Wanna do something nice for Mom? Free ideas to show how much you love her

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mother's day

It’s that time of year again: Sunday, May 14, is Mother’s Day, the one day moms everywhere should get to relax and be celebrated for everything they do. But being celebrated doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, putting your heart first can be a lot more impactful than a mimosa-filled brunch or a gift certificate to the spa.

Here are some free (or practically free) ways you can show Mom how much she’s loved and cherished this weekend. And if you have to stick to brunch reservations because you’ve run out of time, just start planning early next year.

Build a memory book

You know all those pictures Mom took when you were little? At Disney, at Thanksgiving dinner, at that family barbecue? Or how about the ones where she forced you to pose awkwardly in front of the house with your date before letting you leave for prom?

Yeah, those. They’re around somewhere, in photo albums or boxes if you’re a Millennial/Gen Xer or on Facebook for the Gen Zs or those with social media-minded moms.

Gather some of those up, find an empty scrapbook or journal and get to building. You can add notes about how much these events meant to you, or perhaps how much you know they meant to her if you don’t remember the occasion.

Don’t forget to leave some space at the end for new memories.

Pack a picnic

OK, OK, no one said you have to skip the Mother’s Day mimosas. But instead of an overcrowded restaurant and a two-hour wait before being seated, how about packing a to-go meal and finding a nice, quiet space for a Mother’s Day picnic?

Grab a basket (or a cooler if you’re not the aesthetic type) and pack Mom’s favorite snacks, dishes and beverages.

Keep anything that requires refrigeration cold with some cold packs or ice, and don’t forget the blanket (an old one Mom won’t care gets dirty), silverware and plates. Better yet, keep your selections to finger foods: sandwiches, fruit and veggies with dip, charcuterie-style meats and cheese, brownies or cookies and the like.

Some great options for a picnic around Tuscaloosa include the University of Alabama Arboretum, Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, Hurricane Creek Park, any lakes around the area, or heck, the backyard.

One tip, though: If alcohol is on the menu, make sure it’s legal to drink at your chosen location. Many public parks don’t allow it.

Cook Mom a meal — and clean up afterwards

Give Mom a day off from kitchen duty. Don’t know how to cook? Learn. It’s a useful skill. All it takes is an ability to follow instructions, a sharp knife and some pots and pans.

So once you’ve figured that out, you can prepare a favorite recipe or something new she might enjoy. It doesn’t need to be a fancy three-course meal; a beautiful, fresh pasta dish served with some veggies and a protein won’t take more than 30 minutes of prep time and a little under an hour to get onto the table.

Set the table all fancy like, with the good dishes and cloth napkins. Go above and beyond by making dessert, too.

Once dinner’s over, it’s your job to clear the table, wash the dishes, put away the leftovers and make sure the kitchen is just as clean if not cleaner than the way it was before you took it over.

Get sentimental with your words

This one is the best option if you can’t see mom in person on Mother’s Day, but really any day is a good day to write a letter.

With paper and a pen, not on a keyboard or phone. OK, if your handwriting sucks, typing it out might be better, but you’ve still gotta print it out and send that puppy via the U.S. Postal Service; stamps aren’t 32 cents anymore but they’re not astronomically expensive, either.

Tell Mom how much you appreciate, love and admire her. Show her you remember those little, precious moments she assumed you’d forgotten. Share how her sacrifices made you a better person.

What about Mother’s Day if you have a mom who’s kind of a jerk?

Are you on speaking terms? Give her a (quick) call or pop over for a visit. If she says something you’re not comfortable with, change the topic. If Mom can’t or won’t stop, leave or hang up.

Low contact? If you’re feeling up to it, send a card, but don’t stress if you forget. If your mom’s the type to get angry if you don’t send a card, buy a cheap one, sign it and send it ASAP. If bar is on the floor, your effort can be, too.

No contact? Congratulations. Have yourself a mimosa. You deserve it.

Categories: Local News