Toss aside that generic drugstore greeting card and dozen roses: it’s time to step up our Mother’s Day gift-giving game and think outside the (heart-shaped) box. Here’s your motivation—and inspiration.
Mom deserves more
Whether it’s your mom, grandma, wife, stepmom, or someone else, consider the reason you want to honour the mom in your life. Does a card and box of chocolates convey the gratitude you have for her love, dedication, and sacrifice?
Consumers in the US alone will spend a whopping $23.6 billion on Mother’s Day gifts this year. Let’s make sure our gifts honour Mom, rather than just lining the pockets of big businesses!
The good news is that celebrating Mom rarely means spending excessively. And, although what moms really want for Mother’s Day depends on the mom in question, thoughtfulness is always key.
As mom Bronwyn Wilson admits, “The best gifts are very thoughtful. I am not a flowers and box of chocolates girl! I prefer homemade gifts or cards, or [gifts] specific to my interests (such as baking items).”
What’s the ideal Mother’s Day for Wilson? “Quality time spent with my four kids and husband doing something together, whether it’s a visit to a local lake, a stroll by the river, exploring our area, or really anything to spend time together,” she explains.
TV host and lifestyle expert Natalie Langston’s wishes are simple, but about as indulgent as it gets for many new moms. “A massage and facial, a nice meal and big glass of wine, a chance to get out and feel beautiful” are all on her wish list. “Oh, and getting my car detailed would be extra special now that baby stuff is overtaking it,” she adds. Top of the list though? “Five hours of sound sleep!”
Made with love
Don’t worry: you don’t have to be a world-class baker or painter to give a handmade gift. Here are some ideas.
- baked goods
- preserves (sweet or savoury—check out alive.com for recipes!)
- beer or wine
- loose leaf tea blends
- snacks, such as spiced nuts, seasoned popcorn, or roasted chickpeas
- tea cup candle
- woodwork, such as a handmade cutting board
- sewing, knitting, quilting, or crochet
- bath bombs or bath salts
- lip balm
- facial oil blends
- a recreation of a childhood photo with siblings (equal parts touching and hilarious)
- a professional family photography session, plus prints
- a photo book of favourite shots or photo art, such as a smartphone case
- commissioned personalized artwork by a local artist (such as silhouettes of the children’s profiles)
- commissioned personalized jewellery by a local artist
Who is Mother’s Day for?
For many, the idea of “Mother’s Day” feels exclusionary. Lone parents, grandparents raising grandchildren, mothers-in-law, families with more than one mom, non-binary parents, stepmoms, adoptive moms, guardians, foster moms, and all other “Moms” in a person’s life—this day is for you too! We love you.
Canadian moms rock!
According to the most recent stats …
- There were 9.8 million mothers in Canada, including biological, adoptive, and stepmothers (in 2011).
- Women spent, on average, 421 minutes per day with their family (in 2010).
- The mean age of a mom at the time of delivery was 29.9 years (in 2013).
Classics —with a twist
There’s no need to write off traditional Mother’s Day gifts if that’s what Mom enjoys. But consider stepping them up a notch.
|If you typically give….
Not sure what Mom wants?
- Remember things or jot down notes throughout the year when she mentions what she would like, or would like to do.
- Ask her friend, sibling, or someone else who knows her well.
- Simply ask her what she’d most like!
A day to remember
Experiences give the gift of time together as well as lasting memories. Consider these for inspiration.
|a dinner party, farm tour, wine/beer tasting, or passes to a class at a culinary school
|matching PJs for the whole family and a family game or movie night (mom\’s movie choice!) to wear them at, complete with snacks and takeout
|a day as tourists in your own city: going to a museum, art gallery, or historical walking tour and lunch downtown
|passes to a yoga studio, meditation workshop, float tank, or salt cave therapy
|a specially created meal that can be packed for a special journey to her favourite hiking destination
|a fun class, such as beekeeping, home brewing, jewellery making, salsa dancing, or improv; or an adventure such as ziplining, an escape room or whale watching
|an e-book, audio book subscription, or newspaper/magazine subscription
|a donation to her favourite cause or a day doing charity work together
Of course, it’s entirely possible that all Mom wants is the gift of time—alone. Particularly true for new moms who often spend all day (and night!) with babies or toddlers, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get away. Consider giving a spa gift card, the gift of an evening out with her sister or girlfriends, or a weekend of sleeping in, just like her pre-mom days!
Writer and editor Leah Payne can’t wait to celebrate her second Mother’s Day as a mom to her 18-month-old son. (She also hopes her husband will read this article.) leahstellapayne.com; cedarhillcreative.ca