You may be surprised, but George has a mum too. She looks a lot like Hepburn on the front cover of Vanity Fair in May 1991. And having a mum presents a challenge, especially at this time of year, but it needn’t be daunting. Mother’s Day looms large. But what to buy?

We look at what others are lavishing their mums with this year and why. According to the clever number crunchers at industry research company, IBISWorld, Australians will spend a bumper $61.31 on Mum this year, with West Australians splashing out the most at $67.10 per mum. Tasmanians are the stingiest, spending just $53.70 in the lead up to 11 May.

All of this makes Mum’s Day worth more than $1.4 billion to the economy – hardly a couple of coppers rubbing together. While we’re drilling down into the data, dads you’re being short changed, snookered, hoodwinked. This may be the age of equality, but Dad gets less than half the amount Mum does on his dedicated day. “There are many reasons why spending on mothers is higher than spending on fathers, including the perceived lack of gift options available for Dad. Whereas food, alcohol, sporting goods and the stalwart hankie and sock gift pack are seen as the presents of choice for Dad, Mum enjoys a far broader selection from bouquets to bottles of champagne, perfume and spa treatments,” said IBISWorld General Manager, Dan Ruthven.

Overwhelmingly, taking Mum out for brunch, lunch or a spot of supper is the gift of choice this year, as doting children and wayward husbands see dining as offering entertainment, enjoyment and, at the same time, the perfect opportunity to present a physical gift, such as a piece of jewellery. We are big fans of understated silver or white gold, and so too is the nation, as jewellers gear up for a very important period. From the capital cities to regional towns and centres, we’ll spend a collective $126 million on baubles, bells and sparkly gems. All for the love of the engine block of the household. Dad would never get away with this level of luxury. Florists, too, can’t hide their excitement at this time of year.

Favouring premium floral arrangements (we like the purity of lilies with ferny foliage) over a bunch of whatever is in season, sons and daughters will splash out to the tune of almost $200 million on flowers this Mother’s Day. “Another loyal centrepiece, luxury bouquets will bring joy and brighten Mum’s day. There will likely be an increase in purchases of fine floral arrangements as opposed to a traditional bunch of chrysanthemums,” said Mr Ruthven.

Whether it be fine dining out, confectionery, flowers or a gift experience, choosing a greeting card, especially when so few are sent in today’s world of digital dementia, will generate a humble $58.7 million for stationers. We favour artisan, locally produced cards. On heavyweight, cream laid card. Pen something sweet. Something loving. Something meaningful. But if you can’t find the words, for goodness’ sake, don’t touch digital cards.

08 May 2014
Shirt Tales
The Journal Of Pugnacious George
Discoveries, Musings, Misadventures

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