Spring has sprung! With it, the most flower-filled celebration day of them all is here on April 11: Mother’s Day. For most, this next Sunday mothers will be honored with the simple and thoughtful gift ideas of a family brunch, an elaborate calligraphy card, and a pastel bouquet, which by all means are generous expressions of a child’s thoughtfulness, and moms love to be thought of and honored. Beyond being thought of, however, moms love to gush. They love to brag about their kids. So, why not give moms something they can really show off? Something they can really gush about?
For those who are out of grade school and are no longer offered the handsome availability of a home economics class, where one can bake mom a pie or sew her a throw pillow, it may come down to thinking a bit outside of the box. The following is a Top 10 list of fail-safe, catch-all gift ideas that mom can talk about endlessly. No matter the budget or the time constraint, there is sure to be the perfect gift idea to make mom feel special this Mother’s Day and the whole year.
♥ VISIT HER:
For most children who live far from their mothers, a spontaneous “ring of the doorbell” on her special day may be out of the question on such short notice, but if that is the case, a photo-copy or a forwarded email conformation of a plane ticket, a bus ticket, or a train ticket for a surprise visit is a great gift! It gives mom something to look forward to and plan. During the visit, make the time all about her, listen to her, pamper her, and make her food.
For those who live in proximity of their moms, make a date to take her out on the town, to a movie, or the theater– something she would like to see. Ask no questions and indulge her!
If something more elaborate is in need, think of something mom has always wanted to do but never set the time aside for? Did she want to see Niagara Falls, be in the audience on Dr. Oz, take a pottery class, or try sushi? Take her by the hand and be her guide. Supply her with the opportunity and the company to make her dream come true.
♥ TAKE MOM SHOPPING:
How many times has mom footed the bill for back-t0-school clothes, or a prom dress, or all that sport’s gear? Pay it forward and take her to the mall. Linger with her in the shoe section, the jewelry counter, be her personal assistant and help her re-vamp that “mom-drobe.” Another great idea is to take her grocery shopping and pick up the tab. If she has a local market or favorite shop she frequents, call them leaving payment information for the next time she comes in. It will be a complete and well-deserved surprise.
♥ GIFT CERTIFICATES:
Gift certificates get a lot of “yeas” and “nays” out there in the “Top Ten” gift-giving peanut gallery, but for children who cannot be with their moms on Mother’s Day, a gift certificate could be great idea in place of a shopping trip. In order to really nail it, check out mom’s social media hang-outs. See what she likes on Pinterest or Etsy and surprise her with a package in the mail or with a gift certificate to her favorite website, clothing designer, or spa. Gift certificates are also a great way to let mom pick out something she knows she will love and a great way to work within a budget.
Has mom ever wanted to try Zumba? Yoga? Get her some passes to some classes and go with her. Belly dancing? Ballet? Come on. That would be an endlessly fun mother-and-daughter endeavor!
♥ DIGITAL IDEAS:
Does mom have an e-reader? How does she listen to music? Think about these things and send her a copy of a favorite book from childhood. Send her a copy of a favorite book, urge her to read it, and then set time aside to discuss it. This idea is great, because it creates authentic time to be together that is based around creating new memories. Is mom a fan of the Golden Oldies? Send her a playlist of favorite songs from growing up. It will be a great journey down memory lane for both parties. There is not much in this world that feels better than revisiting youth. It makes one feel, well, young again!
What was your mom’s favorite interest in high school or college? Was it art history, psychology, fashion? Get her some audio books or ebooks on current topics within her interests to relinquish her passion. What does mom like to do? Cook, plant, wood work, listen to music, play computer games, shop? Think about how she likes to spend her free time and then gift her something that will embellish those hours and make them all the sweeter.
Does mom read The New Yorker, HGTV, Fitness, or Reader’s Digest? If so, why not get her a gift this Mother’s Day she can read all year long and think of her child simultaneously? If mom likes to cook, indulge her in a new cookbook including recipes that will either embellish what she already likes to toss together in the kitchen or trigger a new taste for her culinary talents. Every time she refers to the text, her child’s name will warm her heart as she is warming the oven.
How sentimental is mom? Does she have hoards of memorabilia from her days as a young mother? Why not indulge her with a new entry for her scrapbook by creating a page of favorite pictures and clippings of favorite memories. This gift idea can also be represented as a collage, an entire photo album, or any other creative outlet that honors mom and the time she has devoted to her doting child.
♥ FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH:
Such a timeless Mother’s Day gift idea, yet the era of framed photographs seems to be a thing of the past within the digital age. Take the time to print out and frame some photos of grandkids, spouses, vacation family snapshots, and mom will be more than pleased to put them on display and walk visitors through a visual history of her happy family.
A bit more on the spendy side, but if anyone is so inclined, there is always the option of turning a favorite family photograph into an actual portrait. This of course will take some planning, but it is a good idea to put on the back burner for next year. Start doing the research and find an affordable portrait painter. Going the extra mile is sure to impress mom for a long time to come.
♥ HANDMADE CARD: What kids hear from their mothers time and time again is that what they really want is something from the heart. “Don’t spend your hard earned money on me?!” Right? So, welcome her guidance this time around. Get out the construction paper, glue, and child-safe scissors, sit down, and DIY a Mother’s Day card. One does not need to be exceptionally artistic or creative to pull off a sentimental handmade card. The time spent on the artifact has the potential to bring joy and tears. Write mom directly by including specific family memories rather than relying on generic sentiments from the specialty card aisle. To send it over the edge, include a frame to display the card after it’s been read.
♥ INSCRIPTION: If possible, try to snatch something from mom’s jewelry box, take it to a jewelers and have it inscribed with a personal message. If it is not possible to get near mom’s jewelry box, buy a new charm and inscribe the family’s initials, or whatever sentiment is most suitable. The personal message and keepsake is really what matters the most in this instance. There are also boutiques where one can find personalized chocolates, coffee mugs, t-shirts, pillow cases or doormats. It is the opportunity to create something to be kept in the family for years.
♥ FLOWERS: Above and beyond all the other suggestions, if flowers are still the way to go for mom, instead of spending hard-earned cash on a bouquet of flowers, consider investing in a blooming houseplant, a hearty, beautiful jade plant, or an outdoor hanging perennial, or anything that will continue to grow and thrive for a long time to come. Flowers are without a doubt a beautiful and gracious gift, but take to heart there is also always the opportunity to amp them up and deliver them in a beautiful new vase or piece of pottery.
No matter how silly or trivial some of these top ten gift ideas may seem, receiving something from the heart is what mom will appreciate the most this Mother’s Day. So, instead of signing the obligatory card, dig a little deeper, spend a few moments thinking about what might make her happy on her special day, and give mom something she can show off to her friends. Any mother may say it does not matter, but the look on her face will tell anyone it does.
Opinion by Stacy Feder
Wall Street Cheat Sheet