Prepare to be bombarded. The ads will be coming from every direction over the next week with the things that Mom just “can’t live without.” Really?
What does a mother really long for? It’s not more “stuff.” It’s knowing that she is making a positive difference in the lives of those she loves. Moms don’t do it for the thanks. But every mother I knows is encouraged when her family takes the time to express their gratitude.
Here’s another great way to affirm a mother: create a “word cloud.” When I first saw this, I thought it had to be created by a graphic artist. Nope! It was created by Kat Dennis, a woman with a heart of encouragement and ingenuity. Someone who understands the tremendous impact that words can make in another’s life.
The word cloud has the potential to be used for all sorts of gifts in addition to Mother’s Day. It’s a perfect birthday gift, retirement present, or way to honor a graduate. What a beautiful and creative way to tell someone how much they are valued!
Here are the simple steps to create a word cloud masterpiece:
First and foremost, compile a list of words that describe the individual. This can be a gift from one person or from an entire family. If it’s a gift from a group, the best way to start is to ask each person for 3-5 words that come to mind to describe the person being honored. If it’s being created as a Mother’s Day gift, the children, grandchildren, husband, etc. could all provide some words. If necessary, use a thesaurus to come up with synonyms.
Choose one word as a focal point. There may be one descriptive term that is repeated by many of those providing input. Or for Mother’s Day, the focus word could be MOM. Or MOTHER. Begin with that focal point word, and build around it.
Use either of the major word processing software products: Pages or MS Word.
Begin with “Page Set-Up,” and select Tabloid size. If you don’t have a printer attached to your computer that accommodates Tabloid size paper, that may not pop up as an automatic choice. If not, you can enter the custom paper size of 11 x 17. (You may not choose to actually print it in that size, but by starting large, you have lots of room for creativity.)
Then, just start creating text boxes. Use a text box for each word. Vary the size and style. Make some words bold. Turn some boxes on their side. Play! Have fun! There’s no “one right way” to do this.
When you’re finished, save the file. You can upload the file for printing to any of the local office supply print centers. They can print the 11 x 17 size. Then, just pick up the finished product and buy an 11 x 17 frame at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby (or maybe even at the office supply store for one stop shopping). Or if Mom lives out of town, buy a cardboard mailing roll at the office supply store and then take it to the post office!
For those of you who love the idea, but are intimidated by technology, contact Kat at email@example.com. You can hire her to create the word cloud…but you still need to supply the words of affirmation about your loved one.
I’d love to hear from other moms about meaningful ways you’ve been affirmed by those you love…or creative ways you have expressed gratitude to the important women in your life. Let’s encourage one another.