It’s easy to think of holidays in terms of gifts. Regardless of the actual celebration (or reason behind it), many of us just reach straight for our wallets. And even though there are plenty of things that we all want, plenty of physical gifts we’d love to receive, wouldn’t it be nice to receive something a little more personal?

This Mother’s Day, try a slightly different approach when showing your appreciation for the moms in your life. Instead of buying jewelry or flowers, try getting in touch with your true feelings – and use this guide to help you express them in a meaningful way.

Young mother rising baby up

Mother’s Day is all about showing appreciation to the moms who raised us.

This doesn’t mean you can’t buy a gift, but remember that the reason for buying a present is more important than the present itself. Gifts are meant to show appreciation and admiration – but somehow, many of us skip that part and go right to the gift giving.

Try including a note like this in with your Mother’s Day presents:

Step 1: List the top five things that you’re thankful for about her

1. _______________________________________
2. _______________________________________
3. _______________________________________
4. _______________________________________
5. _______________________________________

Step 2: List five special things she does

1. _______________________________________
2. _______________________________________
3. _______________________________________
4. _______________________________________
5. _______________________________________

Sit down and write it in this form:

Dear __________,
This Mother’s Day, I want you to know how thankful I am for you, and all the things you do. I want to take this moment to list the things I love about you.
I am thankful for _________________, _________________, _________________, _________________, and _________________.
I appreciate you because _________________, _________________, __________________, ____________________, and __________________.
Happy Mother’s Day!
I love you,
{Signature}

Using a note like this (or one you’ve written from scratch) is a great way to pause and show your appreciation in a direct way. Sometimes encouragement and recognition are fantastic gifts on their own! Not everything meaningful has to cost money.

Mother’s Day is all about showing appreciation to the moms who raised us, and the moms who raise our children, so before you worry about picking out the right pair of earrings or making that dinner reservation, make sure she knows that you appreciate what she does, that you’re thankful to have her in your life, and that you love her.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

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