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Gifts for mom: Are you as generous as the average Canadian?

Seventy-three per cent of Canadians are getting mom a gift this Mother's Day, according to BMO's 2012 Mother's Day survey. The average amount we're willing to spend on mom: $84.16.

Men are true momma's boys, planning to spend $105 on their mothers. Women, on the other hand, are only willing to shell out $62.

The most generous province? Ontario, where the average spent on a gift is $93.61. The Atlantic provinces spend the least, with a budget of $70.41.

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Of course, a bigger gift doesn't mean a bigger heart.

"The difference in spending is more likely a measure of practicality than it is of love," said Jennifer Weisman, director, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Mother's Day is bigger than Valentine's Day and second only to spending leading up to the Christmas holidays. It typically generates the second highest volume of weekend shopping in the year as measured by dollar value.

So what kind of gifts can mom expect this year? Canadians say they plan to:

– Take mom out to a restaurant (28 per cent). If you plan to take her out for a meal, be sure to make a reservation. Mother's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for dining out. There was a 22 per cent spike in restaurant spending from the same period the previous month last year.

– Bring her flowers (27 per cent). No surprise here. With spring buds blooming across the country, May is the perfect time to show your love and appreciation with flowers. Last year there was a 237 per cent increase in spending on flowers during the Mother's Day weekend compared with the same period in the previous month.

– Make her a home-cooked meal (18 per cent). Whether it is breakfast in bed or full-on Sunday dinner, it's all good, as long as mom doesn't have to make it.

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– Give other gifts or cards (3 to 4 per cent). Aesthetic services, candy and chocolate, jewellery, cards and other gift ideas all trailed far behind the top three choices.

– No gift (15 per cent). Respondents didn't offer reasons for foregoing a gift, but the numbers were surprisingly high. This could be due to the mother being out of town on holidays, or simply that families celebrate their moms every day and don't make a practice of observing these types of occasions.

The survey was completed from April 23-26, 2012, using Leger Marketing's online panel, with a sample of 1,500 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of 2.5 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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