Mothers Day is May 11, and Father's Day is June 15. I am always banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what to buy for these two special people and it turns out that sometimes a material thing isn't what is wanted. 

When Glen and I got married and started building our household, I told him, "I have a beautiful home. I don't want to fill it with stuff. I would rather go places than have things, so if you can't think of what to buy me, think of where you'd like to take me."

I know my parents would love to go to Seattle, and Alaska has been bandied about as a place they'd like to visit. With them both retiring this summer, I would love to send them there, but it just isn't happening. At least not right now. I also know they both like to go to the casino every now and then, so I'm thinking that buying them a night (or two) at one of their favorite casinos would be right up their alley for Mother's Day, Father's Day, to celebrate retirement or a combination of all three.

This past Christmas my sister and brother in law bought tickets for my mom and dad to go to their first Minnesota Wild game. They picked them up, drove them to a nice place downtown St. Paul for dinner and then took them to the game. The Wild lost, but both my mom and my dad could NOT stop talking about it!

We know that they could go and just pay for it themselves, but isn't it better when it's a surprise and a treat?

So, when you're thinking about what to get your mom or dad (or significant other) for their special days this year, think about where they'd like to go or what they'd like to do, but wouldn't maybe do it for themselves. A few ideas I came up with: A night at a hotel complete with dinner and drinks. How about tickets to a sporting event? A winery tour on a sunny afternoon is always great. What about treating a new mom to a spa day? Get dad a golf package with three of his friends or send him out on a guided fishing tour.

Some of the best things I own are the memories in my head and the photographs we have of the places we've been together.