Woody Allen once said, “I don’t think my parents liked me. They put a live teddy bear in my crib!”

While we all have a few harrowing experiences from our youth, most of us have fond memories of mom and dad. Parents teach us to smile, help us make wise choices, and endure all of the trying times that lead to adulthood.

A traditional celebration includes taking parents out for a meal, sending flowers, or purchasing a gift. As a mom who has celebrated many a Mother’s Day, I always appreciate the presents, but it is the heartfelt expressions that I remember most. What parent does not long to hear words of thanks or recall sweet memories of past times?

This year, in addition to the practical gifts we give, consider giving a creative expression of love. The following are a few inexpensive ways to remember your parents, but are nevertheless priceless in value. They are messages of love and appreciation for those who cared for us during our formative years.

1. Make an original card. Get the kids to contribute their artistic flair. Or purchase one of the recordable cards available at a local store. Record your voice telling mom or dad how much you appreciate them. It is a gift that will be played over and over.

2. Create an acrostic with the word M.O.T.H.E.R. or F.A.T.H.E.R. Use one word to describe each letter. If you create this on the computer, add photos, pictures, or graphics, and then print it out and place it in a Mother's Dayframe.

3. Write a “Thank You” letter to your parent. List the unique qualities that make them a good mother or father or write the traits your parent leaves as a legacy in the family.

4. Publish a memory book. Include pictures and memories from the special moments in his or her life. There are a number of companies that offer this service for a reasonable price…Walmart.com and Shutterfly.com are two options.

5. Compose a prayer thanking God for your parent. Then pray the words over them on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Frame a copy of the prayer so they can read it often.

6. Act it out! For those families that have a dramatic flair, pick significant times from mom or dad’s past and act them out. Craft a cheer. Act out a play or memorable scene from their life.

7. Sing a song especially for them. Write your original words to a known tune or compose a new song. Belt it out with gusto!

8. Make a movie or other presentation with photos from their life. Set it to their favorite song or have family members narrate each picture.

9. Present a bouquet of flowers, but with a unique twist. Bring the flowers one at a time. Let each family member tell mom or dad why they are special as they present the flower.

10. Create a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day coupon book. Include a coupon from different members of the family who promise to perform a certain task when asked.Super Mom

Finally, if you still need some creative inspiration, download a free copy of “10 Things I Want My Mom to Know” and “10 Things I Want My Dad to Know.” Each full-color printable has ten different questions with fill-in-the-blanks like “The best advice my Mom ever gave me…,” “The three words I would use to describe my Dad are…,” and “If my Mom had a superpower it would be…”

How important is the act of honoring our parents? God placed it in his top ten list. The fifth commandment states Honor your father and your mother. (Exodus 20:12) Let this holiday season inspire you to give back to those wonderful people who invested so much to you.

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