Beautify its environment.
“Look around and think about what will make her feel pampered,” said Marianne Canada, lifestyle expert for HGTV.com and host of the HGTV podcast “Obsessed”. If she wants to spend the day lounging in an empty house, “Start with a clean slate and put it away,” Ms. Canada said. “Make the bed with clean, crisp linens. Children can help. In a week you still have time to print and frame a special photo. “How many of us have a hard drive of photos that we would like to print?” she said.
If she has a green thumb, a potted citrus fruit will outlast a flower arrangement. Ms. Canada recommends a dwarf Meyer lemon or a Calamondin orange tree. “You can plant them outside if you’re in the right area, but if not, good drainage, citrus potting soil, and a sunny window are all you need,” says -it. “Add a rolling planter so she can move them all year round. Nothing makes you feel more chic than thinking ‘it’s a beautiful sunny day, I should be rolling the orange tree outside.’ “
Take note: a vacuum cleaner is never a hit (“a household appliance is a gift for the whole house, not for one person,” Ms. Canada said). However, a session with a professional organizer can be a useful way to calm things down.
Do it well.
If you have a printer, you’re halfway to perfect presentation. Avoid cheesy Hallmark sentiments and download stylish wrapping paper, gift tags, or cards from the Almost Makes Perfect design website.
“I firmly believe that Mother’s Day is about all types of moms,” said Molly Madfis, a designer whose work also includes print materials for mother-in-law and mother-in-law. Use plain printing paper for the gift wrap, Ms. Madfis said, and card stock for the rest.
Ms. Ferney lifts her gift set using ordinary household items for wrapping. “The neon pink string from the hardware store makes everything glow,” she says. She also has her kids paint paper grocery bags and then match a ribbon in the same color scheme.
Improve your usual offers.
While you haven’t really broken new ground with a flower bouquet, you do get extra points for the effort if you do it yourself. Call a local florist to see if they have classes, said Amber Flack, designer at Little Acre Flowers in Washington, DC, or take an online lesson with florists like Lavenders or Siren Floral. Use local flowers whenever possible, Ms. Flack said, and limit the variety.