Celebrating mothers is a tradition that can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman times. The American tradition of Mother’s Day, however, isn’t quite as ancient, but has been around since 1908. That’s the year Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day, which was officially named a U.S. holiday in 1914. Ironically, Jarvis later condemned the holiday, arguing it became too commercialized. Although she tried to get it removed from the calendar, it just became more and more popular.
Mother’s Day 2016 falls on May 8. Commercialized or not, it’s a time to celebrate the many mothers in the world, whether it’s your mom, grandmother, aunt or any other mother figure in your life. Showing your mom, or any mom, how much she means to you doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. Take a look at these inexpensive Mother’s Day gift ideas any mom would love.
1. Make Dinner
You don’t always have to take your mom out to dinner at an expensive place for Mother’s Day. A quiet dinner at home makes it easier for you and your mom to catch up and enjoy each other’s company while also saving you money. To make it extra sentimental, try cooking up a family recipe or a dessert from your childhood. The cost of this obviously depends on what you decide to cook up, but it will be significantly cheaper — and more personal — than going out to a restaurant.
2. Go on a Hike
May is a great time of year to get outdoors and stay active. Invite your mom out on one of your favorite hikes or experience a new one together. Bring along a picnic if you want to make it even more special. Even with a decent picnic spread, this idea doesn’t have to cost you more than $25.
3. Clean Her House
Everyone loves a clean house — especially when someone else does all the hard work. Head to your mom’s house with your cleaning supplies and get to work. The cost of this gift is just a few cleaning supplies that you likely have on hand anyways. Once you’re done, make her a cup of coffee or tea and catch up with her to find out what’s new in her life.
4. Send Her a Video
This one is an especially good idea if you don’t live close to your mother: Record a Mother’s Day message to your mom. You could list a few reasons why you are grateful for her, share some of your favorite memories of having her as a mom or talk about anything that makes her special. You could even collect video messages from any siblings or other important people in your mom’s life and combine them into one video that is sure to make your mom feel loved. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything to send a digital message.
5. Create a Memory Box
Mother’s Day gifts don’t have to only last one day. Write down your favorite memories or reasons why you love your mom on a bunch of different pieces of paper. Fold them up and put them in a box or jar and tell her to open one whenever she needs a little pick me up. This is another one you can get your siblings involved with. If you’re feeling creative, decorate the box or add in some special photos. The cost of this project will depend on how many supplies you decide to use, but it should be very inexpensive. You can find many boxes and jars for sale between $3 and $10, so it’s easy to keep this gift under $20.
6. Recreate a Childhood Memory
Think of a place that your mother used to take you a lot growing up — maybe a specific beach or a park. Bring her back to that place for Mother’s Day and share your memories about spending time there with her. She’ll probably have some great memories to share herself. Plus, giving your mother this special gift of fond memories probably won’t cost you a thing, especially if it’s at a park or other public space.
7. Help Her Relax
Any mom who raised a child — or two or four — deserves some time to relax. Surprise her with some new fancy bath products, an aromatherapy candle and a new book or magazine for the ultimate bath night. If your mom enjoys a nice glass of wine, don’t forget that. Places like Trader Joe’s offer good wine at an affordable price; you can get a great bottle of wine your mom will enjoy for under $10.
8. Get Her Car Detailed
Ask your mom to borrow her car and take it to get washed and detailed. Search Groupon, Living Social or any other local deal sites to get a discounted car wash or detailing near you. Groupon offers many deals for under $25. If you’re feeling extra generous, fill up the gas tank, too. Though that added bonus will cost you extra — Mom’s worth it.
9. Take Her to Get Her Nails Done
For the mom who loves to be pampered, take her out for a pedicure or manicure as a special way to mark her special day and spend relaxing time together. Check Groupon or a similar site for deals on manicures and pedicures, many times you can find great deals for a complete manicure and pedicure for under $30.
10. Go on an Adventure
Make new memories with your mom this Mother’s Day by taking her out to a museum you haven’t been to or some new shops you know she’d like. She’ll love the chance to make new memories with you. Every state offers free museums, you’ll just have to do a little research and find some fun, free activities your mom would enjoy.
11. Plant Flowers or Trees in Her Honor
For a special Mother’s Day gift that will last beyond 2016, use your green thumb. Offer to plant some flowers or a new tree for her in her yard, or if you live apart plant one in yours to remind you of her. If you’re able to pick a plant or tree that has special meaning to her, even better. The cost of this gift will vary, but will be worth it for the years of memories it will give your mom. Hit up your local gardening store for some advice on what to plant or buy some flower seeds online; there are plenty to choose from that are well under $20.
12. Put Together a Photo Album
Gather some of your mom’s favorite photos of you as a child. Recreate them as best as you can with the same expression, stance, clothes and similar background. This works especially well if you add your siblings into the mix and send a photo album to surprise your mom. She might laugh, she might cry, but she’ll definitely love the trip down memory lane. You can even use Shutterfly to create a beautiful digital photo album from your photos for under $25.
13. Go Somewhere She Wants to Go
If your mom is a devoted church-goer, or never misses her book club meeting, that’s a great opportunity for you to surprise her. Join her for one of her favorite activities to show how much you care about her. She will love showing you off to her friends, and you likely won’t have to spend any money either. And, who knows, you might even find a new favorite hobby yourself.
14. Make Some Art
If your mom is the type who loved any homemade trinket you brought home when you were younger, surprise her with a new masterpiece you’ve created. Better yet, bring her to a paint-your-own-pottery or wine and paint night and get creative together. Look for deals online for these types of event to keep them affordable. Many times Groupon offers deals on painting activities for under $20.
15. Plan a Movie Night
Help your mom relax on mother’s day by inviting her over for a movie night. Pick a movie you know she’ll love and get comfortable on the couch together. Don’t forget to have her favorite movie snacks on hand. This is another one that should be easy to keep under $15, especially if you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime account. If not, just swing by any Redbox, located in many grocery and convenience stores, and grab a movie for under $2. But if you want to make it even more special, see if you can dig up some old home movies to surprise her with and watch those together.
The key to treating the mother in your life like a queen on Mother’s Day isn’t about how much money you spend, but about the thought you put into it. So start planning and make Mother’s Day 2016 one your mom will remember forever.
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