A Mother's Gift

She was the one you could rely on to "eat" all of those mud pies you made each spring. She was the one you could rely on to play chaffeur to you and any number of your friends when it was "necessary" to go shopping or to the game. She was the one you could rely on to have more butterflies in her stomach than you on your wedding day.

Moms are a great blessing to us all. Take the opportunity to say, "Thank you, Mom" this year by giving a gift from the heart. What are presented here are some favorite gift ideas from myself, other writers and Seasoned Cooking writers. Each is special because it was the perfect gift for its recipient.

If you want to share your ideas with Seasoned Cooking, visit our Readers' Corner column today. We feature reader ideas and recipes every month in the column and also feature some in special articles like this one.

I'll start things off with an idea of my own. Shortly after my wedding, my mother started getting very nostalgic about her "little girl". It wasn't too hard to pick up on this and I decided it was time to remind her of what her "little girl" thought of her.

Gathering together various pictures of myself and those important to me, I made a chronological memory album that spanned from toddler years past my wedding day. I included a special story that went with the photos I had chosen and made sure that I included special references to how important Mom had been to me as I grew. It's still nestled among Mom's treasures today.

A reader who's been reading Seasoned Cooking from the start, Albert Chang found a living gift for his retired grandmother. Here's what he has to say:

    "After Grandma retired, she seemed to spend more and more time sitting around with little to do. Because she had a hard time getting around, most of my aunts and uncles figured her boredom was inevitable. Not me!

    When Mother's Day rolled around, I presented Grandma with a tiered set of large terra cota pots, potting soil, Miracle Grow, and a nice assortment of plants, seeds, and flowers from the store. We spent about 2 days putting together one of the loveliest miniature gardens I've ever seen. Now Grandma doesn't have to go far to enjoy it and she can spend hours carefully trimming plants, harvesting herbs, and taking in the sights."

Grace Chaney takes advantage of her mother's existing hobby when Mother's Day rolls around. This is a great idea for any collectors out there:

    "My mom collects dolls. She has since she was a little girl. (Needless to say, her house is filled with 'em!) I take advantage of her hobby each Mother's Day by presenting her with a new one.

    But...it's more than that. Each doll I give her is symbolic of the last year we've had. When I graduated from high school, I gave her a cute stuffed Precious Moments graduate doll. When I got married, I bought her a beautiful porcelain bride. I even got her a doll pushing a baby buggy in the year she became a Grandmom.

    I like this tradition because it combines an interest that Mom has had for years with a reminder of what's been happening every year. It's a neat way to preserve memories."

Writer of Seasoned Cooking's popular Home Style column, Jenny Wojcik shared a special gift idea she got from her very own grandson. If you have young kids who want to make a homemade gift for Mom or Grandma, Jenny's got this idea for you:

    "I have a craft idea for a fabulous Mother's Day gift - it's a handpainted Tee Shirt, painted by the kids.  It's simple and quite a bit of fun for the children - makes a great gift for Mom or Grandmom!!!

    Using fabric paint poured into a paper plate (for easy, quick cleanup) children put their hands in, and make painted handprints on an adult-size white tee-shirt.  Done in random order, front and back with different colors, it's a very special and colorful gift.  To gild the lily, an adult can write on the tee shirt:  "Meagan's Mom" or "Helping Hands" or simply "Happy Mother's Day!"  Materials are inexpensive:  white tee, 3 colors of fabric paint,  paper plates, cardboard OR a shirt form (keeps the paint from penetrating both sides of the shirt at once) and an indelible fabric marker for the saying. It's truly Hand Painted!!!   My grandson made me one that I still smile about! It's too precious, and something I'll cherish forever."


Our final Mother's Day gift idea comes from someone near and dear to me, my Mom. When all's said and done at the end of the day, here's what she loves to get:

    "Each Mother's Day, my greatest wish is to be surrounded by my loved ones and feel like I made a positive difference in their lives. I want to enjoy the pride I feel when I see how well they've all done. I want them to know that I love them very much and that they also love me. Oh...and I don't want to have to cook!"

Okay, Mom, I'll take the hint! This year, dinner's on me. How does pizza sound? Just kidding!

Whatever you plan for this Mother's Day, remember that making Mom feel special is what this day is all about. Go ahead, you know what will make your mom smile.