The Emperor's New Clothes (10/03/13)

The main thing on Mother's Day is to buy a gift. Not so, says Katy Guest, who has something more precious in mind

Share
Related Topics

Mums are officially more beloved than dads, according to a new survey by a shopping website. The average spend on Mother's Day gifts is £30 per mother; on Father's Day, it is only a tenner.

To people who measure love in hard currency, this obviously means that men are badly done by. But really they should feel lucky.

The top five gifts for mothers, according to VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, are flowers, chocolates, alcohol, beauty treatments or just a card. But a quick look at a "gifts for her" website shows that these come in a baffling array of guises. Just one website last week was suggesting Mother's Day presents including: a teaspoon with "one in a million" written on it (£12.99); a set of three bath "melts" in the shape of fairy cakes (£10.99); "macaroons" mini notelets (£9.99); and a battery operated pedicure machine (£39.99).

The presents that aren't chocolate mostly imply that your poor old mum is in need of a wash, and if they're not recognisable as some form of soap then they are usually bizarre and vaguely insulting. Ask yourself: would you want to receive one of these? Does your mum?

What websites such as these do is take our money to appease our guilt. It's helpful to believe that the most loving thing you can do for your mum is to spend £30 on a bunch of flowers and a mug with "Keep Calm and … [something]" written on it. Their message is beguiling. It says, "What every woman really wants is a long hot bath with a melty bit of fairy soap in it, not your time or attention." It says that Mother's Day is about throwing money at a problem. And it's even better if you can beg your mum for a little handout when you find yourself short of a few bob (say £30) at the end of the month.

So, sorry to the website which has done the hard research, but how about not buying chocolates, beauty treatments or "Keep Calm and Have a Bath" propaganda for your mum today? Why not give her a ring? Or go and see her? Go on – you can always tap her for the train fare later.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Finance / Accounts Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...

Recruitment Genius: Bench Locksmith / Engineer / Technician

£14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading Key Cutting equipm...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - B2B Sales & Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you great at forming strong...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ed Miliband contends with difficult questions from Jeremy Paxman  

Battle for Number 10: Miliband survives a rough ride but Cameron takes the edge in first TV battle

John Curtice
Prime Minister David Cameron is interview by Jeremy Paxman  

The TV non-debate: Miliband does better than expected, but not better than Cameron

John Rentoul
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss