Better Budgeting: 18 Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

18 Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Living a Better Life® (from the editor's desk)
by Michelle Jones

Mother's Day is one of my most favorite holidays, and not just because I am a MOM, but because I love my Mother... and my Step-Mom, my Mother-in-Law, my Grandmothers, my Sisters-in-Law, my friends, and even our neighbors and teachers and the cashiers at the store who are mothers. Maybe it's some kind of mom-bonding thing, I'm not sure, but I just love wishing moms everywhere a Happy Mother's Day because I know what a special day it is. And what better way to celebrate than to give our readers some great gift ideas!

1. Flowers

Flowers are always a lovely gift, especially for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, but they don't have to be expensive! Many grocery stores and discount warehouse stores now carry a large surplus of beautiful holiday flowers (you can often find a dozen nice quality roses for under $15.00!) then wrap them with a beautiful pink ribbon (check the craft and sewing department if you don't have any on hand) or place them in a pretty crystal vase.

2. Flowering Plants

Consider buying flowering plants (annuals or perennials in place of a bouquet of cut flowers) and plant them for your mom for Mother's Day. By the way, this is my absolute favorite Mother's Day gift! (Over the years I've even learned to get a head start on this in April so my husband and children can just get a few extra special flowers that we can add to the garden in May and it won't take an entire day to plant them, then we can still enjoy the day together doing other fun stuff like having a picnic at the park or a cookout at home). This also makes the pleasant memories of Mother's Day last all summer long!

3. Personal Cards

Though I have to admit, Hallmark has become one of my favorite stores in recent years, I still love to make homemade cards and our children do too. Handwritten letters and cards are becoming a lost art (except for the often expensive card stamping craft and that's not what I'm referring to), but simply taking the time to personally write your sentiments down on paper with a little artwork (or cut out flower/nature pictures from magazines or recycled cards) could turn out to be one of mom's favorite presents of all.

Here's a few ideas you could write down for Mother's Day, but please feel free to think of your own!

* How much I love you...

* Why I love you...

* What a difference you've made in my life...

* Special Memories we've shared...

* Thanks for being there...

* Thanks for your love/support...

* Worlds Greatest Mom...

* World's Greatest Super-Mom...

* Thanks for all that you do...

4. Children's Artwork

Especially when children are young this makes a great gift for Mother's Day, but even when our children are older we still love having something designed personally by them!  You could even have the artwork framed or purchase an inexpensive frame from a discount store and decorate it with dried flowers or other items from nature (like sea shells if you live near the beach).

5. Family Photos

Family photos always make a great gift, but they don't always need to be the most beautiful (and expensive) portraits made at a professional studio. Discount stores like Wal-mart and K-mart offer very inexpensive portrait packages, just don't be lured into buying all those extra sheets or it could cost a small fortune.

Consider taking some snapshots of the kids at home and simply tying a stack of them together with a pretty ribbon, or making a collage of photos from the year. You can find special frames at photo shops and discount stores, or just cut and paste photos (or copies of the photos to preserve the original), onto a half-sized poster board.

6. Memory Album or Memory Box

If your mom saves everything (like I do) you'll have quite a resource for this great gift idea. Give her a pretty memory album or keepsake box to put her photos and scrapbook type items from the year's past events, and then spend a day or evening with her going through them and helping her get them organized. I guarantee you'll get as much out of this Mother's Day gift as she does, if not more!

7. Personalized Gifts

Use family photos to make personalized gifts like t-shirts, calendars, posters, coffee cups, throw blankets, and tote bags at your favorite online digital photo store. What a great gift idea for parents and grandparents. Especially those whom live out of town.

8. Personalized Collage

Several years ago, when I was recovering from surgery, my oldest daughter made me a gift I still treasure to this day. It was a project idea she had gotten from school but she made one for me, a personal collage out of clipped magazine pictures and words that are all about me. My collage has things like flowers, babies, computers (and chocolate of course!), it's one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me so I know it would make a great gift for other moms too!

9. Candy Roses 

Make our Hershey's Kiss Roses but instead of making just one, make a full dozen and place them in a pretty vase. Mom may love this special gift so much she won't even eat the candy.

10. Homemade Cookies

Cookies are always a favorite on my list, though my children aren't quite old enough yet to handle this project on their own, someday they will be. Cookies are an inexpensive gift to make for any special holiday and one that just about everyone will enjoy. Check out our Cookie Club for free cookie recipes!

11. Home Cleaning

If you can afford to give a gift of professional housecleaning service just about ANY mom would appreciate that. Offering to do the cleaning yourself might be even better. And would definitely cost a lot less!

12. Fix it Up

If there are things around your mom's house that need to be repaired or updated, like painting or wallpapering, offer to give mom a hand and save her some costly repair bills.

13. Laundry

For many moms, laundry is an everyday chore. Having someone else take over for a day (or for that matter, an entire WEEK) would make a great gift.

14. Free Car Wash

If it's been awhile since mom has had time to get her car washed and vacuumed out, what a lovely gift this would make. Add a bit of air freshener for a special touch and be sure to get all those handprints from the inside of the windows.

15. Handprint Original Artwork

Speaking of handprints, one year we made one of the nicest Mother's day gifts for our moms ever. We made a picture by painting our children's palms with different colors of washable paint and then let them 'stamp' their handprints in each corner. When the paint was dry we wrote the words Happy Mother's Day in the center with a black sharpie pen and put each child's name next to their handprint. Children's handprints, original artwork, priceless.

16. Grocery Shopping & Meal Planning

Same as above; any help you can lend a mom is truly appreciated and well deserved.

17. Make Dinner or Plan a Picnic  

Have a picnic at a local park or an outdoor cookout at home so no one has to do the dishes. Mom will be thrilled!

18. Keep in Touch

If mom or grandmom live out-of-state or even just down the road, and you won't be able to visit with them on Mother's Day, give them a call. A real actual PHONE call. Not an email, not a text, not even a voice mail. That's what moms really enjoy the most. TIME with you!

*  *  *

Copyright © 2005 by Michelle Jones.  All rights reserved.

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