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A Mother’s Day gift guide for the impecunious

Mother’s Day is upon us. What are you going to do? She did give you life and hopefully love and acceptance, before and after, you came out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. If you’re perplexed about what to do – and by perplexed, I mean broke, like me – look no further. I offer you a low cost, DIY-style guide to Mother’s Day gifts that’s sure to make your mother smile. All that’s required is a little creativity.


Mother’s Day gifts always seem to begin with a card and the best cards are the ones you create. That’s right – make your own card. If you have no supplies, introduce yourself to a neighbor with kids and ask to borrow some crayons or markers. Maybe they’d even give you a slice of construction paper. Fold it and make a pretty picture on the cover and on the inside. Then handwrite the proverbial “Happy Mother’s Day” on the cover and write about how you appreciate mom on the inside. It really doesn’t take much time, and even if it looks like a 5th grader made it, it was still made by you – which goes a long way in mother’s book.


What is it about flowers and Mother’s Day? It’s seems like the two go hand in hand. I prefer to cut my own flowers, whether in my garden or from an undeveloped plot somewhere (don’t report me!). I go for the unconventional types of Mother’s Day flowers, whatever doesn’t come to mind when I think of the day (like wildflowers or hibiscus flowers). Even better, buy her some flowers that she can plant or that are already potted. That way, she’ll be able to enjoy them much longer than she would cut flowers. Heck, why not give her a potted plant? What does she like? My mother likes cacti, so I usually bring her some type of cactus with a big red bow around it for her special day.


Make breakfast or lunch for mom. It doesn’t cost much. You know you still have some eggs left in the fridge – and coffee. Make it a special cup-a-joe by visiting one of our local, high-flavor, highly trendy coffeehouses. Can you remember how long that take-out Thai has been in your fridge? Mother would never know. It also couldn’t hurt to pick up some potatoes to make some hash browns. Presto! Brunch for mom or, you could make the meal together, something called quality time. You could also change it up and bring it to the park; have a picnic. It doesn’t take much to set up a picnic at the park: Tupperware, some sacks to carry the food, and a blanket or towel. Of course, don’t forget the utensils, and plates and cups!

Go somewhere

San Diego is a land of tourist traps, but many of them are still nice places to take your mother to. There is the behemoth that is Balboa Park with its gorgeous Spanish architecture, museums and landscapes. One could seriously spend a whole day at the park. If your mom is active, rent some bicycles and ride around the city, or use your legs and walk through it. There are so many beautiful and diverse little neighborhoods with their own eclectic character, including South Park, Little Italy, Gaslamp, Ocean Beach and, of course, Hillcrest. Want to get out of the city without leaving it? Take a trip to Point Loma and visit the Cabrillo National Monument. It does cost to drive in, but it’s very low. There you can visit the museum, watch a film about the history of San Diego, and drive down the hill and visit the tide pools. If you and mom love shopping, explore the numerous yard sales that take place across our city. It’s my mom’s favorite past time. Nearly every time I see my mom, she insists on driving to a couple of yard sales. Craigslist.org is a great place to find such postings.


Invite mom on a hangout with your friends. You know she would love to get to know them more. If you’re planning on going to a bar with friends, take her along. If alcohol is an issue, order non-alcoholic drinks. Sometimes I have even more fun when I’m not drinking alcohol, and it’s probably better that way when mom is around. Or if you play in one of the many LGBT-friendly local sports teams, take her to a practice game. Let her watch you play or, better yet, let her join for a game. If religion is your thing, take her to church and introduce her to your church friends. If you attend an open support group, like a twelve step group, ask her to join you for a meeting. Maybe she’d better understand what you’re going through and perhaps even learn something in the process.

Do something for her

Besides cards, flowers, brunch, going somewhere or bringing her out with your friends, there are also lots of other things you can do to make mom feel special. Maybe she needs her weeds pulled. Maybe her car could use a hand wash. Or does she need help fixing something? What about a computer lesson? For many mother’s, it doesn’t take much to make them happy – a little love, creativity and thoughtfulness can go a long way. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Posted by on May 10, 2012. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Feature Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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