The Best Mother's Day Gift Is Not A Thing

As Mother's Day approaches, the television becomes inundated with commercials for flower delivery, chocolate-covered strawberries, sappy greeting cards and weird heart-shaped pendant necklaces. If you rely on advertising, it's easy to believe that's what moms want. But you know what moms like even more? A little of your time.

Strollerderby has a list of "5 Things Moms Really Want," which includes jewelry, in addition to intangibles like "sleep" and "words." And those things are good, no doubt. But when I asked my mom about her favorite Mother's Day, she talked about the time we went to play miniature golf and the time we went to Six Flags Great Adventure. These "gifts" involved a light-hearted activity and an increasingly rare occurrence: All of her three kids were in town. She remembered the time we spent together and the experience we shared much more than some silver candy dish or basket of bath salts. My sister now lives in Hawaii and my brother travels a lot, but I know that phone calls, Skype, and visits much more fun for my mom than roses. She does love flowers — specifically orchids — but sometimes that feels like a cop-out.

These days, time is a valuable commodity. We're too busy to call, so we email; we're too busy to email, so we text. Which means taking a little time for your mom can be an incredibly meaningful gift. If you're in the same city, you could go to the movies, go on a picnic, go bowling, go to a museum, get astrology or tarot card readings — something you might not ordinarily do, but know your mom would enjoy. If you live far away from each other, a handwritten letter or photo scrapbook — some kind of keepsake made with your own energy — will probably be nicer than a store-bought greeting card. Of course, you've gotta know your mom. Strollerderby's Danielle Sullivan makes it clear that she does not want flowers, writing, "my allergies are horrendous." But one mom's nightmare is another mom's dream… If all else fails, I know my mom loves a phenomenal Phalaenopsis.

Mother's Day Gifts: 5 Things Moms Really Want [Strollerderby]