When are you going to get it through your thick skull that spending a lot of money on your mom for Mother’s Day is completely missing the point? There is a reason why she puts your crappy stick figure art, or the crayon outline of your hand turned into a turkey on the refrigerator, rather than installing museum pieces in the parlor. On Mother’s Day you want to make her feel special. And how do you do that? Easy. Just employ any or all of the following low-cost hyper-thoughtful Mother’s Day gift ideas and you’re golden for at least another 365 days.
1. Listen to her.
All day. Look her in the eye and pay attention to what she is saying and nod your head and acknowledge her and put your phone down and listen to her and stop texting your friends and pay the hell attention already. You have no idea what a gift this is, listening to your mother. I will be bringing this theme up again later.
2. Leave her alone.
For some moms, removing all children (and anyone else who occupies the house) is the best gift one can provide. Leave the house – in fact, leave town — so she can relax in the knowledge that you will not be coming back any time soon and bothering her with your inane instant gratification-driven questions and comments about YOU and YOUR PROBLEMS and YOUR DESIRES at that moment.
Do her job. Or better said, don’t make her job harder by not doing your job. This means do all the chores that she normally has to do because she’s sick and tired of nagging you to do it. Like cleaning your room and picking up your socks and putting them in the hamper (you too, kids, not just Dad), and doing the dishes. And the laundry. And the cat box. And the bed. For God’s sake, make your bed. Make her bed (AFTER you have served Her Majesty breakfast in it, that is). And the diapers. Whatever 42 pain-in-the-ass-things she does every day, YOU do it.
Here’s a unique Mother’s Day idea. Remember back in item #1 when I told you to listen to your mother? There is an actual show with that very name. A real live performance called Listen to Your Mother playing in 24 different cities across the U.S. on or around Mother’s Day where local performers go on stage and read their amazing, personal, funny, moving, and inspiring stories about motherhood. These stories will move you, surprise you, but most importantly, entertain you. Your mother would love it. Your wife would love it. Your Mommy girlfriends would love it.
People who go to this show are so incredibly inspired, validated and empowered, that they will invariably walk up to a cast member or two that they don’t even know and say, “me too.” It will be one of the most unforgettable twenty-dollar bills you ever spent on the mom in your life. Go to the Listen to Your Mother website and click on “Local Shows” to see if your city is participating in this unique Mother’s Day experience. (Disclosure: I am co-producer of the Sacramento show.)
5. Unless she’s a shrew, diamonds are almost never a bad idea.
Oh I’m sorry, this is on the wrong list. Who put this here? This should have gone on the “5 Lazy (But Effective) Ways to Buy Her Love on Mother’s Day”.