When celebrating mom this Mother's Day, we are going the (social) distance!
Amid a global pandemic, Sunday's festivities may detour from the usual but there are still creative ways to make an irreplaceable parent feel loved. Technology can shrink the distance and allow for shared experiences. Take-out that pulls double-duty can also be a plus. Or perhaps you can drive a decked out car and toot your mom's horn!
Here are the ways that you can make your mom feel special. And bonus for the procrastinators (whose mom would likely lovingly describe them as "just very busy"): Most of these things can still be done now.
Timree Gold, owner of Timree Paint Studio, in Newport Beach, California, has created a not-so-paint-by-numbers way moms and their kids can have a shared experience, though distance may keep them apart. She's hosting a livestream painting class (Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EDT/3:30 PDT) where attendees will paint a colorful bouquet.
Gold says once the quarantine hit "within 24 hours I totally switched my business to completely online live streaming." She's had interest in her classes from people across the country.
One client was unable to visit her mother getting cancer treatment at the City of Hope. "So she got her mom all the paints and all that," says Gold. "Now this is their way to kind of connect while she’s in the hospital, and then the daughter and her grandkids can all paint."
Gold says moms can also opt out of painting beside their child, as a Mother's Day treat for themselves. "The selling point is the peace and quiet because you can set (your kids) up, give them to me and I take them step by step," she says. "Moms can definitely step away and just, like, watch some TV. Like, basically, that’s what I want to do is, like, sit on the couch (laughs)."
Just because you're social distancing doesn't mean you and your madre have to forgo your movie nights or TV binges, even if you aren't in the same household.
Thanks to a Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party, groups of friends/siblings/families can get together virtually and watch their favorite Netflix titles on their computers at the same time. The extension also comes with a chat room, so you and Mom can share your reactions as you watch. She might have something to say about the second season of "Dead to Me" or Jerry Seinfeld's new stand-up special.
In order to participate, all you need is a Google Chrome browser, the extension and a Netflix subscription. (More about how it works here.)
Jordan Farrell, director of communications for the Nashville-based Strategic Hospitality, suggests checking out what local eateries and businesses have planned for the day. If you aren't in the same house as your mom, you can drop the food off with her.
"A lot of them have special packages, a lot of them are doing some really fun out of the box kind of things," she says. "So, look around. There’s a lot of ways that what they’re doing might help you figure out what to get Mom."
Strategic Hospitality's Pinewood restaurant has partnered with local vendors to create take-away offerings that please more than just the palate. Their Mother's Day Brunch Packs include a variety of options – bath bombs and masks for a spa-like experience, a bouquet of flowers or an activity for the family.
"We want to offer everyone a really great experience so we thought, 'What do you want to do with mom on Mother’s Day?'" says Farrell. "We wanted to give people the option of enhancing that a little bit without having to try and look around too much."
Similarly, Mom 'n 'em Coffee in Cincinnati, started by brothers for their mother, has a trio of Mother's Day gift bags to choose from. All include a bouquet of flowers, tote and bottle of vino. The mid-tier option also includes a bag of coffee and the top-tier bundle adds on a gift card.
With so many out of work, there is a greater need this Mother's Day for assistance, and your mom might be touched by a donation to help other families.
Saturday, numerous celebrities are participating in an Instagram Live event (3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT) with Baby2Baby, a national nonprofit organization that distributes necessities like diapers, clothing and hygiene products for kids living in poverty. Gwyneth Paltrow, Chrissy Teigen, Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner and Drew Barrymore are just some of the stars who will talk about their involvement with the organization, the impact of COVID-19 and their Mother’s Day traditions.
"The need has increased exponentially," says co-president Norah Weinstein. "As far as diapers go, we gave out 350% more diapers in the first month of COVID than in the previous months."
Baby2Baby says it has delivered 13 million items to those affected by the outbreak. and 100 million items since its inception in 2011.
"In our minds, the gift that (moms) want and deserve is to be able to provide for their children, and we want to do everything in our power to help them realize that," Weinstein says.
People in in Port Huron, Michigan have planned a Mother's Day Car Parade for Sunday. Organizers of the procession, business owners Luke and Sindy Marion, have experienced some success and want to “pay it forward” to other local businesses with this parade. Luke said he and his wife spent $5,000 from their own pockets to buy gift cards from 10 local businesses to give to parade participants randomly.
He asks people decorating their vehicles to stay focused on Mother’s Day or have a positive message like appreciating first responders.
“We just want to see some people smile,” Luke said. “That’s the objective.”