A bouquet of flowers, some chocolates: These are the items that are most commonly given on Mother's Day. While your lovely mom definitely deserves decadent treats, an outside-of-the-box, thoughtful gift can mean way more to her than something with a price tag attached to it.
If you think back to your years growing up, you may just remember some of the moments she captured on camera or kept in a box all these years later. Your third-grade portrait of her that slightly resembled an alien or that picture of your first birthday that shows your face all smeared with frosting: These are the moments she will remember forever.
There's meaning behind them. They're part of the story of your time together.
To give your mom the ultimate gift this Mother's Day, put a little piece of your story into a day with her.
How? Try one of these nice things you can do for your mom on this celebratory day:
1. Set up a picnic.
An outdoor picnic can be a ton of fun for you and your mom. Don't let her worry about the details. Maybe don't even tell her where you're going.
Choose a simple, favorite dish of hers to prepare. Put together a picnic, complete with a blanket for the ground, utensils, plates and drinks.
2. Go for a walk to reminisce.
A long stroll on a nice day is a great way to give your mom your full attention. Put your cell phone on silent, and just enjoy one another's company.
Reminisce about some of your favorite memories, and talk about all that you hope to do in the future.
3. Re-create a photograph together.
Do you remember that photo of you and your siblings that's been sitting on the mantel for the past 15 years? It's there for a reason: She loves it.
Moms love to see their kids together and smiling. So, this year, recreate that photograph.
Have a close friend take a few pictures of you and your siblings together. Choose the best and get it framed.
4. Stock her freezer with meals.
She's the one who made sure you were eating all those awful veggies, right? Thanks to her, you can now tolerate salads at work parties.
Thank her for all those well-balanced meals by stocking her freezer with some home-cooked suppers. Not much of a cook? Go for some of these easy freezer meal recipes.
5. Host a home movie marathon.
There might be a couple of embarrassing moments in your home videos, but that's what makes them so fun to watch.
Invite the family over to your house for a night of home movies. Better yet, set up a projector outside and make an event of it. Popcorn with different toppings can be an easy and inexpensive snack.
6. Give her a hug and kiss when you see her.
The simplest gestures can mean so much. When you see your mom, give her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
She'll feel your love.
7. Log your favorite memories of her.
Grab a notebook and begin journaling the favorite memories you have of your mom. This could be anything from the time she burned the meatloaf and set off the fire alarm to the time she hit a home run into the cornfield behind your house.
Retell your family traditions and stories to reawaken your family bonds. Reminding her of the times when you admired her, laughed with her or were comforted by her can help you reconnect in a very real and special way.
8. Take a class together.
Learning together can be an excellent gift. If she's interested in pottery or painting, book a class for the two of you to learn that skill together.
You'll encourage her to try something new, and this will also build your relationship.
9. Bake her favorite dessert.
Think back to all those times she bought or made your favorite dessert. Give back by throwing the ingredients together yourself.
This time, though, make sure you make her favorite dessert. If it looks difficult, ask a friend to help you. Even if it doesn't turn out just like the picture or how you remember it, she'll surely appreciate both the thought and the taste.
Give your mom a Mother's Day treat that makes her feel as special as all your memories with her are. She's the one who kept your noodle necklaces and sand art. So, give her another day worth holding on to.
Consider these ideas as alternatives — or even additions — to presents from a store. Make this Mother's Day a memorable one that she's sure to love.