Mother's Day is just around the corner, and most grown children appreciate the chance to honor their moms for a day. But not everyone wants to break the bank in the name of this important holiday. Fortunately, there are more than a few Mother's Day gifts that don't cost money and are still heartfelt and thoughtful. Really, your mom will enjoy spending time with you more than anything you could buy in a store.
Mother's Day 2018 falls on Sunday, May 13, so you still have time to pick out a present or select an activity to enjoy with your mother. Seriously, the celebration doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. It may sound cheesy, but just giving some of your time can be the most meaningful gift of all.
Plus, simply taking a little time out of your day to really treasure the relationship you share with your mom can result in a significant positivity boost for you both. "We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends," said Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert, as quoted in INC. Your mom is your OG family, so it only makes sense to honor that relationship and all she's done for you.
1Feed Some Birds & Squirrels
Some of the best memories I have with my own mother simply involve hanging out on a park bench and feeding birds and squirrels. It's such a simple activity, but it's easy to bond while watching adorable animals vie for your snacks.
2Watch & Archive Family Movies
Chances are, your mom has hours of footage documenting your favorite (and embarrassing) family memories on hand. When was the last time you watched any of those gems? Take an afternoon to go through those holiday, graduation, and dance recital videos. For extra points, backup these family memories to the cloud or use another digital storage service.
3Write A Heartfelt Letter
Write your mom a letter expressing your thanks for all she's done over the years. It's sure to become a treasured keepsake.
4Hold A Dance-Off
Put on some jams and dance with your mom around the house. Chances are, you'll both have a blast and laugh the entire time.
5Follow A YouTube Tutorial Together
There's about a million and one new skills you can learn from YouTube alone. Pick a tutorial and you can learn how to cook a new dish, master a new hairstyle, or even say a few words in a different language. You and your mom can enjoy an educational adventure together.
6Have A Photo Shoot
Dress in your most outrageous outfits and take a zillion silly photos. Watch out, Instagram.
7Tackle A Project For Her
Help your mom take care of the project that's been hanging around on the end of her to-do list for, what probably feels like, forever. Whether you help her declutter the closet or finally assemble that Ikea table, she'll appreciate the help.
8Take A Hike
Find a nearby trail and take a leisurely hike. Or, if that isn't available or an option, a walk around your local park is also lovely (and free).
9Help Her Organize Photos
Does your mom have thousands actual photos laying around the house? Help her sort through the old shoeboxes full of photographs, as well as her digital stash. Chances are, you'll rediscover some classic family moments along the way.
10Have A Picnic
It doesn't have to be anything fancy, either. Just eating a couple of sandwiches in your backyard can be super relaxing.
11Get Library Cards
If you haven't been to the library in a few years, then you might be surprised by the services offered now. It's way more than just a bunch of musty card catalogues. Check out some ebooks or audiobooks to enjoy while you're there. Maybe you can even start a miniature book club with your mom.
12Visit A Botanical Garden
Many cities have botanical gardens that are absolutely gorgeous this time of year. Even better, a lot of gardens offer free admission to moms on Mother's Day.
13Play A Game
Break out some of the old board games stashed in the back of your closet for a nostalgia-fueled afternoon. Or, you really feel like getting wild, introduce your mom to a modern game like The Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride and watch a new obsession grow.
Have some fresh flowers on hand? Spend an afternoon pressing them in some old books. Later on, you can give mom the pressed flowers in a pretty card or other DIY craft.
15Make A Coupon Book
This may be the most standard DIY present of all time, but it's still charming. A coupon book for hugs or light chores is pretty thoughtful.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.