Mother’s Day Gifts: 12 Thoughtful Ideas

mother's day gifts: 12 thoughtful ideas
Written by Oana Schneider

Listen up, everybody! In a few days it’s Mother’s Day and, just in case some of you have forgotten, it’s time to do some shopping or a little DIY.

First of all, there are a few reasons we celebrate our moms:

  • She gave birth to you, made sure you got a good education, fed and bathed you
  • It’s the first person that comes to mind when things are not going great for us
  • Let’s face it: we rarely remember to honor to honor our moms and their effort
  • It’s time to make up for when we behaved like spoiled brats being totally disrespectful
  • Mama knows best!

If you don’t really know what to give her, we came up with a few ideas for every pocket. It’s not how much money you spend, it’s about the thought that counts and mothers know this. Don’t be the kind of child who sends their mom a random set of kitchen pots, doesn’t call or step a foot into the old house. Be close to your mother and try to spend as much time together as you can: it’s all worth it!

1. A necklace that you made

You can either have it custom-made or make it yourself. Whether you do some engraving or carve a piece of wood yourself, your mom is going to appreciate it equally. Just search the internet looking for a great necklace and see which one fits your mom’s personality. Hope your mom loves it!

2. A day off

Yes, you heard that right! A day of no cleaning, cooking, baking, doing laundry, taking out the trash and so on. If you can afford it, pay someone to do it and spend time with your mom. If she likes a TV show very much, binge watch it together with some healthy snacks. Oh, and one more thing: if you’re watching something together, you should definitely not be silent!

Exchange thoughts about the plot, ask questions, make jokes and so on. Every now and then, you can pause the show and talk about something else. The idea is to give your mom a break from her activities. She may me taking care of the house every day of the week, but that doesn’t mean she necessarily likes to.

3. A customized T-shirt

Matching t-shirts is the way to go if you’re on a tight budget, so choose something that expresses just how amazing your mother is. You can do this online (on, or or at a local store- usually, you’ll find such places inside the mall. If no ideas come to your mind, here are a few examples:

mother's day gifts: 12 thoughtful ideas

4. A letter

Are you the kind that has a hard time expressing feelings? If you are, this one is for you. Here’s what to do: write down on a piece of paper just how much you love your mother, what she means to you, the things you appreciate about her and anything you can think of. Mail it to your mother a week before Mother’s Day or hand it to her personally and ask her to read it. You’ll see just how much that meant to her. There’s probably no present greater than telling your mom how much you love her, so think about it!

5. A party that’s just for her

Come on, you’ve organized parties before, haven’t you? Here’s what you need to do: gather all your friends and your mom’s friends (not yours!), ask them to bring pictures they have of your mom, write down a funny story about her or just bake something for the party. Don’t tell your mm about this. Ask someone else to take her shopping while you guys organize everything at the house. Surprise her with the party and truly make everything about her: her favorite dishes, snacks, drinks, songs and so on! After all, you only get one mother!

6. A new bag?

Is your mom fashionable? Either way, a woman can never have too many bags and purses! You can customize it online and add a funny message like “I’m a great mom and this bag proves it”. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, but something that made of leather would last way longer.

7. Sweets!

Gift idea: take a huge cardboard box, fill it up with macaroons, gummy bears, wafers, popsicles, sweet puffs and any other kind of sweets you can think of. Add a label that says: “To the sweetest mom ever” and have it shipped to your mom’s address. She’ll definitely appreciate it and have a laugh with her friends. Don’t do this if you mom doesn’t like sweets or if she can’t eat any. Of course!

8. How about a tattoo?

Is you mom the kind of stay-at-home mom that never goes to parties, concerts, or does anything for fun? Well, then somebody needs to get a tattoo. It doesn’t have to be big, outrageous or even visible to others. And while we’re at it, how about you go for matching tattoos? Something like moon for her and a star for you or a tree for her and an apple for you would be a great idea.

You’ll get to be there for each other through the painful procedure and have a laugh about it years from that moment. If she’s conservative, you can try a semi-permanent ink that washes away in a few weeks. But something tells us she’s want that tattoo to last forever!

9. A walk down memory lane

For this one, you’ll have to go home. You can’t do it over the phone because it’s essential that you see each other’s expressions. Just wish your mother a happy Mother’s Day and ask her to bring out the family albums. Sit down and remember all your birthdays, vacations, good and bad things and try to be a bit more appreciative of the person who gave birth and raised you. Show her that she’s always on your mind and that being apart from her never changed that.

mother's day gifts: 12 thoughtful ideas

10. A new ‘do

And you don’t have to be a girl for this! Yes, you too, as a guy can take your mom to the hair salon: get a haircut for you and something young and fresh for your mom. When you’re done, you can go shopping together and really enjoy the time you have together. Why is it so important to do this? Well, most mothers feel old, like they’re stuck in the same clothes and hairdos for years and years. Change that, assure her that she really isn’t old and let her indulge in the salon treatment.

11. Dinner and a movie, anyone?

Take your mom on a date! Go to see a movie that she would like (a romcom, maybe?) and then go to a restaurant for dinner. You’ll have time for unwind at the movies and then discuss more over dinner. Here are a few tips: whatever you do on Mother’s Day, stay away from malls because they are surely going to be packed! Elbowing people just to get to the movie theater entrance is not going to be a great memory.

Try finding a different kind of Movie Theater, one that only screens black and white movies, for example. Then, make reservations to a small but cozy restaurant (please, no fast food, take-out or any unsanitary kind of meals!)- you can look up restaurants in her area that have good reviews, call them in advance and ask them to bake a small cake just for your mother.

12. Write a song or a poem

Of course, this one is for kids. If Mother’s Day is coming and your kids have no idea what gifts to prepare, ask them to write a song or a poem. If you can, have it framed and hang it on the wall to keep it in your family forever.

You may also like: 10 Delightful DIY Mother’s Day Gifts from the Heart

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.


  • Oh, Mother’s day! I cherish it. My mother was the sweetest woman I had in my life. She passed away a couple of years back, unfortunately. I still remember, buying her an expensive watch with my first salary. Driving her in a car to a relative’s house, ordering her a pastry and so on. It was not the gifts but the affection that she acknowledges most.

    No one can ever compensate a mother’s love and attention. Giving back some kinda love only brings a smile on her face. I simply miss her. But all good things in life end too.

    • I very much agree. These ideas are very thoughtful and well-planned out. We should cherish every mother’s day because we don’t know how long our mothers will live. We want them to die happy, not die knowing their “son or daughter” never cared enough to give them even the slightest of a gift.

  • I’m a total mama’s girl, so Mother’s Day is something I like to make an effort for. However, my mom is rather minimalist, so it can be a bit difficult to come up with ideas sometimes. So this list is a great jumping-off point. I like the concept of writing a letter, song or poem, perhaps on some lovely stationery. And she does need a new bag. Perhaps that could be combined with a written item, sweets/pastries, plus a few other consumables (she loves scented candles).

  • Making something creative and meaningful by hand for your mother is always a great and timeless idea. I’ve done this for my own mother a few times, and she has always loved the gifts. You have to be pretty creative, though. It’s pointless to hand make something just for the sake of trying to be creative without actually being creative.

    • I’ve made my mom numerous things from coupon books (cleaning, cooking, etc), paintings with her grandchildren’s hands on them, wreaths, a painted flower pot with beautiful flowers inside and more. My mom has always loved the creative gifts that come from the heart rather than the money we spend on her. I love the ideas that you mention in your article as well since they don’t all require money. The idea of a letter is very thoughtful. This is one gift that I’m sure will make any mother cry tears of joy.

    • To be honest I’m not too much of a crafter, but I have folded some origami for my mom (and other people) in the past. Actually started getting back into it recently because it brings back good memories and feelings. It could make a nice supplement to a gift if you have the patience and coordination.

    • I’ve made my mom a calendar of pictures of all the good times we’ve had together. I gathered pictures 12 pictures. As each month went by on the calendar it was a later picture. She loved it so much and was really happy. I really put a lot of thought and care into the pictures I picked and made sure that they had a meaning or story behind each one to bring back good memories. That way she could remember all the great times we’ve had together and she could truly tell that those things were as important to me as they were to her and I’m sure that made her feel special.

    • In the past, I’ve gotten some unpainted ceramic items and then painted them for my mother. I’ve even included her in some of these paintings sessions. Otherwise, I’ve made a few wooden items from scratch for my mom. Those were incredibly difficult and didn’t come out perfect, but I’m most proud of a clock with a wooden base that I crafted. I’ll never do it again though due to how much effort was required!

  • Really interesting. Believe it or not, I’m guilty of it but where I live and in my family we never took mother’s day seriously, so I’ve never given my mother a gift, which is so sad. I might be guilty of it but I do love my mother and I know she would appreciate a nice gift.

  • Great article. I love most of these suggestions. Since I am interested in crafting (I could just never get around to actually doing it) my favorite ideas are the necklace making and the t-shirt idea. I am really interested in making my own jewelry, so the necklace idea really is good to me. I thought that the tattoo ideas you gave were super cute. I wouldn’t mind doing that at all, if my mom would be cool with it. But I think the most fun and practical idea is the trip to the salon and get a new hairdo. I myself love to give myself a makeover on my birthday. It makes you feel fresh and new. It just makes your day more exciting!

  • I like giving something that is nice and enjoyable, but consumable. My mom is now 65, and does not need more stuff to have to store or find someone else to give it to when she is tired of it. This year I got her a large scented candle since she and my dad are big fans of scented candles, it should be something they will both really enjoy using for quite a while, sine it is supposed to have 100hr burn time.

  • The last couple of years I have up small gift bags for Mothers day with a card, scratch ticket and other items. A mix bag really. This is the first year I am really tied for money so I got her a card. And will probably get her flowers. I feel bad about it but it is what it is. Great article and ideas though.

  • I was not able to be with my mother for a very long time due to unwanted circumstances but that is a thing of the past and i want to make it up for everything that i have done in the past and right now i really don’t know how would i able to start or even approach her. I’m kinda scared of being resented or being ignored by her. I would be really thankful if you can give me some tips on how would i be able to talk to my mom again .

  • I think it is great to try and think of ways that you can get gifts that really mean a lot to your family, as this is the only way that you can truly show that you care as much as you do. I think putting aside a day to spend with your loved one is by far the best thing to do, and then you can work on something that you can do in order to spend that quality time together, which is great. I know that I always appreciate my family, and I will continue to try putting in as much effort as possible into their presents – as this is how they will know that I care for them.

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