Usually by early May we’ve all made brunch reservations (or menu plans) for the second Sunday of the month. Or ordered bouquets, picked out cards, bought and shipped presents, and maybe even made a custom photo album (for the overachievers in the crowd). But this year is different. Unless you and your mom are part of the same household, odds are you won’t be getting together for Mother’s Day. And with delays in shipping times from many retailers, sending a package for delivery is a roll of the dice.
So what’s a loving son to do? Like any gift-giving occasion, the thoughtfulness and consideration that go into the present are what’s important. And those things don’t need 2-day shipping to be expressed. Or felt.
Here are six virtual ways you can show mom you really care.
Breakfast Video Conference
Yeah, life is Zoom now, but sitting down and chatting over a meal is a simple yet meaningful way to stay connected. Depending on how tech-savvy your mom is, you may want to help her troubleshoot any issues in advance so you can just enjoy waffles and Bloody Marys on the day, rather than mouthing, “Can you hear me?” back and forth.
If you live close enough to drop something off, you could leave a bottle of Prosecco (or some scones, if you’ve turned to quarantine cuisine as stress relief) outside her door. Otherwise, swap out your work-from-home sweats for a slightly nicer shirt and pants, and enjoy the chance to catch up without waiting in line for your table.
We’re not saying anyone has to master a bunch of new skills (or any) while staying home, but a fresh way to pass the time might be nice. Has mom always wanted to brush up on her French? Bring her photographs to life? Design a garden that would make Versailles look like a vacant lot? Send her a subscription to a class she’d like (or a membership to a platform that lets her choose the lessons she wants). Not only is engaging in a hobby a good way to de-stress, it might be nice for her to see a different face from time to time.
Gift Card to Her Favorite Restaurant
Most restaurants are closed except for takeout and/or delivery, but there’s a third option: gift cards. Purchasing one now helps support a local business owner, and it’s something to look forward to when places start to reopen. Plus going out on a day other than Mother’s Day will feel special. Most places are offering gift certificates via email–some even allow you to schedule delivery for a specific date and time.
Virtual Fitness Membership
If mom is into taking fitness classes, she’s probably missing her routine. While there are plenty of apps with pre-recorded content, it’s not quite the same as a class in real time. Many small studios have moved to a livestream model–whether she likes yoga, barre, jiu jitsu, etc., having that virtual community offers not just the physical benefits of exercise, but the social ones as well. Even better if you can find classes offered by a local instructor she tends to seek out.
E-reader / Audiobook Membership
You could go with a gift certificate, or choose specific titles to gift–either way, you’re telling the person who probably helped teach you how to read that books are awesome. If mom still prefers to read her books on real vs. digital paper, look up nearby bookshops that are still shipping orders. Odds are they’d be more than happy to sell you a gift certificate.
From wine to candles to beauty products, a subscription box is the gift that well, keeps on giving. Even if the first shipment doesn’t arrive precisely on Mother’s Day, getting a personalized gift in the mail periodically is a nice way to extend the holiday. One thing to keep in mind: it’s not the worst idea to quarantine packages for a couple of days before opening, so it might be best to avoid signing mom up for anything perishable.
One Last Thing: If You Have Kids
Finally, if the mother of your child(ren) is someone you want to honor and appreciate, think about how you can alleviate some of the stress and fatigue she’s probably feeling right now. You don’t need to go all out. A handmade card (presented at 11am, after letting her sleep in uninterrupted) is always thoughtful (this is your reminder that the kids won’t be making one at school this year). Or make her some coupons to redeem for “me time”–even if she spends it at home rather than at a spa, it’s a gesture that won’t go unappreciated. She’ll probably return the favor in June.