I despise mothers’ day. I love my mother – more than that, I admire her, I am constantly impressed and inspired by her for thousands of reasons that I shan’t list here – but I absolutely cannot bear being told that I have to display my gratitude with grand gestures on a certain day of the year. That’s what birthdays are for. As such, I have thus far avoided any mothers’ day ceremonies. Until this year, when for various complicated reasons, I happen to be crossing her path on Sunday 26th. So I relent. I can’t ignore the beastly occasion, because that would be hostile. For those of you feeling crushed with despair at the prospect, but also for those of you who are sunnier, lighter and looking forward to some quality time with your ma, here are suggestions for some excellent presents for all budgets.
Traditional mothers’ day presents include smelly and squirty things for the bathroom. The idea being that your mother can enjoy some me-time, such as a bath, without children knocking on the door and asking what’s for tea, or where their socks are. Hermes box of three soaps are so pretty that your mother won’t want to use them – a real treat. But for something off the beaten track, try Make Skincare products. Make is made with natural ingredients, the packaging looks like little gems, they smell inutterably delicious and they have gift sets for mums and mums-to-be: an unusual idea that will be gratefully received.
Along the same lines is scent – slightly different to the body suggestions because your mother can wear it every day, and be reminded of you, or her excellent mothering abilities. With spring on the way, Penhaligon’s Bluebell scent is light and seasonal (they also have a bath oil if you’re really throwing yourself into festivities). Alternatively – and it’s an oldie but a goodie – Jo Malone has scents that start at £35 and go up to £240, so you can break the bank as little or as much as you see fit.
I don’t care if they’re a cop-out, or if they’re cheating, flowers bring such happiness that they’re worth it every time. I’m convinced that a bunch of flowers on a bedside table hugely helps with facing the day. But you can put them anywhere, because flowers make a house a home. The best place to get them is through Bloom and Wild, who home deliver flowers through the letterbox (above). They have some beautiful mothers’ day bunches (such as the Cora) that start at £35. If you’re looking for something more expensive, Hayford and Rhodes similarly offer delivery across the UK, but make bunches to order – the ‘peach perfect’ bunch is traditional and elegant.
Alongside flowers, books can bring heaven to earth. The ultimate escapism, which is what you need when you have 400 children asking you for things all around the clock. Or even one child that isn’t particularly demanding – everyone needs a good book. A nice idea is a subscription (Theresa May took Vogue as her luxury item on Desert Island Discs – she must already subscribe to The Spectator) to a publication. Abebooks is a fantastic website that sells second hand books, everything from penguin paperbacks to more obscure titles, and more upmarket first editions too. The only danger is that you forget to buy something for your mother, as you are too busy adding to your own shopping basket.
In a display of overexcited cross-branding for mothers’ day overindulgence, the Four Seasons has partnered with Chelsea Physic Garden to offer a pop-up spa for the two weeks surrounding Mothers’ Day. The treatment – a facial – is only £50, which doesn’t seem much considering all the fancy words thrown in, and it’s extremely relaxing. I highly recommend it. For a more personal experience, Urban Massage is an app that provides masseuses to your door. You can pick and choose timings and treatments according to your other mothers’ day plans.