Every once in a while, we get a gift that truly “wows” us. It could be a first car following high school graduation, or the puppy we’ve been begging our parents for every day for six months.
But generally speaking, most gifts are appreciated less for the item itself and more for the gesture behind it. I mean, I like flowers. They’re pretty to look at and nice to smell, but what I truly love about them is the knowledge that my husband wants to make me happy and goes out of his way to do just that.
Mothers are a damn near impossible species to shop for. Especially mine. She’s not one to pamper herself and is quite modest when it comes to jewelry. After years of trying and failing to find that “perfect present” that’s going to set her world on fire, I concluded that the greatest gift I could give my doting mother is a message that is extremely simple and, yet, endlessly important: “I love you. I value you. I appreciate everything you do for me as a mother.”
Next, I realized that in order to relay this significant truth, I didn’t need to scour the aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond or scrutinize hundreds of sparkly accessories through thick glass countertops. I just needed to ponder long and hard about what would make my mother – a woman who adores her family and tries to improve the lives of each of its members on a daily basis – smile.
Well, here’s a list of some of the ideas I’ve come up with over the years. And let me tell you, they all set her world on fire.
Canvas photo collage
Moms love pictures. And they love their kids. So there you have it – the perfect formula for a fantastic Mother’s Day gift – a photo collage of all her children. I personally chose a canvas print from Shutterfly, comprised of individual photos of me, my siblings and nieces and nephews, all in black and white. It was classy, elegant and depicted all of my mom’s favorite things. It’s hanging in our living room now and I swear she lights up every time she sees it.
A Video Montage
If you’ve got the energy to chase down all of your siblings until they send you their footage, then this can be a truly epic gift. Have each of your family members record their answers to a series of questions: “What do you love most about Mom?” “What is one major thing Mom does for you to make your life easier?” “Which of her qualities do you hope to emulate?” Mix ‘em all together, scatter in some old photographs, put a sweet song in the background and you’ve got a gift that tells Mom all the things you’ve always wanted your Mother’s Day ventures to say.
A Memory Box
Time to get crafty. Create and decorate a little box in which to store a bunch of nostalgia-inducing memorabilia. You can even write down some of your favorite shared moments on little scraps of paper so she can read one every day. This can be a personal gift or a joint project between you and your other family members. Either way, it’s sure to get a smile – and maybe even some happy tears – out of Mom. Flowers and chocolate are always fabulous, but they can’t replace a walk down memory lane.
The Job at the Bottom of the List
This one might not be as fun to do, but the look on your mother’s face will be reward enough. Everyone’s got one – that chore they desperately want to get done, but can’t seem to find the energy to start. It could be cleaning out the garage, reviving the garden, sorting through stacks of the old clothes and books that have accumulated in the basement. Whatever it is, she wants it done, and nothing says “I care” more than paying attention to her needs and trying to see them through.
If you’ve got a mom who loves new jewelry or collects scented candles, well, you’re pretty much off the hook. But if you want to surprise her or you have a mom like mine, then there’s nothing quite like a present you’ve spent time on, one that holds significant value to the recipient that’s beyond monetary. The perfect Mother’s Day gift is rarely one that can be returned or exchanged, which is just fine, since she definitely won’t want to!