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May 13th marks Mother's Day this year, and the ads for gifts have been running for at least two weeks. As a mother I would hate for children and loved ones to buy gifts simply because the calendar says so. This is doubling enforced if those children are struggling in a volatile economy. There are plenty of ways to say "I love You" to your mom, grandma, mother figure, wife, or mom friend:
- Perennial plants for her yard -- one plant can cost $10 or less. If you can help her plant it, the gift is even greater! I never understood while people plant annuals, which only have one season of life. Perennials will come back year after year. Give her one each year to mark her career as a mom;
- Photos of flowers -- if you don't live nearby, take photos of flowers she likes. Frame them in simply plastic box frames, and she can display them in her home. I did this with the Cherry Blossoms when I lived in Washington, D.C. and was thousands of miles from home;
- Family photos -- take a current or old favorite and put it in a frame. Thrift stores have a great selection of frames, some are tacky, but others can be a lot of fun;
- Give the gift of time. If the mom has young children, give her and her spouse a break for dinner or a walk and don't accept payment. If the children are grown, return home for Sunday Dinner. It is a guaranteed way to put a smile on her face, and a tear in her eye if you bring or make dinner yourself;
- Donate in her name to a cause that is dear to her heart;
- Purchase a small item from an organization that she supports (coffee from environmental groups, pink golf or tennis balls, etc.);
- a single rose -- simplicity goes oh so far; and
- a homemade card that shows you took time to think of her.
There are tons more ideas, but these are my favorite. What's yours?