By JULIA SELDEN
Walk into just about any store in the mall Saturday night and you’ll probably find more than a few customers frantically searching the aisles. With Mother’s Day coming, employees at University Mall in Orem report that business is definitely picking up.
“Saturday we’re all scheduled 9 hours,” said Amy Routt, an employee at Angel’s Hallmark.
Jennie Lynn Crane, an employee at Kara Chocolates, said she believed everyone who came Tuesday was buying something for their mother.
So what are the hottest gifts to give? They range from compact discs to jewelry, cellular phones to lotion.
“Our picture sales during Mother’s Day time skyrocket,” said Tom Smith, an employee at the Deseret Book Gift Shop.
The average price for a smaller-sized picture (frame included) is between $25 and $35. Mother’s sayings, Liz Lemon, Greg Olsen, and Glen Hopkinson paintings are all very popular, he said.
For those wishing to give mom a different kind of art, The Portrait Terminal offers a variety of items that can be emblazoned with a personal photograph. Mugs, T-shirts, aprons, mouse pads and much more can become a treasure that mom is sure to use forever (or at least when you come home to visit).
Jaime Brown, of Sam Goody, said one year a boy bought his mom a Smashing Pumpkins CD because she loved “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.”
More unusual requests have been made. Kori Lichfield and Dan Perkins, employees at Schubach Jewelers, said about 80 to 90 percent of their sales for Mother’s Day are “mother’s rings,” which hold the birthstones of each child. This presents a special problem in Utah, where family size is notoriously large. Once a woman requested a ring with 14 stones — Schubach had to turn her down. While some Mother’s Day purchases at Schubach have been as low as $49, others have gone as high as $2,000, Lichfield and Perkins said.
College students on the more traditional side of the track can buy a fragrance set for their mother, said Laura Aston of the ZCMI fragrance desk. Sets are carried by almost all the fragrance lines and are offered at a lower price than the separately sold fragrances. The most popular fragrances come from Calvin Klein (Eternity), Giorgio, and Chanel (No. 5 and Allure). Fragrance gifts will be wrapped for free starting Wednesday, Aston said.
Natalie Johnson, of For Every Body, said a lot of college students buy their mothers lotion, shower gel, bubble bath or candles and mail them home. For all those on the cutting edge of body care, “pear is the new rage,” as is shower gel, Johnson said.
According to various retail employees in Provo and Orem, other safe bets for Mother’s Day are flowers. Mixed spring bouquets are the most popular, said Bonnie Whitaker, of The Flower Basket. Candles, picnic baskets, porcelain statues and women’s books are also popular gifts.
While children may head to the mall for Mother’s Day, mothers would rather receive gifts of the heart, said Jan Rand, a mother of 4.
“We don’t need a gift, we just need to be appreciated,” she said.
Random acts of kindness performed throughout the year show a child’s gratitude, Rand said. On Mother’s Day, a card with a written message would mean more than receiving a gift her children couldn’t afford, she said.
Mothers Janet Latta, Lillian Wadley and Teragahau Kamai expressed similar thoughts.
“Just seeing my kids is good enough for me,” Kamai said.
Breakfast in bed, fresh flowers from a garden, pages for a photo album and a weekend away with a spouse are all gifts that make the day special, they said.