About 55 percent of men get it wrong on Mother's Day.
That number comes from an online survey sponsored by the rebate website ebates.com. We'll let you form an opinion on its accuracy.
According to the survey, women want a gift card to a favorite store, followed by a homemade gift, a spa day, jewelry and roses — in that order of preference. Last year, a spa day was mom's No. 1 choice.
The average shopper spent about $150 on mom for Mother's Day in 2012, as reported by the National Retail Federation. But what mom really wants is a day to herself, according to an informal polling of Peninsula mothers.
Here's what they had to say and a few ideas for scoring a deal. (Moms, this might be a good opportunity to just leave the newspaper lying around for a few days).
A day alone
Ask just about any mom, especially one with young or school-age children, and no amount of money spent beats some simple peace and quiet.
If you're able to help out a special mother in your life with some time off, you're likely to be remembered as the best gift giver in history.
"I love being a mom, but it's a lot of work," says Camille Donne, of Newport News. "Sometimes I just want to hear, 'I don't know how you do it. Thank you!' I think moms just want some recognition for all the work they do. I don't want jewelry, or flowers that will wilt in a couple days.
"I think the best gift would be if my husband took the kids for a few hours and said, 'You never have 'you time' anymore. Why don't you take a few hours and do some things that you really want to do. Then when you get home, I'll have dinner taken care of.' It can be pizza, Chinese, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for that matter, as long as I don't have to fix it."
For those feeding the kids while mom is away, Papa John's often offers coupon codes for 50 percent off of a large pizza or 25 percent off of your total order. Visit retailmenot.com and search "Papa Johns" to find the special discounts.
"Flowers, candies and jewelry are nice but what I really enjoy is time away," says Khalilah Davis, of Hampton. "A nice massage, a day of pampering, dinner and a hotel room — nothing but peace and quiet."
But don't send mom out of the house empty-handed. Many mothers, in nationwide polls and our own local research, point to gift cards as the perfect gift.
"The idea of a perfect gift for me — and many others, I am sure — is a car wash certificate. I hate to wash the car," says Cindy Sapienzo, of Hampton.
"Even better," Sapienzo said, "I would like a massage or manicure or pedicure certificate. In other words, something personal that I might not splurge on for myself."
If you're not sure what store to choose, consider a shopping center gift certificate. Williamsburg Premium Outlets, for example, is offering a free $50 Ulta Diamonds gift card when you buy a $100 Premium Outlets gift card.
Do ask about gift card fees, however. Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News, for example, charges a $2.95 fee when you purchase a mall-wide gift card. Gift cards purchased for Peninsula Town Center in Hampton must be spent within 12 months or will be subject to a monthly fee of $2.50.
Spa day gift cards are often sought after by busy moms looking for a break. Since women generally have a preferred spa location, discounts are a bit harder to come by, but sometimes all it takes is a simple visit to the salon's website or calling ahead to ask.
"My No. 1 pick for a gift would be a gift card from a professional cleaning service," says Kathy Slade, of Gloucester. "After a 2-hour commute daily and a stressful job, I would be thrilled to have a sparkling clean house just once where I did not have to clean it myself."
While cut flowers fade quickly, potted plants can a good alternative.
"I always like flowers and jewelry, but I really like getting plants for Mother's Day," says Ann Brown-Hailey, of Williamsburg. "It's the perfect time of year to 'decorate' outdoors so a plant basket for the deck or a blooming orchid for indoors will last longer than cut flowers."
Lowes offers a coupon for 10 percent off purchases at Lowes.com. (You can find the specific link at dailypress.com/shopping). Sign up for Home Depot email newsletters and receive a coupon for $5 off.
Anderson's Home and Garden in Newport News is offering a special "Bedazzle a Flower Pot for Mom" workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11.
Whatever gift you choose, give it heart with a special note or homemade item.
"The best gifts I have gotten have been the ones my kids made, or the ones that show we are family," says Nicole DelValle, of York County. "My daughter wrote a poem and framed it with a picture of the family.
"My husband wrote me a sonnet on a paper towel and made me coffee. I still have it in a box stored away. My son made me coupons to redeem throughout the year; including free kisses, no-complaining free vacuuming. I can buy what I need."
Krista Talley, of Newport News, agrees. Homemade gifts are those most treasured.
"A book of coupons to clean or cook dinner costs little to nothing," she says.
Using those digital photos stuck on the camera or computer is another great idea for many moms.
"I would love some updated pictures of our daughters to be framed so I can put them up on the walls," says Mindy Lepp, of Williamsburg. "With digital cameras now, I rarely print anything out anymore."
And as much as moms pray for some peace, spending some quality time together as a family is just as treasured.
"I want my son to fix me dinner at home, a card, some flowers — nothing expensive — and to watch a good movie after dinner while I'm eating dessert," says Terrie Fuell, of Newport News. "I figure on his college student budget this is cheap and doable."
Paitsel can be reached at 247-4737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more local deals at dailypress.com/shopping. Connect at Facebook.com/SavvyShopper. Sign up for mobile alerts at dailypress.com/textalerts. Choose "free stuff."