Every year Mother’s Day sneaks up on me, sending me into a mini rush to make sure I don’t forget to send a gift. I currently live 3000 miles away from my mom, so it’s not as simple as trying to spend the day with her and take her to dinner. And while I went traditional with my gift this year (no, Mom, I’m not ruining the surprise), I started thinking about some unique homemade gifts that nearly any mother would appreciate. Here are 10 that I may use in the future:
1. DIY Spa Gift Set – Search and you’ll find tons of recipes for homemade lotions, scrubs, masks, and bath soaks. Pair it up with a pair of comfy socks, eye mask, and ear plugs and your mom can have a relaxing afternoon. If there are still young kids around the house, offer to babysit for a few hours as well.
2. Vacation-in-a-Box – Let’s say your mom has always wanted to go to Hawaii. Fill a box/basket with location-themed music, movies, candles, recipes, and fun items to help get her in the spirit until she can travel the world. For mine, I’d include a lei, coconut drinking cup, Elvis’ Blue Hawaii, Polynesian music, and recipes for pina coladas and popular Hawaiian dishes. Wall calendars and links to Google street views can also add to the experience.
3. Family Tree Book – If you don’t have one already, why not start an album detailing your family tree? Collect information on your ancestors by reviewing family records, asking your relatives, or searching on Ancestry.com. Organize your findings in a dedicated book/journal or setup software like Family Tree Maker for continuous updates. Be sure to include information on your family’s education, jobs, travels, homes, pets, etc to round out your research.
4. Memory Frame – This can be done a few ways, but is best with a folding frame (2-3 panels). We recently got married, so as a thank you gift to our parents we put their wedding photo, a baby picture of us, and a spot for our wedding photo. For grandparents this can be their wedding photo, your parents’, and yours. Another idea is a succession of family photos: yourself/siblings as babies, as teenagers, and as adults. Or a series of photos of you with your mother and her with her mother. If you don’t have enough photos to fit the theme, you can always fill a remaining panel with one of her favorite quotes.
5. “Words of Wisdom” Book – Is your mom the type who always has something to say? Record her most famous words of wisdom in a journal and present it to her on Mother’s Day. Include her favorite stories she used to tell and quotes from her favorite books/movies. You can also include your favorite memories of her.
6. Cook the “Family Dinner” – A lot of families seem to have a “family dinner”, a classic recipe Mom was always known for making (in our case it was London broil with baked potatoes and red rice). For Mother’s Day, show your mom that you’ve learned from her by cooking the entire dinner on your own (enlisting help from other family members is okay, just let Mom relax). You’ll all enjoy passing the tradition along.
7. Handwritten Letter – While it’s easy to give a quick call or send a Hallmark card, there’s no reason you can’t go back to the classic days of sending a handwritten letter detailing your gratitude for everything your mom has done for you. As much as email is easier, it’s still nice to get something in the mail beyond bills and advertisements. Find some nice stationery and a good pen and write a good long note.
8. Family Travel Map – This one’s good if yours was the type of family who either moved a lot or took a lot of road trips. Get a nice print of a map (U.S./world/state) and a frame to match it. Put pins or stickers in all of the cities you’ve visited. Plot out road trips with string/thread between the pins. Place special marks in those locations you’ve actually lived. This would also work by making a smash book out of a road atlas, using washi tape to secure travel photos to their respective locations.
9. Write a Song/Poem – If you’re a musical or writer type, you can create an original work for your mom. Brainstorm some ideas of what she’s meant to you and get out your pen. You can perform or give it to her in person this Sunday, or post it to social media if you’re at a distance. Another idea is to perform a cover of one of her favorite songs and share it with her.
10. Family Storybook – How much do you really know about your mom? Do you know what her favorite extracurricular activities were? Or what her dream job was/is? What about her favorite foods? Come up with a list of questions you’ve never asked, and either use a tape recorder or notes to preserve her favorite memories. Be creative and come up with your own questions, or use books like Listography as a guide to get started.
For those of you leaning towards a more “traditional” idea, here are 10 classic favorites:
- Sibling Portrait
- Actual Spa Day
- Chore Coupon Book
- Fruit Basket
- Photo Album
- Restaurant/Movie Gift Cards
- Anything from Bath & Body Works
I hope this has helped you choose a great gift for your Mom this year. And if you’re an early bird who’s already ahead of the game, these make great gifts for almost any time of year. Happy Mother’s Day!