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Celebrate Mother’s Day the Way You Think She’d Want You To

by Lazy Man on 05/9/08

Mother’s DayLocal cable has been running a television commercial that simply rips my heart out. A young girl around eight goes into a jewelry store with her dad and her bright pink piggy bank. The dad helps her pick out some jewelry for mom and the commercial ends with everyone smiling and happy. Even though it’s fictional, I try not to think of how long this girl would have to save up for anything of value at a jewelry store. Do you think her mom really wants her daughter to spend months worth of savings? If I’m her mom, I’m sad. I could have simply bought it myself with the savings from a few hours of work. I would much rather have a poem or a picture from my son or daughter.

The commercial would have made Anna Jarvis, the inventor of Mother’s Day, extremely angry. Though she thought that mothers should be recognized, she later regretted the idea due to the mass commercialization of it. Jarvis ended up spending the rest of her life trying to take back the holiday from the marketers.

If I were the father in the jewelry commercial, I would have given his daughter a few of these frugal Mother’s Day ideas from Better Budgeting. Additionally, there are always these arts and craft ideas from Mommy Savers. (Editor’s Note:  In addition, Prosper Blogger, Cash Money Life had published 15 Inexpensive Mother’s Day Gift Ideas.)

Lastly, please consider writing your own card. Why would you go to a store and pay $4 to have someone else tell you how you feel about your mom? Think of this exchange from Seinfeld:

Kristin: You got the card I sent?
Jerry: I did.
Kristin: So where is it?
Jerry: What?
Kristin: The card. Is this it in the trash?
Jerry: No?
Kristin: This is my card, you threw it away.
Jerry: Well–
Kristin: I put a lot of thought into this card.
Jerry: You signed your name and you addressed the envelope, it’s not like you
painted the picture and wrote the poem.

Photo Credit: 1 

Lazy Man has been a lender at Prosper since February 2006. He is the author of the personal finance blog, Lazy Man and Money and the health and fitness blog, Lazy Man and Health.


  • http://www.personalloanportfolio.com/ Personal Loan Portfolio

    Great article. Ads like this are great at convincing adults (or worse children) that they can solve family problems by spending money. In the long run, spending money for most families probably only creates more problems.

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  • http://poorerthanyou.com Stephanie @ PoorerThanYou

    I bought my mother carbon credits to offset the emissions from her car. It wasn’t much, and yes, I did buy something, but my mom is a budding environmentalist, and I knew she would appreciate this gesture more than any material thing I could get her for the same price.


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