Panic has started for those in search of the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Recognizing that perfection does not exist should be the beginning of stress relief. A holiday as special as this should not be overshadowed by chaos.
A classic movie or TV show on DVD will provide enjoyment more than once, as will a CD of the music she loves. Forgotten photographs in appropriate frames become her conversation grouping. A handwritten recipe becomes family history when displayed with attractive matting. Your famous Chicken Cacciatore or melt-in-your-mouth mints would be a special treat. Homemade freezer meals and an assortment of favorite juices would be a nice change in her dinner routine.
Many have limited economic resources, and basic necessities seem luxurious. They will welcome gift cards to a pharmacy, grocery or department store to help stretch her income. Additional budget boosters are laundry detergent, over the counter medications, paper products and postage stamps. Toiletries besides deodorant and shampoo continually need replenishing. Cough drops, mints, gum, sports or hand cream and lip balm are just a few. Magazine or newspaper subscriptions would be a pleasant surprise. Fresh flowers, best-loved snacks and drinks could be something she would never splurge on herself.
Many of these can be free or purchased for pennies by combining sale promotions with coupons. Today’s economic times require careful spending habits. I routinely save 75-90% on grocery and household items.
Other mothers have little space, especially if in an assisted-living or nursing-care facility. Something as simple as a sun catcher and prism can bring the sunshine inside. A free standing or suction-type bird feeder with birdseed refills would be a bonus. A bright calendar marked with important family dates will be used all year. Besides the usual birthdays and anniversaries, remembrances of deceased loved ones are special.
Time offering is priceless. One year my siblings and I gave our grandmother a spring-cleaning certificate. We asked for a list of any projects or chores. We washed windows, starched curtains, scrubbed her porch, painted deck furniture, and brought dirt from the woods for her flowers. One year we painted the outside of her house. Everyone would bring a covered dish and make the workday a party. Nothing seemed like a chore. My only regret is that we did not think of this idea earlier. Those memories with her are a precious jewel, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world.
A gift certificate to a mom’s desired restaurant will earn favor even for the one who loves to cook. Like me, she may prefer the meal prior to or after the Sunday crowd. We began celebrating in this manner when our children were small.
Remember the thought is truly what counts. Treasures are often the least expensive or free. I cherish the flower pots with painted hand prints and construction paper cards from long ago. Presents from the heart will rival any mass-produced trinket. I recommend functional, sentimental, practical and/or consumable. Happy Mother’s Day!
By Wendi Meredith, Author & Seminar Speaker
Meredith will literally be on top of the world this Mother’s Day for a signing of her book, The Art of Frugality, at Mountain Lake Hotel (home of the hit movie Dirty Dancing)