With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d share my best gift suggestions with you. If I could afford to shower my wonderful mother with all of them, I would!
This guide is broken down roughly by activity and includes store-bought, homemade, and experiential gifts. In addition to whatever I buy or make for my mother and grandmother, I always write them long letters, as Mother’s Day is, as I see it, the time to fully show them how much I love and appreciate them, something I should express every day but don’t always do.
My mother is so good to me, and there are often things she will treat me to that she would never get for herself. She is always in need of nice pajamas and loungewear, so I like to look for something nice for her to relax into when she gets home from work.
My parents and I have also recently begun exploring the world of perfume. There are some wonderful sampler sets that make a fun and interactive gift and that let your mother discover which scents work best on her.
For a homemade gift, you could consider making your mother a sugar scrub (1 part honey or olive oil, 1 part sugar) or, for an experiential gift, you could treat her to a massage.
For Eating and Drinking
The portrait of my mother and me above comes from a banner day she and I had touring vineyards during our family trip to Spain, and I am strongly tempted to get her the “Like Mother / Like Daughter” champagne glasses pictured below. I am also a big fan of picnic backpacks, one of which I own myself, and I think they make a great gift for almost anyone you love.
For a homemade gift, you could gather together all of your family recipes to make a recipe book. A few years ago, I collected and sorted all of our recipes, as well as transcribed some that my parents had invented but never written down, and I typed them all up and put them into a mini binder like the marble one pictured below.
For an experiential gift, you could treat your mother to a nice meal or buy her tickets to a cooking class, a food tour, or a brewery or vineyard tour.
My mother loves to receive books, and she and her friends and family mail each other favorite books they’ve read, some of which I’ve included below. In addition to getting your mother hard copies of books, you could buy her a subscription to an audiobook service such as Audible (which offers a free one-month trial), give her a magazine or newspaper subscription, or get her a Kindle. My mother has found illuminated screens such as those on the Kindle Fire (now under $40!) or iPad easier to read as she gets older.
For an experiential gift, you could check to see if any of your mother’s favorite authors will be speaking, reading, or signing books near you any time soon and book tickets for the event.
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
- My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (part of a quartet)
- The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
- Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
- Our Town by Thornton Wilder
For Going on Adventures
With warmer months kicking in, your mother might appreciate some gear for her summer adventures and events. Packable sun hats, portable bluetooth speakers, and wayfarer sunglasses make great companions on any outing. Less practical but more enchanting, I also can’t get over this ship-shaped kite!
For homemade gifts, you could make your mother a printed photo album. I like to use Walgreens’s inexpensive, next-day photo album service.
For an experiential gift, you could treat her to an REI class, a boat rental or tour, or a day trip together you plan to the last detail.
My mother likes to explore new music, so she always loves it when I make her playlists or mix CDs and when I give her albums.
- Songbird by Eva Cassidy
- Six Feet Under soundtrack
- Purple Rain by Prince
- December by George Winston
- Head and the Heart
- The Essential Nina Simone
For Dressing up
Whenever I wanted the gifts we bought for my friends’ birthdays when I was very small, my mother would simply say that the best gifts are the ones you want to keep for yourself. Treating your mother to the timeless accessories you would want for yourself is probably a safe bet. Some of my favorite finds below include bubble umbrellas, versatile jewelry, silk scarves, and a cashmere zip-up hoodie.
Alternatively, you could offer to assist your mother in a shopping excursion and treat her to something.
For Brightening the Home
Small decor items to freshen up a space are always a welcome gift with my mother. In addition to the items below, you could always consider giving your mother framed photos, wall art you make or buy, or a bouquet of flowers.
What are some of your favorite gifts you’ve given your mothers? Do you have any special traditions? Let me know in the comments!