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What's the Worst Mother's Day Present You've Ever Received?

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by Helen Petrovic (subscribe)
Full-time mum, part-time writer, avid fantasy reader and wannabe novelist. My articles focus on family and fun. Visit my site:
Published April 27th 2012
Image by Angelus (Wikimedia Commons)

It's that time of the year again. Sunday 13th May 2012. Mother's Day. The day you tell mum how much you love her for all the tantrums she put up with, all the dirty nappies she changed, all the worry, angst and stress you put her under, by wrapping a piece of ribbon around a $5 bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates, sticking a card next to them and saying sheepishly "thanks mum".

Of course, many dutiful sons, daughters and husbands go shopping, hard-earned cash in hand, ready to buy mum an awesome present. Something she really wants. Something she'll use. Something that will make her think of them, every time she takes it from its box. But will she be praising your name, or cursing it when she rips open the wrapping paper?

Here are a few items it seems best to avoid if you would like to remain in your mother's good books:

1) Domestic Appliances: Any appliance or item whose purpose revolves around domestic chores. This includes irons, aprons, vacuum cleaners, dusters and tea towels.

Prognosis: Not good. Buy these items only if you would like to be hit with them.

2) Pseudo-presents: Any present that has her name on it, but is really for you. This means that the latest action blockbuster DVD's are out, unless she's asked for them by name. Similarly, items like a soccer ball (if she doesn't play soccer), tools for the shed, tickets to your favourite sporting event, or a bowling ball (yes, I'm looking at you, Homer) are all out.

Prognosis: If you can sneak these by her and make her think you bought them for her, kudos to you, but she'll probably sniff out the truth.

3) Home Shopping Channel Presents: Be very careful. Any present which might possibly hint that she needs to fix something could meet with extreme ire. Weight-loss videos, books on how to lose your love handles, ab-crunch-five-million and acne creams are all over the line of unacceptable presents.

Prognosis: Bad. Very Bad. Plan to sleep on the couch.

4) Automotive stuff: Unless its the keys to a new convertible, stay away from automotive stuff. Mum does not want new windscreen wipers, floor mats or an oil change for her car for mother's day.

Prognosis: Sigh (unless its the convertible, in which case you've done well!)

5) Lame Excuses For Not Buying a Present: Husbands, saying 'well, you're not my mother" to your wife will not cut it. Prognosis: Probably only a few cutting comments and arched eyebrows, but don't expect special treatment on father's day.

6) Breakfast in Bed: Okay, so this one is a bit controversial on this list, but hear me out. Long expounded as the most fool-proof of mother's day presents, breakfast in bed has its own pitfalls. Crumbs through the sheets, burned toast, spilled juice, breakfast long before the sun comes up (I know, sometimes unavoidable with kids) and a kitchen that looks like you've released a swarm of giant, voracious rats in it, are just a few.

Prognosis: If you get it right, mum will love it and if the kids have helped she'll forgive the burned, spilled food. But make sure you clean the kitchen.

Of course, its always the thought that counts and whatever you buy her, mum will surely smile and tell you she loves it. But feel free to pass this on to those who you think might need it.

What is the worst mother's day gift you've ever received?

What gifts do you think you should absolutely avoid?

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