Abby Slutsky loves finding gifts for family and friends, but on Mother's Day, she prefers to give the gift of quality time.
The Most Valuable Gift of All: Your Time
Mother’s Day has always been one of the more challenging gift-giving holidays for me.
I want to acknowledge my mother with a present, but I really want to get something she wants. Unfortunately, she never wants anything—well, at least not a material item I can wrap as a Mother's Day gift. Usually, my mother just wants my time. Thus, I thought it would be helpful to share ideas about how to give your mother or grandmother your time this Mother’s Day.
1. Have a Picnic in the Park
It is an excellent idea to have an alternative to the park if it rains, but you can still give mom a picnic even if the weather does not cooperate. If you have a family, make sure the kids come because Mother’s Day is always more fun with kids and grandchildren around to help celebrate.
Pack mom’s favorite lunch. Think about what kind of sandwich or salad she usually orders when she goes out. Purchase a special dessert and her favorite beverage, too. Download her favorite music so you can play it during the picnic. Make sure to have a signed Mother's Day card ready for her.
If possible, prepare the picnic area right before you pick up mom so that when she arrives, everything is set up and inviting. (You may have to leave one family member with the picnic while you pick mom up.) Use a blanket or set up chairs around a small, foldable table if it is too hard for your mom to sit on the ground. You can even add some flowers to the table for your mother.
If it might rain, set up the picnic in your garage or indoors. Spread out a blanket on the floor so it still feels like a picnic. Arrange the picnic fare so it is inviting.
2. Share Mom's Passion (Even if It Is Not Yours)
I am not a big sports fan, but my mom happens to love almost any sport on television. A Mother's Day spent in front of her favorite ball game would be an outstanding Mother's Day gift for my mom, especially if I actually acted interested and actually watched the game.
Maybe for your mother, spending the day shopping, playing a round of golf, or going to an outdoor classical music concert would be appropriate.
Think about what your mother enjoys in her free time and then do it with her in lieu of a Mother's Day gift. If mom loves to cook, book a fun cooking class. If she's an artist, head to the museum or book a painting class.
3. Do Her Chores and Run Her Errands
This can be a tough one, but it's well worth it. Spend the day doing the activities mom has been wanting you to do that you put off. In-between doing what mom wants, sneak in a special meal, even if you make it at home. Or, if your mom is older and lives alone, spend the day doing chores around her apartment that she’d like done. Order in food and get her to-do list done.
Another idea is to consider taking mom or grandma to the cemetery to see her deceased spouse, if appropriate. Family holidays are difficult for those who have lost a spouse, and sometimes, driving restrictions for elderly parents make it difficult to get to the cemetery as often as they would like.
If the whole family goes to the cemetery, your mom or grandmother may feel that their departed is a part of the day. There is nothing worse for many moms and grandmothers than sitting at a rectangular table for a holiday meal and being the person with no one across from them.
4. Teach Her a Craft or Skill
Spend a few hours teaching your mom technology, or if she has grandchildren, let the kids teach her how to play a video game. She will be a hip grandmom playing online with her grandchildren. Maybe she does not know how to use all the functions on her phone or how to set up a virtual conference, Ask her what she would like to learn.
5. Hop on a Video Call (if She Lives Far Away)
It may not be practical to visit your mother or grandmother if they live far away. However, if you do not call every day, consider a month of daily calls with a weekly zoom call for Mother's Day. It may be a gift that your mom or grandmother will get joy out of for the entire month because she will know you are thinking of her.
Happy Mother's Day!
The gift of time helps develop a special bond between a grandmother and grandchild or a mother and child. As people age, family time is very important because it fills gaps of loneliness.
For moms with a chaotic household of children, the gift of time may include breakfast in bed or a day to leisurely enjoy the family without doing any cleaning or cooking. The nice thing about the gift of time is that the amount of cash you have does not affect your ability to give it.
Whether mom or grandma lives with you or across the country, they'll get their favorite Mother’s Day gift when you give yourself and your time. If you are a mom or grandmother who would enjoy the gift of time, feel free to share your own ideas below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on March 20, 2021:
Me too, but I doubt my children will give me that one, but one can dream.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 20, 2021:
You make some good suggestions in this article, Abby. I especially like the chores.