She’s mother to her own three children ages 9, 11, and 13. Her mother, Susan Loughrey, lives nearby. But DeMerchant is also the publisher for Macaroni Kid Androscoggin, www.arv.macaronikid.com, a free weekly e-newsletter and accompanying website featuring items of interest for family-friendly events.
DeMerchant estimated that her publication is read by over 10,000 busy mothers throughout Androscoggin County who rely on her for items of interest for their families.
“I know a thing or two about moms,” said DeMerchant, whose publication features a calendar of events of things happening in the area. A recent look at her website notes upcoming holiday fairs, craft fairs, karate classes, story time sessions, and play groups for kids and even a workshop on how to raise a bilingual kid.
When it comes to holiday gift giving for moms, DeMerchant is an expert.
“Moms are often the major, and sometimes, sole organizer of holiday giving. It is easy for significant others to forget mom in the mix, especially if they are hands off in the planning aspects of the holidays,” said DeMerchant. “I think it is especially important for dads to help teach kids the importance of making mom feel special at the holidays. This can include making a special trip out with the kids to shop for mom, giving a hand with gift wrapping or even just giving a foot rub after mom has had a long day of shopping.”
DeMerchant believes that moms love anything homemade from their kids. She said they particularly like things that they can enjoy year-round like a pottery dish to hold jewelry or coins, a frame to put a favorite photo in or something as simple as a drawing that has been framed.
“I personally love getting out my box of ornaments each year and looking at the ones my kids have made for me over the years,” said DeMerchant, whose oldest child is son, Ethan, followed by Jacob and Ava.
“Plan to surprise mom with something thoughtful and unexpected,” advised DeMerchant, who cited the website Pinterest as a great source of ideas. “Check to see if she has a Pinterest account and choose a gift from her wish boards there.”
DeMerchant said that you can search Pinterest for a user by their email address. She added that many women have Pinterest boards for outfits or household gadgets they want or they might even “pin” do-it-yourself projects that interest them.
“One way to really wow mom is to pick a project from her Pinterest board, grab the kids for an afternoon of project making and then watch as mom’s mouth drops open in delight and wonder,” said DeMerchant.
When gift giving, DeMerchant suggested keeping in mind that moms usually spend so much of their time, energy and money on their kids and spouses/partners, that they don’t often do much for themselves.
“Splurge gifts for mom are usually met with great delight; think about a massage or manicure/pedicure packages, a fully paid night out with friends (purchase gift cards to her favorite restaurant and the local movie theater) or a basket filled with a good book, a new tea mug and tea, and a coupon for a ‘night off’ when dad and/or the kids are in charge of dinner and dishes,” said DeMerchant. “Mom can relax in the tub, get in her pajamas and climb into bed with her book.”
Her personal favorite for holiday gifts are experiences rather than something you take out of a box.
“My mother recently gifted me with an overnight trip. We headed to Ogunquit and did some shopping, we dined out, went to a show at the Ogunquit Playhouse and topped off the weekend with cooking classes at the Stonewall Kitchen Headquarters,” said DeMerchant. “It was truly a gift to remember.
“Just remember that moms often plan many events and outings for the rest of her family,” said DeMerchant. “Gifting mom with a special outing, just for her, is extra special.”