Hi Design Mom! Like everyone else I have fallen in love with your site! Everyday I am excited to see what’s new. Anyway, my mom’s 50th birthday is coming up, and I’d like to give her something really special. Already I’m organizing a memory book of sorts filled with pictures, letters, etc. from friends and family. But it just doesn’t seem like enough! I would like to do something special that is just from me. I’m open to anything, whether it’s store bought or home made. Any thoughts? Thanks so much! — Kelly Lewis
Design Mom Answer:
What a fun question, Kelly. And what a kind daughter you are — the memory book sounds like it’s going to be lovely. I’ll start with a few ideas for an additional gift, and I’m certain Design Mom Readers will have some of their own terrific ideas to add.
Time Zone Mantle Clocks:
One year, because my siblings were (and still are) so spread out all over the world, we bought several matching mantle clocks for my mother. We had small plaques engraved with the different cities where each child lived and attached them to the clocks. My mother would set the clocks to the appropriate time zone for each city or country and could then easily keep track of when to call her kids.
The mantle clocks were small and fit well in my mother’s home. They were charming sitting there all in a row. If I remember right we picked them up from Target — something fairly simple, like this one or this one. She used the clocks for a few years, having new plaques engraved as her children moved from one city to the next.
Have original art commissioned in her honor is another really thoughful gift. Many artists work from photos, so if you have an existing great photo to work from you can do this as a surprise. It could be a portrait of her, of you as a child, a picture of a grandchild, or maybe a depiction of her as a young mother holding a baby.
Or you could go with a landscape — does she have a favorite view or a favorite hike overlooking a valley or a favorite forest or mountain? You could even go with something more abstract from an artist you or she admires. It would be neat just to know the artwork was commissioned just for her.
Find artists through local galleries or ebay or etsy or use my brother-in-law’s blog which features lots of talented artists.
A Gift in Her Name:
Another really wonderful gift would be to donate a sum in her name to a charity or organization she supports. You could follow Bek’s suggestion and purchase a cow or some poultry in her name for a 3rd-world family through Heifer International.
Or think of a cause that’s especially dear to her heart. My church has a Perpetual Education Fund to help students in 3rd world countries get a college education then return to their countries better able to make a difference. My siblings donate to the Fund in my Grandmother’s name on her birthday and at Christmas because she doesn’t want any more material goods and because education has always been one of the things she likes to champion.
I hope those ideas spark your own, Kelly. Design Mom Readers, what gift would you suggest that Kelly could give for her mother’s birthday?
cake photo from Getty Images