Attention indecisive people, procrastinators, and busy bees: You’re running out of time to get the mothers in your life the perfect gift card! Finding a personalized gift doesn’t have to be hard, it just takes a little extra time and critical thinking. Rather than picking up a last-minute bouquet of flowers, or taking her to the same restaurant as last year, let her know how much you care by choosing a gift card that shows you took her unique interests and preferences into consideration. The key to giving the best gift is really tailoring it to the recipient as an individual. Below are three important questions that will help you narrow down your search.
To find out what the mothers in your life will really love, it is often useful to think about their values, specifically related to time. When your mom has an hour or two of leisure, how does she spend it? Does she curl up in a hammock and read for the afternoon? Is she cooking pastries or perfecting a recipe in the kitchen? Maybe she goes biking outdoors to explore new terrain, or takes a breather by attending a hot yoga class.
If you think hard enough, there is likely something the moms in your life usually enjoy doing with their spare time. Think about whether there is something they’re missing, need a replacement of, or could use to enhance their favorite pass time. If your mom loves hiking, consider buying her a gift card to purchase a digital camera so she can capture the beautiful scenery. If she loves interior design, give her a gift card to Domestications or World Market that will allow her to indulge in her passion. Complementary gifts are often the best ways to show that you put thought into finding something suited just for her interests and lifestyle.
How does she recognize affection and care?
There are many things we owe our mothers for teaching us that go unrecognized. Just as we learn how to speak our native language from them, most of us grow up observing how to express affection and care from our parents or guardians in different ways. Have you ever heard of the five love languages? Developed by a relationship counselor, these love languages can be as important to communication in relationships as sharing the same native language. According to Gary Chapman, there are different ways that people recognize and internalize affection. If you and the people you care about share different emotional love languages, regardless of how hard you try to express your affection you may never get your feelings across in a way they understand.
The five love languages Chapman identified are physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and receiving gifts. Physical touch includes kissing, hugging, and physically being close to one another. Acts of service include going out of your way to do something nice for someone, like cooking dinner unexpectedly, or picking up their clothes at the dry cleaners on your way home. Words of affirmation include verbally vocalizing and affirming people of their value and how they make you feel. Quality time is a matter of giving someone your undivided attention, whether it be going for a walk together, or simply sitting and chatting. The last love type is receiving gifts.
So, how exactly would you go about determining your mother’s love language? Chances are good that because she raised you, you may share the same one. However, this is not always the case. To discover her love language, or anyone’s for that matter, try to think about how she expresses love to others, what she complains about most, and what she requests most often.
How can you combine her interests and love language to package the perfect gift?
Figuring out the perfect gift includes an understanding of your mother’s interests, and how she recognizes love. This will give you a better idea of what gift card to get, and how to give it to her in the perfect way. For example, if your mom loves getting artsy in her free time, and her love language is quality time, getting her a gift card to Blick’s will make her swoon. If your mom is a foodie, and her love language is acts of service, cooking a fancy dinner for her coupled with a gift card to Cooking.com would likely hit the spot.
Regardless of what you end up with, mom’s always love the gift of choice. Giving personalized gift cards in the right context, with the right message accompanying it, can be the perfect way to make your mother’s day. It just takes an understanding of her interests, values, and how she internalizes affection to come up with what that is!