When I was a kid, I made coupon books filled with hugs, kisses, and promises of chores to be done “at a later date” for use by my mother at her discretion. Sometimes, I brought home a vase or bowl straight from my elementary school’s kiln. Those were my only options considering my lack of an independent income and inability to drive myself to the store. My mother always claimed they were far better than anything store-bought. Curiously, it’s been some time since I’ve seen any of my homemade treasures and trinkets on her shelves. Nonetheless, in the face of the many restaurants, stores, and services closed due the pandemic, we need to return to our crafty and homemade roots, but in a clever way. Here are some suggestions homemade by me to get you started.
- A coupon promising one hour spent teaching Mom how to use more than 10% of the features on her iPhone. Time spent teasing her about how little she knows or taking a deep breath to calm yourself cannot count toward the hour. If you know barely more than Mom, make the coupon from your children. If that is not a possibility, schedule a session for you and your Mom at the Genuis Bar when Apple reopens its stores. Giving her iPhone for Seniors for Dummies is not a substitute. It may accompany the coupon. After all, it is your time and attention to your Mom that is really the gift.
- A coupon along with a recent photo of you or the family and a promise to put the digital version of that photo on her computer or cell phone as the screensaver. You can also let her select her own screen saver online. Start by looking at Twenty Awesome Screensavers and go from there.
- A coupon to purchase and install (or in the case of Apple products such as the iPhone, to teach her how to use the built-in version of) talk to text with the request that she record her stories of growing up so you can have them to share with your children.
- A coupon for tickets for you to take her to the next movie she would like to see, whether or not the movie is on your watch list. This coupon should come with a gift certificate for the theater in which she is most comfortable. You may like to recline and order lunch while you watch, but she may not. They will open movie theaters again, at some point. This coupon must be accompanied by candy, her favorite, not yours. A book about movies to read until theaters open would make this gift extra thoughtful. You can check out the list of books about movies at Goodreads.
- Flowers never fail. Consider purchasing a subscription for flowers to be delivered on a regular basis to show your Mom she is special throughout the year. There is an endless range of flowers so you can tailor your order to your Mom. If she talks about a long ago trip to Hawaii, consider Ali’i Flowers. They can ship Hawaiian flowers, fresh leis and corsages, loose orchid blooms and Hawaiian gift baskets. This gift should be accompanied either by a collection of fresh flowers from your yard or handmade paper flowers. You can learn How to Make Crepe Paper Flowers from Marthastewart.com. If you are a mere mortal, consider the tissue paper flowers we made as kids. They require only accordion-folding tissue paper (petals) and wrapping a pipe cleaner (stem) around the center. No tissue paper? Try newspaper. Black and white text makes for sophisticated flowers while comics and advertisements create a colorful bouquet. Twist ties or unfolded paper clips can stand in for pipe cleaners. Your Mom will appreciate the throw-back and your effort.
- If you’re a performer, record yourself doing whatever it is you do and send it to Mom. Likely, she is still your biggest fan.
Bottom line, time and effort are the key to showing your Mom you care. Worse comes to worst, you can do some online shopping and send her something she will actually display on her shelf.
Updated Links July 31, 2022