Mother’s Day rolls around every year, and sometimes it seems to take us by surprise. How many times have you gotten well into May and realized flowers are likely to be what your mom gets—again?
But what if you could do something a little more special every year for your mom? It might be getting the whole family together or just setting out with siblings for a day trip. Alternatively, you could help your mom tick off a bucket list item. Whatever your idea, planning ahead is key. Here are three great tips for organizing a fantastic Mother’s Day experience.
1. Check Everyone’s Availability
If you’re planning on any sort of activity, you need to check on everyone’s availability. If it’s going to be an activity involving just you and your mom, it might be fairly simple. Typically a single phone call or text can sort that out. Once you start throwing siblings or other family members in the plan, however, it can get tricky.
It’s obviously going to make things easier if you get everyone on board months ahead of time. But if you wait too close to Mother’s Day before asking around, there might be quite a few events to work around. Thankfully, technology can help you out here. It turns out that apps originally intended for the workplace can provide shortcuts in your personal life, too.
The first way to help planning with multiple parties is by calendar sharing. If most of your siblings or other invitees have digital calendars, you can ask for sharing permission. That way, one person is comparing calendars instead of group texts and emails flying around.
A step beyond calendar sharing is using a meeting scheduler. This type of app can pull in multiple peoples’ calendars and compare them for you to find mutual availability.
2. Go With Activities Rather Than Gifts
Flowers and cards are great. Especially if you plan ahead and get a card to arrive in the mail before Mother’s Day, it’s likely very appreciated. However, more and more American adults prefer experiences over material gifts.
That doesn’t mean not getting her anything at all. Maybe instead of having flowers delivered to her house, you could take her to a nursery and have her pick out some plants. After that, you could go a step further and plant them for her at her house.
You can also think of activities that she would like to do but never do on her own. Whether it’s going to a play or trying out a new restaurant, certain outings are better with companions. And since experiences typically can’t be replicated, make sure to take lots of pictures.
And if you can’t be the one to take your mom out for an activity, no problem. There are any number of reasons you might not be able to be present on Mother’s Day. You might live far away or have other obligations. Even if that’s the case, you can still set her up for a fun day.
Depending on what’s offered in the area she lives, there are dozens of potential activities for her to enjoy. Wine tasting, a group painting event, or a fancy cooking class are just a few ideas. You could send her gift cards for her and a friend to attend a spa day. Just make sure it’s something she’ll actually follow through on and include enough tickets for her to take a companion or two.
3. Think Outside The Box
While there is some comfort in the familiar, it can take the surprise factor out of things. Your mom probably likes annual traditions, but it might be fun to throw her a curve ball now and again.
And changing it up doesn’t mean you need to kidnap her for a skydiving lesson out of the blue. You can still all get together as usual and serve up the same old honey baked ham and jello salad. Sometimes changing it up can just be adding a little unexpected surprise.
For example, it’s become increasingly popular for adult children to replicate childhood photos for their parents. Especially if you and your siblings don’t live near each other, that can take a lot of time and planning to prepare. But it will be worth it when you present it to your mom at the end of an otherwise-standard Mother’s Day dinner. You get bonus points if everyone was able to squeeze into princess dresses or sailor outfits for the picture.
If you do want a more impactful surprise, do a little reconnaissance well in advance. Your mom’s friends or your dad might have some ideas of things your mom has expressed interest in. If you find out she’s been binge-watching “Bridgerton” on the sly, throw her a tea party with ridiculous hats and dresses. Have your dad dress up as a footman; she’ll love it. If she’s been telling stories about riding horses as a child, take her out for a horseback trail ride.
A Day To Look Forward To
Mother’s Day can be something that everyone can look forward to. Rather than getting sucked into dwelling on the commercial aspect of the holiday, think about ways to make the day memorable. Whether it’s your presence, a fun activity, or a personalized gift, get creative in making your mom feel appreciated.