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Mother’s Day gift ideas

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Sometimes Mother’s Day can be a bit daunting. You want to do something special for your mom but can’t ask her what she wants since it should be a surprise. We are no longer at the age where a poorly cutout paper heart or a pipe cleaner flower is going to do the trick. It requires more thoughtfulness than something from an elementary school arts and crafts project. It seems like year after year the day always sneaks up on me and I’m stuck buying the last plastic-wrapped bouquet of flowers my mom pretends to love. But not this year. As a pseudo adult it is my responsibility to take charge of Mother’s Day. So if you’re in a similar situation and are looking for some potential ideas: have at it.

1. Whip out the vacuum cleaner and duster because it’s time for you to do the dirty work. Moms shouldn’t be expected to do all of the boring and tedious household chores. If you’re not good about helping around the house, change that. Instead of doing just your laundry or cleaning only your dishes take on more of the responsibility, especially if you have younger siblings. While a full spring cleaning on Mother’s Day might not sound like the most fun, it will give your mom a chance to relax and feel catered to. Take care of her for a change and work that into part of your daily routine. Do an extra load of laundry, mop the floor, whatever you can do to lighten the load.

2. Take her out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants, or even cook for her. This doesn’t have to be something overly fancy. It’s just an opportunity to spend quality time with someone you love and eat good food. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a full meal out it’s equal special to do your own cooking. There are plenty of websites that have recipes with simple ingredients, basic steps and short prep times that will help you make the perfect dish. One of my favorite resources is Buzzfeed It has full recipes, video tutorials and step-by-step instructions.

3. Make a scrapbook. This may sound complicated or limited to kids with an artsy side, but that’s not the case. Scrapbooks are easy to make and more long lasting than flowers or food. You can get 50 photos from your local Walgreens for $14.50 (not including tax). There’s no need for flash drives or laptops, all you need to do is download the app on your phone and select the pictures you would like printed. These simple steps can be completed at home and if you’re truly feeling lazy the pictures can be mailed to your house for an additional fee. This is a great option because it’s inexpensive, timeless and thoughtful. It could be argued that with the use of smartphones scrapbooks have become irrelevant, but I disagree. You can share them on a larger and a more personal platform that allows you to curate your memories in a meaningful way. On the back of the pictures you could even write a memory from when the photo was taken to add a sentimental touch that phones don’t allow you to have. For more information on ordering pictures click here.

4. Plan a day where just you and your mom can hangout. Find an activity that the two of you enjoy doing together and pick a day that works best. Personally, my mom is a fan of lazy Sundays so I know taking her canoeing on her “day off” might not be fun for her. It’s best to section off a couple hours in the future where you can have a relaxed day together. Whether it’s going to the beach, movies or a painting class, find something that you know she will like and put some serious thought into it. My mom loves photography, so I’m taking her to Sunken Gardens so she can have a day to indulge in her hobby. Most of the time she is stuck taking pictures of my siblings and I during sporting events or vacations, but this will give her an opportunity to express her creativity in a new way. Do some thinking and pick something unique that she can always remember.

5. Make a playlist. Yes this sounds dorky, but it’s thoughtful and nice. Many parents grew up in the age where swapping cassette tapes and CDs with people was an intimate exchange. It showed serious consideration of the other person’s taste and allowed the gift-giver to provide that person with a functional present. While cassette tapes are outdated, it would be easy to burn a CD with your mom’s favorites. Spotify also has a feature that allows you to create and share playlists with others, so if your mom if the proud owner of an AUX cord this is also a possibility. A popular trend is to make a playlist where all of the song titles create a message for the recipient. If you go for this method you could just spend a lot of time making a playlist with a cute saying but it might never be listened to. You could choose between functionality or creativity, or maybe go for both. This is a gift that only costs you time and will have a big payoff.

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News from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla.
Mother’s Day gift ideas