I certainly can’t speak for every mother out there, but I know that what I want for Mother’s Day this year is a gift that cannot be contained in a box or bought at a store. What I want more than anything is simply to feel appreciated. And my hunch is that many moms feel this way.
But while it’s easy to hit a button and order a bunch of flowers, it’s not always easy to come up with a meaningful gift idea to show our moms how much they mean to us. Here are New Dream's five favorite meaningful gift ideas for moms:
Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, introduced the gratitude visit exercise as part of his positive psychology course at the University of Pennsylvania. He asked his students to write a letter expressing their appreciation to a person who has helped them in some way, and then to visit the person and read them the letter. The effects of this exercise (and as confirmed by subsequent research) are remarkable—a gratitude visit is one of the most effective ways of raising not only the recipient’s level of well-being, but the giver’s as well!
This Mother’s Day, give your mom a gratitude visit. Need some help getting started? The Greater Good Science Center has created a how-to site.
Is your mom passionate about the environment? Does she volunteer with Habitat for Humanity? Does she shelve books for the local library? Show her that you care about what she cares about by making a donation to her favorite cause. Better yet, spend the day volunteering with her!
Does your mom want to start a blog or learn some yoga poses? If you’re skilled in these areas, spend a few hours with her teaching her the basics. If you’re not, look into buying her some classes. Check out Skillshare for a great selection of affordable classes that your mom could do right in her own living room.
Sit down and think about what your mom’s ideal day would look like. Does she have a favorite breakfast place? A museum exhibit she’s been wanting to see? Does she love to stroll through gardens or historic neighborhoods? Is there a friend that she’s been wanting to visit but doesn’t want to make the drive alone? It doesn’t have to be expensive. To make it extra fun, you could create a little brochure that includes a list of the activities and the times.
Is there something on your mom’s to-do list that she’s been wanting to get done for years? Fix the screen door? Install new lighting in the kitchen? Vacuum out the sand in the car from last year’s beach vacation? Come up with a list of chores and get them done for her. You’ll be giving her the gift of time and peace of mind.
If you want something tangible to hand to your mom, be sure to download our free printable coupon book and write in one of the gifts from above. If you combine the coupon with a gratitude letter, you’ll make your mom feel very appreciated this Mother’s Day. And that’s the best gift we can imagine.
Edna Rienzi is Director of Programs at New Dream.