Usually Mother’s Day is celebrated with brunch, spas or family get-togethers in homes. But as the COVID-19 pandemic restricts where we can go, and makes social distancing a new norm, many of these traditions will have to be postponed.
This doesn’t mean though that the day has to be cancelled this year. On the contrary:
-Younger children will have probably been seeing more of their moms than usual, as school closures have added home schooling to mothers’ (and fathers’) list of duties.
-Many young adult children who left the big cities to shelter in place back home may find themselves unexpectedly celebrating at mom’s house.
-For older adult children whose parents are in independent or assisted living communities, spending time with mom in person—or bringing the grandkids for a Mother’s Day visit—may be completely out of the question, due to community restrictions.
Whatever the situation, there are still plenty of opportunities to make this Mother’s Day one she’ll always remember. Here are a few examples from Forbes on how families can show their appreciation and gratitude to mom this year, in ways that are both safe and affordable.
Don’t gift a face mask. That is, if your mom already has a few of her own. Designer face masks have popped up recently, especially online, but try to avoid gifting pandemic-related items on mom’s special day. Use this opportunity to think outside the box and give her something that will not only show her your appreciation but also will put a sense of normalcy back into her life (even if it’s just for a day).
Consider house plants. Flowers are great, but they usually don’t last much more than a week (if we’re lucky). Now that we’re all spending more time in our homes, consider gifting a house plant—it’ll last much longer.
Support her hobbies—or help cultivate new ones. Since it will be a while until life goes back to any version of normal, we all could use a few hobbies to keep us occupied indoors. When thinking of a gift this year, consider sending something to mom that will support her current hobbies or help her develop new ones. Perhaps it’s something that has to do with collecting items, painting, cooking, reading—think about what she likes to do, and go from there.
Put together a memory keepsake. When was the last time you actually gifted something that you made with your own hands? Consider gathering your favorite family photos and putting them together in a scrapbook of some kind as a gift. If that’s not an option, have family members send you a short video of them sharing a Mother’s Day greeting and edit them together. It’s the effort here that really counts.
Keep Delivery Delays and Restrictions in Mind
With stay-at-home orders still in place across the country, some families may need to send a gift to mom instead of getting together. That’s a great idea, but it’ll help to do some research on what may or may not be able to arrive on time right now.
Flowers, for example, are a Mother’s Day staple. The National Retail Federation’s annual Mother’s Day survey finds that 64% of respondents are planning on purchasing flowers, the second-highest category behind greeting cards.
Many national flower delivery services are still accepting and delivering orders, but some of their websites warn of possible delivery delays. FTD, a national flower delivery service, is advertising Mother’s Day bouquets but notes on its website that one delivery window could spread across two days.
Spend Virtual Time Together
For families that are separated during quarantine, a video call could be the answer to spending time together, even if it’s not in person. Since the pandemic began, multiple aspects of daily life have transitioned to online video meetings, like happy hours or workout sessions on Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Small businesses are undeniably bearing the brunt of day-to-day life being essentially shut down since the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency in March. If you’re opting to purchase something for mom, consider shopping local to help support your favorite small businesses near you.
Don’t forget to look for your favorite local or small business online. Just because they’ve had to close the doors of their physical store temporarily doesn’t mean they may not still be actively selling online. If you’d usually visit your local independent bookstore, get online to see if they ship directly, or offer curbside pickup.
Since taking mom out for brunch or dinner is not likely to happen this Mother’s Day, see what you can pick up or have delivered. You’ll be saving mom from cooking and helping your local business community at the same time. If you have a favorite restaurant or meal in mind, you may want to check in with them in advance to see if they have special delivery or timing requirements specific to the Mother’s Day weekend. Burlington have put together a list of local restaurant offerings for Sunday: tasteofburlington.ca/mothers-day-meal-ideas/
Write an Actual Letter
Thomas Farley, an etiquette expert, speaker and author, recommends going old school and sending a handwritten letter.
“This kind of gift is worth its weight in gold,” Farley says. “In a regular year, we might not think we have the time to do this—but, as of now, we have time. An actual letter will be much more meaningful than an email or a text.”
Not sure what to say? Farley recommends starting off by acknowledging that things are different this year and then expressing how it gives you the opportunity to sit down and really think about the meaningful times you have spent together with your mom. If that doesn’t feel natural, try writing about one or two memories you have together and what you remember the most or appreciate the most about them.
Bottom Line? Share the Love
Mother’s Day this year won’t look like it usually does, but the feelings can be just as strong. The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to readjust and rethink how we usually do things. Instead of letting that discourage us, we all have an opportunity to be creative and make holidays and family occasions more memorable during this time, and perhaps even more special, than they were in previous years.