25 gifts for mom without going broke
By ELIZABETH BETTENDORF
A gift from the heart sometimes means a treasure for the home. Spend a lot on Mom if you must, but a few dollars go a long way when paired with a dollop of creativity and love.
Here are a few ideas meant to inspire and perhaps save you a little money along the way. Mom would definitely approve!
1. Flowers from a grocery store (hot-pink tulips if you can find them). Improvise on a great vase. I found a vintage Columbia Restaurant sangria pitcher at a garage sale for a few dollars. A small watering can makes a darling vase, too. So does a small metal florist bucket.
2. A stack of bright new kitchen tea towels, a pretty bar of gardener’s glycerin soap and a dainty Blue Willow teacup to nestle it in.
3. A one-year subscription to a homes magazine. (Some are so cheap, you might be able to pick up two for the price of one.)
4. A decorating book from a discount store. I discovered Designers in Residence: The Personal Style of Top Women Decorators and Designers for less than $5 at Ross.
5. A flameless wax sensor candle. These candles are battery operated; they are turned on and off by hidden sensors. Brookstone offers them for $20.
6. A beautiful, potted blooming orchid. The popular phalaenopsis sells for about $10 at Home Depot.
7. Chocolate-covered strawberries (buy the microwave dipping sauce in the produce section of the grocery store) or homemade lemon bars on a beautiful vintage plate that can later be displayed on the kitchen wall.
8. An IOU for a thorough, top-to-bottom house cleaning. (You do the scrubbing, loving child.)
9. A small, contemporary reading lamp from a discount store and a paperback book by a favorite author. (Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is always a great choice.)
10. Make a spring door wreath from grapevine and shells collected from your favorite Florida beaches.
11. Bright cocktail napkins and a set of cute plastic wine glasses for a poolside happy hour with mom. Throw in some gourmet cheese straws (available at SuperTarget) if you’ve got some extra moola. You play bartender.
12. A windowsill herb garden kit or mature herb plants repotted in a pretty window box or ceramic pots.
13. A miniature needlepoint throw pillow with a funny or inspirational “Mom” saying.
14. Place a handmade greeting card in a small frame for a gift of instant art.
15. A lovely upholstered French bulletin board (the kind crisscrossed with ribbons). They’re cheap (usually less than $10) and ubiquitous. Tuck favorite family photos throughout.
16. A hurricane-style glass candle holder (available at discount stores) filled with shells, stones and a fat, scented pillar candle.
17. A flowered china teapot worthy of permanent display and a small tin of apricot tea.
18. A pair of silver-plated candlesticks and creamy taper candles.
19. A set of pretty terry cloth hand towels for the bathroom and a shell night light.
20. A small garden statue, stepping stone or bird feeder to hang outside the kitchen window.
21. Wind chimes.
22. Any kind of antique linens – but pillowcases are the best!
23. Pretty kitchen canisters.
24. A gift card to her favorite shopping place.
25. A photograph of your family home in a good-looking frame. If you are an artist, draw or paint a picture of the house. Write a poem or essay about the meaning of where you grew up to accompany the picture.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!