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Make Mother's Day memorable with these "gift" ideas

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 9:00 am

With Mother's Day coming Sunday, we've put together some ideas to honor Mom and treasure her always, as well as ways to celebrate her memory if she has died.

Documenting the good times

Mother's Day is special, but with soccer games, dinner plans and keeping the house in order, the good times and memories pass us can by without notice.

Instead of getting lost in the hustle and bustle of life - and Mother's Day - try some of these tips to documenting the fond memories before they pass you by.

*Whether on your iPhone or the old VHS recorder, record video of grandchildren playing or chatting with grandparents. Not only will you get a few of those golden "kids day the darnedest things" moment, but you'll also be creating a stronger bond between the generations int he family.

*When discussing family history or ancestry record the conversation via video recorder or voice recorder. Many people often regret not asking older folks in the family questions before their passing.

*Keep your camera out and your eyes peeled. Just because you are documenting moments as they go by, don't forget to live in them as well. That's why it's always great to have a camera on your hip for that great moment, but don't keep your nose tucked away behind the view finder.

*Once you have all your memories collection find a neat way to present them. Videos are a great way to share love with family no matter how far away they live. Create a video on YouTube or Instagram to share with far away family. Try laying your favorite family songs under a video slideshow of family photos. Mixing personal photos and favorite music can create a lot of emotion and maybe even a few tears from Mom.

*Print your photos into a family photo book at a local photo print store or online at Walgreens, CVS or Shutterfly. You don't have to be the creative-type to get a great looking photo book. They often will provide you with decorated and creative template where you just import the photos right into. Often, companies can have the final product within a week or two.

The gift that keeps on giving

What's one thing Mom does better than anyone? The answer is taking care of the people around her.

Instead of getting her another gardening kit or piece of jewelry, give the gift that keeps on giving.

There are plenty of ways to helps others instead of purchasing tangible gifts.

*Try donating money to your Mom's favorite local charity.

*Volunteering is a way to involve the whole family and support organization in the community. Instead of a Mother's Day brunch, try visiting a local organization to see how your family can help.

*Give Mom a goat for Mother's Day. OK, well it's not exactly what it sounds like. There are many different charities and services, but the principal behind the idea is that you purchase an animal to feed a family in a third world country. Find out more information by visiting websites such as www.heifer.org or www.worldvision.org.

Preserving the memories

Mother's Day can be sad when you no longer have a mother to fete. However, reminiscing over pleasant and funny memories can make you feel better. So can doing something specific to remember Mom, even if it's a gift for yourself. Here are some suggestions, starting with the most obvious:

*Visit her grave site; put something there she would have liked. Try to choose something organic — cemeteries get fussy these days about plastic flowers and wreaths. Lay some of her favorite cut flowers by her grave, or maybe a few seashells from the beach.

*Did your mother have a favorite perfume? Maybe you could buy a bottle for yourself as a reminder of the way she smelled.

*Do you have recordings of your mom on outdated media? Gather videotapes, movie films, HD videos, photos, prints and slides and take them someplace like Walgreen's to have them converted to digital.

*If you have scads of old photos that you want to put in albums, make Mother's Day the day to do it. If you can enlist siblings or your own children to help you can share stories about your mom and your family.

*Speaking of sharing stories, if your mom died before your children were born, or when they were too young to remember her, take some time on Mother's Day to tell them a little about their grandmother. These stories shouldn't be long and don't have to be stupendous, but everyone has stories worth sharing.

*Most moms had at least one recipe (or many) that the family raved about. Don an apron (bonus points if you have one of your mom's) and make her signature dish.

*Do you have her china set? It's a special day. Use it.

*Take the family for a drive past the house where you grew up. Maybe something Mom planted is still growing in the yard.

*Get a tattoo memorializing your mom. Sometimes the portraits don't turn out all that well, but maybe you could have one of her (and your) favorite sayings inscribed on your body. Or just have her name tattooed, that way she'll always be a part of you.

*Handwriting and signatures are immensely personal and can convey fond memories. If you have a special letter from her, or a postcard she wrote or even her signature, consider having it blown up into a size suitable for framing and hang it on a wall.

*If you do none of the above, but you had a mother who was loving, loyal, kind and unselfish, spend the day trying to emulate her character. Perhaps that's the best tribute of all.