If the gift you had in mind for Mother’s Day has to be watered or dusted, think again. That might not be Mom’s preference. When asked to think back on their most memorable Mother’s Day, the mom’s I surveyed insisted the day did not involve flowers, jewellery, or candy! As Debbie so aptly phrased in her response, ‘material goods are just clutter that distracts us from what’s really important’.
If your last one-on-one dinner with Mom was The Dairy Queen in 1981, it is time to book a reservation for two. Discuss current movies, your favourite books, new hobbies...
As for a meaningful gift, a framed picture of you with your siblings would be a winner. Trust me on this. It’s in the survey. Also, Barbara mentioned personal artwork. Exert yourself. It will leave a lasting impression.
Remember when you were a kid? A piece of paper with waxed crayon scribbles hung on the fridge for a month. Hearts melted over a few dandelions clutched in a grubby little fist.
What? You’re not a kid anymore? Well, your Mom is still your Mom. A handwritten letter or card would mean more to her than a Hallmark. Memory boxes around the world embrace handwritten poems and homemade cards. Susan attests to that.
Before you ask your secretary to call the florist, think about picking Mom up at lunchtime and heading to the fry truck under the bridge. Time is our most precious commodity. Go for a walk together along the river. Tell her how much those outings meant to you as a kid. Stop at the florist on the way back and present her with a fragrant bouquet. She will love you for it.
If your mother has passed on, perhaps a spray of white carnations on your table or desk would be a lovely tribute in her memory.
Another suggestion from my survey involved a tour of the old neighbourhood. Recollections flood back with a stop at the corner store for a cold drink and ice cream. A nice way to say thank you for a great childhood.
An idea that sounds great to me is hosting a dinner party or luncheon for Mom and her friends. I don’t think she would mind if you hosted the meal at her house. Be sure to set an attractive table–it’s all in the presentation−and do the cleanup. Not a cook? Order Chinese and break out the chopsticks. Now, that is a memory maker. It’s the thought, the time, and the sincerity that counts. Be original. Mothers like to feel special and coddled.
If it is impossible to be together to celebrate Mother’s Day, make time for an unhurried phone call or skyped visit.
However you honour your mother on her special day, please do not hang up the phone, do not disconnect skype, and do not drive away from the house, without telling her what she already knows but never tires of hearing... I love you, Mom.