What does Mom get for Mother’s Day?

In the ’70s, Dads turned sentimental with “mother rings” containing each child’s birthstone. In the excessive, greed-is-good ’80s, husbands trumped their kids’ gifts with status-conscious designer handbags and diamond tennis bracelets.

But in the economically austere ’90s, practical as well as out-of-the ordinary gifts are making a come-back.

Sure, there will always be moms who expect perfume, pedicures and pearls; but a growing number of mothers are requesting less traditional gifts for Mother’s Day.

We polled our neighbors about what they give and request for Mother’s Day. “Free time” was frequently cited, and with good reason. Since today’s moms face more demands on their time than ever before, leisure time is scarce and priceless.

Neighborhood resident Helen Delph cherishes Mother’s Day every year when she receives breakfast on the porch with the Sunday newspapers. Husband Rob takes the kids with him on an outing to ensure that Helen has plenty of time to read both papers in peace.

Of course, the most touching gifts come straight from the heart of a loving child – gifts that money can’t buy. Here’s a round-up of Mother’s Day ideas to help with your gift-giving.

  • New mom Dana Cagle hasn’t had time to exercise since the recent birth of her baby boy, Nathan. She wants a baby jogger, so she can exercise on the job. But don’t spring for one unless Mom says she really wants it – new mothers are sensitive about the extra pounds a baby brings, and an unsolicited baby jogger could be taken as an insult.
  • Chris Gresback wants to spend time with her family while picnicking at White Rock Lake.
  • Mark Cole doesn’t hit the malls to shop for a Mother’s Day present. One of his most exquisite gifts was an Oriental vase purchased at an estate auction for a bargain basement price. His idea of a great follow-up gift is a hot-air balloon ride shared with Mom.
  • Mary Quevedo says that in her 17 years of motherhood, her fondest Mother’s Day gifts are the plaster cast of her then pre-school-aged daughter, and a bouquet of flowers, roots and all, which her youngest child dug up from the neighbor’s garden.
  • Byron Woolley makes a very official-looking coupon for a “Mother’s Day Out” on his home computer for wife Cindy. The coupon entitles her to 12 hours of baby-sitting to be performed by Dad. Hey, Byron: It’s not baby-sitting when you’re the parent.
  • Sixteen-year-old Allison Solganick and sister Anya make a giant posterboard card that says “You’re a great mom” in letters their mother, Judy, couldn’t miss from the street. Then the entire family, including grandma, goes out for a wonderful dinner to top the day off.
  • Last year, five-year-old Bryan Bone wrapped up his favorite rock for mother Tami and professed: “You’re the best mom I’ve ever had.” She knew he was absolutely right.

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