No matter what we give our mothers on Mother's Day, it can never do justice to the sacrifices they have made for us. No bottles of Jean Naté or Enjoli could ever repay them for what they have done, not to mention labor itself. Conversely, while trying to give back equally is a futile attempt, giving no gift on Mother's Day is not an option, either.
But not every mom is easy to buy for. In fact, some are nearly impossible to please, guaranteeing that any gift received will be promptly returned to the store. There is hope yet, however. The following local businesses offer gift possibilities that go beyond cologne and flowers - not that there's anything wrong with that.
Louisville Stoneware: This is particularly good if you have small children. Little ones can paint and decorate plates and cups anyway they please. What mother or grandmother could pass that up? Even if you don't go the customized route, there is plenty of other plates and pottery to choice from at their shop on Brent Street off Barrett.
Video Kitchen and Video Wizard: If you are handy with photo and video software, you can probably do this on your own. Make a DVD with old home videos and/or family pictures. Put some music to it, a few titles, and you have a gift that is special and personal. It also shows you care because organizing this sort of project can be time consuming. If you are short on time and PC aptitude, check out one of these two local video stores.
Picture People: Surprise your mom or wife with a professional picture of their kids or grandkids. If you are a photograph pro yourself, go ahead and give it a try. If not, try a local studio where you can add framing and a host of options. Picture People in Mall St. Matthews sends you on your way with your prints just minutes after the session ends. Other local portrait studios and photographers may be timely as well, so check with your favorite before you go.
Z Salon and Spa: I must admit I know nothing about spas, but this is one of Louisville's hot spots for relaxation, skin and nail care, massages, and all around quality mommy time.
Physicians Center for Beauty: This place offers chemical peels, laser hair removal and spider vein treatment to name just a few of their (painful?) procedures. They also sell numerous skin and beauty products. Be careful, though, offering this gift, while as well intentioned as it is, could result in a backlash. "Why are you giving me this?" Be delicate with this one. Most likely it will be well received and appreciated, but it could send the wrong, unintentional message.
Frank Otte and Eden Shale Nursery: Plants and trees are gifts that keep on giving, and if your mom is a gardener, she will certainly appreciate a gift or gift certificate from either of these fine nurseries.
Carmichael's or A Reader's Corner: Whether it's fiction or nonfiction, many mothers like to read ... presuming they don't have very small children. In that case, they have little time to read anything except Richard Scarry and Dr. Suess, which really is hardly a chore. Selecting out a book you think they will really enjoy - and they actually do - makes for a personal, thoughtful, and rewarding gift.
ear-X-tacy: Louisville's quintessential local store boosts everything a music lover could want or need: imports, vinyl, posters, DVDs, magazines, and apparel. Even if your mom is older, chances are they have some Johnny Mathis in their bins and could even order some Mantovani.
Paul's Fruit Market: If your mom enjoys fruit, a basket from Paul's is a great idea. This isn't one of those cheese log baskets, either, and no beef stick or fruit cake is anywhere to be found.
Quest Outdoors: If your mom is into hiking and camping, check out this retailer on Frankfort or at The Summit. If she walks or jogs, Happy Toes and Swag's are two fine local choices for getting the best exercise shoes with extra customer service.
Louisville Sporting Goods: Make her a shirt. It's easy to take a picture from your computer and print it out on iron on paper. Just remember to reverse the image before printing. Save money and time by taking a shirt and iron on to this longtime Taylorsville Road institution where they can do a great job applying iron ons to shirts in between working on their numerous uniform orders. Keep in mind, this is in the same shopping center as the Hikes Point Lounge, where, as the neon lights in the window always remind passersby, ladies are invited.
Tickets: Look at the local and regional concert calendar and see if any of her favorite artists are coming to the area. It could be tickets to go with the kids to Nickelodeon's Storytime Live or maybe a play for Actor's Theatre's upcoming season like The Kite Runner. Perhaps it could be Wicked or Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Center for the Arts. There's also Josh Ritter on May 17 at The Brown Theatre, The Swell Season May 29 also at the Brown, and Neil Young May 26 at the Louisville Palace (if you can take out a loan).
Gift Cards: If your mom is like mine, she is very tough to but for, a gift card to her favorite retail outlet is the perfect gift. It may seem impersonal, but if that's what she prefers, don't worry about it. Just don't buy her any unsolicited appliances.