After twenty-two Mother’s Days, I’ve had gifts from my children that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. From a plastic, sort-of-personalized keychain to poodle barrettes, I’ve had my share of sweet-but-not-awesome Mother’s Day gifts.
My favorite presents have always been the hand-made work of my children, but I’m not opposed to something pampering or a little more extravagant than I would usually get for myself.
- Tools for housework. I told my husband early days in our marriage that if it plugged in, I did not consider it a fun gift. Nothing says, “Get back to work, Mom!” like a vacuum cleaner with a bow on it.
- Novelty gifts. A novelty gift can be a fun part of a gift-giving holiday. I know many a dad enjoyed those singing fish in the 2000s. But moms don’t usually appreciate whimsical garden statuary, anything making a joke about being old or body functions, or pretty much anything you might purchase in a convenience store/Cracker Barrel.
- Things that smell like things she doesn’t like. So many scented things are marketed for Mom. But, unless you know she adores that perfume/scented candle/potpourri, think twice. Bacon scented candle? See point number 2 above.
- Last-minute gifts that reflect no time or thought. Sometimes a single rose or a gift card can be just the thing. Here it’s important to know your mom. The difference between a sweet gesture and a mortal insult are what she says they are.
- Gifts that make more work for her. Unless she wants a puppy, that puppy is not a good present.
- Experiences she doesn’t want. Is that a concert/trip/foot massage something you know she likes? Give a present she enjoys, not what you want her to like.
I think you see a pattern here. Every gift is a great present for some moms, and a horrible insult to others. Ultimately, the best gift-giving advice it to know your mom. What are her hobbies, what’s her style, what makes her feel loved? Keep those things in mind and you’ll always select the perfect present!
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