Friday, May 10, 2013

Make some Mother’s Day memories

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — I’ve heard about some opulent Mom’s Day gifts over the years: cruises, cars, diamonds, even dream houses.
In these economic times, those grand gestures are out of range for most of us.
Luckily, it’s a timeless truism that some of the all-time best Mother’s Day gifts are free … and homemade.
Whether we can locate the actual objects or not, most moms and grandmothers can summon in our mind’s eye some of our most precious gifts of all time. Kindergarten and elementary school prints and plaques of small hands. Handmade cards. Tiny plants in eggshells or little painted pots.
And the photos. That may have changed a little over the years. Baby’s first cherished photo may be a pre-birth ultrasound snapshot or video instead of a wrinkly newborn portrait. And your little darling’s cutest moments might be immortalized on your screensaver at work, stored in a video or slideshow on your smartphone, or shared with loved ones on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
That’s all terrific, and if you have access and the tech-savvy, most moms would be thrilled to find some surprise new shots or a “then and now” montage … maybe presented on a brand new laptop, tablet or phone, if the budget permits.
If your mom’s more retro, or even if she’s not, there’s still nothing like an old-fashioned photograph or two, just of the kids or grandkids, or maybe sharing a special moment with her. Find some frames that reflect her taste, or make a little scrapbook or photo album with family favorites, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to give something she’ll keep and cherish for her lifetime. Your present may even become a family heirloom to delight several generations.
If there are no photographers among your family and friends (hard to fathom in this point-and-shoot age), you might want to spring for some professional family portraits. It’ll be a great investment in priceless memories.
And there’s more to the memory-making than photo images. Mother’s Day could be the perfect time to start your own oral history project.
Update the family tree. Do an online search for family tree forms and charts. Many are downloadable for free, along with guidelines and instructions for researching and completing family histories.
Then ask moms, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, along with older family members and friends, to share their memories of experiences with those on every limb or the tree. Make videos or transcribe amusing and interesting stories for mom’s collection and pledge to add to it every year.
If you can’t get together with mom this year in person, you can still share memories via Skype or a phone conversation.
And don’t underestimate the impact of an old-fashioned snail mail card and letter. Decades after Tweets, texts and e-mails have been long-lost in cyberspace, you may find your thoughtful letters tucked away in a nook to be cherished and remembered.
It’s also hard to beat the classics: flowers and a festive meal, also improved by a handmade touch.
Arrange mom’s favorites in a pretty vase yourself, or offer to plant annuals in her yard or a container for her home or patio. Whip up breakfast in bed, or buy or prepare her favorites for a picnic or barbecue.
And remember to say those magic words: “I love you, mom.” Nothing means more from her favorite gift of all: you.

S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore.

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