By Karen Harphold
It’s that time of year again. Mother’s Day. At worst, Mother’s Day means last-minute supermarket flowers, an hour-long wait at your favorite restaurant for lunch, and maybe a hastily signed card. You know your family’s intentions are golden, but sometimes it just feels predictable. But what if this year you took a minute to fantasize about what your best Mother’s Day would look like? And what if you gave your family a little hint? (You could even leave this article on the kitchen table, with your favorite idea circled!) We would be willing to bet that they would be thrilled to know how to best express their love and gratitude to you this Mother’s Day.
Little Things Mean a Lot
Spring Cleaning: You’ve been wanting to tackle them for months, maybe even years: those closets, or maybe it’s your garage that needs some TLC. It seems like such an overwhelming task all by yourself… but what if your whole family pitched in without your having to nag and cajole them? With everyone helping out (with smiles on their faces!) you could get the job done in a fraction of the time. Imagine all your newly-discovered storage space!
Family Portrait: Some moms are great about scheduling these once a year. But if you are the mom who gets stressed out just thinking about having to coordinate outfits and scout locations, take this opportunity to delegate. Let your family plan all the details – you just show up for the camera. And better yet, make this an annual tradition.
Picnic in the Park: In Houston, May is still usually cool enough to enjoy a picnic outdoors, especially in the evening. Your family could pack your favorite light meal (maybe some goodies from Central Market) or just a luscious dessert and gather some blankets for a relaxing picnic at your local park. No park nearby? Your own backyard will do when it means quality family time.
Breakfast in Bed: If you are a night owl who gets up early every morning to make lunches, drive carpool and get to work, this gift can’t be beat. Your family allows you to sleep in as late as you desire, then serves you a delicious breakfast in bed. True appreciation for all those lunches made at 6am!
Family Movie Night: Mom’s Pick: Age of Ultron not your cup of tea? Tonight you get to share your more sophisticated movie preferences with your family. You know once they see Casablanca they will love it, even if they don’t immediately realize it.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Though it may not be your children’s first choice of museums to visit, your family will decidedly come away enriched. Drop-ins are welcome to Sunday Family Zone + Studio, and the Mother’s Day theme is “Sculptures That Shine: Exploring a Contemporary Work from India.”
Hopefully Not Your Last Concert: For 15 years Last Concert Café (1403 Nance St., 77002) has been hosting Sunday Jam Sessions alongside its Sunday brunch. From 10:30am to 3pm your family can enjoy fresh authentic Mexican dishes while listening to live music. Don’t forget to knock for admittance.
Texas Crab Festival: Held every Mother’s Day weekend in Crystal Beach, this festival features music, art, family entertainment and, of course, Gulf Coast crabs! It’s billed as an all-American family weekend of food and fun. www.texascrabfestival.org.
Miller Outdoor Theatre: Miller Outdoor Theatre is one of Houston’s top attractions, and all events are free! Your family will take care of the packing the blanket and some snacks and drinks. Then enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars taking in the Houston Ballet: Season Selections. www.milleroutdoortheatre.com.
Tourist For a Day: This Mother’s Day, view your city through the eyes of a tourist. Choose whatever interests you most: NASA, a shopping spree at the Galleria, an Astros baseball game… or be a foodie tourist for the day and try three completely different types of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You Should Be Dancin,’ Yeah: Admit it, your perfect night out would include you and your spouse dancing the night away to 80s music. Get into the groove at Barbarella, 2404 San Jacinto Street, at 80s Night on Saturdays!
Family Bike Ride: If your family’s bikes have been sitting in the garage collecting dust, pull them out and head to your choice of Houston’s 128 miles of hike and bike trails. www.houstonbikeways.org.
Bowling: Feeling a little competitive on Mother’s Day? Challenge your family to an afternoon bowling match. Your kids might not have any idea that bowling is not actually a game played on your tv.
Ballroom or country & western dancing lessons: Houston boasts several great studios where you and your hubby (or whole family!) can learn the basics of ballroom or country & western dancing.
Rock Climbing: If you and your family enjoy athletic challenges, indoor rock climbing might invigorate your Mother’s Day. Most gyms offer climbing for different skill levels so you can each feel the exhilaration of reaching the summit!
iFly: Or maybe terra firma is not your thing – you prefer the thrill of being airborne. This Mother’s Day take it to the limit and check out indoor skydiving at Ifly. www.iflyworld.com.
Mani/pedi: There’s nothing like a manicure and pedicure to pamper yourself. A Mother’s Day gift card for your favorite nail studio might be just the ticket!
Mom’s Day Off: Every now and then we all need a break from our daily routines. A homemade gift card for a Day Off for Mom (spend it however you want, while your family takes care of things at home!) might be the perfect way to recharge your batteries.
Makeover for Mom: This time you won’t have to rush by those makeup counters at the department store. Your family has made an appointment for you to enjoy a makeover with your favorite cosmetic brand!
Massage/Facial: Along the lines of pampering yourself… why not luxuriate in the experience of a massage or facial? A gift card for your favorite spa (or a surprise appointment on Mother’s Day) may be just what you need.
Personal Trainer: If you’re having trouble sticking to that New Year’s resolution to get in shape, you may love the idea of a gift package with a personal trainer.
Landscaping: Whether your yard needs a full makeover or just some colorful annuals, the gift of a landscaper’s talents is one that will blossom with beauty for many months to come.
Fashion Consultant: Maybe it’s not just your dancing that’s stuck in the 80s – could you use a little help weeding through your closet and updating your wardrobe? Houston is home to several fantastic fashion consultants, including Rebecca Matthews. www.rebeccamatthews.com.
Mother’s Day Video Journal: Dad makes a video of kids sharing things like, “The most important thing my mom has taught me is…” and “My first memory of my mother is…” This gift will provide a treasured timeline of your role as a mother.
Photobook: A photobook is a lovely remembrance of your family’s most special moments from the past year and a wonderful new Mother’s Day tradition.
Do you have your Sharpie out and ready to circle your favorite idea? Happy Mother’s Day!