Flowers are the simplest way to make mom smile but if you're looking for a way to make Mother's Day more meaningful, then a beautiful bouquet is just the starting point.
The Purpose of Mother's Day
If we want to discover how to make Mother's Day meaningful, it's best to start with the original roots of the holiday. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started "Mother's Day Work Clubs" to teach women how to care for their children and had a great impact on American culture.
Following Ann's death in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis, came up with the idea of "Mother's Day" to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children. She wanted it to be a personal day of celebration between mothers and families. Anna envisioned you would wear a white carnation as a badge and visit your mother or go to church together as the way celebrate.
Anna successfully campaigned to make Mother's Day a national holiday but once she saw the commercialization of the holiday, she grew to regret it and later spent much of her time and resources actively lobbying the government to get it removed from the U.S. calendar.
This post offers ways to get back to the roots of Mother's Day to make it meaningful.
How to Make Mother's Day Meaningful
1. Consider Her Love Language
I am a big fan of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The book characterizes the different ways people feel most loved as their "love language" and lists those as physical touch, words, acts of service, gift giving and quality time.
The premise of the book is that if you're not speaking their language, the object of your affection is not going to feel loved by you no matter what you do. For example, you may be cleaning the house to show your mom how much you love her but if her love language is physical touch, you really need to be giving her lots of hugs and kisses.
In light of this, when thinking about how to have a meaningful Mother's Day, consider what makes your mom feel most loved. Does she like gifts most? Does she like you to fix things around the house? Does she like hearing you say how much you love her? Does she like extra hugs? Or does she really like it most when you just spend time with her?
If you're having a hard time figuring it out, I'll give you a hint. People usually speak in their own native love language. Ask yourself what does your mom do for you or others to make them feel loved? If she loves buying you gifts, likely her love language is gift giving. If she's always trying to hug you, it's physical touch. If she's always complaining you don't spend enough time with her, consequently it's quality time, etc.
2. Apply Your Creativity
Once you've figured out your mom's love language, the second thing you can do to make for a meaningful Mother's Day is to apply your creativity to that discovery. For example, if your mom's love language is physical touch, but she lives far away, maybe you could send her a cute back massager with a cheeky note like "this is to rub out all the stress knots I put in your back over the years".
Here are some practical meaningful Mother's Day gift ideas for you broken out by love language.
- Massage Gift Certificate: go to spafinder.com and type in your mom's zipcode to see if there is a spa near her. If so, purchase a gift card from $75 - $500 for treatments that range from massage to facials to multiple hands-on-pampering solutions she can book herself.
- Back Buddy Self Massage Tool: send her a back buddy with a sweet note.
- Hugless Douglas: Send her the best book ever on the power of hugs from mom.
- Actual Hug: If you live near enough to visit your mom, go see her and give her an actual hug.
Words of Encouragement
- High Quality Stationery: If she loves words of affirmation, likely she enjoys sending notes to others. Gift her a Crane Stationery set for her precious words.
- Special Card: Send your mom a Lovepop Card, filled with your own personal words of encouragement for how much she means to you.
- Custom poem: Write a poem for your mom and frame it or find one and frame it from poets.org.
- Sentiment Card: If you are not good with filling in a blank card with how you feel, here are 20 different cards that express how you feel for mother's day from Real Simple.
Acts of Service
- Tech Rescue: Help her figure our her technology (set up her phone reminders for her or set up her DVR to record her favorite shows) Hire Geek Squad to fix any of her computer ailments.
- Cleaning Service- what mom doesn't dream of a maid? Hire a Handy cleaning service to clean your mom's home for mother's day.
- Handyman- fix those broken things around her house with Taskrabbit.
- Fluff and Fold- 18 years of doing your laundry adds up to a lot you owe to your mom. Gift her a local fluff and fold service that will pick her dirty laundry up and return it within 3 days clean and folded.
Think about what your mom's hobbies or interests are and send her a gift accordingly.
- Fashion- send her a meaningful piece of jewelry like a pendant necklace. A simple gold chain with the letter of your first name she could proudly wear. I personally have one of these I wear for Luke.
- Gardening- A gift card to the Home Depot for her to pick out the latest in-season finds to add to her garden.
- Photography- create a custom photo book of old or recent memories for your mom to cherish.
- Beauty- send a fresh bottle of her favorite perfume or skincare line. If she doesn't have any particular favorites, Chanel #5 or SKII is a good one.
- Take Mom to the movies
- Schedule a fun afternoon with her such as Afternoon Tea or Mani Pedi's at a posh hotel.
- Book Brunch at her favorite restaurant. My favorite in LA is The Ivy.
- Come home for dinner- this is crazy but some moms just want you to come over for dinner because they miss cooking for you! Go home and be with mom for the evening.
- Go to church with her!
3. Call Your Mom
It goes without saying that no Mother's Day is meaningful without a phone call to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. The woman who brought you into this world loves to hear your voice, so make sure to call your mom!
Making a meaningful Mother's Day should always start with flowers, but not end there. Here's how to have a meaningful mother's day:
- Determine what your Mom's love language is
- Gift her according to her love language
- Don't forget to call her. She misses you!
Happy Mother's Day!
NEXT READ: How to Make Your Social Media Time More Meaningful
Welcome to Honey & Figs! I'm Lisa. I love helping people with practical ways to live more abundant lives based on my own experience. You can click here to find out more about me.
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I love you Lisa and I am proud of the mother you have become to Luke.
Thanks Mom! I love you too!
This is great! I’ve got to come up with something truly meaningful for my mom this year. I may do a photo book. As many pictures as we take, it will be perfect for her. Thanks for these ideas.
Thanks Brittany! Yes, my mom loves to take pictures. She came to visit this winter and I made a photo book of her trip as a gift for Mother’s Day so I highly recommend it. Plus no one takes the time to actually print photos and put them in an album anymore so this is a special gift.
Great suggestions! We typically hear of the love languages being referred to in a marriage, but this is a wonderful way to make mother’s Day meaningful! 🙂