Every Mother's Day is an opportunity to celebrate the special women around you who have improved and enriched your life throughout the years. These "influencers" may or may not be related to you, but they're definitely part of the family of special people who have nurtured you. And that's more than enough reason to honor them on Mother's Day. You might want to consider something more than a gift for the day. How about creating new traditions that honor her and the wonderful relationship you have all year long? Here are a few ideas. Let us know variations that you come up with! Tea-with-Me: Whether it's an outing to local grand hotel tea rooms or just quiet time at your home, pick one day a month for one-on-one time with tea, your favorite treats, and your mom. Choose teas to match the season (May is wonderful for fresh new greens) and try some appetizers for savory additions to the tea meal and pastries from the newest bakery in town. The best thing on the menu, of course, is time to talk and share and be together. An hour a month just for the two of you can create memories for a lifetime. Variations:
If you two love to cook, this is also a delightful way to make appetizers or sweets together then enjoy them while drinking a freshly-brewed pot of tea.
Share a hobby? Whether it's photography or knitting, yoga or skydiving, do it together, but always include tea to end the time together.
Live far away from each other? Let technology be your friend. You and mom can be drinking tea at the same time while you email, Skype or (radical) kibitz on the phone.
Tea-of the Month Club selections. Every other month you'll receive a new sample from the category you've chosen which can include: flavored, herbal, white, black, green or decaf.
Tea-for-Others: Does your mom have a special charity or organization that she volunteers or raises funds for on a regular basis? Whether it's a shelter, church or temple, a woman's shelter or the waiting room of a pediatric ward in a hospital, the people who work for or use the agency she supports will really benefit from this monthly respite with a cup of freshly brewed tea. Call it Mom's Tea or use her name, such as Mary's Tea, for a personal twist to this new tradition. You'll both have the satisfaction of helping those who are helping others. A "Tea-With" Class: Ever pair cheese with tea? Chocolate with tea? These are two terrific food categories that go deliciously with tea and it's so much fun to explore the many possibilities. Engage a cheese shop or chocolate shop in helping you select three or four selections to pair with teas and bring them to mom. Both you and she (and probably a lot of friends who learn about this) will love exploring these intriguing tea pairings with you. Pair light teas like whites and greens or delicate milk chocolates with delicate cheeses, heavier teas like pu-erhs and intense blacks or dark high-cocoa content chocolates with fatty rich cheeses. You only need three-four ounces of cheese or three or four candies for a complete pairing experience. This is also a great way to taste teas you've been meaning to try from the Adagio sampler categories, like our Formosa oolongs. Tea Cup Thrifting: Scouring thrift shops and second hand stores offers you and mom the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of scoring teacups, unusual or (if you're really lucky) real bargains. Instead of using them to add to Mom's collection, she can use them as sweet tokens of friendship. For example, when sharing tea with colleagues or friends, Mom can give these friends the teacup and saucer to take with them. It's an unexpected gesture and a lovely way to acknowledge how special a friend, co-worker or employee is to her. You and she have the fun of finding them, it's a very inexpensive "hunt" and Mom can pass on the joy to many others. This is particularly lovely to do for nurses of our women relatives or friends who live in assisted care facilities or at homes with caretakers who deserve our thanks.