Mother’s Day is almost upon us and it’s time to start looking for that something special for the person to whom you owe your existence. Finding the right gift for Mom can be challenging but this is not due to a lack of ideas. These days, there are a ton of sites to recommend, design and customize gifts that are perfect for Mother’s Day or any occasion, for that matter.
But sometimes you want to think beyond personalized tea towels and foot creams. And if Mom has just finished a round of spring cleaning, you may not want to add to her clutter with another vase or home accessory.
Thoughtful gifts based on memories or experiences, however, are special and stand out in the gifting milieu of our times.
Old memories renewed
Want to give Mom a gift she will truly cherish? How about a beautiful old print of the two of you enclosed in a vintage card? If you have the perfect image but it is faded or ripped, don’t give up on it. A good photo restoration service can fix any blemishes and make your favorite photo look whole and new again. Go through your family archives for other priceless memories that could use a face lift. Mom will love receiving a set of expertly restored memories – backed up on a disk or printed out in a collage or scrapbook.
Another way to give print photos a new lease of life is to digitize them. Digitization frees photos from shoe boxes and old albums and gets them into a format that’s easier to share and work with. If you know Mom has an outsize print photo collection that she has been wanting to do something about, she would definitely appreciate a gift card to a quality and reliable photo scanning service. That may be all it takes to unleash the family historian and digital scrapbooker in her.
Frame ’em; Print ’em
Although digital frames have been around for a while, they have not always lived up to their promise as photo display devices. That seems to have changed now. As this article in the Wall Street Journal explains, many of the issues with the old generation of frames have been resolved in newer editions. Recent reviews, such as this one from the Wirecutter, rate the Nixplay Seed highly for ‘’people who want to display pictures uploaded wirelessly from their smartphones, hard drives, or social media and cloud storage accounts.” What makes it ideal as a gift is a feature that allows others to share their pictures directly to it. So, the next time you want to make Mom smile, you can light up her digital frame with the latest pictures you just took – of her granddaughter digging for fossils in the park, or of that beautiful sunset from your new apartment.
And what about giving her the ability to easily print some of those photos? That’s a wildly throwback idea today when we are awash in digital images. But the success of instant print cameras like the Fujimax Instax prove that there is still a market and need for retro magic in our world. Printing and holding a physical photo in our hands qualifies as one such experience.
A little portable photo printer like the Polaroid Zip is a great gift idea for Mother’s Day. It will allow her to make small prints of her favorite photos to display on her fridge or pin onto a bulletin board. Don’t worry that it might be too much of a geek gadget for Mom. The Zip actually comes in a couple of bright colors, apart from black and white. Give it to her with a colorful bouquet of flowers and a starter supply of Polaroid Zink printer paper. It’s likely to be one of those little gadgets she’ll really appreciate owning.
Subscriptions are a great way to introduce Mom to services and products she hasn’t tried before.
This list from Techcrunch, although far from comprehensive and not entirely aimed at women, covers the main ones across a few categories. Apart from the ones that ship you physical goodies on a monthly basis, there are several digital subscription services worth checking out. Granted, a Dropbox account or Amazon Prime membership, useful though they may be, sound too pedestrian. But with a little bit of digging, you are sure to unearth something that’s perfect for Mom. If she is a movie buff, for example, she may enjoy streaming her weekend movie fix through Filmstruck with its curated collection of Indie, foreign and cult films that can’t be found anywhere else. If music is her jam, then help her stay on top of the latest artist releases with an Apple music subscription. Both of these currently cost around $10 for a one month subscription. On the other hand, if you think it would make her happier to get a pretty hamper filled with gourmet cooking sauces, fine teas or handmade stationery, there are again plenty of options here. With most of them, you can choose a plan and duration that fits the product and your budget.
There are many more ideas where these came from. The point is that it doesn’t have to be too hard or expensive to find a gift that keeps giving and makes Mom happy – for months after Mother’s Day.