Mother's Day on a Budget

May 4, 2009 9:38:48 PM PDT
It's the thought that counts ... moms across the country may be saying that a lot this weekend. The National Retail Federation says people plan to spend less this year on Mother's Day, but the gifts could be more meaningful."Fernando, no matter what you do as long as you make it with love, your mom is going to love it." Words of wisdom from 8-year old San Juana Gonzalez.

She along with the rest of her classmates at McKinley Elementary in Fresno, are working on special gifts for mom. Their teacher, Olga Farias Mejia says that even though her students are young-- they're aware that money is tight in many of their families. "The first thing they asked me-- curiously-- was is it going to cost you a lot of money. So they were concerned it was going to cost me money-- so I told them don't worry I can take care of it."

So she bought clay pots and paints for her third graders and let them get creative ... and of course, she made the project a teaching tool as well. Farias-Mejia: "All plants needs water, soil and air..."

The National Retail Federation says people will look for more inexpensive ways to celebrate the moms in their lives this year ... spending an average of $124 compared to $139 last year.

Crystal Kissee: "Obviously with economy the way they are, people are coming back to the home arts-- we have lots of people taking sewing classes ... learning to sew, bringing their kids in to learn to sew."

Kissee teaches crafting classes at Jo-Ann's fabrics, helping people create unique gifts that don't cost a lot. "It's called a loopy scarf-- it's made with a very simple tool that's about $4.99 and a scène of yarn which can be $2.99 to $5.99"

At Michael's gifts and crafts, mother's day is one of their busiest holidays. Marilyn Stancato: "I don't think its affecting us quite as hard, because when money is tight, it's when people start making their own gifts."

Marilyn Stancato says these $1 wood picture frames are popular for decorating ... As well as 'bling' on everything. And to entice even more shoppers-- they are offering free classes every day this week for dad and child. Stancato: "Its fun-- it gives you a bonding experience."

Back at Mrs.Farias-Mejia's class, the projects are ready for delivery.

"I think she's going to be really happy," said San Juana, "and put it somewhere safe for a long time."

The National Retail Federation says people will spend almost 2-billion dollars nationwide on the most popular gift for mom ... flowers.

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