Mom is back! After a significant drop-off during the Great Recessepression, Mother Day's spending is set to jump by 11 percent this year, according to the latest survey by the National Retail Federation, which averages out this year's spending to $168.94 per person.
According to the federation, a third of shoppers are buying jewelry. Unfortunately, 41.5 percent of you are buying a gift card, which is going to be the final straw that proves mom's long-held suspicion that she should have raised you better, even though she still blames dad's side of the family.
Those of us who are married and suffering from death by children approach Mother's Day with even more trepidation, since it means that we must find gifts for the women we've turned into mothers. There are two problems here: First, our wives don't possess the same genetically inspired sense of forgiveness as our mommies; second, you eventually have to go to sleep in the same house as your wife, at which point you could discover just how big a mistake you made with that gift set of steak knives.
Here are a few Mother's Day gift guidelines that I think can keep you out of trouble:
Appliances: No matter how much a woman says she'll be thrilled with a sorely needed vacuum cleaner, waffle iron or drain snake, she is lying.
-- Mistake: "Here's that new ironing board you've been wanting!"
-- Better: "I've hired a maid service!"
-- Best: "It's a whole case of your favorite wine!"
Brunch: A standard and perfectly respectable Mother's Day dodge that puts all the work on the restaurant. However, this seemingly sure-fire gift can backfire if your gal has any kind of issues with body image.
-- Mistake: "If you keep the asparagus and leave out the English muffin, Canadian bacon, eggs and Hollandaise sauce, eggs Benedict can be very healthy."
-- Better: "This place specializes in gourmet egg-white omelets, sweetie."
-- Best: "Waitress, we'll just be ordering wine."
Clothing: When it comes to shopping for women, there are only two sizes of clothes: too small, which makes her feel huge, and too big, which makes her feel like you think she's huge.
-- Mistake: "But, darling, in my mind, you'll always be a petite."
-- Better: "I have always thought you look great in scarves."
-- Best: "Here's a gift certificate to that new boutique with the wine bar!"
Lingerie: Whoa there, sport! Who is this gift for exactly? If you're hoping to repeat what got you into the whole Mother's Day quandary in the first place, the mine-strewn territory of ladies' dainties is likely to ensure that your current kid remains an only child. Trust me -- there's an easier way.
-- Mistake: "But it looked so hot when I saw it on the model."
-- Better: "I'm sure it'll look just fine in a darker room."
-- Best: "Let's get you some more wine!"Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun