Picnic in the Park
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Drop Mom off to redeem the mani-pedi gift certificate you just gave her at her local salon, and while she’s flipping through her favorite magazine in the spa chair, you can sneak off to the corner store to fill your picnic basket with her Mother’s Day goodies. Items you should include for your picnic in the park are wine, wine glasses (or fancy cups), a nice imported cheese, apples and other fruits, and don’t forget snacks and drinks for the kids. Pick her up, take her to the park, and while she’s playing with the kids on the swing set, steal away and set it all up. She’ll be touched you were hard at work while she was picking out her favorite toenail color. Also, a lot of Moms might dread taking the kids to a restaurant, so this will be a calming alternative.
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As kids get older, you have less time to spend as a family. This will ensure that you all get to spend some quality, comfy time together. Get a nice basket and fill it with some of her favorite DVDs, a pair of silk or flannel PJs with some matching warm socks, and some of that kettle corn you know she loves. If Mom lives across the country, you can also buy her a three-month membership to Netflix and have the gift certificate surprise her in her Inbox. Then, load up the movie, pick up the remote, and enjoy the surround sound.
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Does Mom still have your childhood hand in plaster hanging on the wall? Then she’ll love the homemade gift you make her at one of those Do-It-Yourself craft stores like Color Me Mine. If she’s a cook, paint a fired spoon rest where she can place her spoons that stir the family’s special spaghetti sauce or paint a piggy bank to remind her to save for that sailing trip to the Mediterranean you always talked about. Maybe she just loves fresh flowers in a nicely shaped vase every week. Get creative at home and turn pictures into a personalized card, or spruce up an old picture frame with a funky coat of paint. Whatever you choose, it will be your creation, which she’ll always cherish.
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To add your personal touch, you can either assemble a group of cards yourself, like those drawings you did last summer or those photographs you took on your trip to Ireland, or you can buy a box of all-occasion cards at a place like Target. Show an extra bit of kindness by stamping the envelopes for her. Moms are busy and they send a lot of cards, especially single Moms who are extra strapped for time
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For the tech-savvy Mom that loves pictures, get a digital photo frame. Mom can add images using a digital camera memory card or USB drive. And for Moms that are not so technologically inclined, lend an hour or two of your time to help her get it all set up. The best gift you can give is yourself!
The Gift of Music
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Music is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone and with digitalized media, one of the easiest. If your Mom has an iPod or iPhone player, make her a playlist of some oldies but goodies, and new music that you know she will love. Some suggestions:
“Blue Skies,” Willie Nelson
“Respect,” Aretha Franklin
“Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” Diana Krall
“I Get A Kick Out of You,” Billie Holiday
“The Greatest,” Cat Power
“When I Was A Young Girl,” Feist
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Waiting until the last minute to find something for Mom? Try getting creative on your next trip to Costco. A canvas bag full of luxurious, scented bath products will encourage Mom to pamper herself on more days than one. Look for bath salts, body lotions, exfoliants, sweet smelling soaps, and of course, chocolates.
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Gardens are abloom during the month of May, so take advantage of yours and bring Mom bouquets of freshly picked flowers, one for each room in the house. My Mom will be getting fragrant roses for the bedroom, blushing lilacs to brighten her office, and eatable nasturtiums to put in the kitchen.
Breakfast in Bed
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Remember when you were little and surprised Mom with breakfast in bed? This year, try to make Mom’s morning especially bright with homemade crepes, fresh fruit, and an assortment of imported teas. After the kids are whisked off to grandma’s, take Mom out for a hike, visit her favorite museum, or go see a play.