Mother’s Day is celebrated in 7 different months in countries around the world with everything from parades to picnics, breakfast in bed, parties, brunches, lunches, and dinners. No matter where or when you honor your mom on this special day, the most important thing to remember is that it should be all about her. When you plan the festivities for the day, honestly assess what she enjoys rather than letting commercials and ads guide your choices. Remember how she always went out of her way to give you what you wanted rather than what she thought you needed and follow that lead.
If your mom’s fond of eating out, by all means take her to her favorite restaurant so she can enjoy her most beloved food and beverages. However, if her idea of a perfect day is eating hot dogs and beer while watching the local ball team at a neighborhood park, don’t take her to a formal brunch because it’s what you picture as the best place to honor her. Moms are people first, so making a list of her favorite places, foods, and environments is the best way to ensure the day revolves around her preferences. Whether it’s an early morning fishing trip, bowling a few lines while eating onion rings, or a night at the opera, bite the bullet, smile, and make her day memorable.
About a month before Mother’s Day, you’ll start seeing gift ideas in magazines and on websites. If your mother sincerely likes charm bracelets with her grandchildren’s pictures attached or can’t stop talking about how she dearly loves oversized baskets of fresh flowers, your shopping will be easy. But if she has expressed a desire for mundane items such as new bedroom slippers, a pair of jeans, or a GPS for her car, buy those instead. Don’t forget the gift of services. Has she told you about Aunt Betty’s recent day at a spa where she was pampered with a facial, massage, manicure, and pedicure, or commented on how she saw a friend with a spiffy new hair style? Giving Mom a day that’s all about her – alone – can be the best gift she’s ever received.
Most moms have great senses of humor out of necessity; how else could they do the job day-in and day-out? Keep that in mind when choosing a card; there are lots of funny ones available. Or instead of buying a card with sentiments someone else wrote, buy a blank card and tell her in your own words why she’s the best. Nothing touches a mother’s heart more than thankful words from the children she nurtured into adulthood.
Breakfast in bed is the most popular way to start Mother’s Day. Alas, it’s usually more fun for the servers than it is for Mom as she tries to juggle juice, hot coffee, and pancakes on a wobbly tray teetering on her lap. Serve her a nice glass of juice or a Mimosa as she rises and have a bountiful breakfast spread out on the dining room table for her to enjoy in comfort. If she’s not a breakfast person, just serve her coffee and save the special meal for later in the day.
A home cooked brunch or lunch is a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day, especially if Mom is frail or likes to retire early. Again, the meal should include all her favorites, which may or may not include a big cake with pink icing flowers and a mushy Mother’s Day greeting scrawled across the top. Whether she prefers simple fare like cold cuts on hoagie rolls, burgers with the works, or fruit salad or leans toward more exotic foods such as Lobster Thermidor, Oysters Rockefeller, or Quiche Lorraine, that’s what you should serve. If you’re not much of a cook, pick up her favorites from a nearby restaurant to ensure her meal meets the highest quality standards.
Many moms like to party into the night, so if yours falls into that category, indulge her. Reserve a private room at a local restaurant if a lot of guests are coming or host the celebration at home. Reduce the stress by preparing the entrée yourself and having guests each bring one of Mom’s favorite side dishes or desserts. Splurge on her favorite wine, liquor, or beer to accompany the meal or blend up a batch of her preferred tropical drink such as Strawberry Margaritas, Pina Coladas, or Mai Tais. If Mom’s a fan of grilled and barbecued foods, stage the dinner party in the backyard or on a spacious porch or deck.
At the onset of planning the Mother’s Day celebration, set a budget limit and stick to it. In the words so often repeated by many moms, “It’s the thought that counts.” Remember how thrilled Mom was when you brought home those primitive handprint plaques you made in grade school for Mother’s Day gifts? She’s still the same woman who values the love and thought you put into gifts rather than the monetary value. Communicate with siblings so they can follow your lead and avoid showy gifts that have little thought behind them. Simple gifts that demonstrate that you know your mom’s preferences and tastes not only make her happy for the moment, they remind her that she did a good job of raising children who share her high standards of love, consideration, understanding, and kindness.