Every year I struggle through the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day to find the perfect gift to celebrate my mom and all that she means to me. My mom, like most women, understands the important philosophy of “Treat Yo’ Self” and already has almost everything she wants. In the past, I could occasionally find the one thing she’d been wanting, but hadn’t splurged on. Due to trends like KonMari and now Lagom, this year she really doesn’t want any more “stuff.”
So this Mother’s Day, I’ll be gifting experiences instead of things.
These are gifts for any important person in your life that you’ll be celebrating on May 14th — be it the person that you call mom, step-mom, mother-in-law, a sister, an important mom friend, or an incredible like-a-mom figure.
Another amazing thing about these presents is that they are easy to send from halfway across the country or from the other side of the world. They don’t need to be wrapped or given in person. Most of these gifts can be purchased online with email confirmation to send along to the recipient. Others can be held at the location for pick-up at a later date.
Here are a few simple ways to show some motherly love that don’t come in an Amazon Prime box.
Does your mom love the Impressionists? Look no further than the local art museum. Were her children the only ~artistes~ she could stand to be around? Maybe a history or science museum would be more appropriate.
Many museum memberships also include guest passes to bring a friend, or reciprocal passes that can be used in other cities — which is an added perk for the avid traveler. Special access to opening or closing events or traveling and temporary exhibits are members-only perks, so your mom can be among the first to see a new exhibit or the last to bid it farewell.
If your mom waxes nostalgic for the drama of raising teens, a theater membership may be the perfect gift. Theaters offer discounted tickets and special pre-sales for members. If you can’t splurge for a full membership, choose a show that you know she’ll love and take her on a date! Most theaters offer a variety of shows from musicals to comedy acts that will fit any theatrical taste.
3Membership to a botanical garden
Mother’s Day flowers are thoughtful and always appreciated — and a membership to a local garden can offer the gift of flowers for an entire year! Botanical gardens and arboretums are beautiful natural escapes that can offer a reprieve from the busy motion of daily life. Many botanical gardens also hold special events like concerts, which have member pre-sales.
Does your mom have a thing for Billy Joel? Can you perform an impressive carpool karaoke duet together to tracks from 24K Magic? Summer is concert season — score a set of tickets and plan to bond over the incredible power of live music.
One of my favorite gifts that I’ve ever given was when I got my mom tickets to see Bruce Springsteen. Do I have it bad for The Boss? Not at all, but my mom totally does. And since she took me to my first concert — which involved sitting through two and a half hours of screaming girls so I could see Hanson — she more than deserved it!
Local art supply stores often offer classes in sewing, drawing, painting, or crafts. Help your mom discover a new hobby or further a longtime creative passion. If your mom is intimidated by taking a real class, drinking and painting classes are a great, and fun, introduction. Many places offer Mother’s Day specials. You can also bring your friends and their moms, or make it a full family affair and invite your cousins and aunts along.
It’s easy to search for available cleaning services online. Also, you can always crowdsource for favorite agencies. Most places require that you call for a quote, but there are options for almost every budget — from cleaning one room to cleaning a full house. If you’re super strapped for cash, you can show up and get your hands dirty for the mom in your life. Nothing says “I love and appreciate you,” quite like an empty sink or a sparkling bathtub!
This will also be the fifth year that I’m being celebrated on Mother’s Day.
While I do enjoy special treatment and a little bit of pampering, what I really love are the homemade treasures from my children. Last year, my toddler offered me a handful of dandelions, babbling “boo boo.” It was the most beautiful bouquet I’ve ever been given.
My kids are giving my mom and mother-in-law hand-made cards. I’m sure they will appreciate the thought I have put into carefully choosing experiences for them to enjoy, but nothing tops those handmade treasures.
Whomever you choose to celebrate on May 14th, these are gifts they’ll always have space for — no matter what their minimalism practices.