Family Lifestyle

From High to Low Tech, Gift Ideas for our Moms

May 5, 2014

Most of us look for special and creative ways to tell our Moms we love them. When I was growing up, I remember the best Mother’s Day gift my mother

Most of us look for special and creative ways to tell our Moms we love them.

When I was growing up, I remember the best Mother’s Day gift my mother said she could receive was the day off and somebody else preparing Sunday dinner. We gladly obliged, in addition to showering her with homemade artwork, fresh flowers from our garden and a special dessert to show her how much we loved and appreciated her.

I came across a this year’s Mother’s Day Survey that showed relaxation (= Spa Day in today’s terms) and quality time with family are still among the top gifts American women prefer for Mother’s Day along with receiving a gift card to a favorite store where she could pick her own gift.

Flowers were very much behind in desirability amongst moms but interestingly about 50% of men thought that flowers were still the most wanted gift on Mother’s Day. The fact that the sweet spot for spending on Mom was $20 to $50 or less, may have been a factor in their ranking.

Spa treatments, on the other hand, can range from anywhere from relatively inexpensive: from a simple mani/pedi for under $20 at many day spas, to a $50 massage at the increasingly popular Massage Envy chain in the U.S. to very expensive resort arrangement – I’m thinking of the $265 Mindful Massage at the famous Miravel Spa in Arizona. I just read about the treatment in the New York Times review of high-end Arizona spas.

I know a friend of a friend who just returned from Miravel and has photos of her floating yoga class. I have to say that I am intrigued by the rise in these anti-gravity spa treatments – from aerial yoga to anti-gravity chairs and treadmills to floatation chambers that are rising in popularity for bringing reported health and beauty benefits, as well as the chance they provide to completely relax and disconnect. It’s a treatment I’d like to give a try.

SpaFinder Wellness 365 is a great place I’ve found to find and book treatments by type and locations nearest you, as well as see ratings, reviews, promotions and deals. They also do an annual research report, which ranks spa trends. This year’s Spafinder report did include “Suspending Gravity” and “Wired Wellness” among its trends. The uber spa trend was “Mindful Living”- or taking a Zen-like approach to a healthy living. “Whether you tap into mindfulness through an app on your smartphone, by turning all your digital devices off, by hitting a yoga class (another non-stop trending activity) or by practicing straightforward meditation, it’s your mind that matters,” Spafinder reports. I couldn’t agree more.

We looked at an array of health and fitness apps (including our own AVG Zen product for your digital health) in my last blog, so I won’t repeat. Although there is one associated healthy mind app that I found recently, which is intriguing: the Inner Balance by HeartMath. It’s a biofeedback therapy app that aims to help people manage their stress. It was one of my friend Robin Raskin’s picks from CES 2014 where she hosts the Mommy Tech Summit (see her Huffington Post article here). Inner Balance uses a small earlobe clip that plugs into the headphone/microphone jack of the iPhone with an app that not only monitors your stress levels, but offers ways to focus on more peaceful thoughts.

I’ll offer just a couple of final thoughts as you consider ideas for gifts for Mom –  more on the low-tech front, and representing two different approaches to giving. One is for fun: Buy her a lottery ticket (so maybe she can win and afford Miravel!). Another that’s more profound, and is the choice of my Mother these days: Donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation– or any of the woman’s health organizations or charities of your choice- on her behalf.

Whatever gift you choose. Try to make Mother’s Day her own, and enjoy the day!


May 5, 2014