“Mom” is usually easy to buy for, and she often is showered with potholders, new kitchen items, and “I promise to be good,” coupon books. But the very best gifts for Mom are those that are specifically for her, and not for anyone else. They take her comfort, tastes, and interests into consideration. Of course, the very best gifts are those that are handmade – just for her.
Add a coupon for “one uninterrupted hour” to that coupon book for Mom, and shower her with everything she needs for a luxurious soak. Your kit could include home-grown luffa sponges – or buy them from the store if you didn’t think that far ahead, an inflatable neck pillow, an audiobook by her favorite author or soothing music, and a fancy glass to hold her favorite drink. Arrange the items attractively in a hand-crocheted basket (or buy one if time is short). Add some home-made bath bombs, using her favorite scent and that extra-special shampoo that she only purchases for special occasions.
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup baking soda, ½ cup citric acid, and ½ cup Epsom salts. In a separate container, mix 3 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons essential oil – in her favorite scent, 1 teaspoon water. Add a drop or two of food coloring to mix her favorite color. Hint: blue and yellow make green; blue and red make purple – with will be more like lavender with the white ingredients; yellow and red will make orange. Don’t use too much – you want to color the bath bomb, not your mother. Add the liquid ingredients a few drops at a time, working quickly, to form a ball that will hold together. The secret of bath bombs is to let the oil coat the dry ingredients, so they don’t fizz until they are added to the bath. Pack into a bath bomb mold, or into left-over plastic Easter eggs and let dry. Remove from mold, wrap in plastic or fancy paper before adding to your gift basket.
You can purchase audio books in digital format, on disks or as audio cassettes. If Mom has a favorite series she enjoys, a recorded book that works with an already owned player is a great addition to her collection. But a book that she will treasure for many years is a story written by her family and secretly recorded as a group project. Have the writer in the family create a script that incorporates everyone, or even ad lib a funny story. The most treasured part of this project will be having a recording of those voices in years to come.
Hand Crocheted Basket:
Give yourself some lead time if you plan to make this part. Use heavy rug yarn and a large crochet hook. Crochet five chains, and loop the end of the chain together. Begin crocheting around the ring that has been formed, pushing the hook into the edge of each stitch, rather than crocheting through the middle. Keep crocheting, using a single stitch, around the edge until you have a disk about 12” across. In the next round, pick up the thread from the inner edge of the previous row, so that you are now crocheting a ridge around the disk. Continue crocheting until you have a basket rim that is between four or six inches high. On one edge, crochet a section about three inches across, turn your work and crochet back. Continue in this way to create a handle. When the handle is about 12 inches long, place the working edge on the edge opposite the first handle space, and crochet the handle to the basket edge. Use florist’s wire or the wire from a plastic-coated wire clothes hanger to brace the handle and make it stand up.
Add pictures of everyone involved in the project, some home-made candy, fruit, or savory nibbles, and a printed copy of the book to help round out the contents of your basket. Vary the contents of the basket for Mom according to her personal tastes, and you are sure to have a winner.