Creative and Budget-Friendly Ideas for Mother's Day
What Is the Purpose of Mother's Day?
There are those who will argue that Mother's Day is nothing more than an excuse to pimp all sorts of products from candy to perfume to fancy and pricey greeting cards, and they would not be wrong.
(Interestingly, Anna Jarvis, who came up with the concept in 1908, became so disgusted by 1914 by how commercialized the day had become, that she spent the rest of her life trying to have it removed from the calendar!)
Commercial though it may have become, it's also so much more.
Regardless of the origins, the reasons for earmarking a special day to remember our mothers are many, and it makes sense to stop, pause, and remember our moms—whether they are still with us or have passed on.
Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and abilities. Some are biological mothers; some are adoptive mothers; some are foster mothers. Some are wonderful; others less so. All of them fulfilled a critical role in our lives, and without them, none of us would be here in the first place.
I had a relative who refused to wish anyone but his own mother a happy Mother's Day on the grounds that each person has only one mother—and none of the others was his mother. I say, “hogwash!” That is not the point. Anyone who has children is someone's mother, and that is the point.
So, to honor Mom on her special day, I suggest going all out—to the extent that your budget will allow.
Treat Mom Like a Queen
Serve her breakfast in bed! How wonderful for her, for a change, not to need to be the first one up to take care of everyone else's breakfast. Just be sure to clean up, and not leave her with a mess in the kitchen!
If she likes flowers, buy her a nice bouquet; one that comes with a pretty vase she can have as a keepsake is a nice choice.
Let her do whatever her heart desires on her day, and don't let her do any housework.
Dinner Out? Maybe. Be Creative Here.
You can take her out to dinner, although in my experience, that's one of the worst days all year to try and get into any restaurant; they are booked solid, and wait times for a table can exceed an hour!
That's not fun. If you can get reservations made well ahead of time, go for it, but be aware that some places (even if only on such high-traffic days), won't accept reservations for parties of fewer than six to eight people.
There's no reason not to make it a family affair; then you can have your six people, and lots of memories for Mom on her special day with all the family together at once. Mother's Day is about celebrating her, so it really isn't the time for a romantic just-the-two-of-you dinner; save that for your anniversary.
Alternately, you can use the dodge we used to, which was going out to dinner the day before or the day after. You will find zero crowds, and you don't feel rushed to clear the table for the next party. Plus, it extends the celebration. Win-win!
Oh, and a biggie: Make sure all cell phones are off during dinner, wherever or whenever you decide! No, not just tucked away in a pocket, but entirely off! No interruptions of Mom's special dinner. It's about her, not about who did what on any social media.
More About Extending the Day
If you want to make a really special day of it, then extend it past the actual day. Or rather, back it up, to a few days before. Take her out to get her hair done, and have a facial, or full spa treatment if that's her "thing." Maybe shopping for some new clothes would be something she'd enjoy doing as well.
I remember one Mother's Day, my daughter took me for a facial (a first for me, as that's not in my budget), a haircut, and also got me some new nice clothes to wear. (I typically hang out in jeans or sweats!)
Then, for the actual day, we spent a very enjoyable day up in California's wine country, sampling the wares (carefully paced, I assure you), and then had dinner on the way home. It was a lovely, memorable day.
Cards? Flowers? Dinner? Oh, My Aching Wallet!
Never fear. For the budget-conscious, there are less pricey alternatives, that can make an equally memorable day for Mom.
If you still have young children at home, encourage them to create cards of their own to give her. Any adult children can do likewise, or, shop for a pretty card if that's their choice.
Breakfast in bed is still an option even with a limited budget. Plan to fix a favorite meal for dinner (and again, don't forget to clean the kitchen!), and maybe splurge on a special dessert she loves.
Be creative. Maybe you can't afford a fancy bouquet; look for some pretty wildflowers to pick, and present them with a flourish. This is also a good idea if there are still children in the home; what mother wouldn't adore one of her precious moppets presenting her with a bouquet of their own choosing?
(Just be sure not to pick the wrong kind of flowers or greenery; no one wants a pretty, yet itchy poison ivy leaf in their bouquet, so adult supervision is strongly suggested!) And remember not to lop off the best buds from her prized garden.
Hit the Dollar Store
Sure, it sounds cheap and cheesy, and many times, the ready-made gifts you find there are. But with some imagination and a little time, you can usually find the raw materials for coming up with something very nice to make just for Mom.
While there, you might find a nice little basket; some pretty scented soaps (our local dollar store carries a nice lavender-scented bar); colored tissue paper from which the kids can create flowers that won't wilt or cause sneezing (in case mom is allergic); or alternately, a nice selection of artificial flowers, some of which are quite nice; some snacks she might like; and even bubble bath can be had, and is a nice relaxing treat.
While there, you can also find plenty of craft supplies suitable for making your own from-the-heart cards, but also most likely a nice offering of ready-made cards, for—a buck—instead of five bucks!
Arrange all the items in the basket you've found (or use one you already have), scrunching up the colored tissue for the base, and tie with a pretty ribbon.
Some Things Are Budget-Friendly, Even at Niche Markets
If you are near a Trader Joe's store, you can grab a bottle of their “Two-Buck-Chuck” wine. It's generally a pretty decent wine, and you can add that to the dollar store basket . . . right next to the bubble bath!
One Final Thought
Above all else, don't forget to tell her how much you love her! Yes, she knows, but it's nice to hear, as well. If you're feeling poetic, you can tell her your own special reasons why.
Or you can read aloud that famous poem by Robert Burns, A Red, Red Rose. (Just make sure your Scottish brogue is well tuned up!) Valentine's Day need have no corner on love.
May each and every mother enjoy a wonderful day dedicated just to her!
© 2018 Liz Elias