Mother’s Day returns May 9 — just around the corner. Before you know it, every card will be gone, flowers won’t be deliverable on time and restaurant reservations will be impossible to make.

Mother’s Day always affects our lives this way, despite COVID-19. With cities and businesses just beginning to open up, one of the most celebrated and profitable holidays of the year will continue to represent a challenging day to honor mothers and others loved just as much, including dads.

This year, Americans will spend a record $28 billion on gifts with jewelry, special outings and electronics topping the list, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Consumers also plan to spend money on other purchases including books and CDs, gift cards, housewares and gardening tools and personal services, as well cards and flowers, of course.

An NRF survey of 7,818 consumers over age 18 said they plan to spend an average of $220.48 on this year’s Mother’s Day celebrations for their mother or stepmother, who ranked highest in the survey, followed by wives and daughters.

In the northeast, greeting cards, flowers and special outings remain the leading purchasing categories, with subscription boxes and gift experiences included on the list.

A Happy Mother’s Day phone call stands as the most frequent first action for well-wishers on Mother’s Day. According to the History Channel, “More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.”

And for the text-savvy moms, a Mother’s Day bitmoji, a personalized sticker used on social media, is a welcoming greeting that helps get the message across.

For those shopping for the mom who has everything or those who don’t know what to do to celebrate her, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recommends taking her to get vaccinated as a life-saving Mother’s Day gift. Bowser also listed taking your mother’s circle of friends to get vaccinated, as well, as something she may genuinely appreciate following months of social distancing and isolation.

Due to the pandemic, this year has been a time of tremendous loss. If churches were open, and most of them aren’t due to COVID-19 restrictions, many mothers would receive a carnation. This tradition dates back decades when the carnation became the official Mother’s Day flower and symbol. A white carnation symbolizes remembrance for a mother who has passed away. On the other hand, a pink carnation represents a mother’s love, gratitude and tenderness.

The greatest gift for many mothers remains allowing quality time to celebrate with loved ones and time alone, to enjoy not having to take care of others, if just for one day.

It’s her day, so what’s the greatest gift? Allowing her to her day, her way, all day.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Denise Rolark Barnes

Denise Rolark Barnes is the publisher and second-generation owner of The Washington Informer, succeeding her father, the late Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, who founded the newspaper in 1964. The Washington...

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