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Written by:  Christina Katz
Date: May 1, 2010

There are three words your mom can never hear often enough — I love you. And yet, the most common gifts that go with these words — flowers and chocolates — can get a little tedious year after year. So why not surprise mom this time around with something she's not expecting? Here are 10 fun ways to put a smile on mom's face this Mother's Day.

 

1. Make a custom card.
Rekindle your old card-creating spirit. Write a list of all the things your mother has done for you over the years. Then flip through old magazines and tear out any image that reminds you of something on your list. On a blank card or a piece of card stock folded in half, paste the images and write a personal note of thanks inside. This card is sure to be more treasured than one you buy at the store.

 

2. Stir the memory pot.
Create a slideshow to music of your favorite photos of mom. You can either scan your old family photos or take close-up photos of them with your digital camera. If you don't have photo management software on your computer, check out those that offer slideshow gift making for a small price tag such as Shutterfly.com. Smilebox.com will let you make a slideshow if you sign up for a free trial. Be sure to set your slideshow to mom's favorite tune.

 

3. Deck her house.
While you've got those photos out, let's look at what else you can make for mom. How about creating a gift that will be useful on a daily basis? For an inexpensive price, fetching photos of you and mom can be emblazoned on mugs, mouse pads, coasters, puzzles, playing cards, t-shirts, magnets, pencil holders, luggage tags, jewelry — you name it. What better way to remind mom that you love her every day?

 

4. 2-4-6-8, time to appreciate!
Here's an idea for the short of time and big of heart. Make a list of all of the things you appreciate about your mom. A list of 25 or 50 specific things you love, typed up, printed on nice paper, and framed is sure to warm Mom's heart today and always.

 

5. Make mom proud.
How about a donation to mom's favorite charity in her name on Mother's Day? If mom doesn't have a favorite charity, how about choosing one that provides support for children such as Save the Children (savethechildren.org), St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital (stjude.org) or Ronald MacDonald House Charities (rmhc.org)?

 

6. Create an heirloom.
A locket is a special gift that can be personalized with pictures of you and your mom, or just a picture of yourself with a word of appreciation or love in the other side. Like "Love You" or "Thanks, Mom."

 

7. Your best words forward.
You've probably heard of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books (chickensoup.com), which now carry about 20 titles just for moms. Of course, a collection of heart-warming stories about moms would only be more special if it also contained your story. So why not write yours, print it out and slide it into the book with the others?

 

8. Help her soak in bliss.
Create some quick homemade bath salts. Start with mom's favorite scent (cinnamon? lavender? jasmine?) in a bottle of essential oil: Then wet three parts Epsom salts, two parts baking soda and one part sea salt with the oil. Mix thoroughly and pour into an appropriate-sized jar. Tie on a scoop with a pretty ribbon, and voila, a thoughtful gift mom will love.

 

9. Don your thinking cap.
Brainstorm ideas mom doesn't typically splurge on for herself but would enjoy. For example, my mother likes fine art so I could sign her up for a local Plein-Air art class or buy tickets to attend a local art exhibit. What does your mom like? Make it happen.

 

10. Just us girls.
Short on time and money? How about a coupon for a nice day trip with just you and mom? Slow down and relax together. You'll be so glad you did.

 

Christina Katz is a freelance writer and mom from Wilsonville, Ore



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