Let’s face it: The first week of May comes around and your scrambling for last minute Mother’s Day Gifts. And while pineapples shaped like flowers are obviously darling, mom wants to feel special, and you want her to feel that way, too. While some moms are certainly dazzled by sparkle and shine, when it comes to a gift from one of their children, its best if it comes from the heart. Plus, these days, everyone seems to be simplifying, and having another stuffed bear or gift shop frame with the letters M-O-M just might not fit into mom’s home décor hopes for 2016.
This year’s Mother’s Day gift doesn’t have to be more of the same. In this list of 10 memorable alternatives, you’ll find options for every budget, whether you have a little or a lot allocated for your momma this year. Whether your looking for something to buy her, or an experience to share, this list is sure to get your wheels turning. It’s not too late – with not a ton of time left, these options can be put together pretty quickly and will make mom feel planned for and thought of.
1. An Extravagant Lunch Somewhere New
A lot of moms expect lunch out on Mother’s Day. But, make sure her lunch is anything but typical. This year, take her somewhere new, somewhere different – she’s probably expecting one of your usual haunts. Instead of your go-to buffet or breakfast place, a quick Google in your area will lead you in the right direction. Try a cuisine she loves, or a new cuisine she’s been interested in trying, or find a place that has a menu with some of her favorites. Or, maybe there’s a place nearby with something truly unique and different, like a really pretty gelato selection, or a glistening champagne bar. A lot of restaurants offer great brunch menus on Sundays and especially on Mother’s Day, so take a look around and you’re sure to get inspired.Whatever you choose for mom’s special lunch, be sure to pick somewhere off her typical beaten path, maybe in a nearby town she won’t expect. As a mom, she’s used to seeing the same places, so surprise her by taking her to a place she hasn’t likely thought of. If it’s BYOB, make it super special by bringing a bottle of nice champagne, something mid-shelf. You can use it for a special toast, or to make mimosas. When you arrive at your chosen lunch spot, order an appetizer right away for the table to set the mood right from the get-go. And, make sure to tell her to order anything she wants. No matter your lot in life, mom will likely be thinking about the bottom line. Tell her to get something she really wants. For extra brownie points: don’t tell her exactly where you’re going. She’ll likely love the element of surprise, and that you thought of her ahead of time. I bet she’ll be pumped to tell all her friends what you planned for her special day. Also, don’t forget to take some pictures, as she’ll probably want to post a selfie for all her loved ones to admire. Moms are always looking for a reason to brag about their kids – give her one this Mother’s Day with a memorable meal.
2. Lunch Prepared by You
You both have to eat on Mother’s Day, and maybe you want to do something different than going out to a restaurant. It’s also pretty likely that your mom prepared a lot of meals for you in your lifetime. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no crust of course, as well as family favorite casseroles, after school snacks, chocolate chip cookies, and chicken noodle soup when you were home sick. So, whether you’re a renowned chef or reliant on take-out most days, a simple meal prepared by you will make her feel loved and appreciated. Make her favorites, or pull some neat recipes off of Pinterest. Keep it simple, so that you and she can really enjoy your time together, and you’re not freaking out in the kitchen. Something as easy as tea sandwiches or a crafted cheese plate would be a nice lunch for you and mom. A quick internet search for the perfect cheese plate is sure to give you some nice ideas.Beyond the food, take some time to set a nice table with real plates and silverware, and serve her. She may try to get involved in the prep, but remind her its her day and she most certainly deserves the special treatment.For a really neat alternative, if the weather permits, pack a picnic lunch and find somewhere scenic to lounge for a while. Picnics are always a special option – just don’t forget something to sit on and all the necessary gear for eating lunch outside, like silverware, plates, napkins, and something to drink.
3. A Shared Project
This is something where creativity is key, and knowing your mom will inform the decision for the day with this shared experience. For your mom, it may be as meaningful as volunteering somewhere together for the day or visiting someone she loves. This may take some planning, so ask mom what she might have in mind.It could also be something just for the two of you to make together, like finding a creative project she might like online, buying all the needed supplies, and setting up a crafting area for a few hours. There are countless DIY projects to be found online, with easy step-by-step instructions and approachable supply lists. Think pallet furniture, wreaths, flower arrangements, up-cycling, or simple canvas art. She’ll love showing up to a set-up creative domain, and an afternoon with you.
4. The Gift of Gardening
May is the perfect time of year for getting outside and gardening. It’s also typically the perfect time of year to put new plants in the ground, regardless of your specific growing region. While many of us reach for cut arrangements at the market for mom, buying her plants that will last all season can be really special. When your at the garden center, choose a combination of both colorful annuals and hardier perennials, so it will be a treat for mom to watch them bloom and grow year after year. Rather than just dropping the pots on her doorstep, do a little research, bring a shovel and some mulch, and spend some time with mom placing the plants just where she would like them.If you can, it might be nice to give mom some cool gardening gear she’ll love sporting when taking care of her new plants. Think gardening gloves, pruning sheers, or an interesting watering can.
5. Check Something Off Her To-Do List
Moms always have mile long to-do lists, and most of them involve tasks to complete for others. This mother’s day, ask mom about something she has been putting off doing for herself. With everything that your mom does for the family, you may be surprised how simple tasks fall to the wayside.Maybe the back door really needs to get painted, or her car needs a good detailing. While she may initially deny the need for your help, a little persistence will show that your mom can probably use your time and ability somehow.
6. Something to Make Her Feel Cozy
For moms, everyone else’s comfort is key. With everything she’s balancing, often her own comfort is left low on the totem pole. Use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to get some things for mom that will make her feel loved and pampered beyond the holiday.While mom is certain to get everyone in the house everything they need, it’s not likely that mom will take the extra time to go and get something special for herself. So, splurge a little on mom with decadent bath salts, rich lotions, a plush robe, a really nice candle, warm slippers, or a cashmere throw. Head out to a nice store, and make sure the presentation is just as lovely as the gift inside.
7. A Subscription to Her Favorite Magazine
Moms are really good at sacrificing for others. Chances are, your mom always wanted you to have the best. This year, get mom something she wouldn’t normally get for herself. While she may love the covers of House Beautiful and Coastal Living, she may not think to buy herself a recurring subscription.Go to the newsstand, and buy mom one or two that stand out, fill out the subscription cards and send them in, and tell mom what you did – it will be like getting a gift in the mail each and every month. By buying the actual magazine at the newsstand, you’ll have something to give mom now while she waits for her subscription to start, which typically takes about 6-8 weeks. Plus, gift giving will be super easy next year – you can simply renew her favorite subscriptions.
8. A Long Walk Somewhere Beautiful
Everyone is trying to be more active these days. While Mother’s Day can easily be a day of relaxation and indulgence, why not make your mom’s day invigorating and active?Choose a route right for mom and get outside together. Maybe for your mom, it’s a walk on the beach, a hike on a trail, or a stroll through a quaint downtown. Whatever it may be, the act of walking together has both heart-healthy and bonding benefits. Take time during the walk to tell your mom how much you appreciate her, and what makes your relationship special both when you were younger, and now. Most moms really enjoy creating friendships with their grown kids. Set aside a few hours for your outing, so you both won’t feel rushed, and can have ample time to catch up side-by-side.
9. A Night Away
If it’s in your budget for mom this year, a night away can be a really unique gift. Whether it is for the two of you, or you want to send her away for a date night, getting away can be really powerful. The act of getting away can do wonders for well being.Her night away could be at a local bed and breakfast or a swanky hotel downtown. Changing her scenery can really do a lot of good, and will leave her feeling recharged and loved. If mom loves the ocean, send her for a night at a beachside hotel, and book her a spa treatment while she’s there. If the city calls to her, get her tickets for a show and book her a room in a posh high-rise. She’s likely not to forget a special getaway planned by you.
10. A Handwritten Letter
While Hallmark cards are certainly eloquent and sweet, nothing would be more valuable to your mom than your own words, in your own handwriting. Since you were little, your mom treasured every scribble, every crayon-written name, each penned note. I’m sure somewhere in her home is a box full of items just like these from you.Today, your handwriting still means the world to her. Buy some nice stationary, and a decent pen, and write to your mom. Don’t know where to start? There’s a lot to include: you can tell her how much you love her, tell her the things you’ve learned from her, recount some special memories, and tell her what you truly appreciate about her and her mothering.Whatever you decide to do for mom this Mother’s Day, be sure to give mom one of those truly amazing hugs, the kind that make you feel like you might just lift off the ground.
And let her kiss your face.