Learn what your Mom loves to help guide your gift-buying decision.

Learn what your Mom loves to help guide your gift-buying decision.

CELEBRATE MOM: Start shopping for Mother’s Day early to reduce pressure

If chocolate is on your list, buy the gourmet pieces

Come spring, shoppers often ask, “What gift should I get Mom for Mother’s Day?” How do people transform the sentiments they have for their mother into gifts that represent love and devotion? Buying a Mother’s Day gift is no easy task, especially for those who wait until the last minute to do their shopping.

Beginning early can ease the pressure of Mother’s Day shopping. Research gift options at least a month prior so that you can read reviews on products and services to guarantee quality. You also want to make sure the gift will arrive on time if you will be ordering your gift online. Here are other ways to shop in a smart manner.

• Do some sleuthing. Play detective and take inventory of what Mom likes to do the most. If you ask your mother what she wants, she will likely brush off the question and tell you nothing. It is up to you to do the investigative work. Pay attention to conversations and see if there is anything she mentions wanting to try or something around the house that may need updating. Practical gifts are less likely to end up unopened in the basement or attic.

• Check expiration dates. Gift certificates and cards for particular stores or services are popular come Mother’s Day.

But it is essential to check expiration dates on the certificates or find gifts, as there is a good chance Mom will put off pampering herself and you would not want the gift to expire before she has a chance to use it.

In compliance with the law, chain restaurant gift cards don’t expire for at least five years from purchase. Those might be your safest bet.

• Verify a business. Although Mom may love a cute boutique that just opened, verify the business before buying a gift card from it. An unpredictable economy has made it even harder for new businesses to succeed, and you don’t Mom to be stuck with a worthless gift card should the new business not thrive. If she really likes a particular new business, take her on a shopping spree at the store instead.

• Skip the chocolate overload. Flowers and chocolates are traditional Mother’s Day gifts.

However, calorie-conscious women may not want to be faced with the temptation of a warehouse-sized box of chocolate treats.

If Mom truly loves chocolate, treat her to a gourmet piece or two, but don’t make that your main gift.

• Avoid final sale items. It can be tempting to peruse the deep-discount rack at Mom’s favourite store when retailers cut prices on items in anticipation of a new season. However, these sales may come with restrictions on returns or exchanges.

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