Last-Minute, Low-to-no Cost, Creative Gifts for Mom04-29-2011
I'll never forget what my mom said to me the day my son was born: "Honey, your heart is now open in a new way and everything can — and will — fly in."
My son was only a few hours old, but I already knew what she meant. I really understood at that moment how much heart, work, worry, fear, delight, and love are involved in being a mom.
Whether or not you're a mom yourself, you probably can imagine what it must be like to be a mother. As children, many of us took the love and care we received for granted. It was just expected that our moms would feed us, protect us, do our laundry, and listen to our woes. We may not have thought twice about how many times mom put her own needs second so she could focus on her kids' needs. We may even have felt disappointed or deprived in our childhoods. But as adults, we have an opportunity to appreciate our moms for everything they've been to us. We can step back and get it that our moms have poured so much of themselves into helping us develop into the people we are now.
I remember clearly the moment I really got this. My mom was turning 50 and at the time that seemed pretty old to me. I started to understand that my mother wasn't going to be around forever. If I were lucky, maybe we'd have another twenty or thirty years together. Suddenly it was crystal clear to me that I had to make sure she knew how much she meant to me.
One of the best ways I found to do this was by giving her gifts that were unique and really reflected who she was to me. I want to share a few of my favorites with you in the hopes that this Mother’s Day you might give back to your mom something she’s given freely to you for years and years — time, attention, and unconditional love.
1. Make a List
Remember I told you that when my Mom turned 50, it was a turning point for me, too? It was when I first got it that none of us was going to be around forever and I needed to let her know who she was to me. I started making a list of all the things I loved about her: how she taught me the value of books, how patient and kind she is to people, how she sews me drop-waist dresses by the dozens, how she always tells me that brownies have no calories and are good for me, how she encourages me to be whatever makes me happy, how she is so cheerful, etc. I started out thinking I would send her 50 reasons and before I knew it, I easily had 100.
You could make this for your mom. All you need to do is set aside a half hour or an hour in a quiet place and think back on all the years you've had with her. Think about qualities that are unique to her, things she does for you, or special times you've shared together. Your Love List can include big thing sand small things, funny things and sweet things.
If you want some ideas on how to present your love list once you have it written, check out the free video I created. There’s also a free download of a ready-made Love List template — all you have to do is fill it in!
These lists are treasures for someone to hear. I swear to you, they are the best gift someone can receive. It is amazing to receive a gift that mirrors who you are. It is a gift to be seen. And unfortunately, people often don't get to hear these kinds of things in their lifetime. For some reason in our culture, folks wait until funerals to express their love. Love Lists are a way to express your love and appreciation NOW!
2. Get Present
As we get older, material things become less important to us and old-fashioned quality time with people we loves becomes the real treasure. Everything is so fast-paced these days and we’re all always checking our smart phones or clicking away on the laptop. Why not give your mom a gift of your undivided attention? Make a handmade gift certificate for her that is good for an entire day together, just the two of you. Maybe you could plan an at-home spa day in which you give her a mani pedi and cook a simple, healthy lunch? Does she have a favorite hobby that you can join in somehow? What if you went with her to her sewing class and then the two of you bought some fabric together and sat in the park to sew? Could you plan an afternoon picnic and you bring your camera so you can frame a favorite shot later? How about morning bird watching followed by a cup of tea at a local cafe?
Give Mom the gift of your time and attention by planning a very special adventure, designed with her in mind. What you plan doesn’t have to cost a lot — or anything at all!— the real value is your presence of mind.
3. Straight from the Heart
Remember when you were in elementary school and at Mother’s Day you’d make your mom a photo paperweight or a vase of pretty paper flowers? Remember how your mom would always say, “This is my favorite gift!?” She meant it. Nothing tops a gift that someone specially makes with us in mind. You may think you’re too old to pull off a craft gift for mom, but think again. How about heading to one of those pottery-painting places where you can decorate a coffee mug? Create two of ‘em, one for each of you and then set up a time for a regular coffee klatch with mom by phone or in person. Or, use some of your talents as a photographer, painter, or photographer to create a one-of-a-kind artwork for mom. Sew her an apron with a personalized quote on it. Memorize a couple pieces of piano music and invite her to an at-home evening concert, followed by some wine and cheese. Don’t forget, you’ll always be your mom’s child. And there’s nothing moms like more than something created just for them by their kid!
Need a few more ideas? I’ve got three more great ideas for you on the sample pages from my ebook, Present Perfect: 127 creative, one-of-a-kind, no-to-low cost, wow-em gifts they'll never forget. Check out the samples and if you like what you see, you can download the book instantly for just $10.