Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Mother’s Day is here! You can’t open a paper, a magazine, listen to a radio or watch TV without being bombarded with stuff (useful and not) to buy for Moms. How about changing it up this year?

In the past, we’ve always advocated for making something with the great/grandchildren, that can be used, eaten, or not, by Moms. We’ve been very successful with baking, gluing, coloring, cutting, and molding creations. We’ve made photo books and clocks, cards, soap, flower pots, and many other fun things. But this year, we’re going shopping.

Nana Zoe, another grandparent in our family, shared this terrific idea that we’ve used for various gift giving occasions, and will use again this Mother’s Day. Zoe showed us the value of the 99Cent Store.

Now a little parallel history: In 1879 Mr. Woolworth created a surplus goods store, selling a mixture of nickel and dime priced items. During the Great Depression (similar to today’s “recession”) people frequently shopped at Woolworth’s, Newberry’s, and other local 5&10 Cent stores.

Fast forward 100+ years: Now the 99Cent Store and its clones have replaced the 5 & 10.

So…this Mother’s Day we’ll take the great/grandchildren shopping to the 99Cent Store. They will each be given a dollar bill or use a dollar from their piggy bank, and will bounce around the store choosing the “perfect gift” for Moms. We’ll keep our opinions to ourselves, and really let the kids make their own decisions. In our family, some of the previous purchases have been: a Coca-Cola glass, a day-glow spinner for the garden, a Dodger’s stationary kit, a plastic martini glass, colorful plastic necklaces (6 to the bunch), a packet of sunflower seeds, a train coloring book (a 2 ½ year’s old idea of a great gift), and other items that the kids thought would be fun.

This kind of experience gives children the opportunity and power to be the purchaser. When they go shopping for groceries, clothes, toys, etc, it’s usually the adult who pays. It also is a chance to learn to interact with the cashier: being polite and saying thank-you.

You can accompany the gift with a homemade card and or/wrap, and voila, Mother’s Day is done.

PS…Full disclosure: WE DO NOT OWN STOCK IN 99CENT STORES!!!!