Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Spend & Save

Alice-Azania Jarvis: No chocs or flowers for mum this year. We're in a recession

In The Red

Another weekend, another excuse for shops to flog a host of "seasonal" goodies. This time, of course, it's thanks to Mother's Day. Actually, I should probably be grateful – were it not for the enormous floral cut-out in my local M&S I would never have remembered. Thinking about it, there's probably only a 1:2 ratio of years I've remembered and years I've forgotten (One, obviously, representing the years I've remembered and Two being the years I've forgotten).

Annoyingly, my sister never forgets. That's what you get with younger ones: superior social skills, superior metabolic rate, and superior organisation.

Still, it is, I maintain, what we'll call a "borderline occasion." It certainly doesn't warrant the sort of expenditure of something serious – a holiday of the first order – like Christmas. Yet it's still more important than, I don't know – something really puny like St George's Day.

How to differentiate? Well, it's all in the origin story. I know the story of Christmas – everyone does, they have it rammed down my throat each year in the form of a nativity play. So, obviously, I spend lots of money at Christmas: cards, presents, bottles of wine, little black dresses, the lot.

Easter? Well, I have a pretty good idea about that, though it all gets a bit fuzzy when it comes to naming the various disciples. So, I'll spend a fair amount – chocolate and flowers – but not as much as at Christmas. Mother's Day's story? Um, well, I did know, once; I remember learning it at school. Though if you asked me to write an essay on it I might struggle...

But you see what I'm getting at? Christmas trumps Easter, which in turn trumps Mother's Day. So Mother's Day, I think, warrants just a card – and those only cost about 50p – plus perhaps, on a good year, a bunch of flowers. But this isn't a good year, remember? It's 2009, year of global economic woe. So, Mum, if you're reading (and I know you are), don't get your hopes up, ok?

Of course, the cheapest occasion of all is Father's Day. I just can't see what all the fuss is about. It is, surely, a clear example of commercial opportunism: some guy in a boardroom thinks, 'hey we earn some money on Mother's day, why not have a Father's Day so we can earn a lot more?"

At any rate, having been brought up in a firmly ra-ra-feminist household, I firmly believe that Father's Day is the spawn of the devil. Urgh, men: who wants to celebrate them? At least that's what Mum says.