With Mother’s Day around the corner, you’ve probably planned a grand day ahead for Mom. While you’re at it, here are a few simple ways in which you can bring joy to other Moms as well. After all, all mothers deserve to be honored, at the very least on this special day. So, why not adopt a mom, this Mother’s Day and warm her heart? In the process, you would have made yours proud. And what better gift could there possibly be?
4 ways to make another Mom’s day.
-Offer to baby-sit for a new mom. There’s nothing a new mom would appreciate more than a few hours of free time to get out of the house, take a nap or just do something for herself. If your friend, sister, cousin or colleague has had a baby recently, give her this gift of time on Mother’s Day. A short break from her round-the-clock caring for baby routine will work wonders on her spirits and also give you the chance to cuddle up with her little one.
- Be a friend. Is your best friend away from home? Spend a few hours with his or her mom, so she doesn’t miss her son or daughter as much.
-Make a stranger feel special. Visit an old age or homeless shelter and wish the women there a Happy Mother’s Day. Offer to do something special for one(or more) of them. It could be as simple as taking them out for ice cream, or cooking a meal for them or just playing their favorite music.
- Send free Mother’s Day ecards. Not just to your own mom, but to all the moms you know. From your cleaning lady to your child’s caretaker at daycare – why not make their day with a free wish?
Most holidays have some pretty strict traditions attached to them: on Christmas, we all sit around the tree and watch the children open gifts; on Thanksgiving the entire family gathers for a great meal; and on Valentine’s Day you finally dig into your pockets for that expensive piece of jewelry to give as a gift. But how do you spend your time on a less ritualized holiday? How, for instance, should you spend Mother’s Day?
Here’s a good outline, if nothing else. Start the day with an alarm clock—even if you don’t have school or work that day. In other words, make sure you’re awake before Mom is. This will give you a chance to do all those early-morning activities—fixing breakfast, making sure the kids’ school lunches are ready—that she would normally do herself. If you bought her a gift (surely you bought Mom a gift!), give it to her in bed. Let her know you were excited about getting her a present that you simply couldn’t wait to give it to her. From there, throughout the day, do everything you can to make sure Mom doesn’t have to lift a finger.
Most of all, though, you should spend Mother’s Day however Mom wants to spend it. It is, after all, her day. And for all the things our mothers do for us, we don’t give them nearly the amount of credit they deserve.
Rituals are good. But being merely ritualistic takes away some of the meaning behind an occasion. There comes a point when we automatically start Christmas shopping in November, browse Valentine’s Day cards in February and…and rush to save on last minute Mother’s Day deals in May.
The fact is, every single day we live is in a way, Mother’s Day. We wouldn’t be here but for her. We wouldn’t be who we are, if it were not for her. And the bottom line is that we don’t really need a day, a gift or a reason to express how much we love Mom and appreciate her. Sure, these gestures may bring Mom joy and probably even make us feel better about ourselves. But, I think, one of the reasons such occasions exist is so that we take the time to really reflect and think about that one person, all that she means to us and how she has shaped our lives.
So, why not stop your Mother’s Day shopping frenzy for a minute and spend a few moments thinking about your Mom?
I dedicate this post to my Mom. I urge you to share your thoughts in the comments section.
What Mom means to me
She is the embodiment of calm, strength and understanding. I have never seen her raise her voice or lose her temper. Nor have I ever seen her crumble under pressure, cave in or give up in the face of adversity. She simply keeps her cool and does the right thing.
She is an intelligent, intuitive, humble and clear-headed woman who loves her family and has a strong sense of right and wrong. Her calm, composed nature is her strength. However, it takes one who really knows her well to understand that what lies beneath the silence is solid substance. She is too smart to let the little annoyances and imperfections in life get in the way of the bigger picture. She speaks four languages, is a wonderful cook, a math star, a well-read, compassionate person and a real lady.
I am proud of my Mom.
Tell us – What does Mom mean to you?
If you and your siblings live far away from family, guess what’s the one thing your mom would really like for Mother’s Day?
Sure, she might enjoy the spa certificates, flowers and chocolates you send her. But she would probably trade all of it in a blink to spend time with all of you or, at the very least, hear your voices and see a recent picture of you and your family.
Here’s one idea that is sure to make Mom smile (or move her to tears!)
Personalized Mother’s Day Ecards
You know how our free Mother’s day ecards can be personalized? Well, here’s how you can make it better. Call up your siblings…get everyone to send a free, personalized Mother’s day ecard with a family picture and a voice recording of Mother’s day wishes attached.
Imagine the look on your Mom’s face when she finds her inbox flooded with Mother’s Day ecards. Not just regular ecards, but personalized ones with pictures of all her kids and their special voice messages wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day!
Get creative with Mother’s Day message
You could even go one step further and collaborate efforts – create a cryptic message where each ecard’s voice recording leads to the next. In this way you and your siblings could create a voice puzzle for Mom which when completed could convey a surprise message such as “Mom, you’re the coolest” or “Mom, we’re on our way home!”
So, this Mother’s Day – do the unexpected. Gifts, flowers and fancy dinners, although thoughtful gestures, lack personalization. With free Mother’s day ecards that carry voice and picture, you can fill the void at no cost.
Have you ever created an out-of-the-box, personalized gift for Mom?
Share your ideas with us! Click on comments below.
Luckily for us, what moms want most on Mother’s day (and any day, for that matter) costs next to nothing. The one gripe many moms share is that their kids don’t spend enough time with them. There. Now, that’s one gift almost anyone can afford even on the tightest of budgets. I’m not suggesting that you be cheap. By all means, save up and spend on a special Mother’s Day gift …but, before you start wondering,
“What should I get Mom?” why not stop and think “What would Mom really like?”
This Mother’s day, you could take your mom out to a fancy restaurant where you will exchange pleasantries instead of the heart- to-heart that she wants, plan an extravagant outing where you will constantly be interrupted by phone calls from work, put thought and your savings into expensive gifts she’ll probably never use or send her on a luxury cruise to a faraway island, when all she wanted was to spend a few hours with you.
Or, you could
- turn off your cell phone ( and other gizmos) for a day
- pay your mom a surprise visit
- bring her flowers or a simple, but thoughtful gift
- make her breakfast or lunch
- take her where she wants to go (shopping, to a play or show, to the lake, Church, to see grandkids)
- talk to her…about your life, family, work, kids, dreams
- really listen to what she has to say…about whatever’s on her mind
- do something she loves with her – go bowling, take a walk in the park, help with her scrap book or gardening project
- tell her how much you appreciate her and how she has made you who you are and how proud you are of her
- send your mom a free Mother’s day ecard expressing your love, gratitude and admiration
For some reason many of us choose the tougher way out and spend more money than time on Mother’s Day, when a few hours with Mom is all it takes to make her feel loved and special.
This could be the year you reverse the trend. A perfect way to start may be with a free Mother’s Day ecard.
What is your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day?
We all know the drill on Mother’s Day: maybe you bring Mom breakfast in bed; or you buy her a little gift, something she’s been wanting for a while. If nothing else, you certainly make sure you buy her flowers, right? So with all of these Mother’s Day Musts already laid out in front of you, why would you possibly want to add to that and send Mom an e-card, too?
Simply put, sending an ecards this Mother’s Day is a great idea because it’s something unexpected. Think about it: when you bring Mom her breakfast in bed, it doesn’t make her happy because she happens to be really hungry. And when you bring her flowers, she doesn’t think to herself, “Finally, I have something to put in that empty spot on the window sill.” No, Mom loves the things you do for her on Mother’s Day because of the unexpected surprises that your gifts and gestures are.
So when Mom wakes up on the morning of Mother’s Day, and sits down at the family computer to check her e-mail, just imagine how pleasantly surprised she’ll be to see an e-card—from you—waiting in her in-box!
Send Mom an mother’s day e-card. It doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s free, and, best of all, it’s just the sort of surprise she’ll love to receive. And you can find mother’s day ecards here.
Simple changes in your normal Easter routine will go a long way in conserving the earth. Remember to involve your kids in the process and discuss with them the importance of your efforts.
- Recycle Easter baskets. Use previous years’ baskets. Or save up and use the baskets that you get fruit arrangements or bouquets in. Be creative. Remember the bath kit you received as a gift? Wouldn’t the container make a wonderful Easter basket? How about that straw hat you bought years ago? Invert it, add a fabric handle and you have an Easter basket that’s one of its kind! And if you do buy new Easter baskets this year, remember to save them for the following years!
- Fill ‘em with eco-friendly goodies. Choose healthier Easter treats and preferably those wrapped in earth-friendly material. You could choose organic or fair trade chocolates or other options such as jelly beans, or even crunchy carrot bites or gummy beans. Eliminate the use of plastic wherever you can. Why buy plastic grass when you can make a far cooler and eco-friendlier variety with paper, scrap or cloth? Also pay attention to the packaging. Come up with fun projects you can do with your kids. For example, you could recycle their art work or other paper and make gift wraps out of them. They will be thrilled to see their art work put to creative use.
- Buy local. Whenever possible, buy produce that is grown locally. When you go shopping for the Easter meal this year, why not stop by the farmer’s market? You may end up spending a little extra, but don’t you think it’s a price worth paying? Besides, you’ll probably meet friendlier faces and even feel healthier at the end of the day!
This Easter, why not start or renew earth-friendly traditions that will breathe new life into our planet? Do you have tips for an eco-friendly Easter? Please share them with us.
And don’t forget to send free, eco-friendly Easter Ecards to your family and friends.
Easter is one of small handful of religious holidays—the other notable one being Christmas—that is celebrated by most Americans. Though Easter itself is a specifically Christian celebration, religious and non-religious Americans celebrate the day in fairly equal numbers.
Long before Jesus Christ, according to the Christian Bible, died for mankind’s sins and then rose from the grave on the day we now know as Easter, most societies already had a holiday in place that fell at roughly the same time as Easter does today, and which rivals Easter in terms of popularity. This is because along with being the purported time that Jesus rose from the grave, the period after the first new moon of the vernal equinox has long been associated as a period of new beginning.
After a long and rough winter period, people who based their livelihoods on the environment around them—whether they be farmers or more simple hunter / gatherers—looked forward to the beginning of Spring, as it symbolized the start of another fruitful season of harvest and warm, pleasant weather, for many months to come.
For this reason Easter in America has turned into a multi-faceted celebration. Most American Christians begin the day by attending a church service. The Easter service, commemorating one of Christianity’s most joyous days, is understandably more festive than other services of the year. There tends to be more singing, less sermonizing, and an overall feeling of good will and cheer in the atmosphere.
From there, revelers return to their homes and, owing to the more secular, spring-related aspects of the Easter celebration, a great meal is prepared and enjoyed by all. This may seem like a fairly standard part of religious holidays, but with Easter, the roots of the feast part of the celebration have a much more practical, specific reason: years ago, non-Christians who were celebrating the spring season, were so confident in the fruitful harvests to come that they would prepare lavish meals, inviting all their neighbors and family members who could make the journey: the message seemed to be, “we’re soon going to have so many new resources, that we can afford to make such a great meal today.”
Another aspect of the American version of Easter celebrations is the leaving of Easter baskets. Like Santa Claus and the gifts he leaves underneath the Christmas Tree, the Easter Bunny is said to travel to the homes of children around the world, leaving baskets of candy for them on the night before Easter. And the gift giving does not always end as the children grow up. Again, like Christmas, where children receive toys when they are younger, and more “useful” gifts as they grow older, children go from receiving candy baskets on Easter morning, to receiving baskets that are a mixture of snacks and various, but useful, small gifts. Many American young people even receive Easter baskets after they leave their childhood homes, and travel away to college, receiving care packages of various essentials and knickknacks around the time of the Easter holiday.
It may seem strange that such a decisively-religious holiday would be so widely celebrated in America, and in such a wide variety of ways. But the way Americans celebrate Easter is actually rather symbolic of the country and its history as a whole: America has long been known as a melting pot of different cultures and customs, and so it only makes sense that its marking of the Easter holiday is such a mash-up of different celebratory styles.
Will you be making a conscious effort to cut back this year?
According to one survey, parents said they spend $15 on average on each Easter basket. Some parents feel that the things they buy end up cluttering the child’s room and they would rather not contribute to it. However, since they don’t want to break tradition or disappoint their kids, they end up spending on the same or similar Easter goodies year after year. Some parents do say they fill the Easter baskets with useful, quality gifts, but these usually tend to cost more, taking the price tag of each basket to upwards of $ 30. If you have two or more kids of your own and nieces and nephews, well, this adds up to a figure you may not be prepared to shell out, especially when times aren’t rosy. Plus, add the cost of new clothes, meals and travel, and Easter could become an expensive affair, much like Christmas. According to one study, Americans spent $14 billion on Easter in 2008. There are indications that the figure may decline this year. Anticipating this, retailers are marking down prices and offering greater discounts. So this means you may find better spring and summer bargains than previous years. Will that encourage you to spend more this spring and summer? Or will you stick to your budget and buy only what you originally planned?
How much do you plan to spend on Easter baskets? Do you have any money saving tips? Share them with us!
(One sure-shot tip to save time and money, is of course, to send free Easter ecards, instead of splurging on expensive greeting cards. Have you checked out our cheerful collection of Easter bunnies, beautiful eggs and Spring themes?)
April Fools Day is one of the most unusual “holidays” celebrated around the world today. While other holidays center around strict rituals (like Ash Wednesday or Dia de los Muertos) or large meals shared between family and friends (like Thanksgiving), the whole point of April Fools Day is to play mostly-harmless tricks on people. And as unusual as this day is, it’s appropriate, perhaps, that the actual origins of April Fools Day cannot be nailed down for certain.
Many theories exist as to the origin of April Fools Day, but all we know for sure is that it wasn’t until the mid 1800s that historical and popular sources began to reference the day—though there are some reports of sporadic references to April Fools Day dating as far back as the 16th century. The most popular theory of the origin of April Fools Day—though this theory, like others, cannot be verified—has to do with the Julian calendar. It was Julius Caesar who first proposed a uniform calendar, setting the start of the year on January 1st, but the change wasn’t widely accepted until Pope Gregory, in the late 1500s, issued a decree stating that the year should begin on January 1st.
Even still, many countries, according to this account, didn’t immediately catch on to or accept the new changes, and continued to celebrate the new year on incorrect dates. Those countries that did not move their beginning-of-the-year celebrations to January 1st mostly held on to April 1st as the beginning of their year—the reason for this is a combination of celebrating Easter (which, with the rising of Christ from the grave, is seen as a symbolic beginning for Christians) and the start of Spring (in which life blooms—again, symbolic of new beginning).
It is possible that from this confusion, the term “April Fool” was coined, describing those countries that still held onto the April 1st New Year date; but there really is no way to be certain: there just isn’t a reliable set of historical documents to verify this claim.
But what really interests everybody is not the history of April Fools Day—debatable as it may be—but the pranks that have made it famous. Every year, America’s National Public Radio (NPR) airs a fake broadcast. NPR, known for its droll, down-the-middle approach to news reporting, uses April Fools Day to poke fun at its own style: for instance, last year, it reported that instead of sending rebate checks, the IRS would be sending Americans actual consumer goods. And comic strip creators regularly switch places with one another on April Fools Day. These artists will usually drop many sly references to the switch that’s taken place, but rarely do they outright say that they are “guest drawing.” A couple of regular participants are Jim Davis (creator of Garfield) and Bill Keane (Family Circus).
Over recent years, the Internet has emerged as a popular way to institute April Fools pranks. One tradition has been for a user to post a link in an online discussion forum, usually using an attractive link title that purports to be particularly relevant to the discussion at hand. When a user clicks the link, they are taken to a music video of Rick Astley’s song “Never gonna give you up.” Over the years, this practice has come to be known as “Rickrolling,” and is no longer confined to April Fools Jokes.
Perhaps the first use of the Internet in pushing an April Fools prank was by Usenet. In the early days of the Internet, Usenet was the most popular—indeed, one of the only—ways for different users to communicate with one another. On April 1st, 1987, a Usenet member posted a message stating that the Russian KGB would be taking over control of Usenet. Users of the service, not actually used to being pranked on the Internet, accepted the posting as truth, until the original poster came clean, the next day.