Keeping it Simple for Mother’s Day
Show your love this Mother’s Day with gifts from the heart and not the pocket. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like handmade tokens of your appreciation for the one who gave you life, and the bonus is that you don’t need to fork out a fortune.
With so many gifts thrust in your face this time of year, it can become a confusing mess as to what to buy and how much to spend. Like the fan fair of Valentine’s Day it can take away the meaning of the day and turn it into a money spinner for every card and flower shop. Don’t get me wrong though, if you really pushed the boat out and got your mother a ruby necklace or a case of Dom Perignon I’m sure she wouldn’t think it thoughtless! I’m pretty sure my mother’s eyes would pop out of her head with glee if I managed to produce a gift of that calibre.
But if extravagant gifts aren’t within your financial reach, then its homemade gifts all the way this year.
The ideas are endless but they do require you doing a little research into what your mother likes and making everything you do very personal to her taste. Try to be subtle though. If you are too inquisitive she’ll know something is afoot and if you are not clever to cover your tracks then the jig is up and the best part (the surprise) is ruined.
A homemade gift that is one of my favourites is baking. Making a batch of tasty cupcakes is pleasing to the eyes as well as the stomach. The best recipe I know is from the failsafe Be-Ro book that holds a multitude of good honest recipes that, if followed correctly, never fail to impress.
- 100g (4oz) Margarine
- 100g (4oz) Caster Sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 100g (4oz) Be-Ro Self Raising Flour
- Heat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4. Grease two cake tins ready for the mixture.
- Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each.
- Gently fold in remaining flour.
- Place mixture in cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Once cool, use a generous amount of icing sugar to fully cover your cakes – if you are feeling a little adventurous then you can add food colouring to the icing sugar. And for the pièce de résistance you can add the personalised touch of using each cake to spell out a message. My personal favourite is chocolate drops to make each letter. The mixture makes about 16 small cupcakes so you can make the message as long or as short as is needed, and if your message is simply ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ then that is exactly 16 characters including the apostrophe!
Another handy homemade idea is to make your card from scratch. The genius of it is that you need no artistic skills whatsoever. The more childlike the artwork, the more endearing it will be for your mother as she harks back to the time when you were tiny and adorable. All you need is an A4 sheet of paper folded in two (or card if you’re feeling fancy), a pair of scissors and then let the creative juices flow.
If this is your first foray into the world of handmade cards then maybe give it a couple of attempts before you present the lady in question with her card. Keep in mind that we’re going for charming and thoughtful, not half-arsed and dreadful.
My final tip for keeping this day simple is something to tug on the heartstrings. Nothing is more of a tear jerker than a photograph of you and your mother in a photo frame decorated by your own fair hands. All you need for this is a cheap wooden frame big enough for the picture in question, some poster paint and the remainder of your imagination left over from your card making efforts. Keep to the colours she likes (this should have been discovered with your subtle research) and above all else keep it simple. If you have somehow surpassed yourself with artistic flair and your mother doesn’t seem to notice that the frame was not professionally decorated, then make sure you have poster paint on your hands as a gentle indication of your labour of love.
So make this Mother’s Day special by putting the effort in, instead of doling the money out.
Katherine Weir is an avid blogger and writer of all things food, travel, entertainment and health and well-being. Follow her on Twitter @KatherineWeir