To many people, Mother's Day is just another Hallmark holiday – an opportunity for retailers to boost their sales of smaltzy greetings cards, boxes of chocolates and overpriced bouquets.
Actually, the holiday is an ancient one, with roots going right back to the Ancient Greeks, who used to set aside one day every year to honour Rea, the mother of the Gods.
Mother's Day in its present form came to North America in 1872, when socialite Julia Ward Howe decided to organise a special day to celebrate motherhood. It was granted official holiday status in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson decreed that the second holiday in May should be a national holiday from that point forth.
So, how will you be celebrating Mother's Day 2006? If recent surveys are anything to go by, most of all will follow the time-honoured tradition of flowers and a card, while some lucky mom's may be treated to brunch, or breakfast in bed.
If you really want to show your mom you love her, though, it could be time to step away from all the old cliques and buy her something truly unique, something that she'll always be able to treasure. Here are some Mother's Day gift ideas that don't have to cost the earth:
1. Personalised gifts
Remember the days when you'd come home from school clutching a home made card, or a picture you'd painted all by yourself? You may cringe to remember it, but you can bet your mom loved it – in fact, she probably still has those old works of "art" tucked away somewhere safe.
You may not feel that something made out of an old cereal box is the most appropriate gift to give this May 14, but that doesn't alter the fact that personalized gifts are by far the most appreciated. Why not buy a pretty frame for a favourite photo of you and your mom together, or burn a CD of her favourite songs?
2. Show some appreciation
If you're really broke, don’t worry: you don't have to spend anything to show your mom you love her. Just let her put her feet up and treat her to a day when she doesn't have to lift a finger. You make dinner, and you clean the house – your mom just gets to lie back and enjoy it!
3. A twist on tradition
A Mother's Day card is an absolute must this Sunday, but if you're tired of the traditional slushy card, why not try making one yourself, or at least writing a verse to go inside? You can make an ecard on The Doll Palace or use Doll Palace graphics inside your printed card. Avoid the amateur look by buying card making supplies from eBay or Target, and personalise to suit your mom's tatse.