Even though time feels more like a concept than reality these days, the dates on the calendar keep going by and a rather important holiday is quickly approaching. This Sunday, May 10, is Mother’s Day. It could be argued that showering our loved ones with praise and gifts is needed now more than ever, but coming up with ways to show our love for the maternal presence in our lives is challenging when we can’t operate in the ways we normally would. To help spark some gift-giving ideas, we have some suggestions — from gardening gifts to baskets of sweet treats — for ways to show all those moms out there that you see them and their hard work and dedication, during the good times and the pandemic times.
Chocolates and Other Sweets
We could all use a little sweetness around here. For your mom's special day, send her a basket full of her favorite chocolates from EHChocolatier in Cambridge. They're offering pickups for their artisan chocolate and have special Mother's Day sets for chocolate lovers, tea sippers, caramel cuties and whatever other sweet treats will make your mama smile. My mom is a classic bonbon gal so their salted caramel box may be perfect. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't order for myself. Ring up the maple pecan bites for me!
-Christian Burno, Arts Reporting Fellow
Gifts of the Garden
Each year, I struggle with what to get my mom. She lives in another state, and while I’d love to give her the gift of my presence (you’re welcome, Mom!), that’s not possible — especially this year. I’m not sure about all your moms, but mine loves to garden, and right now is the perfect time to get outdoors and put that green thumb to use. Last year, I gave my mom a gift card to a local garden center in her area. (My mom knows what kind of plants work best in her yard, so I let her do the choosing.) But if the gift card route is a little too impersonal or you’d like to be involved in the gift-buying process, there are a number of greenhouses and garden centers offering curbside pickup and delivery, like Mahoney’s, which has seven locations around the state. One sweet idea? Give a perennial and every year when the plant blooms, your mom will think of you! (If you live with or near your mom, it might also be a good idea to help her plant it as well.)
-Dianna Bell, Producing Editor
Locally-Made Skincare Products
I've been following Beauty N Simplicity, based in Quincy, for years now and I am always impressed with the high quality of the products. The owner, Mavis Hicks, dealt with sensitive skin and created this skincare line for other people struggling with the same issue. The result is these deeply nourishing creams and butters that smell so good you may be tempted to eat them. Hicks has two different kits for Mother's Day that include body butters, body polish, a candle and facial serums. You can get the gold package if you want something simple for your mother. The premium package is for the mothers who like a little more in their skincare routine. All of the items from Beauty N Simplicity are small batch items and sourced from natural ingredients.
-Arielle Gray, Arts Engagement Producer
This may be a given, but call your mom. If you can, if you want to, and if there’s a nurturing relationship waiting on the other side of that call. FaceTime is better and quality time, as far as I’m concerned, is always best. Seeing one another in person may not be something you can do right now considering social distancing measures, but I’ve enjoyed the last few years of organizing stuff with my mom from afar. We love presents in my family, but we also realize that sometimes acts of service are equally valuable. My favorite memories with my mom are at home sifting through family pictures. I wouldn’t say we use the “Marie Kondo” method. There isn’t always joy in this. We talk about life. We throw things out. We reminisce and make piles of stuff to give away. One winter, it was her storage unit. Another, the stuff in the garage. We sit around together — my mom, my sister and I — and we look through years of memories in the form of old T-shirts, furniture, art pieces from childhood. We’ve argued about how she wants to keep some of my old soccer trophies. She's shown me pictures of my Abuelo Papito, her father who passed shortly after I was born. For those of us in quarantine, living far away from our mothers, it’s a reminder of the fleeting nature of time, how precious those moments are, and how necessary it is during this pandemic to draw close to those we love. So yes, I’ll probably order my mom flowers and maybe surprise her with take-out from her favorite Cuban restaurant in Florida. And I’ll FaceTime her and perhaps watch as she organizes her room, something she’s wanted to do forever and now has the time for because the clinic where she works as a nurse is closed for the moment. I’ll wish I could be there in person for this soothing tradition that is a comfort when everything feels out of our control.
-Cristela Guerra, Arts & Culture Reporter
A Digital Daffodil Fly-Over
For a lot of Boston families, meandering through the bonanza of blooming purple lilac flowers at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain has been a longstanding tradition on Mother's Day. Alas, the Harvard organization has canceled all of the scheduled programming on Sunday, May 10, because of the coronavirus and officials are telling people to stay away in the name of public safety. If your lilac-loving mom is disappointed, you could take her on a one-minute fly-over of another spring flower produced by the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts. The folks there hope their online video sprint through fields of daffodils will bring viewers “hope and inspiration.” It's not the real thing, of course, but drinking in a little virtual springtime flora with mom could bring a smile to her face. And while you're at it, you could make her dinner too!
-Andrea Shea, Senior Arts Reporter
CSA Flower Bouquets
If my mother lived in Massachusetts I’d definitely sign her up for a summer share of flowers from Many Graces Flower Farm. Rather than a single bouquet on Sunday, the promise of a season’s worth of flowers in July and August feels more special. The farm, which launched in 2018, has pick-up locations across the state and at Clover Food Labs in the Greater Boston area. More than ever, we need something beautiful to look forward to, and this present also supports a local farm that has lost much of its wedding business due to the pandemic. So envision the lovely gift of ongoing bunches — artfully-arranged sunflowers, dahlias and zinnias -- especially perfect for a summer where we’re all likely to stay home.
-Tania Ralli, Acting Senior Editor