In early May do you get frantic, looking for good Mothers Day gifts to make, or to buy, and of course, the Mother's Day card? A lot of people rush to ask online, "when is Mother's Day this year?"
Both the USA and Canada celebrate it on the same date. Some other countries have assigned another date, or even call it 'Mothering Sunday.' A simple rule to remember is that in North America it always falls on the second Sunday of May.
This brings me to my first suggestion to help you celebrate Mothers Day in a way that will thrill your Mom best. Simply Plan Ahead.
Your mother likely had nine months to prepare for your birth (or less if you were born prematurely), so surely, you could start planning ahead, say, starting right after Easter - to plan how you will express your love and appreciation to your mother on her special day. Ideally we should be showing our mothers love every day, but as we grow up and get busy with our own adult lives, we begin to understand the value of setting aside one particular day as Mother's Day each year. Our mothers hear and see the fuss that the commercial world makes over their suggested Mothers Day gifts and treats, so they feel hurt and disappointed it you make no real effort.
(Let's acknowledge that there are some mothers so disfunctional, perhaps even cruel, that about all you can thank them for is that they allowed you to be born. This annual date is a great sadness to the sons and daughters of such 'mothers.' My heart goes out to you, and perhaps I can make helpful suggestions on 0another page).
The first step in your planning then, is a Thinking Time, to determine what your mother really means to you, what kind of response you want to give her, and what would be the best way to show your love and gratitude. Think over what kind of woman your Mom is; her personality and interests. What delights her most? Jot down these thoughts as they will be a great guide for you in deciding what to do for Mothers Day gifts and cards.
For example, when you were a toddler or Kindergarten-student, you probably brought Mommy some dandilions, and your little hand-crayoned pictures or cards and crafts, and she ooh-ed and sighed with pleasure over them. But as you've grown older you've observed that Mom doens't naturally care for crudely made crafts and cards. She only fussed over them because it was you that made them. She wanted to praise and encourage you for your little altruistic efforts. If that's the case, you need to study what does make her excited and happy as a person, and try to get a gift related to that passion.
Too many times our gifts reflect what we like and admire, rather than what the recipient is tickled to pieces over. This is why I say, take time well in advance to think these things through. Once you have an objective profile or perception of your Mom's personality and her likes and dislikes, it will be much easier to zero in on the best gift ideas. Some of these ideas will take some time to prepare. The more personal effort and thought you put into your Mothers Day gift and card, the more she will appreciate them, and know that you are now loving her back as an understanding adult. That will mean a lot to her!
Should she be a fairly easy-to-please woman, she might be quite content to receive tokens that she recognizes from the media as being the norm. That might look like this, you bring her a nice attractive Mothers Day card, and a gift, or a bouquet of flowers. Depending on whether you can afford it, you may even take her out to eat at a nice restaurant so she can have a break from cooking for the family.
However, with planning, and extra time, you can come up with some really creative and original ways to honour and bless your mother. Shall we do a bit of brain-storming together?
What is her age category? A new mother of a baby or small children will have different values and desires than a mature and mellow Grand Dame of a mother. A middle-aged Mom of teenagers, who is juggling a career at the same time, is another type altogether.
The new mommy may be delirious over the romance of motherhood; she'd be pleased with chocolates, flowers, and a pretty card. Even gooey wet kisses. Or, if she's exhausted, she might much prefer some personal spa time, and coupons for free babysitting as her ideal Mothers Day gifts.
The career woman/Mom may be wiped-out exhausted too. (You might tell by whether she crashes for naps on the weekend). Then you'd be smarter to organize a weekend away for her! Or she might enjoy some quality family time doing fun activities together. (Pay close attention to discern which she would prefer). Chances are good that she would be very open to receiving flowers and chocolates too. Don't rule out the treats.
Now if your mother is the mature, Grand Dame type, perhaps even a senior in a nursing home, she is still your mother and loves you - whether her mind drifts at times, or not. She might be most thrilled with framed photos of you and your family. Or, if you are able to scan some old favourites of hers from way back, and present them attractively in a way she can see and enjoy on a daily basis, that will be a big hit with her. Most of all, spend some quality time with your mother!
Naturally, there are variations between, and even mixes of these loose categories. That is why I stress that you need to consider what kind of mother you have, and what matters most to her. Fortunately, there are many that are grateful for the little hand-made crafts. I leave it to you to discern whether she needs a nice piece of jewelry to be convinced that you love and care for her.
Actually, that reminds me of a little rule you can apply to your choice of Mother's Day gifts. Find out what your mother would like and then try to surprise with something a little better or upscale from what she is expecting from you. Okay, you need an example? Well, if you have given her a home-made craft for years, but now you can afford to buy a better quality "pretty thing" - such as jewelry, or if she prefers flowers, maybe a plant that she would consider too expensive or rare to buy for herself. Or a book? (I'm always drawn to books, but so are many moms! :) )
Generally mothers know that their relationship with each child is unique, so the individual gift and attention and quality time is best. But there are times when siblings can put their heads together and give a larger gift from all of them to their mother. I'm imagining a trip back to a place she misses, or maybe she's ready for a computer, iPad, or other electronic item that she can't afford alone.
Do you see how planning ahead and giving yourself time to think theses ideas through will improve how you give Mothers Day gifts to your Mom?
My mother was gored by a cow before I started school. This meant she was sickly and in and out of hospitals most of the years I can remember. As the oldest child I was forced into a grown-up role as I had to often cook, do the laundry and supervise my younger siblings. Once I finished high school and had worked long enough to pay off a car, I went east to the big cities of Ontario, determined to finally have a life of my own. I sent her Mother's Day cards and small gifts but thought I was doing all that was required of me.
When my youngest sibling left home, Mom began to phone and say that the doctor said she should not be doing housework, but she was not going to hire a maid as long as she had a single daughter. I wrestled with this decision for two years and went home for my vacations over two summers to size it up. Finally I decided that I needed to give her the gift of my time and caregiving, not just because she asked such a huge request, but I saw that I needed to prove to myself and to her, that I had forgiven her for the neglect I'd felt while growing up. I knew it had been unintentional on her part, but my spirit felt wounded anyway.
I saved Mom's life several times over the next 14 years before Mom died of kidney failure and congestive heart failure. (Yes, I have a book in me about those caregiving years and what I learned, but I'm not ready to write it yet). I learned a lot of lessons about forgiving and loving a difficult mother, and what kind of gifts and activities worked and what did not work with her. She was not good at sharing her true feelings, so I had to develop skills at reading other clues.
Do you see now why I say it is so important to study and know your own mother, and find out what makes her tick? She is unique, and not like any other mother. Learning to have the right attitude of respect and kindness will go a long way to making you a better person too. You won't be able to make your mother over, but you can work on yourself! Try it.
If you are working from a shoestring budget as I have most of my life, you know that your card will probably have to be home-made, and you will have to write the poem or greeting in it as well. The internet gives us access to just oddles and oddles of poems and card making ideas. Hunt around online and you'll soon have some fun for yourself.
If you utterly give up, or haven't got the time (- how about paying a friend who loves to do this and has become quite crafty?) - you can always go buy a Mother's Day card. The card-making companies are ready for you! They know that more Mother's Day cards are purchased than any other kind. They want to make a good living too, you see.
Here are some sites I found that offer free Mother's Day poems that you can put into your card;
I was hoping you would take my suggestions above to heart, and take time to think through who your mother really is, what words and gifts would bless her the most, and then find the more perfect expression of your love from that. However, I realize you may be running out of time, and you are desperate for Mother's Day gift ideas by now. If you promise to allow more time to be thoroughly thoughtful next year, I can suggest a few online place to shop for a quick gift.
If you are so short of time that you can't allow for a gift to be shipped in time for Sunday, then I suggest you go ahead, order the gift, and then spend a few minutes on your computer, designing a pretty "Your Gift is Coming..." certificate or coupon. Fill it out with a bit of detail as to the gift you've ordered, and how soon you expect it to arrive. That way your Mom will at least have some joy in anticipating your gift.
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