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Ways to celebrate a long distance Mother’s Day

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

The final weeks of the semester can feel overwhelming as workload, social life and well-being all become precariously balanced in the juggling act that is student life. As much as I would like to call myself an independent, productive and fully qualified adult, I find myself rehearsing phone calls to the GP, forgetting how to wash my jeans without shrinking them and constantly wishing I had a personal assistant, therapist and cheerleader all rolled into one. For me, the unfortunate recipient of all my worries and concerns, no matter how insignificant, has been the one who knows best- Mother. Regardless of having lived away from home for three years, Mum is still my first point of call when things go wrong, just as she has been since day one. And so, since I am unable to rely on my previous go-to Mother’s Day gifts of breakfasts in bed, I wanted to explore long-distance ways students can show mum they still appreciate everything she does for them – when they decide adulthood is just a bit too grown up!

1. Send flowers

As unoriginal as this suggestion might seem, it would be absurd not to include such a simple gesture on this list. Numerous online flower delivery services offer next-day or weekend delivery of bouquets and potted plants, often featuring a message or card from the sender. With spring finally, upon us, flowers might be the perfect way to add some seasonal colour to the home and brighten Mum’s day. Bonus points for making it personal by ordering her favourite flowers (ask dad!) or a bouquet associated with your location – for example, bouquets featuring purple flowers, such as bluebells, thistles, or orchids, often symbolise native Scottish flowers, a nice touch for St.Andrews students. 

2. Create a care package

On the theme of special deliveries, sending Mum a small care package compiling all of her favourite treats is a wonderful way to thank her for all the ways she has taken care of you over the years. Include a range of beauty treatments such as face masks, body scrubs and nail varnishes, alongside treats like chocolates, nuts or baked goods and self-care essentials like fluffy socks and a scented candle. Wrap the items in colourful paper and have fun decorating a gift box with drawings, stickers, glitter and photographs. The result should be a gift that is equally relaxing and fun for both you in making it and Mum in receiving it!

3. Host a zoom gin-tasting evening

One of the few legacies of lockdown I am actually grateful for, our previous dependence on Zoom events generated a plethora of virtual creativity in bringing people across the globe together. Make use of the platform and host a wine-tasting evening with Mum. Buy a collection of gin samples for yourself and Mum, making sure to include a variety of flavours and brands and supply an ample amount of tonic water. Throw on a smart top (but in true zoom-call style keep some pyjama bottoms on below) and attend the call with a notepad to write down your ratings and reviews. You could create categories for each gin including taste, packaging and strength or see who can create the best one-line reviews. If gin isn’t your style, feel free to try it with wine, beer or even a chocolate selection, just make sure to both embody your inner critic and the evening is sure to be good fun. 

4. Watch a movie “together”

In a similar style to ‘Netflix Party’, get together with your mum on facetime or an online messenger and simultaneously watch something together. Options could include a newly released title you both want to see, a familiar family favourite or a series you could both start together. This option is a great one even for those in different time zones as their mum and is a great way for you both to feel present with each other in a way that is often missed with ‘catch-up’ calls. Use the FaceTime call or chat to discuss the viewing in real-time and enjoy winding down and watching like mum is right there on the sofa next to you. If you choose a series to watch, there’s potential to continue watching episodes together as they come out or set up a weekly slot to view them together. 

5. Send a nostalgic project

In a similar style to decorating a care package, channelling your inner child and creating something you might have made for Mum twelve years ago can be a great activity for you and a hilarious, nostalgic gift for her. Whether you prefer drawing family portraits, creating pasta necklaces or writing a poem, recreating iconic childhood projects provides endless options! If going digital is more your style, try making a PowerPoint presentation of key memories, videoing a dance routine in crazy outfits to her favourite song or recreating some of your childhood photographs to create a whacky new family album. The key to many of these projects is to make them as imaginative as possible, the more outlandish the better!

However you decide to celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s important to remember that being a grown-up doesn’t confine appropriate Mother’s Day gifts to expensive spa trips and fancy dinners. Sometimes the best gifts are those which cost nothing except time, something which becomes a particularly valuable commodity once you leave home. Even if all you do is FaceTime Mum to wish her a happy Mother’s Day, make the time count and set all other tasks or distractions aside to celebrate someone who consistently does the same for us, no matter how old we get!

Katharine George

St. Andrews '24

Katharine is the current Chapter Leader for the St Andrews chapter of Her Campus. She is currently in her final year at St Andrews studying Modern History and English Literature. She has interests in pursuing a career in journalism or publishing and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience she has gained writing articles for Her Campus. Her topics of interest include art and culture, campus news, wellness and the environment.