Yup. May 14 is Mother’s Day. So let’s collectively panic as we struggle to find a gift that says to mom, “I love you, I wouldn’t be who I am, you are everything.”

Photo in a nice frame, jewelry, book, another knick knack. Ugh. So, how about an experience?

In researching “experiences,” we looked for some of the most out-there things we could find. Here’s the thing. The idea here is to give your gift-searching mind a kick start. Less can be more and by the time you’re finished reading this, the hope is that your creative juices will be flowing.


The out-of-the-ballpark version

Check out Experience Days, a New Jersey based operation that offers connections to culinary class experiences ranging from $50 to $1,000 including a Boston Chocolate Making Workshop and San Francisco Bread Making Workshop to a Chicago Cooking Class.

The maybe-I-can-pull-this-off version

Find a local caterer or chef with a reasonable reputation and book them to conduct a cooking class and meal involving your mom. Local caterers are not out of reach cost wise. Add a bottle of your mom’s favourite beverage.


The out-of-the-ballpark version

Thermea in Winnipeg is actually not out of reach. You just have to get there. It’s a whole day experience starting with sauna, followed by massages, then the ice-cold pool and, if you survive that, off the soothing rest lounges, complete with soothing heat and music. They call the whole thing the “Thermal Cycle” and packages start at about $130 per person. Be prepared to spend the day.

The maybe-I-can-pull-this-off version

Get mom a spa gift package of your own choosing with creams and oils. Spend what you can afford. Then, pony up and give her a foot massage. I don’t think I have ever met a woman who will turn down a foot massage. Oh yes, bottle of favourite beverage.


The out-of-the-ballpark version

A private lesson with a reputable golf pro at a prestigious club, like Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club in Canmore, Alberta, starts at around $100.

The maybe-I-can-pull-this-off version

Local public clubs (golf, tennis, badminton) usually offer affordable group lessons. Invite a few of your mom’s closest friends (tell them they have to pay for themselves) and arrange a group session, assuming your mom enjoys a sport that allows for this. If she likes to work out, book a personal trainer at a club. Some may offer group bookings. You can also book a personal trainer to come directly to the home, if that would be more comfortable for your mother.


The out-of-the-ballpark version

How about a private Everglades airboat adventure in Ft. Lauderdale. Just $400 for a group of four.

The maybe-I-can-pull-this-off version

How about a bike ride and a picnic in a nearby park? Or, how about just a picnic? Of course, you are at the mercy of the weather. Failing that, just pull out the stops and have a picnic at home.

She knows. She’s a Mom.

Denise Stirk writes about this in an excellent article “The Most Powerful Thing You Can Say to Another Mom.

Here’s the thing. Anything you do for your mother has only one price tag. Love. LOVE! Spend less. Do more. What you do with her on Mother’s Day is what she will remember …. forever … and ever.

Amen. (In memory of my mother, Rita. Miss you mom. I wrote this thinking of you.)