No IOU’s to Moms


Sunday, May 14 is a big day for moms. It’s an even bigger day for sons, daughters, in-laws, and outlaws to come through in the clutch. The term clutch is as subtle as Effort vs. Results, meaning the difference between trying and accomplishment. Just like an impatient coach, moms seek results, whether it’s on May 14 or going forward.

Does Mother’s Day spending make an economic impact? Yes, and in a big way, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). They’re the source of all things relating to spending on special occasions. The NRF says $35.7 billion (with a “b”) will be spent this year on moms and it will be a new record, nearly $4 billion (there’s that “b” again) more than 2022’s record high of $31.7 billion.

NRF labels Mother’s Day shoppers as so-called consumers, regardless of size of age. Consumers plan to spend $274.02 per person this year, the highest in the history of the NRF survey. A freckled-face six-year old or pair of brothers could be secret consumers for mom. The six-year old just picked out a garden trowel for her momma and she’s beaming. The brothers are confident their mom will be surprised with the baseball cards they bought with allowance money. Just what mom wanted. Note to mom: slide the cards into protective sleeves in case the rookie of the year or future hall of famer is among the cards.

What are the most popular gifts this year? The NRF says flowers (74%), greeting cards (74%) and special outings such as dinner or brunch (60%) top the list. The categories with the highest spending are jewelry ($7.8 “b”), special outings ($5.6 “b”), and electronics ($4 “b”).

Thoughtful gifts in 2023 are of high priority, in other words, make them meaningful. Survey respondents said the most important factors in purchasing a Mother’s Day gift include finding items that are unique or different (47%) or those that create a special memory (42%).

Lovepop is a rapidly growing greeting card company that creates intricate pop-up cards guaranteed to stand out in the crowded field of cards. A recent Lovepop blog outlined Mother’s Day activities for nearly every sort of mom. Suggestions included day trips, a trip to the farmer’s market, a staycation, or photo-shoot. For the outdoorsy mom, there’s a picnic, cycling (try an e-bike), hiking, or gardening – with mom supervising the work. For the travel-loving mom, explore a new city together, purchase new luggage, or join her on the next travel adventure.

The freckled-face girl and card trading brothers signed a pledge for Mother’s Day 2023. They called upon classmates, playmates, Instagram followers, and LinkedIn connections to honor the pledge: No IOU’s to moms in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley. Card shops, main street shops, and gift card purveyors stand ready. Garden centers and nurseries, river excursion tours, coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream shops, restaurants, and parks are expected to report record sales days on May 14th.

Happy Mother’s Day 2023.