Mother's Day Gift Ideas: 10 Good and 10 to Avoid

We put the call out to a panel of listeners and asked them to weigh in with their thoughts on good ideas for Mother's Day gifts and bad ones. Not the scientific method exactly, but we did our research.

Your results may vary depending on the specific mom you're dealing with, but here's what we got back...

Good Gift Ideas

  1. Flowers or a Plant - Beautiful and will last for a while, brightening up the home and reminding Mom what a great kid she has.
  2. Jewelry - Doesn't have to be super-pricey, just something she'll like. Could be a cherished keepsake for years to come.
  3. Gift Cards - Maybe a spa gift card, or something that will give her a nice, relaxing day or something she would never splurge on for herself.
  4. Mom Tattoo - A fake would work if your mom isn't big on the ink. Make sure to get the reaction on video.
  5. Buy Them Dinner - All the conversation and togetherness, without any of the cooking or cleaning on their part.
  6. A Bottle of Wine - Great to mark a special occasion. Non-alcoholic sparkling wine will work too.
  7. Shoes - New running shoes? Orthopedic footwear for work? Stylish boots she's been talking about? Moms like shoes.
  8. Homemade/Crafted Items - Reenacting old photos, making a scrapbook, a collage, or piece of art. And anything little kids make themselves will be a huge hit.
  9. Edible Arrangements - All the colorful fun of flower arrangements, but you can eat's right there in the name!
  10. Digital Greetings - Now more than ever, getting together over Zoom or recording a video message (or even a song) could be the way to go.
  11. *BONUS* Peace and Quiet - Get the kids out of her hair and make plans for Mom to have the house to herself for a while.

Bad Ideas

  1. Fitness Equipment/Gym Memberships - What are you trying to say? She needs to work out more? She needs to lose weight?
  2. Cosmetics - This can also be taken as hints about appearance. Better to look for something fun vs. something useful.
  3. A Card - Is there a gift card in there? Is it attached to a gift? Just a card doesn't cut it, unless it was handmade by her adorable 3-year-old.
  4. Box of Chocolates - Maybe the really fancy ones, but there are so many bad gift chocolates out there. Best to skip the chocolates.
  5. Bath and Body Works Stuff - Enough with the lotions and soaps.
  6. Household or Kitchen Appliances - Don't give your mom or your spouse a vacuum cleaner or a toaster oven as a gift.
  7. Coffee Mugs With Funny Sayings - Is she the "Best Mom Ever"? Sure, but the cabinet is probably pretty packed with past gift mugs.
  8. Over the Top Decorations - Don't do balloons, streamers, and confetti unless you're sticking around to clean it all up.
  9. IOU Notes - No coupon books for free hugs or future chores you'll take care of. You're better than that.
  10. Stuff That's More For You - A giant 4K TV or a Nintendo Switch aren't good gifts if these are things you've just been wanting to buy.

Photo: Getty Images

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