Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is celebrated in many different countries and many different cultures. The origins of Mother's Day go back to Greece and Rome at the very least. For early Christians and in Great Britain, Mother's Day was celebrated during Lent as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, eventually inclusive to all mothers. In the USA, Mother's Day goes back to 1872 and originally included an anti-war component. With such an august history, why is it so hard to come up with gift ideas for Mother's Day?

Think about it. Mother's Day gifts go to our mothers, grandmothers and wives. We should know these women pretty well.  When we're young, all it takes is a hand drawn card. As we get a little older some trinket suffices. During high school and college taking Mom or Grandma out for lunch or dinner is always a success. Finally reach adulthood and ... Oh crap, brunch or flowers again.

In clarification, taking Mom to brunch on Mother's Day shouldn't qualify as a gift. Any mother shouldn't cook on Mother's Day. Say it with flowers? You're saying, I thought about your Mother's Day for less than 15 minutes. Jewelry might be great, but after time even that grows old(unless of course you can do it big.)  Is there a solution?  I might have one.

Go back to the first Mother's Day gift, the hand drawn picture. Clearly it's not the quality of the picture (or the craft) that made it a score. The magic of that picture was that it came from the little giver. It came with a piece of the giver. That strategy has worked for generations. There is no reason it shouldn't continue to work, especially utilizing today's technology.
For Grandma, if she has a computer but isn't on Facebook, set her up. Many grandparents are on FB to keep up with the Grandkids. FB too much tech? Set her up on Skype. Free video calls with the grands even just across town can really hit.

For Mom, how about a video tribute? A poem, song, montage (or combination) on a disk for posterity. To take it over the top, post the tribute to YouTube or Facebook. If it's a performance in her honor, you can live-stream on USTREAM.

For the wife (and mother of in house children) consider a coupon book. Chores, meals off, quiet time(an hour of no kids screaming) can be some of the coupons. Computer printed labels, index cards, a hole punch and yarn or lanyard for binding. Dads of in house children could consider giving your partner a coupon book a little later. The coupons could be PG, R, X or "Needs Fire Extinguisher" rated. Just remember, it's about her.

None of these cost much money. They do require spirit, but spirit's cheap. There's still time. A little imagination, a bit of yourself and go rock Mother's Day.

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