How to Buy a Mother's Day Gift

On this day set aside to acknowledge the hard work and loving care that goes into motherhood, honor all the special mothers in your life-- your sister, grandmother, spouse, friend, mother-in-law--in these unique and creative ways.

Offer Mom a chance to explore a new passion. If she's spoken of an unexplored interest--such as art, music, gourmet cooking, singing or golf--sign her up for lessons. Contact local community centers, teachers or clubs for references. If she's always wanted to play the drums, rent a set and locate a teacher.

Buy a flat of plants or flowers for her garden and plant them where she chooses; or put in a vegetable garden. (See "How to Start a Vegetable Garden")

Make her sigh with a fabulous spa day or a massage certificate, or book her a professional beauty treatment.

Get her computer hooked up to the Internet, or buy her a cell phone with a family plan if she says, "You never call! You never write!"

Plant a container with a lush mini herb garden that she can snip at will while cooking.

Have some favorite family photographs matted and framed for her to enjoy.

Take her to a local gym for a sample session of yoga, tai chi or personal training sessions. Better yet, you go too.

Take her sewing machine in to get serviced.

Gather your clan and book a professional photographer to take a portrait of the whole family. Costs range widely, but expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the studio, and the number and size of prints you end up ordering. (See "How to Hire a Photographer")

Buy a gift certificate from a favorite store where she usually wouldn't indulge herself.