Mother’s Day is just a couple of weeks away. I don’t know about you, but Mother’s Day gifts are among the hardest for me to pick out. After all, the gift is conveying a big message “Thank you mom for giving me life, nurturing and providing for me for at least the first 18 years of my life, continuing to love me when I was a complete brat and trying teenager, and for putting me ahead of yourself for every day since I was born.”
Add to this pressure the fact that your mom already has most of the things she wants and needs, or even worse, a mom who is in retirement so she’s starting to get rid off things, and the Mother’s Day gift picking gets even harder. And did I point out yet that you lived with this woman for almost two decades so you are expected to know her desires very well so you’d better pick something thoughtful!
Hopefully you didn’t curl up into a ball on the ground and start crying when I worked up your stress level, because I’m about to provide you some relief. You’re probably wondering how I’m going to do that when I haven’t even met your mother, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret—there are a few things that EVERY mother has in common.
Moms Love Their Children
First, moms love their kids. We can’t help it. It’s hardwired into our brains and instincts. If your mother is one of the anomalies and she doesn’t love you, you’re off the hook for having to buy her a present! This means gifts that let her gaze upon your face so she can swell with pride when she shows them off and smile whenever she looks at them are a big hit.
When it comes to giving photo gifts, you have dozens of options. Here are a few:
Another clever gift is Mixbook’s Mom-isms. The template has popular mom phrases such as “Some day your face is going to freeze like that” and “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” You simply add your own photos to the book to create a unique family scrapbook.
You can find a variety of clever photo gifts at various stores. For example, Wal-Mart offers mugs, canvas art, mouse pads, blankets, puzzles, clothing and jewelry, home video to DVD conversion, and keepsake boxes.
Snapfish lets you easily create personalized stationery, journals, cards, notebooks, notepads, stickers, stamps, bookmarks, rulers, and magnets.
Shutterfly allows you to personalize iPhone cases, stainless steel mugs, pillows, tableware, coasters, and key rings.
Moms Love Fond Memories
Second, as we get older, our memories are less reliable. Gifts that help her preserve her precious memories are therefore considered extremely thoughtful.
Every year we put together a family scrapbook from the prior year. I order two copies—one for me and one for my mom. Since we live so far from her, we don’t see her often and this annual yearbook allows her to stay connected to what we’ve been doing.
If you have access to pictures from your mother’s childhood or from your childhood, you could put together a family memory book for her.
My sister-in-law made a family cookbook that included all of the recipes that had been handed down in the family.
Several sites provide you the ability to create these types of keepsake books, including all of the companies I mentioned in the photo gift section. My choice though is Blurb because of the quality of their books. (Full disclosure: I am a Blurb affiliate so I make a portion of any sales that result from clicking through to them via my links). Click here to save 20% on purchases made by May 10, 2013.
Moms Want To Be Remembered
Third, one of the great things about being a mom is knowing that you are leaving a heritage behind when you are gone. I believe this is the reason we all like symbols of eternity and rebirth.
To satisfy these motherly instincts, potted plants and flowers are a wise choice. They represent vitality, longevity, and renewal. My mother prefers plants, but if your mother is partial to flowers, I love this gift idea from Craftionary.
Potted Flower Gift from Craftionary
If you can afford it, another nice way to honor your mother is to memorialize her by making a donation in her name to an organization that etches donor’s names into a landmark.