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By Donna Erickson

Signal Contributing Writer

Pssst. Mother’s Day is coming on May 9. With busy spring schedules on family calendars, it’s not too early to begin preparations to pamper Mom.

Why not start her day by serving her a memorable breakfast in bed? 

Find a large tray to hold her breakfast and other thoughtful items. (If you don’t have a tray, a large and sturdy rimmed cookie sheet also works.) Think of the tray as an empty canvas that your kids will fill with tasty food, special mementos and mom’s favorite things. 

Like tablescaping a dining-room table with pretty objects and floral bouquets for a fancy meal, start collecting special objects now to decorate the tray. Call it trayscaping — anything and everything that’s small and special to Mom, goes.

Here are some simple ideas to help you prepare for a bright start to her day:

A mini bouquet of spring blooms arranged in her favorite teacup will look fresh and spring-y. Just what she needs to “stop and smell the flowers.” Or, tuck a small herb plant in a painted flowerpot for a gift that keeps on growing and giving.

A variety of special nature finds from neighborhood walks and hikes in the woods or along the seashore adds an artistic flare. If your child has a “nature nook” in her bedroom displaying her collections, she can put them “on loan” from her museum to decorate the tray. Twist a piece of soft birch bark to create a napkin ring. Set a pinecone, feathers and a small stack of flat stones here and there. Weave a mini paper banner with “Mom” printed or stamped in the center onto a stick or pussy-willow branch. Anchor it in a jar of sand or pebbles. 

For eats, pick up a fresh, flaky croissant or pastry from her favorite bakery. Spoon marmalade or jam into a tiny dish and set it to the side. Or, use a real clam seashell collected at the beach as an eye-catching container. 

Serve Mom’s favorite juice in one of the kids’ baby cups, all shined and polished. 

On Mother’s Day morning, present the tray and play her favorite music, or make her a mix with a personalized play list printed out. 

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit http://www.donnasday.com and link 

to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” 

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.