30 Gift Ideas to Share the Love on Mother's Day

April 26, 2016

Mother's Day, that very important yearly reminder that you wouldn't be here in the first place without your mom, is not always terribly easy to celebrate. Besides the fact that meaningful gifts require a little thought, even—gasp!—planning, there's also the fact that not everyone has someone to be showering with thanks. Maybe picking up phone to call your mom isn't exactly simple, or isn't possible; maybe you aren't a mom but wish you were.

Which is to say, contrary to what you might have thought I was going to say, that Mother's Day is a really important holiday: not just for telling the woman who brought you into the world that you sure appreciate it, but for picking your head up to think about who else might deserve a note with tiny hearts stamped on it on May 8th—besides your mom.

What follows is a bunch of gift ideas that work for Mother's Day—but they're just ideas; the big picture is to think of who might be down in the dumps on this day, who doesn't have an old lady to call up or a kid to show up on their doorstep, and try dropping them a line that Sunday. No matter whether you send a whole care package from Food52, buy a gift somewhere else, or don't buy a material present at all, set a reminder on May 8th and share the love.

Something Soft

  • A snuggly, cozy throw—or sheepskin
  • Slippers
  • A scarf so big it hugs you back; or, what we call a slanket
  • Sage plant or kitten, depending on how much free time she has
  • Skin oil or lotion that is fancier than she would buy for herself

Something Shiny or Sparkly

  • Jewelry that you didn't spend too much on
  • A warm, metallic accent for the home, like copper or brass
  • A clean room (this goes out to all teens everywhere)
  • Champagne! And your company to drink it with
  • Dinner at any restaurant with a back patio lit up by twinkle lights; alternatively: dinner you made, on the back porch, lit up with twinkly lights
  • A pedicure (which will make her toes shiny)

Something Soothing

  • A massage (but only if you clear her calendar and book it for her)
  • A phone call in which you ask her about her life, tell her about yours, and do not pick a fight with her
  • Movie night on the same couch
  • "I'll do the dishes."
  • A candle that smells like the woods
  • Your undivided attention while you are with her (phone down, face up)

Something Sharp

  • Cheddar (+ crackers, + your company, + wine if she likes wine)
  • A really cute oyster knife and a bunch of oysters you opened with it
  • Knives that are actually sharp, because you carefully sharpened them for her
  • A new keychain (sharp in the lookin good, mom! sense)
  • Tiny shears for the garden, if she is into gardening
  • A mandoline, for its power to up her salad game

Something Sweet

  • Dessert you made yourself, or breakfast that is not eggs (by Chef You)
  • Homemade pomegranate molasses, to fuel her Ottolenghi obsession
  • A subscription of something she loves (such as: olive oil, sausage, or wreaths)
  • A drive/bike/walk where it is green and not beside an interstate
  • Fresh fruit, very ripe, from someone who grew it
  • Fluffy flowers, like peonies or late-spring tulips

Moms of the world: What do you actually want to get on Mother's Day? Tell us please, in the comments.

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Lindsey C. May 4, 2016
Also, as a mom, I would happily take any of the items on your very thoughtful list.
Lindsey C. May 4, 2016
This article is so well-written and the product ideas are so smart and perfect! Thank you for writing one of the only honest and worthwhile gift/idea lists out there :)
Melissa S. May 4, 2016
I loved the ideas in this post! I'm going for the fancy lotion she wouldn't buy for herself.

As a mother myself, I'd love the same thing. That and a clean house (or even a room) Thanks for putting this together! :)