By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have noticed that tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and here in Mexico, that’s a big deal.
May 10 is HER day, and there are plenty of ways to indulge, pamper and coddle the mother of your children or the woman who brought you into this world on this special occasion that don’t involve giving her a power drill or tickets to a soccer tournament. (Yes, I´m talking to you guys out there).
So, just in case you are still contemplating a trip to Home Depot to find her the perfect gift, here are eight much more viable presents that will keep you out of the doghouse and actually make her smile.
1) Give her flowers or candy.
(This one is a no-brainer and far more attractive to her than that ratchet wrench you had been eying).
Most flower stands in Mexico will double or triple their prices on Mother’s Day, so expect to pay a hefty fee for a dozen roses or an arrangement of gladiolas, but, remember, it is partly your fault for waiting until the last minute to get her a gift.
You can always opt instead to purchase a living plant, such as an orchid, now and keep it watered until tomorrow.
Candy prices won’t go up, so consider a trip to a high-end chocolatier such as L’Atelier du Chocolat at the Antara shopping mall in Polanco or Tout Chocolat on Amsterdam in Colonia Condesa. (No, a bag of Hershey’s Kisses isn’t going to cut it.)
Then again, candy can sometimes by a double-edged sword of a gift if your mother is trying to lose weight.
If she recently joined Weight Watchers, skip this option.
2) Give her perfume.
This one is tricky unless you know what scent she likes.
Every woman’s chemistry is different, so how a fragrance smells on her is different from how it might smell on someone else.
Also, some women prefer light citrusy aromas and others opt for exotic floral or oriental perfumes.
If you don’t know what perfume your mother likes, or at least what family of aromas she prefers, you are probably better off choosing one of the other seven options.
3) Take her to lunch or dinner.
Most major hotels and restaurants have special Mother’s Day packages that include a gourmet meal and even a complementary rose for Mum.
But be warned: The prices for these meals can be steep.
If you are short on cash or prefer a more personalized Mother’s Day luncheon, the American Benevolent Society (ABS) is offering an affordable home-style lunch at Union Church on Friday, May 11. (This is also a great save in case you forgot the day altogether since if is the day after Mother’s Day.)
And, if you have a knack for cooking, there is always the option to cook a special meal for Mom, focusing on her favorites foods.
4) Give her a day at the spa or beauty salon.
Nothing is more indulgent for a woman than a hot-stone massage or a facial.
And she will love a mani-pedi certificate at her favorite nail spa.
Or you can make a reservation for her at one of the Dior spas inside Palacio de Hierro for a facial and relaxation treatment.
They run about 800 to 1,200 pesos a pop, and the great thing about these spa treatments is that she will not only get the facial but the entire value of your investment in credit back for Dior skincare products, so you are really giving her a double gift for the price of one.
5) Give her a mall gift certificate.
This is a no-worries solution because it’s a one-size fits all gift that she can use to choose an item she will really enjoy and want to wear (unlike that purple and yellow spotted sweater you gave her last year that was four sizes too big and which is still buried in the back of her closet with the orange, pink and blue striped muumuu dress you brought her back from your trip to Hawaii three years ago).
Spend some real quality time with her doing something she enjoys. (It’s true that shopping is usually a double-x chromosome thing and probably not something you really look forward to, but think about all the school plays and football games she sat through for you.)
7) Take her to the theater or a concert (not Rammstein or Metalica).
Most women enjoy the opera, but if sitting through three hours of weepy arias is more than you can stomach, a nice Johann Sebastian Bach concerto or Sergei Rachmaninoff recital will do.
8) And the easiest (and least expensive) gift you can give her, tell her you love her.
Call her, send her a card, send her an email or, if she is still living in the dark ages of pre-Internet, send her a telegram.
The important thing is to let her know she is loved and appreciated.
And remember, there is always payback. Father’s Day is coming up next month, and if you play your cards right today, you might end up with that high-torque ratchet wrench you had your heart set on come June 17.