IT IS always interesting, at this time of year, to see what shops think are good Mothering Sunday presents.

Left to the high street, we mothers would be squashed and suffocating under a pile of fluffy slippers, lavender shower gels and books written by people like Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I love everything my sons have ever given me for Mother’s Day, from the mess-on-a-tray served up lovingly as breakfast in bed when they were tiny, to the baffling objects (plantpot? mug? hat?) created at nursery and the truly thoughtful things they give me now they are old enough to do it all by themselves.

I don’t care what I get for Mother’s Day, or indeed if I get anything at all. Like Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day, these commercially-driven enterprises sit a little uncomfortably with me anyway. Nothing wrong with celebrating our mothers or our fathers or our other halves, of course, but doing it by spending pots of cash on scented candles and giant boxes of chocolates once a year is just a bit daft.

As always, these things have their roots in age-old traditions, but Mother’s Day wasn’t even about mothers originally. It came from a 16th century practice where young people forced to work away from home were given time off to visit their ‘mother’ church with their families.

In Scotland, it’s celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, but many countries, including the US, celebrate it in May.

In Belgium, one nursery school has announced it will no longer be celebrating Mother’s or Father’s Day.

Children at Catteau-Aurore school in Brussels will instead have one 'family day' where they will be encouraged to make gifts to take home to everyone.

It has split the community, with some parents unhappy, but many more feel it’s a great idea as it means no-one will be left out. As someone who found Father’s Day difficult to understand following the death of my dad when I was a child, I get that.

The nursery said the decision was taken to better represent the many forms that modern families take.

"From now on, whether they have one mother, a mother and a stepmother, two fathers, or a grandmother… what is shared by everyone is the fact that they live with adults who they love and who love them."

It’s the perfect way to stop children hurting, especially if they have just lost a parent.

The headteacher of the nursery told the BBC: "Seeing just one child suffer is motivation to make a change for all children.” Nicely said. Families have changed, society has changed, and we could all do with being a bit more thoughtful.

Maybe it’s time to ditch Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for good.