What Not To Give Mom This Mother’s Day

Mother's Day PicnicMother’s Day is just around the corner and there’s a good chance you’re looking for gift ideas. To ensure Mom isn’t disappointed, read on for a list of gifts to avoid come May 10—and what you should buy instead.

Breakfast in Bed

So, you’re spending Mother’s Day weekend at your parents’ place. Breakfast in bed seems like a great idea, right? While it may seem like a thoughtful gesture, it’s actually quite a challenge to pull it off without ending up with crumbs, eggs, spilled coffee and slabs of bacon in the bed. And if you think Mom’s cleaning up that mess on her special day, think again.

The Switch: Make it easy on the whole family and take your mother to a restaurant instead. She’ll appreciate the effort—and the lack of cleanup involved.


How about a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates? That’ll do the trick, right? Au contraire, mon frère. While there’s nothing wrong with daffodils and candy, they’re rather impersonal and aren’t the most original of gift ideas. They’re great presents for someone you don’t know particularly well, but your mother deserves a bit more.

The Switch: Surprise Mom with a picnic basket filled with treats she loves, like freshly-baked croissants from the local bakery, her favorite cheese and a bottle of bubbly. She’ll appreciate the thought much more when you’ve gone to a little extra trouble.


When was the last time someone bought you clothes that you actually liked? Never, that’s when. You may think you know your mother’s taste when it comes to clothing, but tastes change—and you may not be as perceptive as you think you are. Sure, your mother may feign interest in a wool cardigan, but does that mean she’ll actually wear it when you aren’t around?

The Switch: Buy Mom a gift card for a clothing store she likes. It’s the only way to guarantee she’ll end up with something she actually wants.

Anything New

Your mother has been around for a while now. She’s seen it all—been there, done that.

So why not expose her to something new? Get her started on that juice cleanse everyone’s been raving about. Or maybe you could enroll her in a Jazzercise class. Not so fast. You may think Mom is bored of the same old stuff, but the fact is she’s seen enough to know what she likes—and what she doesn’t like.

The Switch: Instead of signing her up for something she may hate, why not book her for a day of pampering at her favorite spa? Some all-alone, me-time will make her happy.

Surprise Cleaning

It’s kind of genius, especially if your Mom is a busy body. You sneak in and clean up, do the laundry, put flowers on the table and stock the refrigerator with essentials—all while Mom is away. The only caveat? It gives Mom a break for just that one week. She’ll be back at her routine before she knows it. That’s not much of a celebration now, is it?

The Switch: Buy Mom a couple of gift certificates from the local cleaning company or maid service. That way she can redeem them whenever she runs into a really busy week.

What’s the best Mother’s Day gift you ever received? Tell us in the comments below.

Gift-giving doesn’t have to break the bank. Find out 7 Ways to be a Thrifty Romantic.

By Greg Dalgetty

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  1. Zach Potter says

    I love that even when looking up gift ideas for mom, Geico shows up at the top of the list! These are some great ideas here, and I like the “switch” appeal in the sections mentioned. I am thinking about getting my mother some bath and shower sets that I have been finding online as she is constantly on her feet all day and loves to take baths when she has the time. Thanks for the other great ideas mentioned!