There’s an important holiday coming up in May and it’s time to start thinking about gifts! Whether you’ll be celebrating your mom, step-mom, mother-in-law, mother of your children, or someone you think of as a mom, it’s a holiday that deserves more thought than a bouquet of grocery store flowers.
Most moms would probably be happy to just have some family time on Mother’s Day. If you can visit, do so. If you can’t visit, video chat or make a phone call. If you are lucky enough to visit with your mom for Mother’s Day, make it her day. Do what she wants, don’t let her cook, and bring her a little something.
If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve rounded up a range of Mother’s Day gifts any mom is bound to love.
Homemade Mother’s Day gifts from the kids
You don’t have to run to the store to put a smile on Mom’s face. If you’re a parent or grandparent helping kids make their mother a special present, consider these homemade gift ideas:
For babies and toddlers, consider a hand or footprint gift for Mom, so she can remember how small they were when they’re all grown up. You can buy kits or go to a paint-your-own-pottery place to make a colorful footprint on a framed decorative tile.
Older kids can make heartfelt cards (like the 3D flower heart card shown above) or put together books of their stories and drawings. A little construction paper and glue can go a long way. Or kick Mom out of the house, while the rest of the family makes her dinner or one of these homemade food gifts.
Gifts from adult children
Grownup children should appreciate their mothers even more, especially once they’re parents themselves.
If your Mom is trying to downsize and doesn’t want more stuff in the house, don’t add to her clutter. Perishables are always a welcome gift. Think a bottle of her favorite wine, a flourless chocolate cake or a fruit basket.
Find out if there’s something she needs done around the house, and do it for her. Or pay for a handyman to fix that loose railing or repair the back fence.
Splurge on something she’d love, but doesn’t want to buy on a fixed income. We bet she’d love a tablet or an Echo — especially if you spend time showing her how to set it up and use it.
Meaningful gifts for Mom to cherish
Get a little sentimental with these meaningful gift ideas that won’t cost a fortune.
Did you go on vacation together this year? Make her a photo book, so she can remember the good times you all had together.
Get the family to record themselves saying what they love about Mom, and then edit it together into a fun video presentation with music and special effects. This is an especially thoughtful gift when you can’t spend Mother’s Day together.
Does Mom have family heirlooms sitting in a cardboard box somewhere? Take them out and create a shadow box with some smaller mementoes, touch up and reframe old family photos, or find other ways to display and give more love to her treasures.
Free Mother’s Day gifts
Who says you have to spend money to give Mom the perfect present? You can find all kinds of gifts that won’t cost you a cent.
Your time is free. Spend it on your Mom, whether that’s taking her for coffee and a chat or going for a walk together. Or, help her out with chores and household tasks, so she can get a much-needed rest.
Your creativity doesn’t cost a thing. Write Mom a letter or poem, have the kids draw her a picture. Tell her that she’s loved and appreciated, and that the things she does for her children do not go unnoticed.
Gifts for the Mom who loves to cook
If your Mom loves to cook or bake, it’s easy to find gifts for her hobby that won’t break the bank.
Research what the hot new cookbook is this year, and buy it for her. If she’s always wanted to learn how to bake baguettes or try Indian cooking, look for books that will help her expand her recipe repertoire.
Is your Mom always searching for recipes in a pile of papers or a messy box? Gift her an organizing system, either a box or binder or set her up with an online recipe organizer, such as BigOven or ChefTap. Or, get her a cute set of storage jars, a spice rack or drawer dividers to help her organize her kitchen and cooking space.
Notice if your mother hasn’t upgraded her pots and pans or kitchen utensils since her wedding. A new nonstick pan or set of pretty-colored silicone spatulas would be a welcome addition to Mom’s kitchen.
Gardening or plant gifts for Mother’s Day
Since Mother’s Day falls right in the heart of spring, flowers, plants, and gardening gifts are popular. Personally, I avoid giving cut flowers because they die within a week or two. If your mom loves gardening or plants, there are plenty of gift ideas that will make her happy:
If she already has houseplants, give her something like this space-saving bamboo plant stand from Amazon.
Stop by a local greenhouse to pick up her favorite flowers, plants, or bushes for the garden or yard. Get bonus points if you help her plant them!
Give Mom the gift of “Me Time”
If you’d rather gift your mom with some pampering, surely she’ll appreciate one of these Mother’s Day gifts:
Book a manicure or pedicure for her at her favorite salon. (Bonus points if you join her — sons can get manis and pedis too!) If she doesn’t have a favorite, you can almost always find Groupons for nail salons. Just change the location to see what’s available in your local area.
Alternatively, put together a spa day gift basket for her, and include her favorite body lotions, organic soaps, face masks, maybe even some soft slippers. Make sure you identify which scents she loves and which she doesn’t.
Put reading at her fingertips with a Kindle. They have them in almost every price range now. Perhaps pair it with a mug and premium coffee or tea, so she can sip while she reads.
Let her take advantage of the spring weather with a nap outside in a new hammock (like this highly rated one).
Experience Gifts for Mother’s Day
Maybe the mom in your life is always saying she has too many things. So gift her an experience instead!
Find a local arts organization that offers classes in something your mom would love to do, and buy her a gift certificate. Or you could book her a spot at a local paint night. To save money, your first stop should be browsing Groupons for art classes, either online or in your town.
Another good experience gift for Mother’s Day would be visiting a museum she loves or going on a sightseeing expedition. Again, Groupon should be your first stop for these kinds of activities.
If it’s safe for her to travel, take Mom on a day trip to explore a nearby city or town. If you aren’t sure where she might want to go, look at your state’s tourism website to find fun small towns or rural areas to explore. Be sure to take lots of pictures on your trip and when you return home, compile them all into an inexpensive photo book for her!
Mother’s Day isn’t about the gifts, but your mom does deserve something, so at least make it a gift that you’ve put a little thought into and is useful. Check out our Mother’s Day Pinterest board for lots of other ideas, including plenty of homemade ideas that won’t cost you much!
We’d love to hear your ideas or the favorite gifts you’ve received in the comments!
If you liked this story, you might also like: