News and Tribune


May 10, 2014

MAKING CENT$: Mother’s Day on a budget

I can’t speak for all mothers out there, but I can speak for many of us when I share what a mother really wants for Mother’s Day.

I remember my very first Mother’s Day present that my husband gave me from my then-8-month-old son. It was an azalea bush that he planted for me and now that bush is almost 4 feet wide by 3 feet tall, and every time I look at it in bloom each spring, I smile.

For my second Mother’s Day, my husband had our then 15-month-old son carry a bunch of fresh flowers into me while I was still in bed at 10 a.m. — because my husband had gotten up with our son and let me sleep in for a change. That in and of itself was a wonderful present and didn’t cost a dime.

The flowers, which ended up being squished as our son climbed up onto the bed to give them to me, were still the most beautiful flowers I had ever received because he was so proud of them and so lovingly presented them to me.

I have heard of husbands spending hundreds of dollars to buy their wives jewelry for Mother’s Day and I am sure there are women who would enjoy that kind of gift, but a recent survey of moms showed the top three gifts moms want:

1. Something homemade.

2. Their favorite perfume.

3. A tech gift.

I can vouch for the homemade thing. Even though I have been on a campaign to declutter my home and life, I can say with all honesty that I still have everything my children have made me over the years.

Moms cherish those things. Recently, my mom passed away and while going through her things, I found that she kept most everything my sister and I had made for her 50-plus years ago. Homemade cards are awesome.

But if you want to help your children create a more professional homemade gift, consider some of the photo gifts you can have made through online sources like Snapfish or even photo services through Walgreens. A 12-month photo calendar is a great gift. CVS has a photo desk calendar offer for $9.99. Staples has a 12-month photo wall calendar for $4.99.

But even more then the three top gifts, the one thing moms want is more time with their family and children just having fun and not having to worry about getting the housework done, meals cooked, laundry completed and so on. When I had my second child, I found that the best Mother’s Day gifts I received cost nothing except time. Husbands, if you really want to make your wife happy try these gifts:

∞ A day with no chores — send her out for the day and clean the house and do the laundry. Just make sure you know how to do the laundry so you don’t turn all the whites pink and shrink all her clothes. Hint ... there are few Laundromats that still do laundry for you.

∞ A day of no cooking — Cook dinner or go get food and bring it in so mom doesn’t have to cook.

∞ Quiet time — take the kids out for a couple of hours and let mom just sit and do nothing, soak in a tub, read a book, etc.

∞ Help the kids make coupon books. Include coupons for things like: Movie night with pizza delivery; two loads of laundry completed; a car wash; dusting and vacuuming; an argument-free day; an uninterrupted bath or shower.

If you still want to spend money and give her a tangible gift then consider these:

• Gift certificates from You can get a $25 gift certificate for $10 and they are printable for an instant gift.

• Gift Certificates from Groupon. How about an $80 spa package for $35 or $30 worth of Shari’s Berries for $15.

• If she loves to play games on Facebook, get her a Facebook giftcard or gift code. If she is an iPhone/smartphone gamer consider a GooglePlay Gift Card or code or an iTunes giftcard or code.

Happy Mothers Day!

— Questions or comments can be sent to Darlene Hilsenbeck at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Easter 2014 photos

Click on any photo to purchase it.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.