Live Far Away? Finding a Gift for Mom to Bridge the Distance

Not everyone lives close to their mother. Celebrating special occasions like Mother's Day or Mom's birthday can be particularly challenging long-distance. Don't allow yourself to feel guilty; instead focus on unique gifts that make mom feel included in your life, such as:

Chronological Photo Album
Take a few pictures at most of your activities. While it may seem boring to you, mom will be interested in having a visual to associate with your stories. Take some pictures of your office building and ask a coworker to take a picture of you at your desk. Have children? Get some shots of them doing everyday activities, as well as their special events like soccer games or school functions.

Choose a small photo album that allows for space to write comments. Put together the photos in order as they occurred with places, names or humorous comments.

DVD of Family Events
This idea is similar to the photo album, but adds voices and live action. You record events that may seem mundane to you, such as the kids' bedtime routines. Don't record a single event too long. Thirty seconds to one minute recordings are best. Even at the same event, break up your recording into shorter segments. Accumulate 25-30 minutes of clips and burn mom a DVD. Package it in a lovely card, with a note expressing how you wish she could be there.

Weekly Phone Date
Life can be hectic, and finding the time to talk to Mom is not always easy. Give her a certificate to chat once a week. If you know a time that works for her and is easy for you, mention it in the certificate. Sunday evenings are usually a good time, and it allows you to catch up on the weekend activities too. As an extra gesture, include a phone card to cover Mom's long distance expenses.

If your budget is a little larger, consider getting you and your mom set up on a webcam. Depending on your mother's technical aptitude, you may want to pay and arrange for a PC tech to install the web cam and give her basic instruction. If you will visit her soon, offer to install it during your next visit.