“Curl everything!” Maria cried, as I wrestled ribbon around a tricky-to-wrap miniature watering can (I became an expert ribbon-curler after helping wrap gifts for the annual KPS Mother’s Day stall).
This year, Alex St Claire took a behind-the-scenes peek at the Mother’s Day stall, in all its ribbon-curling, cellophane-wrapped glory and offers a few gift buying tips to families new to KPS –
Watching the children of Kew Primary School enter the Junior School Hall – wide eyed at the bright and beautiful array of Mother’s Day gifts – melts my heart every year.
The determination to find the perfect gift for their mum is written all over their face as they weigh up the cost of the gift, what mum would like and their own need for lip gloss or chocolates.
If you are yet to experience the joy of the Mother’s Day gift stall, here is what you need to know.
1) Money – gifts range from $1 to $10, so the children are sure to find something whatever their budget. A small purse to hold their money is advisable. More money does mean ‘higher-end’ gifts and I send mine with instructions to buy for two grandmas and a great grandma (who still loves her “diamond” necklace from 2012).
2) Gift selection – you can help by giving a few pointers, for example, “Grandma loves gardening; she might like something for the garden.” I like to be fully prepared by sussing out the gift range ahead of time at the fun-filled gift wrapping sessions in the days before the stall, and then drop lots of hints about how much I like candles.
3) Wrapping – the gifts are all wrapped (with ribbon!) in clear cellophane, which lets the children see exactly what they are buying. However, it also means that they can be pulled out and proudly shown to mum at pick up. The ability to quickly advert your eyes from anything shiny will help keep the surprise for Sunday.
Grade five parents, Joanna Szeszycka and Maria Nerouppos, took on the Mother’s Day stall six years ago, when their children were in Prep, and have created a perfect miniature gift shop for the past six years. Each year, they carefully select the gift range, balancing the need for a vast selection and profitability of the stall.
Raising more than $3,000 for the school, the stall provides valuable funds but its real value is in the sense of community it instills.
Between ‘social’ gift wrapping sessions and spruiking the best gift to bewildered Preppies, the efforts of so many KPS parents allow each mum to open a gift on Mother’s Day knowing that their child chose it all by themselves and especially for them – even if it is the blue eye shadow.
Alex St Claire