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How Much Should You Spend on Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday and retailers have spent the last few weeks coming up with a variety of offers and slogans to entice you into getting that perfect gift. With everything from e-readers to jewellery suggested, there’s certainly no shortage of present ideas.

For those of us who are a bit strapped for cash though, this period can be a stressful one. After all, we want to show our mums just how much we love them but a card usually just doesn’t feel quite right…

An image of a gift box with the word mum written on it

With the average person reportedly spending around £30 on their mum, you might feel there’s an expectation to spend big this year. However, if you’re wondering just how much to part with, here’s the answer:

Whatever you can afford – if anything

Don’t get caught up in commercialism

Originally, Mother’s Day was a very different affair. In the UK, it started more as a Christian event as, once a year, you were expected to return to your hometown (or mother church). While individuals made the journey to their homes, they inevitably caught up with people they hadn’t seen in ages.

Eventually, the concept just…stuck.

These days though, we largely follow the more American version of Mother’s Day. This is important to note as, while there are several people credited with the origin of this festival, one of the most routinely cited is a woman named Anna Jarvis. She originally intended for children to use the day as a celebration of mothers.

Here’s the important thing to note though, she hated the idea of Mother’s Day becoming commercialised:

“To have Mother’s Day the burdensome, wasteful, expensive gift day that Christmas and other special days have become, is not our pleasure,” she wrote during the 1920s.

“If the American people are not willing to protect Mother’s Day from the hordes of money schemers that would overwhelm it with their schemes, then we shall cease having a Mother’s Day—and we know how.”

Given how big a gifting occasion Mother’s Day is now, we can assume that Jarvis would not be happy with how it turned out.

Your mum wouldn’t want you to spend big

Although this story is an interesting one, not getting someone a gift because of ‘historical reasons’ isn’t a great excuse. If you really can’t afford to do anything for Mother’s Day though, it’s time to just be honest with your mum.

Your mother loves you and wouldn’t want you to get into financial hardship on her behalf. Instead, give her a call, pay her a visit, enjoy spending quality time together. At the end of the day, she probably cares about that far more than some fancy technological gizmo.

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