The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift (Other Than a Day By Yourself)

I love Mother’s Day. It’s the one day all year when I don’t have to worry about planning, coordinating, or buying anything… said no mother ever.

Mother’s Day is great. Your little ones come home with adorable crafts that, since they are dated and labeled with “Happy Mother’s Day,” you actually won’t throw away once they go to bed. If you’re like me, you’re lucky enough to even watch the world’s cutest Pre-K class sing songs about how delightful you are. You might even get breakfast made for you while you lounge on the couch. But none of this comes without a cost.

Husbands, while fantastic at making killer waffles and telling the kids not to bother Mommy while she’s peeing, often forget that Mommy isn’t the only mother that should be celebrated on Mother’s Day. There are grandmas and great-grandmas that need to be wined, dined, and gifted on this day, and that means Mommy needs to step in.

Gifting with Ease

In other words, moms, it’s time you thought about buying your mother and mother-in-law some gifts for next Sunday. Because chances are, your husband hasn’t. Lucky you, StoryWorth isn’t just a perfect Christmas gift, it’s also a perfect Mother’s Day gift.

I’ve written before about how much StoryWorth has meant to our family, and it wasn’t just talk. We gifted my mother and mother-in-law with StoryWorth last Christmas, so now, in addition to their beloved Papa, our family members will have more keepsake books being written about their lives. Thanks to StoryWorth, old family stories and anecdotes will not get lost with time, but will be remembered and retold by my children and future generations.

Mother's Day StoryWorth

And it’s invaluable for moms who thought that Daddy was taking care of gifts this year, because it’s the perfect last minute gift! There’s nothing to be shipped – just log in and choose to have your StoryWorth gift emailed on Mother’s Day morning. You could even wait until the big day itself, and Grandma would be none the wiser!

If you’d like to give the gift that says you love someone so much that you want to learn more about them, buy StoryWorth this Mother’s Day by using this or any of the other links provided.

And if any dads out there are reading this, be a Mother’s Day hero and let your wife know that you’ve taken care of everything this Mother’s Day! Which means – buy Storyworth AND make some dinner reservations that include everyone!

PS: To My Dearest Husband. If you’d like to get me StoryWorth, wow, that’s really sweet. Just make sure it comes with me shamelessly sipping on wine while watching a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathon while you tend to the children.

StoryWorth: The Perfect Holiday Gift

What do you buy someone who has everything – especially when “everything” is not hyperbole, but a literal observation of their basement? Finding the perfect holiday gift for parents, in-laws, and grandparents is one of the most daunting tasks of holiday gift shopping. My kids are insatiable gluttons who want demand everything. They’re easy. The 65 and older crowd, however? They don’t want any more “stuff” in their house.

If every knick knack you perused on Black Friday left you with nightmares of your future self tossing it in a dumpster after you shipped your folks off to the nursing home, well I’ve got the gift for you!

StoryWorth touts the tagline of “The most meaningful gift is family.” Of course that’s true. It’s also true that you’ll be kicked out of Christmas dinner (or at least gain a few dirty looks) if you arrive empty handed. Luckily for us, the perfect holiday gift is here. StoryWorth brings the gift of family to a whole new level.

How It Works

Each week, StoryWorth emails your gift recipient a question about their life. They then write or record their answer (story) which is shared with you upon completion. At the end of the year, all of the stories are bound in a keepsake book.

There are a range of questions that prompt recipients to share childhood memories or ask them about life’s moments that brought great emotion. Some questions allow the recipient to share their experiences during historical events, or even provide an opportunity to express their values and beliefs. Questions are sent to you ahead of time for vetting, and you are always given the option to select another question or even write your own.

Why It’s the Perfect Holiday Gift

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, my father-in-law is the most kind and thoughtful man. Buying gifts for him is nearly impossible, as we feel that, for all he does for us, he deserves a 6-month trip to Europe. It’s safe to say that gift ain’t coming from us anytime soon, so last Father’s Day, it was a Godsend when I stumbled upon StoryWorth.

StoryWorth has taught us so much about this incredible man. We learned that his childhood in Chicago epitomized the Baby Boomer generation (there were 40 kids on his block alone). We learned that his grandfather worked his way up from office boy to Vice President of a railroad. Who doesn’t love visions of their grandfather as a mischievous boy, sneaking coal into his brother’s Christmas stocking? Most of all, we have amazing stories to share with our daughters about their beloved Papa. Even as old women, my girls will be able to read these stories, written in their dear Papa’s own words, and remember his warm heart and gentle manner. They will also get to recall his favorite joke, which I’m sure thrills him!

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

The one criticism I had about StoryWorth is that, as the weeks went on, I feared I’d bought a completely selfish gift. Remember when Homer Simpson bought Marge a bowling ball that had “Homer” written on it? StoryWorth is like that. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to finding one of my father-in-law’s stories in my in-box. Whether they make me laugh or cry, these stories never fail to warm my heart.

As he does, my father-in-law made me feel much better about this. He reminded me that StoryWorth allows the recipient to reminisce about the good times in their lives, reflect upon the bad, and, most of all, it allows him to share his life with his loved ones. He also loves StoryWorth as it helped him to channel his inner writer. Seriously, here’s an excerpt from his answer to the question: “What is one of the bravest things you’ve ever done and what were the consequences?”

I think people are brave throughout their lives, doing little things and big things they know are right, and doing them fearlessly. Trying new things they know they won’t be good at right away, or things that might make them look funny at first. Getting up every day, going to school, going to work, doing things you like to do and things you don’t like to do, doing what you are supposed to do to support yourself and your family, and make the world a better place. That is brave. I guess brave is an attitude you have to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences.

How lucky are my kids to call this man Papa?!

The Most Meaningful Gift

StoryWorth helped me realize that there is no more perfect holiday gift than telling someone that you love them so much that you want to know them even more. This holiday season, if you are looking for the perfect holiday gift for a loved one, buy a subscription to StoryWorth. It truly is “the most meaningful gift.”

If you use the link below (or any of the StoryWorth links within this post) to order StoryWorth, I will receive a small commission. (I made it clear that, even in gift giving, I’m selfish, right?) Seriously though, please know that this is my first affiliate post. I sought them out because of how much StoryWorth has meant to my family. But if this works out, get ready for me to start schlocking things left and right!

www.storyworth.com/mamatries

StoryWorth: The Perfect Holiday Gift

This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links earn me a small commission.

Raising Your Holiday Game

We are failing our children.  Do you realize that, with Easter’s passing, my children will not receive a bucket of candy until the final day of October?  Worse yet, unless one of them loses a tooth, a mythical creature will not enter my home until the arrival of Mother Goose, our Elf on the Shelf, in late November.  How are my children supposed to have a childhood filled with magic and wonder if they are to go over a month without a holiday that is celebrated with a stranger breaking into our home and leaving them gifts and high fructose corn syrup? Our children deserve better, which is why I have devised this handy schedule of mythical creature visits around holidays that have been deprived of their untapped potential for far too long.  

New Year’s Day

We’ve all watched the ball drop in Times Square, but this New Year’s, a jolly old soul who looks an awful lot like Dick Clark will be heading over to my place after the confetti has cleared in order to leave a package on the foot of my children’s beds. It will be filled with sugary cereals and video games that they can use to feed and entertain themselves while my husband and I nurse our hangovers in bed.  

Valentine’s Day

Valentine cards might be suitable for some parents, but why allow school to have all of the fun? Come February 14th, Cupid will be visiting our home, leaving his mark on all that he touches by  hiding conversation hearts in every corner and turning everything, from our cereal milk to our bath water, his signature red.  Sure, red dye might make your home look like a crime scene, but it’s all in the name of creating lifelong memories for your little ones.  What were you going to do you selfish twit, go out to dinner with your spouse?

Memorial Day

Can someone explain to me how our children are supposed to appreciate the sacrifices men and women have made for our country if no one gives them a gift that rings in the summer? This Memorial Day morning, my children will scurry outside in their pajamas, open up our backyard grill, and discover that a Union soldier has filled it with Freeze Pops, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, new bathing suits and sunscreen!

Flag Day

This year, my children will start their day with a game of capture the flag that will make the Hunger Games look like a Maypole event. The winning team earns a chest full of Bomb Pops – eat them before they melt! The losing team…wins the same. Because what’s better than a participation trophy? A participation gift that causes Type 2 diabetes, hyperactivity, and attention disorders.

Fourth of July

Parents, this is your day to wake up before dawn so that you can arrange for the ghost of Ben Franklin to visit your home before your children rise, leaving them Pop Rocks, sparklers, cherry bombs, and other explosive devices. Because nothing says the holidays like a visit to the ER.

Labor Day

Saying goodbye to summer isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely less painful when visited by Jimmy Hoffa. There’s a reason his body hasn’t been found yet – he’s alive and well and leaving my children a trail of chocolate coins that leads to a glorious discovery. My kids will go crazy for the briefcase full of cash that Jimmy leaves for them to buy their back-to-school wardrobe.  

Election Day

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or as my kids call her, Bazooka Betty, doesn’t visit your house to supply your children with a canister full of rock hard bubble gum and freshly sharpened number 2 pencils? Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were raising your kids to have a complete lack of respect for our electoral process.

Thanksgiving

We have allowed this holiday to be a day about gathering with family for the sole purpose of expressing gratitude for far too long. From now on, the Thanksgiving Pilgrim will be leaving a cornucopia of small gifts (like bicycles and iPads) for my children before throwing a turkey in the oven for our family to enjoy come nightfall. And don’t even get me started on Thanksgiving desserts. When a fruit and vegetable are the featured ingredients in your dessert, something is amiss. Move over apple and pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving Pilgrim will also be bringing tasty treats made exclusively of corn syrup and red dye – all in the shape of feathers!    

Do your children a favor and make their childhood magical by teaching them that a holiday is not a holiday at all unless they are receiving gifts and childhood obesity from someone other than their parents.

You’re welcome.

 

The Christmas Loser

Christmas is, if anything, a competition – one that my husband has won for the last several years.  Last year I thought I had it in the bag, but then I was informed via Etsy that the Danny Devito rubber stamp I ordered would not arrive in time for the holiday.  A Christmas Loser again.

Until this Christmas.  It was around the 22nd that I smugly proclaimed that I clearly was going to be this year’s winner.  My husband has always been a gifted gift giver (he’s never bought me anything heart-shaped, for instance). But this year, he had been plagued with sickness.

One planned trip to the store was replaced with a trip to the doctor for ear tubes (no, I’m not married to an eight-year-old, just the only grown man who has gotten tubes twice in his adult life).  On the 24th, he was struck with a stomach bug, which meant that, unless he wanted to have a “Christmas Incident” in the middle of Sephora, last-minute shopping was out of the question for him.

He lamented that he only had one thing for me and, without even opening presents, a winner was declared.  The sheer quantity of presents I had bought did not just exceed his, but they also included a membership to a sock-of-the-month club – the perfect gift for a man who a co-worker once declared was “known for his socks.” And then came Christmas morning.

I expected perfume.  I had been not-so-subtly hinting that I was in need, and, I don’t know, perfume has always seemed to me like one of those extravagances that I felt funny about buying for myself. The box under the tree, however, was all wrong.  It was too big.  Too big even for a boxed set that came with lotion.  I unwrapped the gift to find another box inside and still felt perplexed.  It was some kind of electronic device, but what was it?  I lifted the lid to discover that my husband had bought me a laptop.  The real gift came, however, when he proclaimed, “No one else is allowed to use this.  It’s just for you.  To write.”

Before you start thinking he’s too good to be true, let me share a fun fact with you. My husband brought me to see Bad Santa on our first date. 

For the nearly 15 years since college (excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth writing that sentence), the only things I’ve written are grad school papers, report card comments, emails, and texts.  As a result, there were times that I got a little too carried away in my emails.  It was as if my brain was telling me to write, that it needed to express its snarky commentary in some form.

And so my friends got lengthy dissertations about my toddler’s bout with Coxsackie virus and diatribes against “some nasty bitch” who cut me off in the grocery store parking lot.  Fascinating stuff, described in enough detail to make Dickens accuse me of being too wordy.  I often wonder if anyone has actually read one of my emails in entirety in the last decade.

For years, I toyed with the idea of a blog.  It was the kind of writing I like best – self-centered, all-about-me essay writing.  No need to  research historical events, no requirement of a creative mind.  Blogging was the avenue for your typical smug, unctuous writer who thinks other people actually give a flying fig what they have to say about anything.  I had clearly found my niche.  So, for years, I did what all great procrastinators do, I thought long and hard about it, and updated my Facebook status.

Until this Christmas.  Because with a gift like this laptop I’m writing on, and more importantly, the message that came with it, how do you not take that extra step? How do you hear that someone you love believes in you, and then use their gift to Facebook stalk and judge the profile pictures of your ex-boyfriend’s family and friends?  (For the record, I predict that this laptop will most definitely find itself down some truly remarkable Facebook wormholes).

So, even though pair number 1 of the sock-of-the-month club were clad with a jellybean design, I suppose I was technically the Christmas Loser this year.  And so it is time now to declare the official winner of Christmas 2015 – my long-suffering friends who will no longer be receiving a detailed Monday-morning discourse about my weekend trip to Target.