May 9, 2020
Last Updated:
February 1, 2021

How to Make This Mother’s Day Meaningful and Memorable

Showing your mom how much you care doesn’t need to be expensive or in the form of “things”!

Search for “Mother’s Day gifts” and you’ll be inundated with lists of things to buy, from comfy pajamas and candles to jewelry and so much more. While there's nothing wrong with buying these kinds of gifts to celebrate Mother’s Day, we’ve compiled some ideas to help you celebrate Mom a little different this year. And when we say “mom,” we mean anyone in your life who has felt like a mother to you, whether it’s your biological mother or not.

The alternate gift ideas outlined below are great no matter the circumstance, but as we’ve heard from the IIN community, many people are separated from their families and unable to celebrate not only Mother’s Day but birthdays, graduations, births, and other joyous occasions in person.

As our lives have been turned upside down, we’ve adapted to virtual celebrations via Zoom, drive-by shout-outs (if safe to do so!), and handwritten letters, which have made a spectacular comeback. We encourage you to think outside the boxthink: primary food – to show your appreciation for those you love any and every day of the week, especially this Mother’s Day!

If you and your mom live in the same household:

You should consider yourself very lucky to have such an important person in your life living in the same space! Whether she came to stay during these challenging times to look after your kids or she herself is immunocompromised and needed support, there are many ways to celebrate Mother’s Day together:

  • Cook a meal for her.
  • Cook a meal with her and sit down to enjoy it together.
  • Spend time outside in the garden or on the porch.
  • Take a (safe, socially distant) walk.
  • Do a craft project.
  • Watch a movie or TV show.
  • Create your own at-home spa day, complete with manicures, pedicures, and DIY face masks.
  • Take on her chores, if you normally split the housework.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Take a virtual cooking class.
  • Exercise together.

If you can’t see your mom in person this Mother’s Day:

If you have a car available and it’s safe to do so, taking a drive to visit (from an appropriate distance) can be a great, heart-warming gesture that will lift her spirits on a day she wishes she could be with family and loved ones. It can be as close to an in-person visit as you can get.

In addition to driving and stopping out front to say hello:

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  • Leave groceries, flowers, and anything else she may want or need at her doorstep.
  • Write a handwritten letter, poem, or card – snail mail is making a comeback!
  • Have flowers delivered from a local florist.
  • Deliver food from her favorite local restaurant so she doesn’t have to cook.
  • Plan a Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype video chat and have a meal “together”!
  • Watch a movie or TV show using an app that lets you “watch together.”
  • Gift her a subscription to her favorite online magazine or newspaper.
  • Send a book and host a virtual book club.
  • Send a framed photo of you and her together.
  • Make an old-fashioned phone call – it’s a great option and never disappoints.

If your mom has passed and you want to honor her spirit:

Mother’s Day can present an opportunity to grieve, mourn, or celebrate life (or even a mixture of all three):

  • Cook her favorite meal and enjoy it with no distractions (phone, TV, etc.).
  • Read her favorite book.
  • Light a candle, frame your favorite picture of her, and create an at-home memorial.
  • Walk or hike in nature.
  • Plant a tree or her favorite flowers.
  • Call or video chat with a family member or friend who knew her well and share your favorite memories of her.
  • Donate money to a charity or organization that held meaning for her.

If you have friends or loved ones who have lost their mom:

Checking in on your community – friends, family, and neighbors – during this time is incredibly important, and making yourself available to those who need it can hold so much more value and meaning than you realize.

  • Reach out and ask how you can support them, whether it’s a phone call or support in the form of groceries, deliveries, etc.
  • Send flowers or a meal from their favorite restaurant.
  • Donate money to a charity or organization that held meaning for their mom. 

The IIN community is as strong as ever, and we’re here to support you as we move through these challenging times. Let us know how you’re celebrating this Mother’s Day by tagging us @nutritionschool on Instagram.

Author Biography
Nina Zorfass
IIN Content Writer

Nina holds a bachelor’s in dietetics, nutrition, and food sciences from the University of Vermont, is a graduate of IIN’s Health Coach Training Program, and is an NASM-Certified Personal Trainer.

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