A Meaningful Mother's Day

With Mother's Day approaching, the focus is on how to best show appreciation and affection towards the significant women in our lives. The original purpose behind Mother's Day was to bring families together as well as promote the preciousness of maternal bonding. Celebrated on the second Sunday in May, Mother's Day gatherings typically include brunches and barbecues with extended family and friends. Other than the standard gifts of flowers, candy or beauty treatments, how do we truly express gratitude to the women that are important to us?

Perhaps thinking of the day as a "Hallmark Holiday" should come back into vogue. Current technology has lead us to now send e-mails and text messages in lieu of selecting a card that can bear a hand written expression. The pen may be considered an old fashioned tool, but the experience of holding a note that literally came from a loved one's hand is a most cherished possession.

Carving out time to speak leisurely on the phone has become passé. Truth be told, nothing surpasses actually dialing a number and conversing. Real time interactions allow for the opportunity to delve into and catch up on each other's lives. This cannot be done through a quick hello en route from your office to the car. Listening to the other person's thoughts and reactions to life's events is the essence of the relationship itself.

Everyone enjoys receiving a gift certificate to a favorite store or salon, but the gesture becomes infinitely more heartfelt when the experience is shared with the recipient. Book a day to spend time and space together. Wouldn't it be so much more fun to partake in a yoga class or lunch at your favorite restaurant with the one who gave you the gift?

There are relatives we are closest to that can be called friends and, if one is lucky enough, there are friends (who always have your back) that are considered family. Include in your plans those individuals who are not biologically related to you, but have become part of your family. This will brighten both their day and yours.

It is never too late to start a tradition. Whether it is as simple as a stroll in the neighborhood once a month or as involved as a road trip, establishing a ritual with the people that you care about will reap many rewards that can grow generationally. It is all about interpersonal connections and the gift of sharing time. Our world moves faster and faster with each trip around the sun. We often hear about stopping to smell the roses. Truth be told, our 21st century existence can even make deliberate eye contact a challenge. The most precious offering that one can give to another is the experience of enjoying some small portion of our allotted existence together.

On Mother's Day, whether you are celebrating the relationship with your mother or a maternal figure such as an aunt, sister or best friend, it is not about shiny objects or money spent. This day is about respect, thankfulness and taking the time to communicate how you feel to those you love. Let these emotions expand throughout the year, not just as an annual event.