The Gift of You: 7 Easy to Integrate Mother-Daughter Traditions
Travel back to when you were a little girl. What was the thing you wanted most from your parents? Sure there was that cute little puppy you saw at the pet store with your mom, a new Barbie, or that life-sized doll house for the back yard; but most of all, you wanted to hang with your mom, studying her every move so you could be just like her. How many times did you ask if you could go to work with her, go grocery shopping with her, or cook dinner with her? How many times does your daughter ask the same of you? Times change, but the heart of a little girl remains the same.
Whether it’s playing office executive making a presentation to her stuffed animals and dolls in her dress-up suit, wearing mommy’s heels, or swaggering on to the tennis scene with matching gear; time with mom is what it’s all about. Hence, the juggling begins.
How do you juggle being an executive with 40+ hour weeks, and grow up a little girl who is secure in her mother’s love? The answer, time; fleeting as it is, it’s the best gift you can give your daughter, or anyone, really.
I can feel your stress register going up a notch already. Time; there is only so much of it in a day. True, but you’re a smart business woman with superior time management skills, right? You know how to work your way around a board room, and, with a few easy tips, you can work your way into your daughter’s heart too. Keyword – traditions; start one, build upon one, and nurture one. Your daughter will remember the special times she spent with mom for the rest of her life, and just might carry your mommy and me tradition on with her own daughter someday.
Mother-Daughter traditions can be as easy as planting flowers in the garden together every spring or volunteering at a charity that holds a special place in your hearts, to any one of the ideas here. Try one or two of these and see where you land. You’ll know the perfect tradition to share once you get there.
1.) One night a week, dinner out, just the two of you. You’ll be surprised at how fast she gets her homework done when she knows she gets to have a private dinner with mom. Presentation: Make a colorful, fancy certificate or coupon for “Dinner out, every Wednesday – just us girls”, put a start date on it (the first Wednesday in January) and wrap it up. Make it as important and special as this gift is.
2.) A once a month shopping day. Now this is something you would do anyway, with or without your daughter, so it will be easy to incorporate into your busy schedule. She will have a blast helping you pick out your next power suit and will love your input on her school clothes choices as well. Presentation: Wrap up a small Day-Timer style calendar in a color and style she will like. Once a month write“Shopping Day with Mom” in one of the squares; be consistent, the last Saturday of the month for example. Enclose a gift card for your first shopping day together.
3.) Start a family tree scrapbook. Not only will this be fun, she will learn all about her heritage at the same time. Work on it once a week and tell her a new ‘before her time’ story to make it even more fun! Presentation: Purchase a scrapbook organizer and fill it with all the supplies you will need to get started. Enclose old family photos of your daughter’s grandparents, aunts or uncles. Attach a baby photo of her to the outside of the wrapped gift as the gift tag.
4.) Girly Night In – Make a big bowl of popcorn, rent an age-appropriate movie with a happy ending or a positive life lesson that you can talk about after the movie. Don’t forget the movie candy too! Presentation: Wrap a large enough box with red and white stripped paper, simulating old-time movie popcorn boxes, and fill the box with a mason jar of popcorn kernels, personalized popcorn bowls with “Girly Night In” or your names on them, and a DVD or two that you will watch together.
5.) Mani-Pedi day! What little girl or teen doesn’t enjoy a day at the salon or spa? What one of us women doesn’t either, for that matter! Also something you may already be doing on a regular basis, which makes this tradition an easy one to get started. On your way to the salon, stop for hot cocoa to go; extra whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle please! Once you are sitting in that comfy, big chair and your tired feet are soaking in the warm, soothing bubbly water, clink your cups together with a resounding “cheers!” and while your feet are getting nice and toasty, warm your soul with cocoa and love. The smile may never leave your daughter’s face. Presentation: A year’s worth of salon gift certificates nestled between a few bottles of fun, sparkly nail polish. This is also a good stocking stuffer.
6.) Cooking lessons. Whether professionally taught, or taught by you, cooking and eating a meal together is a great bonding experience for anyone. Presentation: Purchase matching aprons, preferably with a pocket, and fill the pocket with a few kid-sized utensils; a whisk, wooden spoon, and measuring spoons or cups. If you are going for professional classes, add a gift certificate for the classes as well, and arrange it all in a large mixing bowl with a child’s cook book. Pick a Mommy and Me dinner night and make a special dinner for the family, just the two of you.
7.) Exercise together. This, good for both of you tradition, is a win-win. You will have an outlet to
relieve the stress of the day, and your daughter will expend some energy. You will both be in better health and great shape! How about tennis? You can take lessons together and practice together once or twice a week, as most tennis courts are lighted for nighttime play, and then grab some take-out on the way home. Find another mother-daughter team for doubles; make it a Saturday play date, go out to lunch afterwards – together (the operative word). Presentation: Buy matching 40 Love Courture tennis bags. Made in the USA and customizable, you can both hit the courts in high style. You can be completely matchy-matchy with black and white daisy print tennis bags, or choose an animal theme; elephants or giraffes for her, and a Swarovski crystal studded cheetah or zebra print for you; nothing wrong with a little bling for mommy, eh?
We are all overwhelmed and busy, especially at this time of year. Nevertheless, there is always a modicum of time that can be carved out or ‘tweaked’ to include your daughter. How about it mom? Give your daughter the Christmas gift she REALLY wants – time with you.