We all know Mother’s Day is in May, but did you know mothers-in-law have their own special day? Mother-in-Law Day is the fourth Sunday in October, and was first celebrated in March 1934 in Amarillo, Texas, the brainchild of the editor of the local newspaper. It wasn’t until the 1970s, though, that the American Society of Florists set the official day of recognition.
If you have a special mother-in-law in your life, be sure to make her feel special year-round, but especially on Mother-in-Law Day. Here are 10 great ideas to make the senior mother-in-law in your life feel like a queen:
1. Take her out to dinner.
No matter her age, nearly everyone enjoys a meal out. Plan a special lunch or dinner outing with your mother-in-law as the center of attention. Let her pick the place. If going out isn’t an option, pick up carry out from her favorite restaurant and take dinner to her. If you live far away, order dinner delivery and then enjoy a video chat as you eat together in your respective homes.
2. Send flowers.
If you don’t live close enough to see your mother-in-law on the special day (or even if you do), send flowers to show you’re thinking of her. Choose an arrangement that takes into account her favorite colors, flowers and the decor of her home.
3. Schedule an all-family video call.
If you can’t all get together for Mother-in-Law Day, treat her to a video call with the whole family. Getting to see everyone’s smiling faces will be a treat.
4. Plan an outing for just the two of you.
It’s a day to celebrate the special bond you have with your spouse’s mother. What better way to do that than to plan an outing for just you and your mother-in-law? Choose an activity she loves and immerse yourself in it and each other’s company for the day.
5. Give a gift that continues throughout the year.
Make your mother-in-law feel special throughout the year with a monthly subscription of some kind. The choices are truly endless. You can find subscription boxes and services for just about every hobby and interest. Check out this substantial list.
Another great option for mothers-in-law who enjoy puzzles is a mystery subscription. Mystery letters and boxes serve up a monthly helping of clues and puzzles to solve to figure out the answer to the mystery. Some mystery boxes are self-contained with a new mystery to solve each month while others are connected with each new letter or box providing new clues to the same mystery. Some popular mystery letters and boxes are Dear Holmes, To Hunt a Killer and Finders Seekers.
6. Give the gift of time.
When you’re part of the sandwich generation (caring for aging parents and raising your own kids), it can be hard to carve out time to simply be together with the seniors in your life, including your mother-in-law. On Mother-in-Law Day, give yours the gift of your time. Help her tackle a project she’s been wanting help with, work with her to make a homemade meal, or take her to do some early Christmas shopping. Make the day about spending more time together than you normally would.
7. Make her something.
Homemade gifts can be the best. If you’re crafty, make something to celebrate your mother-in-law. If you knit or crochet, a blanket, scarf or hat for those cold days on the horizon can be the perfect gift. If your crafting ability lies more in the area of paper crafts, make a scrapbook that celebrates your relationship. If you have woodworking skills, make her something she can use around her home, like a key holder, a bookshelf or table. Your mother-in-law will love a handmade gift made with love.
8. Take her to an event.
For many seniors, getting to their favorite events can be exhausting and difficult, especially if they have limited mobility. Plan an outing to your mother-in-law’s favorite event—maybe a fall festival, a sporting event or a concert. Making the time to cater to your mother-in-law’s interests and making sure she can still enjoy the things she likes will make her feel special and treasured.
9. Plan a game night with the whole family.
If your mother-in-law likes to spend time playing cards with friends, plan a game night that includes the whole family. Bring along some new games to try along with some old favorites. Definitely include some special game night snacks.
Not sure what games to try? Consider what your mother-in-law enjoys and the ages of the rest of your family. If your mother-in-law is a card player, then games like UNO are always popular, especially with a mixed group of ages. Try one of the newer UNO versions that adds some new features to the game.
If you’re looking for a newer game that provides entertainment for all ages, try Hedbanz or Codenames. These interactive games will have the whole family laughing and competing as you celebrate your mother-in-law.
10. Learn more about your mother-in-law.
Celebrate your mother-in-law by learning more about her. Set up a phone to record your mother-in-law and let the family ask her questions about her life. Not sure what to ask? Use some of these questions from the Legacy Project. Focusing the attention on the experiences that made your mother-in-law who she is today is the perfect way to celebrate her and to learn some things you may never have known. It’s a great way to make her feel special and to save her answers for future generations. Have someone edit the recording to make a lasting keepsake of the day.
While Mother-in-Law Day isn’t as widely celebrated as Mother’s Day, it’s a great excuse to make your mother-in-law feel special. Use one of these ideas or come up with your own, but no matter what you do, be sure to mark the day. Your mother-in-law will thank you.