Red alert! One of the most important holidays of the year is right around the corner. That's right, Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12. If you're still spinning your wheels looking for that perfect something, try a gift that helps make a memory instead.
Mom-ing is a full time job, and I'm not talking the 40-hour-work-week kind, I'm talking 24/7 from the day you were born until forever. We should be giving moms a federal holiday (come on, Columbus still has his), but in the absence of that, we can at least do our best to celebrate how wonderful our moms are as individuals, and to honor the sacrifices they've made for us.*
There is no cookie cutter
Before going on, I need to say that Mother's day isn't just about biological mothers or moms who are still with us. It's a celebration of anyone who has mothered by loving and nurturing. It can also be a painful day for those who have fraught relationships, or who have lost their mothers. There's no one right way to celebrate (or not to, if that's what you need).
Rethinking the "stuff"
Receiving gifts is one of the five ways that people feel most loved, according to The 5 Love Languages. With that said, sometimes inspiration strikes and you find the perfect something, and other times you end up scrolling through the pages of Etsy – or worse – frantically ordering something on Amazon Prime at the last minute.
When the latter happens, and you just don't know what to get her, skip the stuff! (Except, have you seen the DUO and TRIO sets from Naked Truth Beauty? *Wink wink*) Moms don't need extra clutter – even the well-intentioned kind. So, if you're feeling less than inspired, it's time to think outside the box. Literally.
Experiences over Possessions
Now, I'm not saying don't get your mom anything for Mother's Day. No, no, no. I'm saying try something new, like giving the gift of an experience. In fact, research out of San Francisco State University found that experiences may make us happier than possessions, and what better way to show we care than by spending time with our moms (other than, you know, helping her to spend time all on her own in some peace and quiet)?
5 Experiential Gifts for Mother's Day
1. Gift Certificate to her Local Nursery
For the Mama who likes to garden, instead of buying her flowers, help her plant her own! Make this gift even better by going to the nursery together and picking out some annuals (literal YOLO!) and a pretty planter. Take it extra meta by growing her flowers to give her with this gift.
2. Spa Certificate
At risk of feeding the stereotype, Moms need a break. Yes, Mother's love their children, but sometimes the best gift is some alone time (ahem, not that I speak from experience). Gift your Mama some much-earned pampering with a gift certificate to her local spa. Bonus points if she gets to choose her service, such as a facial, massage, or lash and brow tinting.
3. Cooking or Baking Class
Has your mom seen every episode of the Great British Baking Show? Does she know the proper pronunciation of "bruschetta" from spending time with Giada? Treat her to a baking or cooking class where she can learn tips and tricks and try new recipes in the flesh.
4. Painting and Wine
Help your mama cut loose creatively with a fun night out to a painting class with wine. Yes, spawn of legal drinking age should offer to go with her, but also give her the out to go with friends instead. Please see previous comment about needing to get away.
5. Tickets to a Show
This is a great opportunity to help your mom get a closer look at something she loves. Is a musician she likes coming to town? What about this season's traveling Broadway series? Perhaps she'd enjoy checking out the local or touring comedy scene? The possibilities are endless!
When it comes down to it, Mother's Day is about showing you care and appreciate the Mothering figure in your life. Time and attention are the greatest gifts. If cost is a squeeze for you, try a handmade card, a picnic in the park, or a stroll through your city's prettiest garden. It really is the thought that counts.
Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas out there! You're doing great.
*Obviously, let's try to be kind and grateful to our moms every day, but it's important to try extra hard at least one day a year.