said...

I tried to post on this earlier, but I think my baby deleted it.

I have a hard time with these too. It just gets to be too much. I never know if it is right and between my parents and DH's parents, step-dad and ex step-dad, it gets expensive. Sigh.

My mom has become a pedicure junkie so now we give her pedicure gift certificates to her favorite place. Between Mother's day, Christmas and her birthday, she doesn't ever have to pay for them.

We give my dad gift certificates to buy the things my mom would rather him not have (power tools, guns, atv supplies, hunting gear--he's sort of an outdoor nut). That way he can buy them and not have spent "their" money on it.

I don't think you should have to get over it. It is a lot for already stretched-thin mommies to think about.

jd said...

I would not be the one to ask for issue advice. I have the same one!! I am dying that Father's day and my husbands birthday fall in the same month GUCK.

Stand by for me this year.... unless you got some good remedies.

Nicole said...

I am with you on the holiday thing. I like getting presents, but I want them to be given because someone really wanted to give them to me not because they felt like they had to because the calendar said so.

Pattie the Domesticator said...

You are not alone in this sentiment. I feel like it's all about the marketing. They guilt you into feeling like you HAVE to buy something. Gee...too much pressure!

Nikkie said...

These little holidays annoyme. We shouldn't need a day to be appreciated, we should be appreciated everyday, and not just because the corporations and media say so.

But if this is how its going to work I like to make sure I write something meaningful to my mom in a card. That means more to her then any kind of junk I could buy her. I know I'd feel the same way!

Nicole said...

I know I'm probably the only one who is going to be a downer, but I'm really glad that we are travelling on Mother's Day this year so I don't have to sit in church and be reminded that I am not, and may not ever be, a mother.

As for my mom, we'll be in NYC sharing tomorrow with her in advance, since we'll be on the road. Having her kids with her is about all she could ever want.

s'mee said...

first time here! (via lds chicks!) oh my do I hear ya!
I understand Nicole's feelings. I have too many friends in the same position and it hurts. It's hard to sit through year after year.

I feel guilty for getting a gift on mother's day (it seems kind of wierd to me)and feel guilty giving a gift to a mom who "expects" each of her children to out do the other.

That said I am older than dirt so I am just giving both of the mom types in my life photos of their great grand child. My m-i-l will love it, my mom will poopoo it. oh well.

As for s'mee, I am really wanting to give each of my kids a small little stupid something for being such great kids. Mother's day with a twist. (and maybe something nice for the guy who made me a mom)

Sabra said...

My dh rocks at gift giving during these occasions. Top Three gifts thus far: #3: Wet Jet mop #2:The PostIt note saying "IOU" attatched to his debit card (we have a joint account. fyi)#3 the really beautiful card he made with a picture of himself and our son that said, on the inside, "good for one (actually two) free eyebrow waxin's!". I had asked for a gc to a salon.

For my mom, we do the same thing every year and I think its a great idea. We get her yard ready for spring. The Saturday before M-day every year we each contribute $$ to buying supplies and plants and we work all day getting her yard all beautiful for the season.

Lei said...

I agree, Rachellle - holidays have become so marketed, it can take the meaning and magic out of them. I do look forward to Mother's Day because we have our own traditions and don't need to look to what's hot on the shelves for ideas. In time I am sure you guys will come up with your own traditions as well and it will be a more meaningful for you personally!