ro·mance (rō-măns', rō'măns')n.
- A love affair.
- Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love: They kept the romance alive in their marriage for 35 years.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and while many might claim that it is a mere Hallmark Holiday invented to get you to spend money, others are out there desperately searching for the perfect gift for their wife, mother, sister, or daughter. These men and woman are looking for the perfect way to say “I love you, and I’ve been thinking about you,” and according to the latest numbers I’ve seen America believes in saying this with a cookbook.
That’s right. A cookbook. Giada, Rachel, and this guy who goes by Naked are all flying off my shelves to go home to a mom near you.
This is not a new phenomenon; at Christmas we renamed Rachel Ray Mrs. Claus because she was finding her way under so many Christmas trees. I’m sure if you looked at sales numbers for cookbooks throughout the decades you would notice a bump around the holidays because nothing says “I love you” like “Here’s this cookbook now get in the kitchen and make me this pie.”
You see, the problem with cookbooks is that there seems to be some sort of expectation with them. By giving someone a cookbook, especially your mom, you seem to be saying “Here, try some new recipes because I don’t like what you’re making.” It’s not the intent, I’m sure, but there is that belief that you’ll be there to taste the results. It’s not an unselfish giving.
I know that there are people out there that love to get cookbooks (I’m a bit of a Cooking Light food porn whore myself), but the giving of a cookbook—especially on Mother’s Day—appears to be a cop-out. For many it’s the “I don’t know what to get you, Mom, so I got you this.”
If you want to get her something food-related then go with chocolate, or an IOU for a nice meal out (just the two of you) at her favorite restaurant or someplace new. Or maybe instead you can get her some fun candles, or funky coasters, or a pretty necklace. You could put together a gift basket of gift cards to her favorite stores and shops. Gifts don’t have to be expensive or gratuitous, just a way to say “I love you with no strings attached, and I’ve been paying attention to what you like.”
Remember, if you don’t know what to get her or it comes down to a time crunch, you don’t need a cookbook she may or may not want to say “I love you,” a card will suffice just as well and without the possibility of it being returned.
So what are some Mother’s Day gifts that you’ve given that have gone over spectacularly in the past?
(Some people would love the help.)