Mother’s Day is just around the corner (11 May 2014) and you are probably having a headache on what to buy for your dear Mum. Here are some inexpensive but heart warming ideas for your consideration:

1)     A handmade card

This is the most traditional present from a child to his/her mum. Ever since we were little, we were taught how to make cards on Mother’s Day for our Mums. It is still practiced in today’s child-care centres and schools and it is still a present welcomed by mothers. Look around your female colleagues’ cubicles and you will see that they are proudly hanging their children’s gift at their workplace!

2)     A bunch of flowers or a pot of bonsai tree

This is also another traditional gift for Mother’s Day. It can be inexpensive as you can buy it from the wet market. You can request for the flowers to be wrapped nicely and you can just add on a beautiful ribbon and card. It need not be a big bunch, just a stalk will surely bring a smile to your Mum.

You can also buy your Mum a bonsai which can show a more long-lasting expression of appreciation. From the day, you were born until today, your mum has been there for you. By giving her the bonsai plant, it is a gesture of how she cares and nurtures you just like how she would care for the plant. It will even bring her a lot of happiness if the plant blooms. The beauty of the bonsai plant is that it is easy to care for.

3)     Just a peck on your Mum’s face or a give her a bear hug

To a mother, the best present will be her children and so just a kiss or hug from her children will make her the most blissful Mum in the whole world. This could be the best present among the presents as your love and affection is what she will most cherish.

4)     Write her a poem or compose her a song

Use your heart to write a poem or a song for your Mum. Recite or sing it to her on Mother’s Day and it will be another wonderful surprise to her. The poem or song will touch her heart as it will show her the love and gratitude you have for her.

5)     Do It Yourself (DIY) presents

Notice the things that your Mum likes and make it for her. The effort put in by her children will be very much appreciated. You can do costume-jewellery such as bracelets and necklaces. You can also paint or do a portrait of her. Cross stitch and knitting are also good ideas to explore. You can also bake a cake that she likes. A lovely cake with a mind–blowing message on it can bring tears of joy. You can also download some old songs and record it on a CD for her.

6)     Family Gathering

On Mother’s Day, give her your full attention and spend the whole day with her. Gather all the family members together and make it a lively family day. No matter where you are or how busy you are, just make it a point to be by her side and your Mum will be most happy. Plan it together with your siblings on how to make it a memorable day for her. You can go on a picnic, go shopping, watch a movie together etc.

7)     Let your Mum “take leave” on that day

Let your dear Mum take leave on that day. You can get the whole family to share her load of duties. As a mother, she is probably used to the way she does her things and so she might nag if things are not done her way. You will have to tolerate that and don’t argue with her. Don’t even feel angry or frustrated. If not, it will spoil the day.

8)     Go marketing & cook with her

Make it a day whereby all the women in the family come together to discuss on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then off you go, to the wet market or supermarket to buy the ingredients and prepare all the dishes together. Show your mum that you are willing to learn from her and she will be most happy to teach you. After cooking, the men in the family can wash up the utensils. The ladies can stay at a corner and have a cup of hot tea together.

9)     Put up a family performance for her

Get the children and grandchildren to put up a performance such as singing a song or acting out a skit. You can also share about the fond memories on how she cared for you from the day you are able to remember what she did for you. You can also share silly memories together. Video it down and your Mum can watch it whenever she wants. It will be a great bonding experience for the family!

10)  Reminisce her old days with her

You can buy some classic movies/dramas that she likes and watch it together as a family. Nowadays, youngsters do not like to watch old movies as they find it too boring or old fashioned. By watching it together with your Mum, it will show that you are willing to do things together with her. Do not let her watch it alone or the present will be less valuable.

11)  Give her “custom made”  or blank coupons

You can give your mother “blank” coupons where she can use it whenever she likes. The custom made things that can be listed in the coupon can be:

a)      Going shopping with her;
b)      Watch a movie with her;
c)      Be her chauffeur

The custom made coupons can also list things that she would like you to do with her or it can list those things that she doesn’t like to do and she wants you to do it like cleaning the windows or packing the cupboards.

Do bear in mind that the empty coupons are the most challenging as your mother can list down whatever she wants. Give her such coupons only when you are sure you can do it, if not, it will lead to disappointment.

12)  Do community service on this special day

Ask your Mum first before getting the whole family to do community service on this special day, like visiting a Senior Citizens’ Home. Tell your Mum that one way of showing the love you have for her is by sharing with all those people who needs it. It will be happiness for everybody and she will be seen as a great mother who has brought up her children well and she will be proud of her children.

The bottom line is that a mother’s day present does not need to be expensive. A gift from your heart will do. You just have to show your mum that you love and treasure her and it will be the best Mother’s Day present! No matter which present you give her, do remember to tell her that you love her!

Mother’s Day is not only for your Mum, do remember to show your grandmothers that you love them too!

Remember that the best phrase your mother can hear from you is “I love you, Mum! You are the best Mum I ever have.”

A friend once told me that actually the best day we should celebrate with our mothers is our own birthday as that is the day when she went through a lot to bring us to the world.

Therefore, on your birthday, do remember to also buy a present for your mother.

This article was contributed by Ms Tan Hai Cheng, Administrative Manager from the Institute for Financial Literacy (IFL).