You have been dating your boyfriend for some time now. One day he casually lets drop that his mum’s birthday is coming up next week. You skid to a mental halt, chewing your lower lip worriedly. This is important, but just what on earth would be a great gift? Do you give it alone or should it be a dual effort? The answer depends on two things: the duration of your association with his mother and an intimate knowledge of her likes and dislikes. Both factors decide the kind of gift that would be most appropriate.
These are some creative ideas that can make the gift-shopping experience less stressful!
1.Gift certificates to a spa/ salon
Whether she is the stay-at-home type or a working woman, a gift certificate to a renowned spa or beauty salon is always sure to go down well with the recipient. Let her have a luxurious day, indulging in a massage, pedicure, manicure and facial. Every woman loves feeling pampered.
2.Keep his Mother’s tastes in mind
Does her favourite occupation consist of knitting an array of woollies for her family? If so, put together a hamper of high-quality wool in a few well-chosen colours, a set of knitting needles and a pattern book. The next cardigan that you wear might be the one knitted by her! Alternatively, replace the knitting paraphernalia with books, music and video CDs if she is a voracious reader and loves listening to music.
3.Fashion accessories for a fashionable mum
Glam up his mum with a nice cashmere shawl, scarf or stole. For the working mum, a trendy leather handbag -the eternal classic – is a great idea. Fashionable gloves are equally thoughtful, if she wears them.
4.Say it with flowers
She is sure to have a favourite flower – check with the boyfriend. If you have only just started interacting with his family, particularly his mother, then a beautiful bouquet of her favourite flowers makes for a suitable gift. Attach a thoughtful birthday card to the flowers.
5.Even Mothers love chocolates!
This is something that all women, irrespective of the number of candles on their birthday cake, have a weakness for. But, make sure you pick some delectable, gourmet chocolate. Make it really personal by having a message specially engraved for her on the slab. (Of course, check with your boyfriend for the odd chance whether his mum is allergic to chocolates. You don’t her face breaking into a reaction, do you?)
6.Do something mind-blowing!
Ah, this is a gift that is perfect if you do share an amazing bond with his mum and have known her for a while. Is his mother passionate about a cause? Does she have a favourite charity? Secretly (consort with the boyfriend) donate to this charity in her name, giving her complete name and photograph and other details. These charities usually write back, thanking the donor and may also publish the same in their newsletter.
Remember, you are not married — yet! You need to walk that fine line between ‘too much and too little’. So, overtly extravagant or expensive gifts are not really the order of the day. In fact, they may even be mistaken for a ‘bribe’; a thinly-veiled attempt to gain favour. Whether or not you want his mother to consider you perfect marriage material, just ensure that whatever gift you choose is personal and thoughtful!