Mama Mia! Mother's Day Gifts that Show You Really Care

Photo: shironosov

I'm not going to beat around the bush here. I'll just say it like it is. All the hype around Mother's Day is ridiculous. For a holiday that's supposed to celebrate the precious relationship between a mother and her child, there sure is a lot to distract me from that relationship.

I mean, give me a break. My mother does not need any more bath stuff. If she's at all like me, she's gotten enough lotion over the years to soothe her skin into the 23rd century! And she doesn't want any chocolate. In fact, it's my dad who likes that, way more than she does. Let's face it. If you have a strong enough relationship with your mother to want to buy her a gift for Mother's Day, most of the gifts out there scream GENERIC!!!

Over the years, I've come up with some ways to give to my mom that avoid all the hype and the sappy generic-ness of the holiday as its often celebrated. As a bonus, if you think about it now, you'll be ready for the day when it comes!

Spend time with your mom

I know, it's a shocker. But the truth is that most moms I know want to hear from their kids more than they do. If you're a mom, it's one thing to hear from your kid often, even every day, and completely another to feel like you're part of their life. You can even do this if you live far away from your mom. Give her a call and let her know you want to talk for a while, or set up a phone date ahead of time so you'll both be free to focus on each other. Then ask her about herself, how her days are going and what she's feeling. Focus on hearing her heart. After all, this is the woman who birthed you...maybe knowing her will help you know yourself better, and that's never a bad thing.

Write down your memories of her

Many moms love to know what their kids remember from childhood and how they perceived the things that happened then. Make a list of these for your mom, focusing on ones that highlight positive changes in your relationship with her. Make the list pretty, and give it to her. Or, tear each memory off in a strip, fold it up and put it in a jar. Give her the sealed jar for Mother's Day, and she can pull out a memory every day until they're gone. If you run short on memories, do the same with lessons you've learned from her.

Take photos with her

Was your mom one of those people who has every family event for the last 30 years documented in extensive photographic detail? Then spend some time getting pictures taken with her. Take her to a favorite park or garden, or do it in your own backyard. While you can hire a professional photographer, all you really need is a digital camera and someone who knows how to operate it. Your poses can be silly or serene, but no matter how they turn out, taking them will make your mom's day.

Clean her house

I know a few people who like to clean, but even they can find it overwhelming when life gets busy. So pick up a bucket and a mop and show mom that you really do remember all her lessons on scrubbing the house. You don't have to clean everything and you don't even have to to the best job ever. As long as you're willing to get your hands dirty, she'll be happy, and relieved that she didn't have to do it herself!

Remember her

Instead of focusing your love on your mom only at Mother's Day, come up with a comprehensive plan to love her year-round. This doesn't have to be hard. Maybe it means you call her every-other Sunday instead of whenever-you-feel-like-it-which-sometimes-means-a-month-goes-by-without-talking. Put her in your calendar, or ask an assistant to put it in theirs and remind you when the time comes. Your mom might not notice the difference on Mother's Day, but she'll appreciate the thought throughout the year.

Here's hoping that one of these ideas will work for you, or will spark a desire in you to do something that will show your mom how much you value that relationship.

Average: 1 (2 votes)
Your rating: None

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Guest's picture

I totally agree, mothers day should be about spending time with your mum and letting them know how much you love her. It also means making your mums day a lovely relaxing one, so go round cook dinner, clean whatever but wasting money on big gifts etc is purly for the benefit of the commercial world.

It will mean so much more to your mum if you spend your time with them or make them something that you spent time on. In the whenever i made something for my mum or gave her something really small and insignificant were the times she would cry, not when i gave her a big bunch of flowers.

Sadly my mum passed away this year nad so mothers day for me is all about remebering.

Guest's picture
Debbie M

And of course you can listen for hints. It's amazing how many ideas you can get if you listen partly for ideas on gifts you can give. My favorite was when my mother said she wished someone would steal all of the garbage out of her car, and so one year my brother did.

The best thing my family does, though, is share. When my mom finally found measuring spoons that actually fit in spice jars, she got some for all of us. When I found that tiny scoops were perfect for making meatballs, cookies, and matzoh balls, I got everyone one. Mom recently got us all a good cookbook, and now we can compare notes whenever we make something out of it.

Sarah Winfrey's picture

Kate, I hope you have a fabulous time remembering...I hope it's rich and deep and meaningful and so special.

Debbie, I love the image of your brother "stealing" garbage. What a special gift! And totally unique, I'm sure!

Guest's picture

I agree - most Moms want quality time with their kids - small or grown kids. And presents are great - we all love presents - but without the time and love behind them - they can be quite empty. I bet your Mom has a drawer or box full of your old drawings and letters from camp and report cards - that's cause that precious time with you at home is cherished. So, yes, I agree - spend some good time with Mom. Maybe make her something special - make a treat for her - it doesn't have to be about money...just acknowledge her.

Guest's picture

Thank you, Sarah! Thank you for not only reminding me that Mother's Day is approaching, but for providing some of the coolest gift ideas I have ever heard. I mean that - well, I meant what I said about those being great ideas; I am actually very aware that Mother's Day is coming up in June.

You have made me genuinely excited to begin writing "Memories Of, Lessons From, Mom." I like your suggestion to write these on individual pieces of paper - like my social security card, those speeding tickets I have no intention to pay, and all of dad's suede business cards - and place them in a jar. Then weld the jar shut.

I believe I'll convince my younger siblings to help purchase a nice exotic jar from India; you know, the one's with the live snakes that lash out at your throat and inject you with deadly venom. Wait, I forgot this is for our mother. I'm sure we can all settle on an ancient canopic jar from Egypt!

And taking pictures! Such a simple, yet perfect idea! As a 25 year-old son that is only now recalling how often my mother says, "we need new pictures of the whole family," I commend you on your thoughtfulness and I thank you with a happy smile. I think I'm going to ignore your suggestion to help clean the house though.

Again, Sarah, thank you for providing me with these great gift ideas at little or no cost; as an unemployed 25 year-old son, it's a little awkward to still ask my parents for money to buy them gifts. And I would also like to thank you in advance for providing these gift ideas that will absolutely make my mothers' Mother's Day one of her most memorable!

Does it feel nice to know that come next Sunday - (I'll admit this time, that I am actually aware that Mother's Day is May 10; although it's very likely that I will forget again at some point) - you will have contributed to making a complete stranger feel extremely special?