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Phoenix Forward magazine

6 creative Mother’s Day gifts

Mother’s Day ideas

Sure, taking Mom out for brunch or dinner, or bringing her flowers on Mother’s Day are nice gestures. With a bit of ingenuity, though, you can raise the bar on Mom’s behalf, says Connie Lorthridge, regional assistant dean for the College of Education at the University of Phoenix® Central Florida Campus, and an instructor in the curriculum and instruction program.

No matter what you do for a gift, “it should be personal — something very specific and meaningful to you and your mother, or that represents a link between the two of you,” emphasizes Lorthridge, who holds a doctorate in education.

Here are six ways you can honor your mom with a personal Mother’s Day tribute:


Update a shared experience.

Think of a mutual memory between you and your mother, and then restage and update it.

For instance, Lorthridge notes, “a friend of mine used to host pretend tea parties when she was little, and her mother was always one of the guests.” As an adult, Lorthridge says her friend “hosted a real tea party [on Mother’s Day], with finger sandwiches and different hot and cold teas, and her mother was the only guest.”

Recreate your mother’s past.

For a mom-centric setting at brunch or dinner, fill your dining room with framed photographs of your mother from different eras of her life. “Put together a menu that features her favorite foods, and play her favorite music,” Lorthridge suggests. “Mom will love that this is so obviously all about her.”

Plant something together.

Take your mother to a nursery and choose a tree or flowering shrub. Then, with her help, plant it in her yard. “This can [become] a Mother’s Day tradition,” Lorthridge notes, “and if you choose perennials or permanent plants, like a tree, you’ll wind up with a very personal Mother’s Day garden over time.”

If your mother doesn’t have a yard, consider having a tree planted in her name in a national forest or elsewhere. Some organizations that provide this service for a fee include the Arbor Day Foundation, the Jewish National Fund and TreePeople.

Buy your mother a star.

Diamonds are lovely, but what about something else sparkly that will shine in the heavens for a long time? For a charge, programs such as Name A Star Live and the International Star Registry will name a star after your mother and send her the deed.

Give the gift of time.

If your mother usually cleans her own house, consider paying for a monthly — or even a one-time — housecleaning service. If she typically does her own yard work, you can hire a gardener to trim trees and weed flower beds, and your mother can spend her time doing other things she enjoys.

Be charitable in your mother’s name.

Does your mom have a favorite cause or charity? Then make a donation in her name to one you know she supports. Organizations always can use the money, and many will send your mother a thank-you note for the contribution.

“You can also donate in a more tangible way,” Lorthridge points out. “Local charities will often raise funds by selling a brick in the entryway to a building that’s being restored, or to commemorate a charity performance. Your mom might enjoy this kind of lasting tribute.”