The Mother's Day Present I Look Forward to Every Year Is Simple but Meaningful

Photographer: Levi MandelRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising or print allowed.
POPSUGAR Photography | Levi Mandel
POPSUGAR Photography | Levi Mandel

This year, I'll be celebrating my ninth Mother's Day. Ninth! Most likely, my husband and two daughters will make me a special Mother's Day breakfast, and then we'll spend the day doing something fun as a family. I'll be honest: it's nice to have one day of the year when I'm recognized and appreciated (and even a little pampered) for being a mother. It's a very rewarding job that I love very much, but a job nonetheless.

Over the years, I've received some pretty fabulous Mother's Day gifts from my children: jewelry, dresses, purses, picture frames. My husband is the one to select (and of course, purchase) a gift for me from my kids, and he's done a super job — I always adore what he picks out. But the type of gifts I really love the most cannot be bought.

I'm a total sucker for any handmade gifts from my kids, especially if they incorporate their handprints or footprints. I never get enough of seeing their adorable little hands and feet and tracking how much they've grown over the years. One of my all-time favorite gifts from my children is a canvas with their footprints on it that my husband made to look like Elsa and Anna from Frozen with paint. I love it so much that I display it proudly in our home.

Over the years, my kids have given me other treasured handmade gifts, like a wooden pencil holder that still sits on my desk and a picture frame made out of craft sticks that holds a family photo. I adore these gifts so much that I'll never take them off display. Sure, others might think these poorly constructed decorations look out of place, but to me, they're absolutely perfect. My kids' handmade gifts mean more to me than anything from a store ever could, because they're truly unique and special — and made with so much love.

It also warms my heart that my husband helps our children make the gifts. Instead of just buying something trendy from a store, my family takes the time to carefully plan and craft something special and sentimental for me to keep forever. Creating something from their little hands instead of shopping for a pretty gift (that I ultimately could've gotten for myself) means so much to me, but it means much more to my kids, because their gift is something they take pride in. I love watching their little faces light up as they proudly announce to me "I made that!"

Time seems to be going by so quickly. Before I know it, my young daughters will be learning how to drive and taking the SAT. I wish I could stop time . . . or at least make it go slower. But that's why I love their handmade and sentimental gifts so much. When I look at those gifts, I'll always recall this special time in our lives. All the memories that I've made with them since they were little come flooding back. Hands down (no pun intended), that will always be the very best kind of Mother's Day gift to me.