If you needed a reminder, this is it: Mother’s Day is this Sunday. In this season of self-isolation when we’re forgetting the days of the week — never mind national holidays — it’s still a great time to honor our moms, whether we’re hunkered down in the same house or separated by thousands of miles.
Your mom would probably love the traditional gift of flowers and a card (especially if you write a heartfelt note inside), but if you want some fresh ideas for your Mother’s Day gift this year, I hear you. We want to give something memorable and unique, but moms aren’t always the easiest to shop for.
I asked several moms of young adults (including my mom!) to help out. If you’re shopping around for some new gift ideas, here are a few suggestions:
This is another fairly common idea, but more than one of my mom friends mentioned gift cards for a restaurant, massage or pedicure. Organize eating out with your siblings, or take your mom out on a restaurant date, just the two of you. (Quarantine variation: Plan a socially-distanced picnic in a park, or if your mom isn’t nearby, have food delivered to her and do “dinner” together via FaceTime or video chat.)
Love language gifts.
One mom suggested finding a gift related to your mom’s love language (acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch or gifts). For example, if your mom likes quality time, you could sign up to take a Zumba or photography class together (when classes are available again, of course). If your mom likes words of affirmation, notecards with verses or quotes or notes from you could be very meaningful.
This is the gift that just keeps giving. Give your mom a season pass to a local botanical garden or museum. Go with her sometime and enjoy the flowers or the artwork together.
Several moms mentioned they would appreciate their young adult kids offering to help on a project. One suggestion was helping mom organize something, while another mom remembered when her adult son helped with a time-consuming flowerbed project.
Gather old photos (or re-create them) and surprise your mom with a photo collage or a decoupage project. Make a personalized gift basket with little things you know your mom likes: a favorite candy, a book or movie, a candle, some snacks, etc.
Family photos are a big deal for parents. Consider paying for a professional photo session for the whole family or surprising mom with photos of all her kids together. One mom suggested a digital photo frame with photos already loaded.
Go in for the group gift.
If your siblings are interested, coordinate a larger gift from all of you. One mom friend told about how her kids went in together to commission a handmade bench for an area of the house their parents had just redecorated. An overnight stay at a bed and breakfast or hotel is another special treat. Check Groupon or similar for excellent deals.
“Definitely a phone call,” one mom said. Calls to check in on the family or even pray with Mom are especially meaningful. Another mom enjoys playing games on Zoom or FaceTime with her children.
The two most important factors in your gift
When surveying my mom friends, two distinct themes came up over and over: time and something unique to Mom.
Moms want to spend time with their young adult kids (especially phone-free time, one mom said, so leave the smartphone in your purse or pocket). One-on-one or as a family, eating out or eating at home, talking in person or over the phone, doing a work project or playing a game or going on a walk — they all mentioned their kids’ time being the perfect gift.
And each mom will likely want to spend that time differently. No two moms are the same. Our moms would appreciate if we take the time to think of something they would personally like.
“Doing something we enjoy as a family,” my mom suggested as a gift for her. “Not a movie,” she was quick to add. And I should know this — because if time with loved ones is short, she has often said she doesn’t want to spend most of it watching a movie. For your mom, however, tickets for the two of you to attend a movie’s opening night could be perfect. One mom friend in a particularly creative family mentioned doing artwork together as a gift. The important thing is knowing what your mom would appreciate.
Celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day. We will never fully realize how much they have given us. Have fun together and enjoy this special day.
This is also a great time to celebrate other influential women in your life — women who have known you all your life (or most of it) or friends’ moms who have had you over for dinner countless times. Maybe even those women in your life without biological children — women who have befriended, mentored and inspired you over the years.
And last but not least: Celebrate your friends who are moms. This is my best friend’s first Mother’s Day with a baby of her own. That’s something special and well worth celebrating.
Any ideas to add to my list?
Copyright 2020 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.