Need a last minute gift for the woman who is responsible for your existence on this planet? If you’ve got a bit of technological savvy on your side, use it! You need something fast and cheap, so why not leverage geek knowledge to maximize loving effect for the least amount of time, work, and money?
Whip Up a Website
“You set up a whole website for me?” For those out of the know, building a website can seem like a heavy job. This has the “home made” angle covered, with minimal work on your part, and looks impressive to the untrained eye. Plus, having on the web means it can be sold on the “and you can just check it anytime, wherever you are, when you miss me!” angle.As far as what to put on the website, you have options. Basically, anything loving that has text and maybe some images, like a poem, or a letter telling her that you love and appreciate everything she does, will work. Try to refer to things from your childhood, or point out particular things you appreciate that she wouldn’t expect.
If you’re comfortable with HTML, and have your own hosting, try finding a domain name (like, ten bucks) that will be easy for her to recognize, and whip something up.
If you’re worried about your friends making fun of your sappy poem, you can add the following to a file called robots.txt on your root server:
User-agent: *Disallow: / This will keep it from appearing in Google’s index. More information about the robots.txt file can be found here.
If you’re not comfortable enough to start from scratch, an easy way is to set up a free Wordpress or Blogger blog. The URL at the end of the day won’t be as pretty… but it’s free! Those services provide and easy back-end to put up whatever you like. A few tweaks (like removing the default blog roll, choosing a design template, giving the blog a title) and you’re all set. Here’s an example, to give you an idea.
Time: 20-30 minutes max.
Online Photo Album
Moms love pictures, so setting up an online album can be an easy way to “put some time in” and give her something shareable, without spending too much. Many services offer easy album setup, with an option for ordering prints. Here are three popular and useful options:
Time: 15-45 minutes
Online Recipe Videos for an Easy Meal
If it wasn’t for mom’s cooking you’d have starved years ago. But how can you possibly repay her when your cooking skills involve boiling water and adding powdered cheese to macaroni noodles? Learn from the best as they show you quick, simple, delicious recipes any geek could prepare. I suppose these aren’t especially geeky, but learning how to cook on YouTube kinda is.
Want to surprise her with breakfast in bed? Gordon Ramsay scrambles a mean egg.
And if you’re completely out of time and/or useless in the kitchen you could make her day with Aussie Take Home Chef Curtis Stone. She won’t be able to take him home, but you could at least offer her some eye candy with this YouTube clip.
Time: 10-60 minutes
Nothing says “I love you” like cheesy ringtones emailed directly to her cell phone. Every time you call she’ll be reminded of how thoughtful you were. The trick is to remember to call. Surprise her with classics like:
“Nothing Compares to You” Sinead O’Connor
“Wind Beneath My Wings” Bette Midler
“Your Song” Elton John
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” Simon & Garfunkel
And if your mom is more into hip hop….
“Dear Mama” 2Pac
“All That I Got is You” Ghostface Killah
Or you can take that extra step and get your mom tickets to her favorite hip hop show.
Pick up some ringtones for cheap! Here are some good sites to help you find her favorite song:
Time: 10-20 minutes
Cost: A few bucks per ringtone, or per month unlimited download specials ($14.99 for 6 months, etc.)
Virtual Mother’s Day Card
Unless it’s already in the mail (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this) there’s no way your mom will be getting her mother’s day card on time. No worries. A customized eCard gives you the freedom to say what you want, with the background you want, even in the cartoon voice that you want, and the best part is that it shows up in her mailbox in seconds. Here are some great eCard sites from which you can choose your last second appreciation attempts:
In case the geekiness didn’t fall far from the tree and your mom is an even bigger nerd than you are, send her an eCard from here
For the Dungeons and Dragons loving mom we all wish we had, there’s Wicked Moon. Filled with fantasy art eCard ideas, this site will fulfill all of your mom’s unicorn, elf, dragon, elf riding a unicorn while fighting a dragon needs.
Here are a couple of general options, thrown in for good measure.
Time: 5-15 minutes
So that’s that. Who knows, maybe your mom will be so impressed she’ll never want anything else. That said, moms are truly great, so mainly, just give them a call once in a while and make them smile.