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Mother’s Day in Victoria can be more than macaroni hearts and breakfast in bed

Planning is key for that special day
Mother’s Day is May 12. (Adobe Stock photo)

By Tim Collins

Mother’s Day is May 12, and to celebrate the day properly, it’s going to take a little planning.

It’s that day that we’ve come to mark as a celebration of motherhood and it’s a chance to demonstrate how much moms are loved and appreciated.

According to the Retail Council of Canada, 75 per cent of Canadians plan to make purchases to celebrate the day and the total spending is estimated in the billions of dollars.

And despite the tired old memes and cartoons about Mother’s Day, most of the celebrations will go far beyond the cliché breakfast in bed (which is always depicted as having left tsunami-like wreckage in the kitchen for mom to clean up).

Even though Mother’s Day accounts for about 25 per cent of all holiday purchases at flower shops and several billion dollars of card sales, the holiday seems to have moved on to more imaginative ways to show mom how much we care.

Contrary to popular belief, Mother’s Day was not some phoney holiday invented by Hallmark to sell cards. Celebrations of motherhood can be traced back to ancient Greeks and Romans who held festivals to celebrate mother goddesses. One can only imagine that little Greek and Roman children were making their version of macaroni hearts glued onto paper for their toga-clad moms.

The modern version of Mother’s Day dates back to the years after the American Civil War as a way for mothers to promote world peace. That morphed into an official holiday due to the efforts of a lady named Anna Jarvis (who ironically never married or had children) and was made an official holiday in the United States in 1914. It spread across most of the Western world.

In a final twist, Jarvis ended up hating the holiday, decrying its commercialization and spending most of her wealth in lawsuits to stop commercial use of the name “Mother’s Day”.

But enough of history. The question today is what you can do to make Mother’s Day special. Here are a few ideas.

Take a carriage ride followed by afternoon tea

Heritage horse-drawn carriage tours of Victoria offer the opportunity to enjoy the city at a sedentary pace while giving mom and the kids a memorable treat. Reservations are a must and the weather might be a factor but, hey, it’s Victoria and the flowers will be in bloom.

After the ride is done, everyone can take a stroll (or drive) to one of the several locations that offer the classic afternoon tea in the true old English tradition.

Plan a picnic

Do a little research and find a scenic location in keeping with what mom loves, whether it’s a view of the ocean or a spot in the middle of an old-growth forest.

To be extra special, you might want to go online and order one of those wicker picnic baskets and a checkered blanket. Fill it with mom’s favourite treats – perhaps from her favourite restaurant – and you’re good to go.

Vietnamese mother and daughter enjoying picnic in summer park (Adobe Stock photo)

READ MORE: Greater Victoria holds 4 of top 100 brunch spots in Canada: OpenTable

Make memories

Mother’s Day is a perfect time to take all those photos from your phone and combine them with old school prints sitting under the bed in a shoe box to make a scrapbook of family memories.

Combine that scrapbook with a family photo session with professional photos taken by a real photographer and you’re on your way to making some lasting memories.

Enjoy some music

Victoria is home to some of the country’s most talented musicians and this is a chance to make some Mother’s Day memories to the sound of every genre of music imaginable.

The Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour, for example, offers a self-guided tour of ten springtime gardens and in each of the locations, talented musicians from the Conservatory of Music will be on hand to complete the experience.

Or, look into any of the dozens of live music venues in operation on mom’s special day. There’s a Jazz brunch at The Hallway, for example, or presentations of Celtic music at local watering holes and more.

Give a little kindness to make a lasting memory

This idea requires a lot of pre-planning and may not be for everyone.

Victoria is home to many retirement homes and, sadly, some of those homes have moms who will find themselves alone on Mother’s Day. With a little investigation and preparation, you can make a connection with the staff at one of these homes who may be able to arrange for a visit with a new friend on Mother’s Day.

Take the family for a visit and make the day special for someone else.

Of course, there are dozens of other ways to celebrate mom’s special day.

The key is planning. Don’t expect to find flowers on Mother’s Day if you haven’t ordered in advance and don’t arrive at a restaurant without reservations unless your goal is to create a very different memory.

And, finally, don’t forget to enlist the kids in the day. Moms tend to love having the kids show in imaginative ways that they care, even if it involves macaroni hearts to hang on the fridge.