The Retailing of Mother’s Day

In the late seventies I worked in the women’s sportswear department of a locally well-known and respected retail store. Our biggest sales day of the year was the Saturday preceding Mother’s Day. Everyone has a mother – 100% of the population – and most take time to remember and honor her at least once a year through gifts or our presence.

Christmas Eve runs a close second in record retail, but Christmas shopping is often fraught with chaos; noisy crowds, toys that screech, having to find something for everyone when not everyone has needs and some of the things on Santa’s list have not even been invented yet.

Part of the joy of shopping for Mother’s Day is there is only one person to shop for. Most mothers receive well and are not too picky. They are quite practiced at receiving dandelions, broken robin’s eggshells and refrigerator pictures. I have only one mother and it is a joy to try and find just the right thing to delight her. Gifts are part of my love language and I love to give. Turns out however, that delighting her is no easy task. She’s a little concerned about the cost of things and the value of my time and she does have her style standards. Nevertheless, I ploughed through two shopping trips this year.

The offerings were especially good with regard to color and fabric and cut. I found several things that suited her needs to a T. I even went back for more. As she revolved in a new skirt and blouse, dad and I complimented her. “It’s very nice,” she said, “I got a gift in the mail from your brother today too. But we are going to have to put a stop to this gift giving.” “Why?” I asked. “Why would we stop now just when we are old enough to afford to give?”

Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours! May we never stop giving and receiving. May we always have the joy of finding just the right thing for a special person.