With Mother’s Day just a little over a week away, there’s a good chance you’re moments away from blowing it. Don’t fret — check out this guide to navigating this one-of-a-kind situation and make sure your mother knows she’s still the queen.
Time may be an illusion as we all try and fail to remember what day it is during isolation, but there’s an event coming up that you can’t let slip through the cracks.
Mother’s Day is May 10, just a little more than a week away, and if you want to do something special despite the fact that it recently has felt like we’re living in a dystopian novel, there is still time to make and accomplish a plan.
The first question on the list is simple: Do you live with or still continue to visit your mother? If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck. Mother’s Day is still going to be a breeze to pull off. Bring your mom breakfast in bed, watch her favorite movies all day, wrap up a gift you debated over for four days and eventually caved and ordered from Amazon at 2 a.m., then pat yourself on the back for pulling this off.
For the rest of society — myself included — we are faced with a new hurdle. No longer do we merely have to agonize over the perfect gift. Now we have to figure out the logistics of getting it to them.
And the clock is ticking.
Typically on Mother’s Day, I spend at the bare minimum a full month planning a day of activities for us to do together. I grab the prime-time reservation at Oxford Exchange, spend weeks ordering and compiling a thoughtful and useful collection of gifts and hopefully grab tickets at the Tampa Theatre or a local museum for us to spend the afternoon.
My mother has since moved out of state. Airline travel is not currently on the table and every excursion or activity we typically do together is canceled. Five weeks ago I entered panic mode and, using a combination of a network of my far more creative friends, the discoveries of my late-night deep dives into online shopping and suggestions from social media, I was able to compile a guideline for what I’m dubbing “Mother’s Day in the Time of Quarantine.”
Time is of the essence, so don’t delay getting your final plans in order.
Mother’s Day brunch: Every year, restaurants all over the country are booked to capacity as kids fight for a table at their favorite spot to celebrate their mom in the most traditional method known to man: brunch.
Hearty, yet daintily plated eggs and hash, sweet maple pancakes, an omelet filled with more cheese than egg and, of course, the coveted mimosa have made this the experience to end all experiences.
It’s a tradition for a reason, but with restaurants closed and takeout options limited, it’s going to be far trickier getting the same result. But there’s still hope.
If you live near your mom just wake up early, pull up a Bon Appétit cooking video or flip open your Cravings by Chrissy Teigen cookbook and get to work. Make a spread that could feed a small village and carefully plate it in some glass Tupperware. Pick out your nicest tote bag or head to Amazon or Etsy for an adorable picnic basket and load up half of the meal, a bottle of champagne, some cranberry and orange juices and drive to your mom’s.
Drop it off at her door — preferably with a Mother’s Day card on top — and dash back home. FaceTime or Skype her and you two can now eat and drink together on her special day.
If she lives further away, in another state or even another country, there’s still hope. Get on your phone immediately. Track down a nice restaurant that delivers near her. Order a meal and some drinks and get them to arrive Sunday morning. Whatever you order, try to make or buy something similar for yourself and you’re back in business.
Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me: This is redundant by now, but call or video chat your mom. Whether through Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Houseparty or any of the countless other apps you can give her the one thing she’ll want the most: your company.
Text her a few days before, set up the time and follow through. You’ll be shocked at how quickly the time will pass once you start catching up “face-to-face.”
Cook “together:” Let’s face it, we have spent our lives wishing we were as good of a cook as our mother. We may have perfected recipes of our own, but when it comes to her special dish nothing we ever attempt compares. If your mother loves to cook, ask her to get all of the ingredients for your favorite dish of hers, or better yet order them for her and have them delivered to her home. Get the same ingredients for yourself. Dust off an old apron and get on a video call with her in the kitchen. She’ll love spending time sharing her skill with you and you’ll both walk away with a mouth-watering meal.
A queen should be pampered: You know what’s still in business? Tub Treats at 106 NE Drane St. #1. This family-owned business makes everything you need to quickly create a spa basket that will give your mother the relaxation she needs in this stressful time. Go to tubtreat.com and grab some bath bombs or bath salt, pick up some body butter or candles. Buy her some new shampoo or a shower steamer. It’s a gift you literally can’t get anywhere else and you can support a local business while still giving your mother a day at the spa. Both delivery and curbside pickup are available.
It’s five o’clock somewhere: We’re two months into non-stop isolation. Odds are, we’re all hitting the bottle a little more than usual. While grocery store wine is great in a pinch, it just isn’t the same as the nicer bottles you would enjoy at your local bar. Luckily, Roots Tap Room and Wine Bar, 101 S. Evers St., is now selling retail bottles to the public. Go grab your mom her favorite brand or pick up a few and let her try something new. Roots also just announced if you buy four bottles you get a special tote bag with the purchase. Now you don’t even have to wrap the gift.
Lean into the absurd: No one could have anticipated the role quarantine is playing in all of our lives right now. Luckily, there are retailers with a sense of humor. Head on over to etsy.com and scroll through the Mother’s Day gift tab. You’ll be surprised at how many “Quarantine Mother’s Day Gift Boxes” are still available. Some have toilet paper and masks inside, others have quarantine and social distancing jokes on t-shirts and wine glasses. A lot also embrace the need for stress relief and come stock full of essential oils and incense.
Personalize it: Etsy is also the perfect place to buy personalized gifts. Is your mom a hoarder of photographs? Get her a one-of-a-kind customized portrait with all of your family painted within. Does she still carry around her grandmother’s handwritten recipe card for the family’s famous apple pie? You can purchase a cutting board with their recipe burned into the wood in the exact handwriting on the card you submit.
Shop local: Many of the local boutiques including RAOK, shopraok.com, and Tennessee Jane, tennesseejaneco.com, are full of unique finds that are ready to be shipped to you or your mother’s front door. Get her a new outfit or some gorgeous jewelry and show you’re doing your part to support small businesses.
Put some thought into it
Write a letter: The good news is, despite the White House rejecting a bailout for the Postal Service, they are at his moment still alive and kicking. Grab a pen, grab that fancy stationery your aunt bought you for Christmas five years ago despite the fact you asked for a video game and give your mother a gift she probably hasn’t seen in years: your words in your own penmanship.
Create a playlist: Do you remember those long car rides with your mom when you were a child? You wanted to jam to Spice Girls and Alanis Morissette, but instead Bon Jovi and Earth, Wind & Fire were blasting from the stereo. At the time you dreaded listening to those classic tunes, but now every time you hear them they make you smile. Odds are they’ll make your mom smile too.
The traditional mixtape may be outdated, but the concept is still one for the ages. Compile a playlist of her favorite songs, the songs you sang at the top of your lungs growing up and any other tune that makes you think of memories of your time together. Send it to her with a sweet note and set up a time to listen to them together.
Don your director’s cap: This is 2020. Odds are, our phones and laptops are filled with videos we’ve snapped of our families over the past several years. Many of us even have access to old VHS tapes our parents made when we were kids. Brush up on your video editing skills on YouTube and get to work making a cinematography project your mother will cherish for years to come. Make it personal, weave in some of your favorite memories and end it with a clip of you speaking straight into the camera while sharing a personal greeting to your mom on her big day. It doesn’t have to be worthy of an Academy Award to win the top spot in her heart.