These ideas were featured in a live segment on the Sunday morning edition of ABC Action News, Tampa’s local ABC affiliate. Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch the video.
Alright, I’m going to start this post by saying: YOU’RE WELCOME. Because I’m about to tell you what your mom, girlfriend, wife, sister or grandma REALLY wants for Mother’s Day. It’s not perfume. It’s not a nice card. And for crying out loud, it’s NOT lingerie.
This is the list of things any mom would love to get for Mother’s Day… but probably won’t tell you.
1. Rest. That’s right, it has nothing to do with time with you. In fact, she wants a break from you, and the realities of her life. Especially if she has young children (like me), and a hot shower or alone time on the crapper are like taking a vacation. Give her alone time. And don’t make her ask for it. Yes, you can buy her a massage at the spa, but you really don’t even need to go that far (or expensive). Buy her favorite candle scent, light it in the bathroom and tell her to go take a hot bath. Let her sleep in WITHOUT her asking. Hubbies, go to Bath & Body Works, buy massage oil and give her a massage in bed, WITHOUT expecting anything in return (wink wink). Buy her favorite scented lotion and put it on her nightstand. Or, if she’s a “nails” girl (like me), go to the drugstore and buy a few nail polish colors that you think would look great on her. (Seriously, they’re like $3 each.) Trust me, she’ll love it.
2. Printed pictures of her children. Question: Who doesn’t love pictures of their kids? Answer: NO ONE. Look at her Facebook or Instagram accounts because that’s where her favorite pictures will be. You can have coasters made. You can have the photos printed on wood or metal. Heck, you can go to the drugstore, spend a dollar and have a nice 8 x 10 printed out! (I’ve even been known to be super lazy and just print a black and white picture on regular printer paper on our home printer.) Repurpose an old frame you have lying around your house (who doesn’t?), and give it to her. And if you really want to go the extra mile, set up a photo shoot with her kids and gift her with a NEW picture of them. You. Can’t. Go. Wrong.
These are some of my favorite photos from our house. To take the picture on the bottom left, I had my husband stand against a blank wall and stick his arm out while balancing our three-day-old son. I wrote a post with more details about how I did it. The picture on the bottom right is our family in the hospital room, the day after our second son was born. To read my tutorial with tips on how to do a newborn hospital room photo shoot yourself, click here.
3. A free, custom photo slideshow. Easy. Free. Suuuuper special. In two decades together, my very favorite gift from my husband, HANDS DOWN, is the iMovie he put together for my 29th birthday. (And that’s saying a lot because he’s gotten me some pretty amazing and pricey gifts.) I’m not a big crier, but I was BALLING at the 6-minute movie he made me. It was a compilation of our pictures throughout the year, set to a few of my favorite songs. And this was even BEFORE we had kids. If he showed me a slideshow now, that INCLUDED our kids, forget about it. My river of happy tears would likely carry his MacBook Pro right into the Gulf of Mexico and possibly cause a small tsunami.
Windows Movie Maker and iMovie make it pretty easy to put together a personalized slideshow. I found this iMovie slideshow tutorial on YouTube.
4. Her children’s monograms. Confession time: I toooootally bought this for myself. And it wasn’t expensive. There are tons of places online where you can buy acrylic/gold/silver/rose gold monograms that your favorite mama can put on her key chain or favorite necklace. I found these monogram key chains on Etsy.
I have one monogram for each kid. They are $12 each, people. Seriously. And there are tons of fun colors to choose from too, like green neon and gold glitter. (This Etsy vendor is NOT paying me to say this.)
I wanted to be able to have two free-moving monograms on my necklace chain, which weren’t bound to stay on a certain place on the necklace. (This way, if/when we have future kids, I can easily add their monograms, and they can be loose on the chain as well.) So, I ordered the key chain monograms and added them to an old Forever 21 necklace chain I already had. LOVE. IT.
And there are tons of variations of personalized, monogrammed jewelry out there. I got my sister this $28 rose gold necklace with her daughter’s name. And my mom loves her LucyAnn.com charm bracelet, which has a charm for each of her four children and spouses, and her charm necklace for the “grands.” (None of the mentioned vendors are paying me to talk about them. I’m just doing it because I like their products.)
If your lady isn’t a jewelry-wearer, there are plenty of other ways to give a personalized monogram gift: think iPad covers, iPhone cases and $3 personalized monogram stickers that you can put on plastic items like this amazingly-fabulous jewelry tray a friend gifted me with:
5. Time with you. Okay, so I lied in #1. She DOES want time with you. Pack up a picnic supper, or order takeout at her favorite restaurant. (And if you’re my husband, pack some wine.) Load up the kids, and dogs, and drive her to a park. Or the beach. Put a blanket down and have a good ol’ fashioned family picnic. It’s thoughtful. It’s sweet. And it’s inexpensive. (Plus, you need to eat dinner anyway.) If you want to take it a step further, give her a handwritten card. That’s right. Not an email, not a text, not a Facebook photo with a sweet and thoughtful caption (although those are all great too). Get out a pen and a plain piece of paper, and write her a thoughtful letter or creative card. If you have young children, give them some crayons or washable paint and let them create their own cards for her.
Happy Mother’s Day!