Recently, NerdWallet hosted a Mother’s Day contest for blog writers to write about the best Mother’s Day gift under $25 and enter for a chance to win cash prizes. We’ve gathered our winners and given them a special spot here to recognize their entries. From journals to pancakes, our “bests” list here presents fabulous Mother’s Day gifts and heartwarming stories to go along with them!
Best Overall Winner
Give Peas A Chance – “Best Mother’s Day Gift Ever”
Perhaps at first glance, an ordinary black journal may look like much to many. They may think it’s just an address book, a place to jot down memos or phone messages, or completely blank — plain and simple, just like its cover. However, to blog writer Katherine, of Give Peas A Chance, this little black book is known as the best Mother’s Day gift ever. Behind the untitled black cover of this book is a compilation of drawings, letters, and poetry by Katherine’s children. For each holiday or special event, instead of a purchased gift, her children give her a timeless present that displays their unique personalities, favorite things, feelings, and more throughout the years.
A simple idea turned into a heartfelt and touching present that Katherine looks forward to every year. What will her children write for her in their teenage years? What about when they go off to college? When they get married? The precious thoughts of her children will be forever imprinted in the blank pages of the journal. With blank pages, creativity comes in countless ways and, for 2013, Katherine has decided to do a questionnaire in the little black book — just one way to get thoughts of her children inside her precious book. This is a family tradition waiting to happen — one that will get passed down for many generations!
84th & 3rd – “Fluffy Blueberry & Spelt Vegan Pancakes”
JJ, blog writer for 84th & 3rd, has put a healthy and fulfilling twist to a classic breakfast favorite — blueberry pancakes! For many families, breakfast-in-bed or brunch is a special way to start off the Mother’s Day celebration. Infused with aromatic cinnamon and ginger, sprinkled with ground flax seed, and, of course, blueberries folded in, this delicious recipe makes for a refreshing breakfast item for Mother’s Day. Pair it with a glass of orange juice or a cup of tea and a bouquet of fresh daisies or vibrant roses and it becomes a wonderful, thoughtful gift for mothers!
Kissing The Frog – “Mother’s Day: The Best Things in Life are Free”
When one becomes a mother, it seems that the usual girls’ night out, bi-weekly manicures, spa days, personal shopping, and other before-becoming-a-mother activities seem to be a memory of the past. Chores seem to increase when additions are made to the family and Kathy of Kissing The Frog enjoys her Mother’s Day “free pass” of no kitchen cleaning! When snacks and meals need to be prepared, mothers find themselves to be in the kitchen most of the time and her children follow her like ducklings, but with their toys, crafts, and other items. The kitchen then becomes the playroom and the T.V. room and a family hang-out. But, for one day, Kathy gets to spend it playing with her children, with no chores burdening her and only hugs, kisses, and smiles waiting for her.
It might not be able to be wrapped in a pretty package or put into a decorative bag, but time is also a precious gift that is always there and is given everyday. It’s the freedom to choose how to spend it that makes it so special, especially for Mother’s Day.
Foreignspell – “A Song for Mama”
Songs are a magical way to express your love for another or share a silly moment singing a pop song out loud with friends. Lullabies are a mother’s way to get her baby to sleep and, for Foreignspell’s blog writer, Niki, precious memories of singing favorite tunes from famous artists with her mother inspired her to create a handmade card with handmade tools. From Boyz II Men’s “A Song for Mama”, Niki chose a lyric from that song that rings true to her feelings about her mother and crafted a creative card to represent them. Even though Niki’s card are for sale at her Etsy shop, she has provided DIY instructions for this quirky and decorative card.
Stories by JoAnne Bennett – “Defining Empowerment”
On Mother’s Day, not every mother gets to enjoy family brunches, bouquets of flowers, or shopping days with their children. Mother’s Day could actually be a dreadful holiday for some mothers, just like Valentine’s Day can be for singles. As JoAnne of Stories by JoAnne Bennett shares her random act of kindness for a lonely mother in her blog post, “Defining Empowerment”, she also shares her unease about Mother’s Day and her complicated mother-daughter relationship with her adoptive mother. Being kept at a distance by her adoptive mother throughout her childhood, JoAnne realized that her adoptive mother couldn’t love herself — how, then, could she love another?
Even though JoAnne may have not received a mother’s love in full, it has strengthened her belief in being a genuine, loving person and her gifts come from the heart, just like the bouquet of flowers she indirectly gave to a stranger — a stranger she understood was just a lonely mother. Rather than letting hardships create hard shells around our hearts, let them empower you into becoming an understanding and caring person. Appreciating mothers doesn’t have to come from children — JoAnne Bennett shows that a mother’s love, or a person’s understanding and care for another person or a complete stranger, can be a terrific, and even healing, gift as well.
From NerdWallet, we would like to send out a big thank you to our winners, judges, and participants for making our contest a blast!