Mother's Day 2021

10 Fun and Creative Ways to Celebrate Mom This Year

May 4, 2021
Mother's Day Coffee

In 2021, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 9. A day to honor mothers has existed for as long as, well, there have been mothers. How can we give extra recognition to moms, especially if we’re apart? Check out 10 really creative (and virtual) ideas for celebrating your Mom—who simply wants to spend time with you!

When Is Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day celebrates motherhood and is a day to make an extra-special effort to recognize and appreciate mothers’ roles in our lives. Often this day is extended to generations of mothers—grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers—as well as to mother figures.

In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated annually on the second Sunday in May. Although Mother’s Day is a national holiday widely observed in the U.S., it is not a federal or public holiday (when businesses are closed).

Mother’s Day Dates

Year Mother’s Day
2021 Sunday, May 9
2022 Sunday, May 8
2023 Sunday, May 14
2024 Sunday, May 12

The History of Mother’s Day

Festivals honoring mothers in ancient times were often tied to gods and goddesses. The Phrygians held a festival for Cybele, the Great Mother of the Gods. The Greeks and Romans also honored the mother figure of their gods. Even today, an important festival in India, Durga-puja, honors the goddess Durga.

During the Middle Ages, people would return to their home or “mother” church once a year during the middle of Lent. (Back then, children would often leave to work at the tender age of 10!) Historians theorize that it was the return to the “mother” church that led to the tradition of children getting the day off to visit their mother and family.

In 16th-century England, this celebration became “Mothering Sunday.” Children—mainly daughters who had gone to work as domestic servants—would be given the day off on the fourth Sunday of Lent to return to their mothers and home parish. The eldest son or daughter would bring a “mothering cake,” which would be cut and shared by the entire family. Family reunions were the order of the day, with sons and daughters assuming all household duties and preparing a special dinner in honor of their mother. Sometime during the day, the mother would attend special church services with her family.

Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday; the fasting rules were relaxed for that day. (Often, the gospel for the day was about Jesus feeding the crowd with loaves of bread.) The traditional cake, called a Simnel cake, is a fruit cake with two layers of almond paste. The cake was made with 11 balls of marzipan icing on top, representing the 11 disciples. (Judas is not included.) Traditionally, sugar violets would also be added.

In the United States, three women were most instrumental in establishing the tradition of Mother’s Day: Ann Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, and Ann’s daughter, Anna M. Jarvis. Learn more about these three great women who fought for children’s welfare, health and peace.

Read our article about the History of Mother’s Day in the United States.

10 Ways to Celebrate Mom

The past year’s been a challenge. Many of us are rethinking how to give extra recognition to moms. Some of us are apart from our moms when we’d normally be together. 

How Can We Celebrate Differently?

  • Most moms simply wish to connect with their children and spend time with family in any way possible—if not in person, then with a phone call or video chat!
  • If your mom is at home, give her a day off from any family chores, especially during this difficult time. Someone else can take full responsibility for making or serving the food, clearing and cleaning the dishes, and doing the laundry. Volunteer!

This probably covers the big stuff, but here are 10 creative ways to reach out to mom to show her a little extra comfort, love, and recognition. After all, moms are always there for us!

1. Offer yard and garden services.

2. Decorate your mom’s door or give flowers!
If you’re local, you can have fun decorating your mom’s front door with streamers, special signs, a wreath, and flowers! If you have kids, get them involved! Mom or grandma will love the surprise.

Of course, flowers and plants are always a delight. If you’re local, deliver plants to her porch in person. If you’re not local, there’s always delivery in most places (but order well enough ahead!).

3. Cook for Mom or set up a virtual brunch date.

  • If your mother is living with you, breakfast in bed is always a classic and appreciated. Something simple is fine for this, such as toast or a croissant with jam or fruit and a cup of coffee or tea. Or, if she’s not fond of eating in bed, how about preparing a sit-down brunch? Here are 15 delicious brunch ideas
  • If you’re not with mom in person, how about a virtual brunch date? We suggest these Champagne Mimosas. You can drop off the ingredients at her door if she’s local, or send the recipe in advance to everyone! Then Zoom with the entire family and raise a glass to mom!
  • If your mom is local, drop off a casserole dinner. It’s great comfort food, and you can put it all together to drop off on her porch! See 15 casserole recipe ideas.
  • Or, bake a cake! Traditionally, children in England always baked a cake for their Mother’s Day. If you like this tradition, here’s a truly delicious (and better than boxed) cake recipe: Chocolate Mousse Cake. We also love Nana’s Funny Cake.

Frittata de Nonna. (Nonna means grandmother in Italian.)

4. Give your mom a long phone call or put on a virtual talent show!

  • Talk to her (or videochat) and make her laugh. Perhaps throw in some good “mom jokes.” 
  • Put on a talent show! It can be simple. Sing a song, show off some gymnastics, play an instrument.

5. Watch a movie or show together, side by side.

  • If you’re all at home in one place, have a movie that night, complete with theater treats. 
  • If you’re in separate locations, watch the same movie on your computers at the same time. Or, start a marathon of your favorite TV series while indulging in a glass of wine or cup of tea.

(Did you know? Netflix also has a way to watch together online. If you and your mom have a Netflix account and Chrome installed on her laptop or desktop, you can watch a movie together! There is even a group chat function for commenting live during the movie from wherever you are in the world. See Netflix Party.)


6. Get creative: Make Mom a video, a music playlist, or a piece of art!

  • Record a video from all of the children. They can each say “Happy Mother’s Day” and why they appreciate her. You can always use iMovie to splice videos together on your phone.
  • Or, make a tape or a music playlist. You could gather calming songs for bedtime, such as the sound of the seas. Or, you could gather her very favorite songs from the era that she loves most. (If your mom has an iPhone, create a special iTunes playlist that will get emailed to her.)
  • How about a special work of art for Mom?  For example, paint the outside of a terra-cotta flower pot and fill it with garden seeds and a card. Or, make a beautiful photo frame with your family photo inside. You can find many ideas on Pinterest and elsewhere on the Web.

7. Get outside! Go for a stroll in the park or how about packing mom a picnic?

  • Fresh air always lifts the spirit. There’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy nature! Spring is a wonderful time to visit a park.
  • How about packing a simple picnic? If mom’s living nearby, drop off a picnic basket on her porch! If you’re living together, pack a cooler for a beautiful drive through the countryside. Here are great picnic food ideas.


8. Make a homemade gift!

You don’t need to go out to a store and buy a gift. Mothers love gifts from the heart. 

Here are some fun craft projects—including gifts from the kitchen as well as DIY beauty products for a home spa basket!

If you wish to buy a gift online, how about jewelry with her child’s birthstone?

  • For example, if your birthday is in August, give your mother peridot stud earrings. She’ll always think of her dear child when she wears them. See birthstones by month if you’re not sure of your birthstone or its meaning. Many small online businesses offer free shipping. Etsy is also a great place to find unique jewelry and help support small businesses at the same time. 

9. Travel virtually to a museum or garden together!

Even if you’re not together, the wonders of technology make so much possible today! More and more museums are opening up their “walls” to offer virtual tours during this time!

10. Make your own card.

  • Don’t forget to send a card in advance! In our home, it’s a tradition to make a homemade card every year. Moms love homemade! Here’s one way to make Homemade Note Cards.
  • Wondering what to write in the card? How about sharing a funny story or happy memory of you and your mom? It will make her smile!

Here at the Almanac, we shared some of the happiest or funniest memories of our own mothers. We welcome your happy memories and stories, too! (Please share in the comments below.)

My mom sang a lot around the house and I thought she made up all of the songs. When I got older, I started to hear those same songs on the radio and was like “Hey, … !”
–Sarah P., Almanac editor

When I was a teenager, my mother went back to college to get her Master of Library Science—studies that required her to learn how to program computers. This put me in the unique position of being able to help my mother with her homework.
–Peter R., Almanac programmer

When I was young and all of my older siblings were in school, my mom and I would have breakfast by the kitchen window and watch the hummingbirds. We loved watching the hummingbirds!
–Colleen Q., Almanac art director

We went to Ocean City, Maryland, every summer for a week on the beach. My mom went out on the beach every sunny day and sat there, under a big umbrella. She never got a tan (she had very fair skin and burned easily). No one can remember her ever going into the water. Not once.
–Tim C., Almanac editor

Some of my happiest memories are singing songs with Mom as she played the piano. She also encouraged me to play. Even though it was a struggle at times, I am glad to have had lessons, not only because I discovered how to play an instrument but also because I learned how to read music and how the notes worked together to make a melody.
–Heidi S., Almanac editor

My Mom and I have what we’ve always kind of called “our psychic connection” because it always seems like she will call me when I’ve been thinking of her a lot that day, or I’ll call her and she’ll say she’d been thinking of me. It seems like my daughter and I also have the “psychic connection”!
—Stacey K., Almanac staff

Before I started school, Mom took me to the library every week to take out five books and return the five books from the prior week. We’d read together almost every day. 
–Colleen Q., Almanac art director

Together, let’s honor the women who raised us—making sacrifices for us every day and nurturing our families and greater communities.

Of course, if you are a mother, all of us at The Old Farmer’s Almanac wish YOU a very Happy Mother’s Day


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment


I always love my mom and i miss her
Because she is not with me since i was
a kid i always cry because of missing my mom

our grandma talent show

I did a very cute virtual talent show for grandma who lives across the country. It's just like a phone call but we were on Zoom so she could see video. Some piano, singing, and a somersault by the little one. Grandma was tickled pink. My advice: don't over-prepare. Grandparents want to just watch kids be kids!


you are the best mom i every had in this whole world for me. I love you mom for ever and for every in my life.
Love you M♥️M

mother's day ideas

Very useful ideas during Corona lockout. I wasn't sure what to do for my older mom who needs to be quarantined. I am going to decorate her porch and her front door. And arrange a Zoom with the kids and drop off a pitcher of drinks for us to toast together. She has been so isolated lately. Thank you!

Mother's day

My mother is god, safe shelter, and the best guide, love you, MOM...

I love my mom

This mom's day, I am going to purchase a new washing machine for mom. She doesn't know. It will be a surprise.

I Miss my Mommy!

I remember how we always had a very Special Connection more than any of my 8 sibblings Sisters. Now She is my very own Special Angel that is smiling down at me. Just telling keep doing what you are doing I wish they all like you . Friendly, Kind and loving.

i miss you mom

HI sunny its me brent i miss you so much so anyway Happy mothers day i love you everybody loves you so much i wish you are here with us




Mothers's Day

My mom would put a stack of 33's on the stereo then go about her housework singing and dancing along to the music she grew up on. She was my best friend and taught me values that I still call on today. It will soon be 19 years and I still miss her every day. I love you Mom.

Happy. Mother's Day

Happy. Mother's Day
Universal love peace hope and faith

Peace love hope and faith

Peace love hope and faith
Happy mother's day

Tough time

I am staying at hostel and Its been very tough for me to leave her and stay far from her, She is every thing to me, she is world to me, I can't even imagine my self not thinking of her as 1 sec. I love my Mom so much

Mother is my inspiration

Not enough a million words to pour out my love to you mother


My mom passed away 2010 I would like to post something very special for her

wishes to my mother's day

from the bottom of my heart the' voice 'came and saying i love u Mon ..... dear mother u r the most beautiful mricales in my life,,,, happy mothers day.... may the lord continue to your savage for self forever mon...

My mom is very very special to me!

you are the best mom i every had in this whole world for me. I love you mom for ever and for every in my life.

with lots of love
your Girl R.S

THIS mom wants to go OUT to eat!

I know, restaurants are mobbed on Mother's Day, but we can go the day before. Make those reservations! Mom would love surf and turf, or a lobster, or duck a la orange, or even the Chinese buffet.

mother's day 2016

And she whose beauty is so fair
Whose love no one can compare
Has held us when we had our fears
And known us when we are far or near
Will be forever in our hearts
Who reared us from the start
And to the lady we remember and commemorate
This special day is yours for us to celebrate

MOM wishes

MOM is the actual God on this earth and nobody can take her place, I really wish her on the special day, I love you MOM very much who care each and every time. thank you MOM....

i miss you mum for the last

i miss you mum for the last 40 years


only the mother can gives( 200 percentage ) to there children's to leave in this great world without any troubles to no them .
only the mother can scarifies there life with there children's .
NO one will scarifies there life with any one in there life's

my life is my mom

Mom is my life.

happy Mothers day

Love mom and Dad


thank you so much


I Love my Mom

Wishes for our

Wishes for our Mother
Sparkles in her eyes. Roses on her cheeks.
Thoughts of days gone by.
Promises of days to come.
Love from family and friends.
These are what we wish for you
Now and Forever.

Love you MAA. without you I

Love you MAA. without you I am nothing. You are the most beautiful gift of God. Missing you so much,,,

I love my mom she first god

I love my mom she first god for me & alvyas for me all life love you MAA

from the bottom of my heart a

from the bottom of my heart a voice came saying I LOVE YOU MOM