It's time to think about gifts for Mother's Day — and for other spring and summer occasions, such as graduations and weddings. So why not give something unexpected? How about giving that incredible Mom, special graduate or bride and groom the gift of your time? Set aside a few hours for a closet update, a shopping trip or a beauty makeover. Here are a few of my favorite ways to show people that they're special:
— Give a closet update. Most of us would welcome a little help when it comes to cleaning out our closets. But do we really want to impose that thankless decluttering job on our nearest relatives? No, we'd never ask. But if someone gave us the "gift" of clearing away our fashion cobwebs ... Wow! We would really appreciate that, now wouldn't we? And besides, when you devote an afternoon to going through all those old clothes and shoes, you never know what you may find. Besides finding some of my grandmother's cherished jewelry tucked away in an old handbag, my mother and I spent hours sharing old memories and lots of family stories. And of course, she really appreciated the fact that at the end of the day, I packed up all the clothes she no longer needed and took them away to Goodwill. Now, that's a gift anyone would love!
— Treat the new mom. Baby showers are always appreciated by new moms. But treating them to the gift of your time can be even more special than receiving a bundle of blankets and diapers. Arrange for a babysitter and take Mom out for a spa day. What better way to relax than an outdoor massage? Or indulge in brunch or teatime at a girly place where you can eat and shop at the same time. A change of "venue" can be a beautiful blessing for a frazzled mom who gets to dress up and take a break for a few hours.
— Take the graduate shopping. Whether they're graduating from high school or college, this is an exciting time for them. Rather than just writing them a check or giving them a gift card, why not make your gift even more special by setting aside some time for a shopping trip? Graduates always have a list of "must-haves" in mind — for a new campus or a new workplace. So pick a time that you can leisurely shop together and possibly have coffee or brunch. You don't have to turn your shopping trip into a mad marathon. Instead, have fun and make it a bonding experience. They'll remember it for years to come!
— Say yes to the dress. Shopping for bridal gowns and honeymoon wardrobes may draw sighs from most of us, who aren't actually participating in the wedding ceremony itself. But that's why there are aunts and uncles and "special friends" who fill in the sartorial gaps, so to speak! One of my most cherished memories is taking a friend's daughter shopping for a cocktail dress to wear to her sister's wedding and reception. We spent most of the day laughing in the dressing rooms of more than a few stores. And I am — I think — looking forward to the day of shopping with my own daughter for her wedding dress. I hope a few of our own special friends will want to be part of the experience!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.