While your mom is nearly always supportive and loving to you, the end of the semester is rarely as kind. Just when you're running low on time, energy, patience, brain power and cash, you find yourself right in the middle of the holidays. So just what is a burned-out, nearly broke college student to do?
Fortunately, with a little creative thinking, you can use that big brain of yours to come up with the perfect gift for your mom for the holidays this year.
1. Take a picture of you on campus somewhere. Grab a friend, grab a camera, and get ready to say "cheese!" Just because you're transitioning into adulthood doesn't mean you can't still miss your mom every once in a while -- and vice versa. Giving a gift of a picture of yourself might sound self-centered at first, but it's practically guaranteed to make your mom smile. Find a lovely place on campus and take something seasonal while also being creative. For example, if you're in Hawai'i, take a picture of yourself on the beach with a Santa hat on. Or pose as a snow angel for your mom who lives back in Georgia. Be as silly as you want for a fun, funky gift that's personal and memorable.
2. Buy a book from your favorite poet at the bookstore. Remember: You're on a college campus. There's undoubtedly a great collection of poetry books at the campus bookstore. Spend a few minutes finding one that interests you, choose a collection of poems from your favorite poet, or even pick up a book of poems written by one of your professors. Your mom can enjoy a few quiet moments to herself while expanding her horizons and thinking of you, all at the same time. Added bonus: If you have time during your finals week (or even before), see if you can have your professor autograph the book for a particularly touching gift.
3. Get something personal from the bookstore. Even if your campus bookstore is ridiculously overpriced, it's also easily accessible and offers unique gifts you might not be able to find elsewhere. Consider getting your mom a "ABC University" sweatshirt, a license plate frame, a t-shirt, or generally anything that allows her to brag about what a smarty you are and how proud she is of you and your college success.
4. Jewelry from a friend who makes it. If you're on a college campus, chances are pretty high that you know someone who makes jewelry. They might do it as part of their formal art education, or it just might be a hobby. Either way, having them make something for your mom is a great way to support your friend, save yourself some time shopping, and find a personalized gift for your mother that she won't get from anyone else.
5. Make an online donation to a cause she cares about. No matter how busy your mom has been raising you (and possibly your siblings), she also has her own interests and passions. Think about the issues that matter the most to her and make a donation to a non-profit or other organization that shares her values. Added bonus: Consider volunteering somewhere with her while you're home for the holidays. It won't cost you a thing but you'll both come away having had a fantastic experience, making a great memory, and helping your community.
6. Go in with your siblings for a family gift. Your parents likely remember all the years of arguing and hair pulling and wrestling and everything else you and your siblings did to each other. Mix things up a little by aiming for your mom's softer side. Show how much you've all grown (and learned to get along, if only for an hour or two) by posing for a picture together, making something together, organizing something (like dinner and an family outing) together, or even cleaning your family's house while your mom's out. You just might be surprised about how far a little sibling collaboration can go, especially around the holidays.