Last week, my mother celebrated her 58th birthday. Since many years, we live in different countries and though her birthday sometimes falls into Easter vacation time, I don’t get a chance to spend time with my mother on her birthday most years. So over the years, I came up with some gift ideas to make her day special even when I am far away. (These tips are great for any family member or friend back home!)
A culinary experience:
This is something my parents actually started. Since my husband and I live in Mumbai, they gift us a culinary (or sometimes cultural) experience. My dad loves to search online for new restaurant openings across Mumbai and they send us a mail with details of the menu and the address of the restaurant and transfer us an amount into our bank account that we should use to enjoy a meal and a drink (or two) at the restaurant they chose for us. This is such a sweet idea because though we are not together, they feel part of our birthday celebration and we send them pictures of what we ate on Whatsapp.
A good read:
My mother loves to read. And with Amazon around the world, it has never been easier to gift a book to someone living far away from you. I usually ask my Dad about which book she is planning to read next and then, before she buys it, I order it online and get it directly delivered to her.
Plants instead of flowers:
If I want to send someone birthday flowers, I usually choose a blooming plant. That way my birthday wishes are long lasting and can continue to grow on a balcony or in the garden. Isn’t beautiful if every morning your parents look out of the kitchen window into their garden and see the beautiful plant you sent them years ago?
A handwritten letter:
Something so simple, yet so special. In the age of email, skype and whatsapp, people feel very happy (and surprised) when they receive a proper letter in the mail box. A simple happy birthday card, a few printed pictures from your life abroad, maybe a small gift from the new country you are living in and that’s it: the perfect birthday gift (especially when the letter reaches on the exact birthday day).
Since a few years, my husband and I gift his mother a subscription to a small monthly inspirational magazine that she loves to read. She was anyways subscribed to it but now that the yearly subscription is a gift from us, she thinks of us every time she reads the magazine.
Similarly, there are so many different types of memberships and subscriptions that you can gift to your parents, siblings or friends at home. Monthly healthy snacks delivered to the doorstep, yearly membership in the local swimming pool, a wine subscription, and so much more.
Let me know in the comments below if you have more tips what to gift our loved one in our home countries.