The plight of moms and their valiant undertaking of all that comes with it can be summed up in one thing: Mother's Day gifts.
Not only do they receive the ugliest, most awkward, useless tchotchkes with aplomb, but they actually display them with pride, whether they match their carefully curated home decor or not.
Don't get me wrong -- I can't wait to receive my first handmade ceramic ashtray from Chloe (do they still make those at school? Probably not). But I have always had sympathy and admiration for the way my mom, mother-in-law, grandmas and aunts always accepted the most god-awful gifts with the utmost grace.
This year, instead of adding another monstrosity of a "World's Best Mom" keepsake to your mom's doubtless bursting collection, why not try one of these not-too-pricey gifts she's sure to love?
*Family Portrait. What mom wouldn't love a photo of all her loved ones together in one place? You do the grunt work of arranging a time to get everyone together and booking the appointment, she gets presented with a beautiful, framed portrait.
Through Sunday at Portrait Innovations in Orchard Park and Tonawanda, you can get a huge one-pose package of 40 portraits, including a 10 x 13 and two 8 x 10s as well as a personalized portrait mug, for $9.95 and no sitting fees. That's crazy! You'll leave with the portraits in your hand and have plenty of leftover 5 x 7s and wallets to share with the whole family.
There are lots of great local, independent photographers, too. Search for ones near you through the Professional Photographers of America at PPA.com.
*Cleaning service. Talk about a no-brainer. Some moms are very picky and wouldn't be caught dead letting someone else clean their house. Others are sane and would love it.
*A spa day. Most moms love being pampered, and spa deals are easier than ever to find on daily deal sites such as Sweetfind.com and Groupon.com. You can find massages, facials, nail care and hair services for half price or even less.
*The Anywear Seat ($16.95). I didn't realize how many times you end up sitting on the ground when you have kids. Invented by a Western New York mom, it's a padded, water-resistant square of fabric that rolls up and clips to your waist. You unfurl it when you need to sit.
It's especially great for events where you might find yourself sitting in wet or dirty bleachers and are constantly standing up to cheer. It's much easier to port around than camp chairs or blankets. Visit AnywearSeat.com.
*A heartfelt letter. Say all the things you will regret not saying.
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