Many of these gift ideas are ideal for other people too, and some of them cost nothing.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on Mother’s gifts! Here’s 14 fabulous ways to make her day:
1. Cook your mom a delicious meal instead of taking her to a restaurant. You can put together breakfast-in-bed, an elegant brunch, or a special dinner for a fraction of the cost of dining out. (Even if you’re not a culinary whiz, she’ll appreciate your efforts!)
2. Instead of splurging on an overpriced bouquet, take your mom to the park, or local horticultural center, to admire the spring blooms. This time of year, public gardens are planted with a gorgeous array of flowers, including tulips, lilies, and daffodils. Enjoying live flowers is more frugal, and environmentally-friendly, than purchasing cut ones.
3. Dig through your family photographs, and select pictures of you (and your siblings) from your childhood years through the present. Scan them into your computer, create a digital slideshow, and burn a DVD to give to your mom. For less high-tech moms, arrange them into a pretty album (you can print them in sepia tones, or black-and-white, for an elegant look).
4. Write your mom a poem or a personal letter. Words from your heart are far more touching than a greeting card or store-bought gift.
5. Give your mom the gift of your time. Offer to do household chores or maintenance tasks, or share your skills and expertise. For a formal flourish, present her with handmade coupons for your “services”—like washing the windows, waxing the floor, or installing software on her computer.
6. Wash your mom’s car. In addition to a good soap and rinse, vacuum and wipe down the interior. It’s a great way to make your mom’s day without spending a dime!
7. Give your mom a beauty sampler. Spend an afternoon at the mall, and visit the cosmetic counters of every department store. Collect all the free samples you can—like high-end hand creams, eye shadows, lip balms, lotions, and miniature perfumes—and assemble them into a cute container.
8. Put together a “spa basket” for your mom. Bath salts, body lotion, loofahs, and other pampering products can be obtained inexpensively at your local drugstore. Arrange them in a pretty basket, and tie with a colorful ribbon. It’s much less costly than a gift certificate to a local spa.
9. Put together a “gourmet basket” for your mom. Pick a theme, obtain items inexpensively from the grocery store, arrange them artfully in a basket, and top it off with a decorative ribbon. Some themes include a pancake breakfast (gourmet pancake mix, maple syrup, preserves, and coffee beans), high tea (a selection of gourmet teas, crackers, scones, and preserves) or a chocolate lover’s dream (various bars of chocolate, and chocolate-dipped items, like pretzels, espresso beans, and dried fruit).
10. Take your mom out for a Mother’s Day picnic. Prepare salads and sandwiches, and pick a lovely setting where you can enjoy the fresh air and spring flowers. It’s a wonderful way to spend quality time with your mom, free of the usual distractions.
11. Instead of a buying a bouquet, include a packet of seeds in her Mother’s Day card and help her plant them in her garden.
12. Give your mom something homemade. If you’re a knitter, make her a scarf; if you’re a beader, make her a necklace; if you’re an artist, paint her a picture; if you’re a musician, write her a song. She’ll treasure such a gift much more than something bought in a store.
13. Give your mom something small but decadent, that she wouldn’t splurge on herself—like an artisan soap, a scented lotion, or fresh pastries from the local bakery.
14. Take your mom out for a free, or low-cost, cultural experience: like an outdoor concert, art exhibition, or community theater production.