- Cullman, Alabama

May 4, 2014

SOUTHERN STYLE: Out of the ordinary gifts for mom

By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times

— Tired of giving your mother the same old gift card or maybe that old Mother’s Day standard, a florist’s hydrangea? Think outside the box this year.

With summer just around the corner, think about giving your mom a porch swing, a new rocker for the deck, or a hammock. Even those might sound dull to some moms who would rather hit the road than sit around rocking. If your mom loves taking day trips, plan one for the two of you, or if you can’t take time off, for your mom and a friend.

Then map out the road trip with neat things to do along the way. If your mom loves antiques, point out some great shops for her, then call ahead and request that the proprietor have a nice little gift for her at one of the stops. It doesn’t have to be a priceless antique — an elegant, collectible perfume bottle or a gilded hand mirror would be a wonderful surprise.

If your mom has collections, say Fiesta dishes, call another shop and have them wrap up a plate for her. She’ll be bragging about what a wonderful time she had for the rest of her life!

Or maybe you’d rather choose a spot on the route for a leisurely lunch, then call and take care of the bill and a nice tip.  You could even order some flowers for the table from a nearby florist who delivers.

Your mom will be the envy of all of her friends before this day is over!

If day trips aren’t for your mom, think of things she does like, especially things that she might consider too extravagant for her to do for herself. Maybe a day at the spa with the royal treatment. Splurge on her, she’s worth it!

There might be a favorite charity that she volunteers for. If so, make a hefty donation in her name. She will really appreciate how thoughtful you are!

If she is heavily involved in her church, make a contribution to the building fund, or sponsor a missionary, with instructions to place your mom’s name on the gift card.

One thing I heard about recently that you’ll hear more about in upcoming issues of The Cullman Times really tugged at my heart strings. An orphanage in Kenya is about to launch a project called, Matching Orphans with Mothers (MOM). This program is sponsored by a nonprofit organization called Kenya Relief. The goal is to provide sponsors for children for education, living expenses and other necessities of life. Steve James, who started the orphanage, explains that each child needs two sponsors. “It used to take only one sponsor, now it takes two,” he said. “The cost to each sponsor is $75 per month. What greater gift could you give than to invest in a child?” asked James.

Think about it — you can throw away money on flowers that might die, or buy books that will be read once, then discarded. Or a sweater that you know she won’t like, or you can buy medicines, education and clothes for a child you may never see, but who, with your donation, will grow up wearing shoes, learning, and playing in a healthy environment with people who care.

Sometimes mothers come in different packages. Some are small, some large. They come in all colors, in every nationality and every economic level. Some have many children, some have only one or two, others are still waiting for the gift of a child. What most of them have in common, though, is that they need love and have lots of love to give.

Make this Mother’s Day special, even if your mother is no longer with you. Do something for another mother that you have admired, a former schoolteacher, an elderly neighbor or a stranger. Sometimes anonymous gifts are the best. One thing is certain, you'll make someone's day a lot more special.