I used to stress over what to get my mom for Mothers Day. For years it was flowers, cards, clothes or even decorative items for her house. As I got older, I noticed that the things she kept around and bragged on most were the things that cost little or nothing but came from real love. You know the ones, the hand print in plaster and/or paint, the photo mug of us together at the zoo and the hand written card all covered in glitter that said nothing more than “I Love You Mommy” on it.
OK, so I’m not a kid any more, but I still noticed that what mom’s really like best are the gifts that create or retell of fond memories together.
It was at that very moment that I knew I had to do something different in my Mother’s Day gift giving. I needed more of me and us in it and a lot less of it’s just for her. Mom’s aren’t about taking, they are all about giving… especially in giving of themselves to the ones they love most. I needed a Mother’s Day present that showed not only that I appreciated all that she had done for me, but one that reminded her that our time together really meant something that couldn’t be lost.
Now that I know the real secret to what Mom’s really want for Mother’s Day, it’s become one of my favorite holidays and one we both look forward too each and every year.
Here’s just two of the ideas that have kept my mom bragging for months to her friends and the rest of the family.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea #1 – The Memory Letter
I got this idea from the old glitter covered card she still had from my school days. I just took it to a new level.
Very simply, I downloaded some free stationery pages to use as the decoration. I then sat down and made a list of some of the really great times I’ve had that my mom played a large roll in. Vacations, shopping trips, long drives to get me to sporting events, anything that brought a vision of my mom in my head. Bad times that she made better for me were even better.
I then just sat down and put those storied in writing. You know… “Dear Mom, Remember when…” and I filled several pages with those vivid memories. At the end, I simply wrote: “Mom, it’s the little things you did that I’ll always remember most.”
I then printed the stationery pages out (I have lousy handwriting so I typed them) on the stationery downloads and sealed them in a nice envelope that read: “To Mother With Love – Don’t open until Mother’s Day” and placed that envelope inside another one to mail.
I’m told the tear’s of joy fell for days after and she reads the letter again several times a year. I got the biggest hug in the world the next time I was home for a visit.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea #2 – The Photo Memory Journal
The idea for this one came from the photo mug I had made for her as a teen. Again, I just took the basic idea and stepped it up a few rungs on the ladder.
This one happens in two parts. Part one, pick up a cheap diary or journal book from your local retail or book store. If you are really short on cash, you can also download some free digital stationery page templates, print a few pages and bind them with some ribbon or lace. Your mom isn’t going to care how much it cost as it will be part two that makes the gift.
This is what really makes it special. Plan for a day (rain or shine) that you both have off, preferably just a few days after Mother’s Day. You can do it before, but I think it’s better if part two happens afterward. Pick some place special such as a garden, park, tea room or other photogenic location. You can even plan an afternoon tea followed by the trip to the tropical gardens etc.
On the fist page of the journal, you’ll put the planned date, the time you’ll pick her up and a note to dress for rain, dress for casual or dress for formal. Nothing more except for the Happy Mother’s Day Mom and your signature.
The anticipation will build over the next couple days until the event and that serves to set the mood and ingrain the memory. If your area is prone to rain/spring snow/ or other such weather, be sure and have a backup planned if it’s not an indoor event.
The real key is that you are going to do something special together and you will take photos and write memories in the journal to go with them. I even had the rest of the family show up at the end and had professional photos taken of the whole family… first time in 10+ years. My point is that you can do this for next to nothing or you can, if you have the means, spend a little cash and get professional help. The result is the same… Joy and a new treasured memory you made together that will be remembered for many years to come.
Now that you get the idea, take a look around your mother’s home and in her closets… ask her if she still has any of your childhood gifts or art projects. Then, take a little imagination and turn that into an updated Mother’s Day she’ll soon not forget.
One last note.
We filled only a few of the pages of that first journal with memories and photos. Now, we plan little trips a couple of times a year together so we can fill in the rest of the book. She treasures these times more than I can tell you and one day when she’s no longer with me, I have no doubt I’ll be treasuring the book even more.
Happy Mother’s Day Memories…