Mother’s Day is Sunday. How will you celebrate with your mom? And do you know what gift she’d like – either something you can buy or something you can give her that isn’t store bought but rather homemade and from the heart?
We asked mothers and grown-up children in Little Saigon how they will spend the day. It’s a big one, too, for American commerce. Americans are expected to spend about $23 billion on mom this year, according to MoneyTips.com, with an average spending of $186 per person on Mother’s Day. Which gifts lead in the spending? Jewelry, outings and flowers.
Phuong Dang, 48, is a hair stylist at Snow White Hair & Nail. She will celebrate the day on Friday since she is scheduled to work on Mother’s Day. She said she knows she is receiving a fabulous gift from her son.
“We are going to have a party at the house to celebrate Mother’s Day,” she said. “Since I work on Sunday, we have to do it on my day off. My son is graduating from USC with a major in business. He even secured a job before he graduated. His graduation (Friday) is a gift for me already.”
At the other end of the parenting spectrum is Darlena Tran, 32, a new mother who delivered her daughter last week. She is still getting accustomed to motherhood.
“Being a mother has not sunk into me yet,” she said. “I just want to be able to feed my baby and see her healthy.”
For her first Mother’s Day, Tran wants a small mango cake or green tea cake. She said flowers would make an ideal gift for her own mother.
But her mother, 64-year-old Nhan Nguyen, revealed her preferred gift after a bit of thought.
“Just give the money so that I can go to the market and buy food for my children,” said Nguyen, obviously a woman with a practical side.
Dang, the hair stylist, said she understood Nguyen’s wish.
“I would usually buy gifts for my mom, but she prefers ‘the envelope’ (money) since she can go out and buy things she likes,” Dang said.
Food also seems to wrap around the daily activities of Vietnamese American mothers.
Dan Nguyen, 37, said he wants to treat his mother to a nice meal on Mother’s Day and send her on a trip to visit her siblings on the East Coast.
“She is the best mom.” Nguyen said. “She makes the best pho and plays roles of both father and mother to me. Since my dad passed away when I was a teenager, she struggled to be both parents and my best friend at the same time, and never remarried. She watched cartoons and soccer games with me even when she did not understand it. I really appreciate that of my mom.”
But what gift does she really want from him?
“I can’t really say it, but a grandchild,” his 73-year-old mother said with a smile.