Let's be frank: mothers make the world go 'round. Day in and day out, they're neck-deep in chores — ushering the kids off to school, tidying up the house, preparing meals, the list goes on infinitely. And while we'd all agree they deserve it more often, Mother's Day is the day to pamper mom for a change.
While grand gestures and presents are happily accepted, it's the little things that count. Here are some ways to make Mother's Day extra special this year. (And moms, feel free to leave this page open as a little hint.)
- Whip up an at-home spa treatment. You don't need to blow the budget on a fancy salon to make mom feel like a pampered movie star. Try a banana mask; it adds essential vitamins and nutrients to the skin, soothes minor irritations and feels oh-so-refreshing. Mash a ripe banana (little kids will love to help!), then blend in 1 tablespoon honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Have her apply to her face and relax for 15 minutes. After a cold water rinse, her skin will feel fresh and moisturized. Another simple, but nourishing, home beauty treatment: Rub coconut oil into her hair and let it rest for 30 minutes while you treat her to a back massage. She should shampoo and rinse hair as usual — perhaps in an extra-long, indulgent shower — for luxuriant, soft locks.
- Take her on a picnic. What's more joyful than a beautiful meal outdoors? A meal that mom doesn't have to prepare, that's what. Treat her to an old-fashioned fried chicken feast, complete with fresh strawberries, potato salad, and Cole slaw. (The Food Lion prepared food department makes it easy-peasy.) Make the meal extra special with a pretty picnic blanket, an ice bucket for the drinks and a few fresh-cut flowers.
- Do the dishes. Seriously, all the dishes, not just the plates and glasses. It's one thing to whip up an awesome breakfast in bed or fab brunch for mom — it's another to leave a disaster area in the kitchen to clean up. Give pots and pans a good soak with dish soap, but do tackle them before bedtime.
- Remember: Wine is never wrong. Especially if it's chilled. And a surprise. And that extra special, slightly more expensive variety she never buys for herself. You'll be a Mother's Day superstar if you pick up a bottle of her favorite vino next time you're at the grocery store and present it alongside whatever Mother's Day gift or activity you have planned.
- Look through old photos. While this isn't a traditional “gift," an evening spent going through baby photos of the kids, your her wedding pix album and pictures of her college hijinks will make Mom feel warm, nostalgic and very loved indeed. Chances are, she's been saying she's going to sort out the old photos for ages. Spend time on the shots she loves, reminiscing about all the wonderful moments she's had as a mom. Pick out a few favorites to frame later. (And then follow up on it.)
- Let her play her music for a change. When's the last time mom had control of the radio or iPod? Whether she's into Prokofiev or Pearl Jam, let her program the tunes for 24 hours. You might learn that she has amazing taste in music when she's not limited to what the kids pick out on the way to soccer practice.
- Buy tickets for a big night out. Whether it's the ballet, baseball or that new musical that's only in town for a week, mom will appreciate tickets to her favorite type of performance or game. Short on cash? Opt for community theater or student productions; in all likelihood you'll see some amazing performers for a fraction of the Broadway price. (And who knows – there may be some stars of the future onstage.) Your sporty mom will love the game-day equivalent – a night out with the fam at a minor league game can be quite as exciting as the big leagues, without the big price tag.
- Give her the gift of alone time. As much as she might enjoy being fussed over on her special day, there's a good bet mom will also be delighted with a couple hours all to herself, to settle in with her favorite book or binge-watch Red Box DVDs. So make sure you factor in some down time into Mother's Day. No doubt she'll add this day to her collection of favorite memories in years to come.