Military Moms miss so much when stationed overseas, but being away from family on Mother's Day must be extremely difficult. Sadly, there are so many limitations on shippable gifts that are also acceptable to the military.
We wracked our brains to come up with gifts that meet these requirements while serving as a true expression of your love. Here are 11 ideas we hope will translate into a smile, tears or a good laugh.
1. Green Army Men Earrings
While your Military Mom may not be able to wear these kitchy Army Men Earrings while on duty, they're guaranteed to inspire laughs off duty. Each hand-made set of earrings is created from two little green army men kids have played with since plastic was invented. The extremely lightweight earrings measure 3 inches in length and are available in the style of your choice.
2. Photo Cutouts
A stand-up photo sculpture/cutout makes a good gift for every mom, but how much more appropriate for long-distance Military Moms. create an upright image from durable acrylic for Military Moms away from home. Durable acrylic sculptures from your photos are available at Zazzle.com in small to real-life sizes, and as magnets, pins, ornaments or key chains.
3. Make a Promise
Your Military Mom might appreciate a personal certificate or homemade card with a promise to support her...come what may. Vow on paper to stand by her, support her and understand what it takes to be a soldier. Certificate templates and cards are available from a variety of online sources.
Sample copy: "I love a soldier and proudly stand by her with honor, courage and commitment. I understand she must first obey the orders of her superiors and promise not to make this more difficult for her."
4. Supportive Clothing
Imagine how proud your mother, daughter, sister or wife would be if you supported them by wearing your hearts on your shirts. You can create your own T-shirt or sweatshirt at VictoryStore, SpecialForces and CafePress using various templates.
5. Patriotic Purse
Is it possible to have too many purses? These 12-inch by 8.5-inch fabric purses from AOK Corral are lined with coordinating fabric and are available with images appropriate to all service branches.
6. Care Package
Send your Military Mom a touch of home with any of the items suggested by LoveTheTroops Graphic Designer Kim Whelan. The list also includes items the military doesn't allow.
7. Missing-You Journal
Every parent misses the family they've had to leave behind. Communication can be sporadic and young children may not understand where you've gone. If your Military Mom likes to write, give her a journal where she can keep a record of her love, experiences and hopes for the future. Each Wee Chunky Book on etsy.com is handmade and designed to easily fit in a duffel bag or backpacks and is covered in olive-drab leather bound with a khaki tie.
8. Create a Blog
Keep in touch with a running record of your families' daily life by creating a blog mom can read from any computer. Write about everything from the beauty of a morning sunrise to how many diapers you changed that day. Even an infant's nonsensical typing will bring home a bit closer.
Remember, it's often the little day-to-day events Military Moms miss the most. The very popular BlogSpot will lead you through the process of setting-up and maintaining a personalized blog.
9. Donate to Operation Helmet
When money and time are tight, when your mom has everything she needs, when it's not possible to send an actual gift, consider donating to a cause that's close to her heart. Operation Helmet uses donations to replace substandard helmet pads with pads that will absorb shocks and are more comfortable. According to Operation Helmet, many soldiers are killed or maimed because they remove their helmets to relieve pain or discomfort. Donations can be made via check (preferred), PayPal, Visa or Master Card.
10. Spearhead a Letter Writing Campaign
Ask friends and family to write personal letters of support and home news to your Military Mom. She can read these letters over and over again whenever she has time, unlike emails or blogs that require access to a computer.