by Kristy Roser Nuttall
First things first—Happy Mother’s Day 2016 to all of you amazing mothers out there! And yes, if you are a mom, a grandma, a step-mom, a room mom, or a future mom—3 cheers for you! Mother’s Day is celebrated in different ways all over the world. When I spent a summer in Guatemala, I had a chance to participate in the Mother’s Day celebrations in a small Mayan village. The school aged children performed some beautiful festive dances, and dressed up in brightly colored traditional clothes. But the most interesting part of the celebration was when the local grandmothers had a contest to see who could chug a bottle of Pepsi the fastest. Seriously, they had to grab a glass bottle filled to the brim with the brown bubbly stuff and just start pounding it. One sprightly grandma named Sebastiana nailed the victory, and I’m pretty sure she also burped out a monster to rival my nine year old son’s post-Fanta-recite-the-abcs-belch. And this little episode got me thinking, what are some more creative ways we could celebrate grandmas on Mother’s Day here in the U.S.? I’m not saying we need have our grandmas line up for a soda drinking contest as amusing as that and the aftermath of burps would be—I’m just saying that we can be more creative than buying a card and chocolates for our grandmas and checking off that item mother’s day to do list. We can definitely put a little more thought into it and get a little more creative. Here are a few ideas help make sure that your mother’s day tribute to the grandmas memorable and might even spark a giggle, a huge grin, or maybe even a competitive burp.
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for the Grandmas
Make a video of your kids: Interview each of your kids about their favorite memories of spending time with Grandma. Sometimes kids need specific prompts like—what do you remember about going to Grandma’s house? What does Grandma’s hug feel like? How does it feel when Grandma reads a story with you? What do you like about cooking with Grandma or eating at Grandma’s house? How do you feel when you feel Grandma smile? And if you have a baby that is too little to be interviewed, just show a few pics of Grandma holding or interacting with the baby and make a short video of yourself talking about what you think these special times mean to you and your baby.
Make a recipe that is a special recipe from Grandma and take pictures of you and your kids making the recipe together or just take a few pictures and put them on a card with a copy of the recipe and a little note from each person in the family about why this recipe is one that is memorable, tasty, fun to share, etc. My mom has an awesome recipe for a Danish almond puff that my kids love, and I don’t think I’ve really told them where the recipe comes from, and why it’s part of our family identity. I think my mom would get such a kick out of seeing a pic of my kids making and eating this traditional family food.
See if you can find a picture of Grandma as a little girl and take a picture of your kids holding that picture. Email it or snail mail it to her with a fun poem, short story, or book that somehow relates to the picture like the location or the time period. You could make up a special Mother’s Day poem. I found a picture of my mom around age six on a horse at her grandma’s house. She’s all dressed up like a cowgirl with the hat, shirt, boots, and spurs. I think I’m going to find a fun piece of cowboy poetry to put next to a pic of my boys dressed as cowboys holding a picture of her.
If Grandma lives close enough, invite her over and play an old school games like bridge, marbles, gin rummy, or dominoes. Get the materials for the game ready ahead of time and prep your kids on how to play the game. You might be surprised at how much fun your kids have playing a “grown-up game” from the past that requires no batteries, video consoles, or screens. And if you’re really feeling edgy, play a game of penny poker and let your kids have fun betting pennies with grandma and see who ends up with the jackpot.
When all else fails, have your kids draw a cute family picture—with Grandma included. What grandma is not going to just melt like an ice cream sandwich in the sun when she sees the one-of-a-kind creation produced by their very own progeny? And if your kid can barely hold a crayon to scribble, then just freely interpret this amazing modern art creation with your own caption. Hand and footprints also do nicely. If you want to get really fancy you can make butterflies out of the prints or even flowers or bumblebees. And don’t worry if you don’t have time to mail it—just take a pic and send a text message or email. Then stick it in the mail anyway and they will have a bright spot in their mailbox later on in the week.
Maybe instead of a soda drinking contest with Grandma, you could have a bubble blowing contest with her. Have everyone get a piece of gum and set the timer to see who can blow the most bubbles in 2 minutes. You could even do this via Google Hangouts or Skype if needed—just make sure you send Grandma some quality chewing gum ahead of time. But if you really want to just go ahead and chug a Pepsi together and see who can produce the most epic burp. Just make sure you record all of this for posterity.
In a nutshell, don’t forget to shower grandmas with love on Mother’s Day. Spice up the usual cards and chocolate by taking a few interesting detours off the beaten path during this holiday. The grandmas of the world will thank you. I would love to hear if you have any more interesting ideas to add to the list. Start a new tradition for sparking happiness this year and make it a special year for moms and grandmas.