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Beat the Clock : With Mother's Day looming, there's still time to find the perfect gift.


How could you? After all she's done for you, after all these years of unconditional love--how could you forget that Sunday is Mother's Day?

If you're a man it may be some genetic thing. Jim Koven, owner of Hart's Jewelers in Thousand Oaks, said that with Mother's Day looming he sees quite a few men come into his store at the last moment.

"I don't know why, but a lot of men are procrastinators," Koven said. "They know it's coming, but they like to wait. We see most of them the last two days before Mother's Day."

Because time is of the essence to both male and female procrastinators, we thought we would help expedite things by scouting out some potential gifts.

Beginning with jewelry, Koven offered suggestions that should please the mother in your life and, perhaps just as important, are ready to be taken home today.

"What's been strong this season is diamond stud earrings of all different sizes and prices," Koven said. The earrings start at about $70 at Hart's, he said, and top out at about $3,000. Diamond necklaces are priced at about $400 on up.

Another popular item is what Koven called the Tin Cup necklace. The piece has pearls interspersed with gold and is priced beginning at $120. The cost goes up with the quality of the pearls.


You don't need us to tell you that jewelry is among the more costly expressions of love. For a more budget-conscious approach, there are flowers.

Unfortunately, the available selection gets smaller as Mother's Day gets closer. Florists we spoke to earlier this week were furiously trying to fill and deliver orders on time.

But that doesn't mean flowers are a lost cause. If you are looking for a no-hassle bouquet, it might be worth checking the flower stand at the neighborhood supermarket.

At the Vons on Main Street in Santa Paula, the in-house florist should have a nice selection, even as late as Sunday.

Roses were priced at $1.99 a stem. A bouquet of roses was priced at $9.99 and a bouquet of mixed brightly colored flowers was $10.99. A special Victorian Mother's Day bouquet may still be available for $14.99.

As for specialized retail flower shops, you may want to call ahead before driving over. Still, most stores should at least have some types of flowers left on Sunday.

At Newbury Park Florist, manager Susie Volkmann expected to still have a good stock of blooming plants and planter baskets on Sunday afternoon, although special Mother's Day containers are likely to be sold out by then. "Blooming plants are really nice, planter baskets with African violets are nice," she said. "Wrapped flowers are huge on [Mother's Day] Sundays."

The cost of the blooming plants and planter baskets starts at about $25. Wrapped bouquets can start at $15. Volkmann said they average about $25 to $30.

Newbury Park Florist also has a nice stock of gift items to round out the package.


What if jewelry is too pricey and mom is allergic to flowers?

Ed Elrod, owner of the Ventura Bookstore in Ventura, had a few ideas. Elrod suggested "Chicken Soup For The Mother's Soul" by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

As with the other books in the popular series, this one offers inspirational writings aimed at moms. The book is going for $12.95.

If mom likes to entertain, Elrod said, the new "Martha Stewart's Hors d'oeuvres Handbook" might be appropriate. It goes for $35.


And of course, there is always chocolate.

Atelier De Chocolat in Ventura has 14-ounce boxes of chocolates priced at $18.95. A one-pound box of assorted chocolates at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at the Oxnard Factory Outlet is $13.99. See's Candies in Simi Valley has one-pound boxes for $11.50.

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