10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

From video tributes to custom stamps, here's how to make this Sunday special—no matter how last-minute your gifts are.

When you were a kid, it was easier to give a gift that would impress on Mother’s Day. You likely made a classroom craft—some sort of popsicle frame or creative bookmark—that was guaranteed to tug on heartstrings. Maybe you burnt her toast for breakfast in bed and still managed to elicit a smile. Really, just going all day with good behavior and a few extra hugs could probably do the trick.

But now the May holiday may require a bit more thought and time. So we put together a few ideas to help you uniquely celebrate your mom this Sunday.

It’s also quite likely that the best “mom” in your life wasn’t even your own birth mother. Perhaps your experiences growing up weren’t all cozy and kind, and today you find your relationship with your mother difficult at best. Perhaps Mother’s Day is now a reminder of the emptiness left by a parent who has passed away. Perhaps foster care or adoption has stretched your definition of what it means to be a mom. Though it’s important to remember and reach out as much as is possible with your own mom, take time to celebrate the many other women who have nurtured, encouraged and challenged you over the years. Was there a teacher who helped you discover what you are truly passionate about? A woman in your church who gave you the kind of spiritual guidance you couldn’t find at home? An aunt, grandma, mentor or employer who played a vital role in your maturation? This is their day too. Mothering is not limited to mothers, or even to women—maybe your single dad had to be more of a mother than he had planned on. Use any of the tips below to express gratitude to the myriad of mothers who have made you who you are today.

Social media sap-fest. For every hour of the day, post on Facebook or Twitter one more thing about your mother that you are grateful for. Be as specific as you can be, and get creative: Attach YouTube videos from last Christmas, or maybe a link to the song she always sang around the house. Heck, maybe Mom deserves a hashtag on this day.

Memory menu. Breakfast in bed is always delicious, but now that you (should) know your way around the kitchen, go all out and plan a day’s worth of meals. And make them meaningful—the same breakfast from your first day of school, a soup she always needs when she gets sick, a dessert that reminds her of her childhood. Include a card with each dish explaining why it’s significant.

“If it wasn’t for you ...” Most likely, your greatest accomplishments were not possible without the help of a mother. So turn it into a unique memento for her. Frame the first poem you got published, a copy of your diploma or a home demo of a song you’re proud of. Take a picture of your office desk, the front door of your new home or maybe a postcard from a country you were able to travel to, and let her know why you wouldn’t be there without her. If possible, get other siblings to do the same.

Picture puzzle. Several companies now offer services that turn your photos into puzzles. Find your favorite image of you and your mom, and check out Printer’s Studio, Portrait Puzzles or even a local drugstore photo lab to see how it’s done. Offer to put it together with her on Mother's Day.

Happy Mother’s Year. Maybe they only get one official holiday, but give your mom something that shows your gratitude for the other 364 days of the year. Make a custom calendar with personal photos, and mark it up with special days, anniversaries and favorite quotes and verses. Write down 52 memories—one for each week of the year—and put them in a decorative box. Give her a jar with 365 pieces of her favorite candy. Sign her up for year-long subscriptions to her favorite magazines (we can think of one publication she might enjoy ...).

Video tribute. Gather other friends, family, co-workers and neighbors who know your mom for on-camera interviews about her best qualities, their favorite memories with her and why they find her to be a good mother. Put together clips of their compliments and stories like one big, digital thank-you card.

Long-distance quality time. Can’t be with your mom on Mother’s Day? Schedule an extra-special Skype date. Dress up nice and eat dinner “together.” Maybe plan to watch a favorite movie while online. Or make her think she’ll just be talking to you, and instead invite other relatives and friends to greet her when the camera turns on. (Feeling ambitious? Arrange a time to be on Skype and instead show up at her front door.)

You’ve Got Snail Mail. Create custom postage stamps out of personal photos—maybe one of you as a baby, a snapshot of the two of you at a graduation or the most recent family picture. Give them to her in a card with the promise that you’ll be snail mail pen pals once a week until the stamps run out.

Shadowbox it. Gather meaningful knickknacks and souvenirs—a high school sports letter, public transportation cards from a favorite vacation, a wedding invitation, a ticket stub from the horrible film you still have inside jokes about ... you get the idea. Display them in a nicely decorated shadowbox.

Better than roses. Flowers are always a nice, easy and thoughtful gift—but if you can, think long-term with your floral affection instead of relying on the florist. Buy a unique vase or decorate your own, and fill it with seed packets of her favorite flowers.

What are some other unique ideas to celebrate Mother's Day? Share yours below.

5 Comments

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Linda Stoll commented…

I just LOVE these out of the box ideas ... I've added your link to a post I already have up ... 'Gifts for Your Mama'
http://creeksideministries.blo...

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Anonymous commented…

Thanks for the suggestions. We could all use at least some of these ideas.

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Anonymous commented…

Here's another top 10 for you. Entertaining, some useless, but all worth the read: http://nicogroove.com/top-10-t...

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turner_bethany commented…

I ended up writing a blog post about my mother and a few other women who have been monumental in my life.

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