Gifts for Mom

By Sarah DeVoll

What comes to mind when you think of past Mother’s Day presents? For me, it’s purple thread and caramels. As a little girl, I used to wander through the local Ben Franklin store, looking for the perfect gift. Spools of thread were a favorite. All those gorgeous colors in the tiered thread display promised hours of time with Mom working on a sewing project. I liked purple, so she should too, right? Caramels were also a favorite. My mom loves caramels and always shares her gifts, so caramels were perfect for her (because I loved them, too).

Many years have passed since those thread and caramel days, but shopping for Mom’s gift always had a persistent theme. I bought her what I personally wanted or needed, certain it would be perfect for her. Since we are mother and daughter, sharing genes and juggling careers, our needs must be identical. I work at Franklin Covey, so you won’t be surprised to learn that she owns a beautiful collection of Franklin Covey totes, planners, wallets and pens.

However, recently my sister gave me the proverbial “slap upside the head.” Like many sisters, we have those private phone conversations where we vent about our parents and hang up feeling refreshed. Her vent that day was on mom’s favorite “pleather” purse. To paraphrase, “It looks like it would melt if it were too close to a flame.” I suggested that she carry one of the beautiful business totes I had given her, to which my sister quickly replied, “Sarah, she’s in her 70s, retired, and half your size. Why would she carry something reinforced for a laptop?”

 Oh crud.

For several years, I’ve violated the first rule of gift giving. I failed to think about the most important person in the event—the recipient. What does Mom care about? Turns out her first, second and third considerations are lightweight, lightweight, and lightweight. Color factors in there somewhere. I guess that makes sense, as she’s just over 100 pounds, barely five feet tall, and shrinking. Luckily for me, also carries a great line of PacSafe bags, where weight is the primary consideration, followed by safety. As an added bonus, PacSafe offers a cherry red one that’s a great match for her cheery personality.

I’m glad to report that her early Mother’s Day gift—the red PacSafe bag—has unseated the pleather. She’s happy. My sister is impressed. And me? Well, next time I think I’ll throw in a bag of caramels.


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