Why I've asked my family to boycott gifts this Mother's Day

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Mother's Day is right around the corner! I don't need to remind you though, I'm sure. After all, as soon as Easter ends, in every store we enter we are bombarded with Mother's Day cards and trinkets, countless mugs and biscuit tins emblazoned with "Happy Mother's Day!", there are mountains of tacky items that, if gifted, most mums will smile and adore for a few days, then stash in a cupboard and never use again. I don't know about you, but I don't really have the room for another one of any of those things, and my oldest child is only five. In a world where minimalism is so in style, I have to wonder where everyone puts their gifts! 

It's not just the special trinkets made especially for Mother's Day that bother me, though. Every shop has Mother's Day specials. Whether it's jewellery or clothing, homewares or appliances, anything that can be targeted to adult females - almost every business you can think of is trying to flog off their stock in the name of Mother's Day. What began as a day to honour our mothers and thank them for all their efforts has become extremely over commercialised as the years have passed. These days it's not uncommon for families to spend hundreds of dollars on the mothers in their lives every May. It's a wonderful boost for the economy, sure, but are we making this day too complicated for ourselves and those around us? 

Even the very creator of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, was disgusted with the monster she had made. After her own mother passed away, she spent years petitioning to have a special day set aside to honour mothers. Due to the likes of the greeting card and floristry industry however, the day quickly turned into a commercialised beast. That was back in the 1920s. Anna Jarvis would be rolling in her grave if she knew just how many other industries had jumped on board the marketing bandwagon today. 

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I dislike presents. Who on earth does? But... I already have a birthday for those. Mother's Day was never supposed to be about spoiling your mum with material possessions. It was to be a day to honour your Mother, with a handwritten letter or a visit home, to show your appreciation for everything she's done for you. The founder of Mother's Day described those two simple acts as ideal gifts. I know, I know - that was almost one hundred years ago and modern times are very different, but the sentiment still remains. 

I worry that all the marketing and advertisements are putting far too much pressure on our loved ones to spend big each year to impress us mothers with the biggest and best gifts. Just scroll your newsfeed next Sunday morning and you'll see what I mean. It's really not the day to surprise your significant other with a ludicrously expensive appliance or (yes I've seen it happen) a brand new shiny car. Keep that for another day; that's just not what Mother's Day is about. 

Mother's Day is homemade crafts and drawings made especially by the kids for mum. It's a bunch of dandelions picked by the toddler and put in a vase. It's big bear hugs and smooches, eskimo kisses and smiling faces. It's a yummy lunch, a day to spend together with the family, because let's face it, as mums we never do get much of a break. And at the end of the day where else would we even want to be but with our loved ones? (Except maybe the Bahamas.)

It's nice to feel appreciated, but I hope that my family never feel obligated to spend big on me each May. A simple homemade card and the day spent together is my ultimate gift. That shows their love more than anything else ever could.