Take Time for Mom

So what to get Mom? Time for that puzzler again this year. Mother's Day is fast approaching and you really want to get that unique something that she will cherish or at least enjoy.

Moms already have what they need, especially mothers over the age of 60. They have all the pots and pans, the crystal glasses, and the china plates for all occasions. No, she doesn't really need more knick knacks to gather dust on the shelf and that beautiful necklace you purchased last year now rests among all her others in her jewelry chest. Yes, unique Mother's Day gifts are a challenge.

Mom and daughter planting flowers So what to give Mom?

The answer to this annual question is found in the reason for the gift. Why are you giving something to your Mom? Now, you can say, "Because I'm supposed to!" or "She expects something" or "I would feel really bad if I didn't give her anything." But the underlying reason for giving Mother's Day gifts is to say "Mom, I love you." So what says "I love you" - jewelry, flowers, candy, appliances? The simple answer - your gift of love is your time.

Every Mother enjoys spending time with their children, no matter where, or when, or even exactly how the time is spent. Building your relationship with your Mother does not require spending lots of money on jewelry, or picking out the exact color of roses. On Mother's Day, your Mom wants to enjoy you most of all. She wants to hear how you are doing. She is looking forward to all those special hugs and kisses. Remember, mothers are all about unconditional love and they deserve some of this unconditional love back from us. After all, they were the ones that brought us into the world.

So now you may ask "How can I give time to my Mother?" First, decide what your Mother likes to do and do it with her. If you can't figure that out, do something you like to do and take Mom along. Here are a few suggestions for unique "time" gifts with Mom.

1. Instead of a bouquet of flowers, purchase a set of bedding flowers along with some potting soil and plant the flowers together in her flower box this spring. If she doesn't have a flower box, plant them in a nice pot so she can have spring blossoms around her. There is something about getting our hands dirty in the soil that can bring out laughter and good times.

2. Take Mom shopping with you the week before Mother's Day. Let her decide what stores to go into and while you are shopping and chatting you may discover a unique gift for her. It may be a pretty ring, or even another knick-knack to gather dust on her shelf. Buy it when she is not looking. Every time she wears the ring or dusts the shelf, she will remember the shopping trip and remember you.

3. Buy Mom a new cookie sheet and make sugar cookies together. This is a great gift for children to give Mom - children even up to the age of 30. Rolling out dough and decorating cookies allows for a long afternoon of sweet fingers and sweet conversation. It also gives Mom a chance to pass on the fun and art of baking on to her children.

4. Instead of a fancy restaurant this year take Mom on a picnic or on a hike along a trail. Maybe your Mom likes to watch birds or see wildflowers. Maybe Mom just likes to hike or be outside. Pack up everyone and some food in your handy picnic basket and get to a park or scenic spot away from the noise of a busy restaurant. Maybe you would like to take Mom to your house and grill out. If possible, serve the meal outside, because for some reason, food takes on a special flavor when eaten outdoors. If your Mother is not able to easily get around, take her on a pretty drive. Some of the best conversations happen in the confines of an automobile.

5. Find out what authors or types of books your Mother enjoys. After you have purchased the book, include a note that you want to read the book with your Mom, possibly a chapter a day. Then take time each day to read aloud to one another. It will be like when you were a child and she read to you at night. If you live too far away for a daily visit, purchase 2 books so each of you can read a designated amount each week and discuss on the phone what you enjoyed about the characters, plot, etc. This book can be anything from a novel, to a "how to" ook, to personal study. Upon completion of the book, you will certainly know your Mom better.

6. Does your Mom like to sew or possible hand crafts such as needlepoint or knitting? Purchase a wall hanging or pillow kit and do it together. If you don't know how, it will be a good opportunity to learn at the "hands of your Mother." If she truly enjoys sewing, she will love to teach you. Both of you must be patient as you learn.

7. If you will not be close enough to spend time with your Mother this Mother's day, be sure to phone to tell her how much you would like to be with her. Follow up the phone call with an invitation to spend time in the future. This will give her something to look forward to. Let her know when you will see her, or better yet, plan a mini vacation that includes Mom. Take her to see a local attraction that is not too far away and spend the night in a motel. Perhaps she would like to see a play or go to a concert? Maybe she wants to go to a craft show or pet show? You know what your Mother likes, become creative!

8. Since Mother's day falls on a Sunday, she may like to attend a church service. It's always nice to be with your family at a church or place of worship. Your mother will appreciate you accompanying her. Afterwards you can enjoy a Sunday brunch or meal together.

9. If you are part of a large family, you may all want to gather to join in a meal. Make it a potluck meal so that your Mother is not cooking. Be sure to make your Mom the center of attention at this gathering. Surround her with all her children and grandchildren and have each one share something special that has been happening to them. Mothers like to hear reasons to be proud of their children.

These are just a few suggestions. The key is to give each gift with an investment of time. The value of the gift is not the money spent but the time given to the recipient. Mother's day is the perfect day to give your unique gift of time. Of course it is important to also say, "I love you, Mom."!