How do you save yourself when Mother’s Day arrives and you still don’t have a gift for Mom?

Simple: You come up with a creative and even thoughtful gift, that is also unique and unexpected!

Here are a handful of fun and low cost ideas that our staff came up with (we think some come from past experience, though nobody here is admitting anything).

Also, sometimes promises kept are as important as physical gifts, so if you don’t spark to any of the ideas below, you can always head over to our Printable Gift Coupons page. Just fill in a coupon with a gesture Mom would appreciate (like a free house cleaning), and make sure to follow through!

1. Charitable Donations in Mom’s Name

Many charities allow you to make donation is someone else’s name, so why not make a donation to Mom’s favorite charity? We’ve linked toAmeriCareshere, but there are literally thousands of worth charities out there that are worth your attention.Be sure you make the donation “In honor of” and not “In memory of” unless this is a memorial gift. Or, just tell Mom what you’ve done by noting it in the Mother’s Day card you give her.

2. Fill Mom’s Gas Tank

This is certainly notthe cheapest Mother’s Day gift these days, but it’s bound to be very much appreciated! So if you’re on the verge of showing up at Mom’s on Mother’s Day, gift-less and without a clue, remember that this can save you, and make Mom happy.You can even take it one step further and run her car through the car wash.

3. Set Up a Virtual Family Reunion

Treat Mom to an online family conference call or full-blown, multi-media Internet meeting. Voice over Internet (VOIP) and video capabilities make a family gathering among far apart family members a very real possibility and memorable event.Conference calls make it easy for large numbers of family and friends – anyone with a phone – to call into a central number at a planned date and time and connect with their loved ones.

  • Companies like iVisit, host virtual, private conference rooms for an affordable price and cater specifically to families. Invite family and friends to login and share video, documents, photos and even messaging tools.
  • For a simple telephone conference call, you can go with a free service like FreeConference.

4. Recipes by the Dozen

Armed with just a printer and some paper you can quickly whip up an impromptu and customized cookbook with Mom in mind. What kinds of food does she like? Is she a real kitchen maven or does she struggle to even make a PB&J?Check out a popular recipe site where you can access print-friendly recipes categorized by skill level. Bind your pages, add a fancy cover and you’re done.

5. Let Mom Choose!

Think about the kind of gift Mom might like (e.g., jewelry, perfume, clothing, spa…), then get her a gift card that suits her tastes. That way, Mom can select the exact gift she prefers!We’ve got Mother’s Day Gift Cards covering lots of different products and store types, including jewelry, spa and beauty, magazines, specialty store, department stores and more.

6. Create a Customized Cell Phone Screensaver

Create a personalized cellphone screensaver for Mom. Choose from a wide selection of freeware and shareware programs that quickly guide you through the steps necessary to create a screensaver of family photos.

  • Red Dodo provides online templates you may easily customize with your own text. Then you simply download to Mom’s cellphone.
  • Download a program like MobileSaver 2.2. The program guides you in creating a cellphone screensaver from the photos and transitions you choose.

7. Give Mom the Gift of Song

At Custom Mother’s Day Songsyou can order a downloadable MP3 of an original Mother’s Day song, with illustrated lyric sheet and CD cover.You can even use a music CD-writing program on your computer to copy the song onto a CD – then print the CD jacket cover, print the illustrated lyric sheet and you’re good to go!

8. Dozens of Classic Novels in the Palm of Her Hand

Find an affordable flash drive for under $30. Then Download a couple of classic novelsor biographies onto the drive.Mom can simply plug the drive into a computer and access PDF files of copyright-free works. Search for classics like Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights, and The Odyssey.

9. Make One Magazine Go Far

You’re on your way to Mom’s house without a Mother’s Day gift, again. In retrospect a magazine subscription would have been an excellent idea had you thought of it a month ago. But for less than $5 you can still buy yourself some time.Just head on over to our Magazine Gifts page and pick one of Mom’s favorite magazines. Get Mom a one-year subscription, and you’re done!