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What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

Everybody knows that the hardest people to shop for are our parents, and when it comes to parents there’s nobody more challenging than a mother, and no more anxiety-inducing occasion than Mother’s Day.

Just how hard is it? Apparently, there are enough people looking for an idea — seemingly any idea — that Amazon has a built-in searchable list of suggestions. Without getting into specific recommendations, I’d like to offer some best practices based on feedback we’ve received from our clients and their families. It’s not exactly scientific, but you might find a nugget or two to help you with your holiday shopping.

What Are Her Interests?

First, Mom probably already has every kitchen gadget she needs or wants. There might be some exceptions— for instance, if she’s admired a specific tool or appliance at your home or you know of something she yearns for but doesn’t want to splurge on. Even if she still cooks like Julia Child when the family’s visiting, chances are she isn’t preparing three full menus every day.

Tools or supplies for her current hobbies are generally well-received. If she does cook, maybe a special ingredient is an option; for a painter, brushes; for a gardener, seeds; for an embroiderer, thread.

A New Outfit

When was the last time she bought clothes for herself? If she’s like many older Americans, she’s frugal even if she doesn’t need to be and so she doesn’t indulge very often. But we all just feel better about ourselves when we can put on something new that we really like wearing. Do make sure whatever you choose expresses her taste, not yours.

A Meal Together

If she enjoys a particular restaurant, a gift card is a nice gesture. But an even better one is taking her there. For the same cost, you can give her three gifts: a great meal, time with her new favorite child, and a story to tell for the next couple of weeks.

If there’s one thread that runs through all of the comments we’ve collected, it’s that what Mom really wants is to spend time with her family. If that’s not possible, something that creates an experience and shows your appreciation of her may be the next best thing.

Please share your ideas and experiences with us on our Facebook page.


Mother’s Day is May 8.


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