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6 Top Tips for
Mother's Day Gifts

This year, replace traditional, boring Mother's Day gifts with something truly memorable. Susan V. Bosak, bestselling author, intergenerational researcher, and National Chair of the Legacy Project offers her top gift tips for your mother or grandmother.

1. Replace Cards with Books: You can easily spend several dollars on a greeting card that gets tossed into the garbage. Books, on the other hand, are lasting. The hot trend is to give one of the many beautifully illustrated, emotion-packed "children's" picture books out there to adults. As the moving story of the special gifts a grandmother and granddaughter share through the years, Something to Remember Me By carries a timeless message about loving memories. The book makes a meaningful gift on its own, and can be combined with any of the gift ideas that follow.

2. Replace Candy with a Memory Jar: Write out some of your best memories (a dozen or more) of mom or grandma on small pieces of pretty paper. Include things you've done together, favorite family traditions, things she's done or said that made a difference to you, the best advice she's given you. Fold them and put them into a jar so that she can "munch on them" over time. A "best memory" note can also open dialogue in a strained relationship. People are often surprised at your best memories of them. You'll be surprised at how much sharing these memories means to mom or grandma. The Legacy Project offers a selection of free Best Memory Notes.

3. Replace Perfume with a Personal Scent: Research shows the sense of smell is one of the most powerful for evoking memories. For example, if you've shared special times outdoors, give an outdoorsy potpourri or woodsy scented sachet. Include a note that begins, "I remember when..."

4. Replace Flowers with a Photo Bouquet: Collect special photos of mom or grandma, particularly those of the two of you from your childhood. Use duplicates or color copies to create a collage. Or, glue two copies of each photo back-to-back (so the photo is visible from both sides). If you like, make flower shapes using colored construction paper and glue the photos onto the centers. Slip the photos onto the plastic sticks used to hold the card in floral arrangements. Put the sticks into a flower arranging base at different heights and angles. Finish with some ribbon and a few fresh or dried flowers.

5. Replace the Fancy Dinner Out with Some Quality Kitchen Time: The room full of the most memories is the kitchen. We relax, smell, taste, talk, and learn things there. Maybe your mother or grandmother is older and not able to cook as much as she used to. Do a little role reversal and cook for her a special meal she used to cook for you. Get advice and tips from her as you cook. The meal will bring back memories for you both.

6. Replace Buying New Stuff with Sharing "Old Stuff":
A cedar chest is the heart of a home, holding keepsakes that evoke the memories of a lifetime. This Mother's Day, spend a cozy afternoon looking through a family cedar chest. Or dig deep into your closet or attic to find some forgotten mementoes -- your mother's old "glam" earrings, an old train ticket or playbill. Share the memories and feelings these keepsakes evoke for both of you.

Click here for a downloadable version of the "6 Top Tips" that you can share with friends, family, and colleagues

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Legacy Project
©2005 Susan V. Bosak