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A Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

A Mother’s Day Gift Guide.As Mother’s Day approaches, figuring out what to give your mother, grandmother, wife or favorite aunt doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive. The perfect gift could be as simple as a handmade card or as extravagant as a Caribbean cruise.

While no material gift can equal your love for her, the thoughtfulness that goes into the selection can convey what’s in your heart. You can say it with something as traditional as flowers or candy, but what’s most important is that you match the gift to the recipient’s needs and desires. Thinking about her age, interests and lifestyle, use our list to spark your imagination, and let her unique personality be your guide.

DOES SHE NEED A VACATION?

DOES SHE NEED A VACATION?Even if you may not be able to pull off a surprise trip, area travel agents can help you plan the perfect getaway for the deserving woman in your life. Based on her travel style, be sure to choose a destination she will enjoy. (Don’t take her to a ski resort if she prefers snorkeling in the Bahamas.) Can’t afford the QE2?

Give her a “mini-vacation.” A trip to nearby Charleston, complete with carriage tour, candlelit dinner and a night at one of the historic inns downtown might fill the bill. Florida’s Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, with its new luxury spa, is also a great option.

Or, stay closer to home by booking a room in a local world-class resort. Make all necessary arrangements (babysitter, pet sitter, dinner reservation and breakfast in bed the next morning) so all she has to do is pack an overnight bag and go.

COULD SHE USE A LITTLE PAMPERING?

Why not whisk her away for a day of relaxation?Absolutely! Why not whisk her away for a day of relaxation? Area day spas offer a variety of luxurious pampering packages, including facials, massages, body wraps, nail services and more. But be considerate of her time. Unless you know that her calendar is clear, a surprise spa day could add stress if she has to rearrange previous appointments. By purchasing a gift certificate, she can select the services she wants and schedule her spa day when it is most convenient. For extra points, present it with a beautifully wrapped spa product, scented candle or silky robe.

Don’t forget to pamper her at home, too. Most women appreciate special soaps, bubble bath/shower gel and body lotion. Be sure to give her the gift of time and space to go along with your home style pampering package.

DOES JEWELRY PUT A SPARKLE IN HER EYE?

DOES JEWELRY PUT A SPARKLE IN HER EYE?If so, pay attention to the pieces she wears. Does she typically wear white or yellow metals? Are her favorite pieces small and delicate or big and bold? Area boutiques and jewelry stores offer an array of fashion and fine jewelry to suit her style and your budget.

Lockets make lovely gifts for moms and grandmoms to keep precious photos close to the heart. For an impressive selection in 14K yellow and white gold, visit www.generousgems.com/mom3.

Birthstone jewelry is also a popular and personal gift. Check out a modern version of this traditional concept at www.redenvelope.com.

DOES SHE ENJOY GARDENING?

Spend some quality time together digging in the dirt. Depending upon her level of interest, you can purchase anything from tools and gadgets to a flat of spring flowers. Visit your local gardening center for inspiration. You can also help her garden more comfortably with a garden rocker. Order online at www.gardeners.com or by phone at 1 (888) 833-1412.

DOES SHE HATE HOUSEWORK?

iRobot RoombaVacuuming and mopping are not tops on many lists of favorite things to do. With an iRobot Roomba® and Scooba®, the special lady in your life can check those dreaded chores off of her to do list once and for all. Visit www.irobot.com for complete selection and pricing. Word to the wise: The gift of a household appliance could be interpreted as “impersonal.” You may want to supplement your high-tech gift with flowers, candy or perfume.

If robots are out of your price range or her tolerance for technology, consider hiring some human help – cleaning service for a day, once a week or once a month for a year. Or print up some redeemable coupons for services you are personally willing to perform.

IS SHE SENTIMENTAL?

What mother isn’t? While framed photos are always a winner, why not go a step further and create a scrapbook of memories for your mom? New computer software makes it easier than ever.

The Philip’s Family Tree digital photo frame allows you to email photos to Mom that she can proudly display in crystal-clear quality. www.philips.com.You can publish your scrapbook directly to video CD for viewing on her television or print it using your home printer. Check out Digital Scrapbook Max at www.scrapbookmax.com.

If your loved one is the “crafty” type, sign up locally for old-fashioned scrapbooking classes and make preserving memories a joint venture.

DOES SHE LOVE/HATE TO COOK?

Whether or not she loves cooking, every woman deserves to get out of the kitchen on Mother’s Day. Start by serving her breakfast in bed. Keep it simple – a pastry basket and yogurt or bagels and cream cheese. Add fresh fruit, juice and coffee. Make the presentation special with a silver tray and a tiny bud vase. Let her linger in bed with the newspaper all to herself.

Take responsibility for lunch and/or dinner, too. Pack a picnic and head to the beach, or make reservations at one of our many area hotels and restaurants for a special Mother’s Day brunch or buffet.

If she really does love cooking, sign up for a gourmet cooking class and learn new culinary skills together. Present the gift along with a unique kitchen tool, extravagant serving piece, or beautiful cookbook based on the cuisine to be mastered.Take Mom for a trip into the wild blue yonder with a balloon ride and let her take in all the glory of the Lowcountry in one view.

IS SHE ADVENTUROUS?

For many women, a day of fun is much more memorable than any object you could buy. Something as simple as a kayaking tour and a picnic might be the perfect Mother’s Day outing. Want to take her higher? How about a hot air balloon ride? Just about an hour away from Hilton Head Island, she and up to five family members or friends can fly high above the trees. Call Feather Air of Savannah for details, (912) 858-2529 or 1 (888) 277-5819.

WHAT IS HER SPORT OF CHOICE?

If your loved one is into sports, choosing a gift is a breeze. For the golfer, set her up to a day of play or a series of lessons with a local pro. Package your gift with a colorful new pair of gloves or personalized accessories such as ball markers, divot tools, or towels. Sports such as tennis, running, bicycling, swimming and surfing are just as easy. Area sporting goods stores, pro shops and sports-specific Web sites abound with unique clothing, accessories and gifts for every interest.

IS SHE A THEATRE OR MOVIE BUFF?

Making a memory is always a great way to celebrate special occasions. Why not show your love with the gift of entertainment? If you can make it to New York, your travel agent can help you with all the necessary reservations and Broadway ticket packages. Or, design your own theatre package at www.nyc.com.

Is travel out of the question? If you live in the  Lowcountry, set your loved one up to a local theatre package. Visit www.artscenterhhi.com for a list of upcoming shows and subscription information. If she’s a movie buff, consider movie passes or video rental coupons or purchase a DVD of a classic favorite or vintage TV series. Make the gift more meaningful by attending the show or watching with her at home. Don’t forget the popcorn and Raisinets.

DOES SHE ENJOY MUSIC?

The broad range of iPod styles and colors allows you to get the right look and the right price for your mom’s portable music. Fill it up with her favorites for a truly thoughtful gift. www.apple.com.If your loved one is afraid to touch a mouse and thinks Bluetooth is a dental disorder, this gift suggestion is not for her. But if she loves music and is remotely open to technology, bring her up to speed with her own iPod. Order online and have her iPod engraved with a special message. If she’s new to the technology, download some of her favorite tunes beforehand and teach her how to add to her music library. Check out the possibilities at http://store.apple.com or call 1 (800) My Apple.

WHAT WILL SHE TREASURE?

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity for children to learn the joy of giving. Long after the store-bought gifts are forgotten, it’s the homemade offerings that become treasured keepsakes. For a variety of Mother’s Day craft ideas appropriate for children of all ages, visit www.amazingmoms.com.