This Mother’s Day, instead of long lines, overworked servers and mediocre restaurant food, why not pamper Mom with a party at home? The experience will be far more personal — and memorable — than any meal in a crowded chain restaurant. Your guest list can include dozens of family and friends or just you and Mom, and be as formal or casual as you wish. Choose one of these themes, or be creative and make up your own.
Brunch at home
Brunch, a traditional Mother’s Day repast, can be a simple, yet elegant, way to celebrate. If you’re feeling domestic, make a quiche from scratch. If not, buy a pre-mixed quiche filling, pour into a frozen crust, and customize by adding crab meat, artichoke hearts, asparagus, broccoli, spinach or any of Mom’s favorites. On the side, serve a simple tossed salad, fruit and muffins. Round out the menu with tea, coffee, Mimosas, Bloody Marys and dessert. After brunch, invite Mom and her guests to stroll down memory lane by thumbing through old photo albums.
Give the guys the afternoon off to play golf or go fishing while you have an old-fashioned, ladies-only tea party. Tea time, traditionally scheduled from mid to late afternoon, includes tea and your choice of dainty snacks — bite-size sandwiches, scones, biscuits, muffins, pastries, fruit or desserts — served buffet style so there’s plenty of time to chat, giggle and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t be afraid to use an assortment of unmatched teacups (be sure the cup matches the saucer, though!); invite guests to bring a favorite teacup and share its history, especially if it relates to Mom.
Got garden? In many parts of the country, spring flowers and shrubs are in full bloom by May, and Mother Nature is in her glory. If you have an inviting garden, deck or porch, consider taking your brunch outdoors. Make Mom feel extra special — particularly if it’s an intimate gathering — by breaking out the china and crystal, and using a real tablecloth, placemats, floral centerpieces and cloth napkins. If you don’t feel like cooking, serve an assortment of salads, pasta or cold cuts from the supermarket deli. For a large group of mothers and children, ask everyone to bring a baby photo (unlabeled, of course!) and try to guess who’s who.
Ladies who lunch
Not into entertaining? Treat Mom to a shopping trip at an upscale boutique or department store she wouldn’t ordinarily visit. If the store offers it, arrange for her to have the services of a personal shopper. Wrap up the day with a stylish ladies’ lunch — or dinner — at a chichi bistro.
This is one the men can enjoy, and it’s simple, too. Fire up the grill and load up on meat: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, chicken and brats (if it ever had legs, they’ll eat it). Complete the menu with pasta salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, sodas, beer, wine and dessert. Ask guests to bring appetizers (nachos, anyone?) and feel free to use paper plates and napkins.