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Several years ago, I learned about Advent Conspiracy, a group that inspires others to make Christmas and the gifts you give more meaningful. Though their campaign is geared specifically toward Christmas, it opened my eyes to how I give gfits all throughout the year.

Our focus has shifted from buying stuff for people just because it’s a special occasion, to giving meaningful gifts our loved ones will cherish.

While it’s easy to just go to the store and pick out something pretty to give your mom, how much more will she love your gift when she can tell you put a lot of thought and love into what you gave her?

Here are a few simple ideas to help you make your Mother’s Day gift (and any gift, really) more meaningful.

Show her you know her

We all have unique interests. I’m a minimalist who loves crafty things. I also love useful items that will become a regular part of my life. Ian’s gifts to me have become so thoughtful because he thinks about what I love and value before giving me stuff.

Some of my favorite gifts from him and the kids have been:

  • Books – The Complete Tightwad Gazette is still one of my favorite Mother’s Day present ever.
  • Cards – Homemade or store-bought. I love, love, love getting cards.
  • Framed photos of the kids – he painted the frames my favorite color and added quotes from the kids about what they love about me.
  • Simple gifts for everyday use – a headlamp, my Cuppow, the Dutch oven from a yard sale.

Even though they’re really simple (and inexpensive), I love them because I know he put some thought into them.

Give her your presence

One of the best gifts you can give your mom is time with you. With our busy lives, it’s easier to just buy someone a gift, give it to them and go about your busy life. But setting aside special time to spend with your mom is one of the best things you can do for your relationship.

Ask your mom if you can have special time with her and do something fun and simple:

  • Hiking
  • Gardening
  • Coffee date
  • Antique shopping

There are lots of possibilities, but choose an activity your mom loves that allows you two to deepen your relationship.

Cherish her year-round

I just saw a Mother’s Day ecard with a woman holding a piece of paper that says “mom contract.” She says to the woman who gave it her, “Only one day of vacation leave!?” The other woman says, “Yes, but you still have to work.” It’s funny. And painfully true.

While Mother’s Day is set aside as a special time to let moms know how much they’re cherished, I think we need to be doing that year-round. I’m as guilty as everyone else who forgets that, which is why this idea really hits home for me.

I think it’s good to have this special day to bring moms to the forefront and celebrate how meaningful they are, but what can we do throughout the year to make her feel more appreciated?

I think the answer is more special time together, whether that’s an outing or a phone call. And small gestures to show her how much you love her – a card, a letter, a bunch of flowers from your garden. You know, simple things that show how much you love her.

What do you do to make your Mother’s Day gifts more meaningful?