Sure, I like a new sweater or earrings as much as the next girl. But, let’s be honest, since becoming a mom two and a half years ago, my REAL holiday wish list has changed dramatically! These days, visions of a solo trip to Target, an hour-long massage, and a clean house are totally dancing in my head.
Recently, I went to Facebook to ask my momma-friends what they REALLY want for the holidays, and, apparently, I am far from alone. The list could be summed up almost unanimously in three words: Time, Pampering, and Help.
What? You didn’t find those things on sale on Black Friday?!?
Unfortunately, at least as far as I know, no one has come up with a way to bottle and sell those kinds of gifts just yet. But, I can offer three out-of-the-box gift ideas* (at varying price ranges) that are sure to bless the socks off the mom of little ones on your list:
Offer to babysit once a month for a couple of hours, or — if you want to wrap something — make your own coupon-book for free babysitting. Trust me, we always feel guilty asking someone to keep our kids, but especially when it is just so we can roam the mall or see a movie with our husband. A “free pass” to do these things without having to worry about finding (or paying for) childcare TOPS the list for almost every mom. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll get to spend quality time loving their babies on a regular basis, which is also a HUGE gift to their momma.
Manicures, pedicures, massages, even regular appointments for hair cuts and coloring, are “luxuries” to most moms. I LOVE the idea of buying an inexpensive little coin purse or wristlet and filling it with gift cards for mom to pamper herself throughout the year. (Don’t forget to include money for a venti latte and a fun magazine subscription for added bliss!)
A friend of mine recently told me that her parents pay for a once a month cleaning service to come to her house each year for Christmas. Someone to clean my house for a year?!?! THIS is the stuff mom-dreams are made of people! #sadbuttrue Not in the budget (depending on how often and what kind of services they offer, this could cost upwards of $2,000 a year)? Consider paying a one time fee for her to have her windows cleaned, her carpets steamed, or a room painted that she’s been talking about for years. We hate to ask for help; but, we all need it. I promise, we won’t be offended!!
There you have it folks! Don’t you dare say you don’t know what to get me for Christmas.
*Be prepared, said mom might cry, cheer, or hug you uncontrollably upon receiving your gift. Factors such as amount of sleep, amount of caffeine, and amount of toddler tantrums will influence reaction.
Elizabeth Chapman is a high school English teacher and a newish mom to a wild toddler. In her “free time,” she moonlights as a blogger at www.emyselfandi.com, where she chronicles her journey into adulthood and her attempts at salvaging a tiny bit of her former “Type A” self.
More from Manilla.com: