Leeza Gibbons offers tips on ways to honor your mother for Mother's Day! And for more about Leeza's work supporting those who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease in their family, go to AlzheimersDisease.com and Leeza's Place.
Make photo moment magic.
A lot of families typically do a family photo at Christmas time, but I love to do one at Mother's Day. And for you moms out there, do what I do and TELL your family that this is what you want. I tell my kids, I want a family photo and I want you to write me something. Here's what's great about this: you're taking the pressure and the stress off the kids and dad, and you can make it a special experience together.
When it comes to the picture itself, you can be as traditional or creative as you want. You don't have to do the standard jeans and a white shirt (although it always works). Find what makes your family special. Think outside the box! What is the personality of our family? If your family is at the intersection of dysfunction junction, there's your picture!
Go on the record with your family.
This is a great tip for us adults to honor our mothers. We're always using our phone and video cameras to record the kids' events, like dance recitals and baseball games – but how about making our own MOM the show?
Do interviews about why Mom is so special. Ask all those unanswered questions from your youth, like "Why did we move out of that house with the big oak tree in the yard?" and "What happened to that little dog we had when I was little." You come away with stuff that you didn't even know was on your mind. And you'll cherish those videos forever.
And if your mom has passed, as mine has – you can still do this. My mom had a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. My dad and siblings and I spent 10 years taking care of my mom until she finally died, but we never got together as a family and talked about what that was like for us. We did that recently and it was so meaningful. You can see the interview at Alzheimer's Disease.com. My dad is so cute, and we laughed together and shared stories. There were some tears. It meant so much, especially at Mother's Day.
Send Mom on a scavenger hunt.
Dads, I want you to get involved and help the kids with this one. Send mom on a mom-themed scavenger hunt. Now, this is not like the hunts she is usually is doing, looking for the kids' shoes or a lost baseball glove. This is a challenge that's all about mom's favorite things or special memories the kids have, and it will lead to a great gift for Mom at the end. For example, let's say you bought mom tap dancing lessons because she has always wanted to try it. At the end of the scavenger hunt, she is going to find a pair of tap shoes waiting for her. But first, she has 5 clues to solve that lead her around the house. At the end of the scavenger hunt is a treasure or present that the kids have made or bought for mom.
Go on a play date.
Mother's Day might be the perfect day to hang up the mom label and just be a kid again! Why not take her on an experience that she has never had before, but always wanted to do. For example, for an adrenaline rush, try indoor rock climbing, or go-karting, or paintball. Or try another adventure that gets you in the great outdoors!
Play "This is Your Life."
Remember the old school show, "This Is your Life" where a surprised guest would meet people from their past? Well why not reach out to some people from mom's life – like old friends she hasn't seen in a long time? Ask them to make a video or audio recording in which they retell their favorite story or memory they have of your mom, and then share them with her. You could even make her guess the mystery person when she first hears their voice. And better yet – record Mom's surprised expression when she hears from these beloved people from her past.
Share your Mom-eries. / Share your Mom-entos.
This one is great for the little kids. Have them think of their favorite mom-memories. It's all about encouraging the kids to come up with creative ways to share them. Maybe your son loves art, and he chooses to make drawings of his favorite memories and give them to Mom as a scrapbook. For your young daughter, maybe she makes one of those paper fortune tellers, and writes a memory under each one. Maybe it's a simple as making a little deck of cards, each with a memory written on it, and Mom can read one every morning.