Mother’s Day isn’t about Things

Mother’s Day is days away and I confess: I haven’t bought my mother or mother-in-law anything. I don’t plan to buy anything either. Since we’re fortunate to live so close to both of our moms, Sam and myself are taking each out of our moms to lunch to celebrate their special contributions in our lives. I know many of your moms aren’t local, and I have lived without my mom nearby at different times during adulthood, so please don’t think I’m trying to sound holier-than-thou because I can see my mom and not worry about sending her something.

mother's day isn't about things
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Mother’s Day is about praising the woman who made you, you. You can never do that by simply buying her things and maybe that is why it always feels so stressful trying to find “just the right” thing to give her on this holiday–because nothing will ever be enough…except for your love. Isn’t that what all mothers want? To be loved by their children? With that sentiment, I thought I’d share some ideas for gift ideas that improve your relationship and focus less on acquiring more stuff for the woman who has loved you the most.

Non-Thing Gifts for Mother’s Day 

  • If you live locally, spend time with your mom doing something she loves. Perhaps you could take a long walk (without kids), help her organize her photo albums or even better, make digital photo books so she can toss loose photos causing clutter. Maybe she’s been wanting to tie a quilt, reorganize her garage or watch Gone with the Wind.
  • Taking her out for any sort of outing like an Elton John Concert, her favorite restaurant, or a favorite musical is always a good idea! Whatever it is, let her know during that time how much she has meant to you.
  • If you can afford it pay for a visit to see your mom, or fund half or more of her trip to come see you. Nothing says love like showing up. If you need help on planning a trip without kids, check out this post by B.
mother's day isn't about things
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  • Buy a gift certificate for a service that your mom wouldn’t normally get for herself: spa day, acupuncture, hair salon, movie tix, a fitness class, a cheese of the month club (Let’s be honest, everyone wants this. JK!), an America the Beautiful Pass to all of the National Parks, an art class or other hobby, etc.. If you have other siblings, these gifts can be split amongst those who want to participate.
  • Video chat your mom on Mother’s Day…and make it a regular thing. It’s easy to get busy in life, but one of the best gifts is that of consistent communication–made even better when the face your mother loves is present. Schedule it into your life and it will happen. Saying, “I’ll do that next week sometime” means it probably won’t.
  • Send a letter (via post mail) telling her of your feelings and love for her. She’ll treasure this forever.
  • Write a poem or a short story that references a story from your life or your experience as her child. Could be funny, emotional, or both.
mother's day isn't about things
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Even if you plan to buy something for your mother this Mother’s Day, don’t forget to let her know how you feel, be it written, spoken or delivered physically. This is the woman who gave you life and (hopefully) tried her very best to make yours better than her own. If you struggle in your relationship with your mother or she isn’t here anymore, consider reaching out to another woman who may have influenced you. I love this quote from an elder in my church regarding the influence of women–related to you by blood, or not.

There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing, or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman. – M. Russell Ballard

Happy Mother’s Day!

XO-