Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

By Jordan Elizabeth

Mothers are the hardest people to shop for, bar none. The first thing I think about buying my mother for any gifting occasion is kitchenware, which I hate. There’s something about buying a lady new ceramic measuring cups that screams “get in the kitchen, woman!” and my feminist side just can’t accept that. (Unless she asks for it, then go ahead! But finding a mother who tells you what gifts she wants is like finding a designer dress on clearance that’s in your size...doesn't happen often).

So here are a few ideas to get your mind rolling:

1. Think Small - Buying clothes or jewelry for someone else can be difficult, and the last thing you want to do is buy a gift your mom has to return or exchange. Of course when you later ask, “Where’s that cute vegan leather jacket I bought you?” your mom makes you feel like a failure again for not realizing she doesn’t care about animal rights and refers to it as “pleather.” Instead, buy her fancy wooden hangers for her closet or a jewelry box. They will most definitely be used, and there’s no accounting for taste.

2. Think Long Term - Spa days are a popular Mother’s Day gift. Just like wooden hangers will give her more mileage than an on-trend dress, why not get her an at-home kit to pamper herself regularly? Yes, having someone else do the work is nice but it’s over in 60 minutes. What do you do for the other 364 days of the year?! Try getting your mom a L'Occitane manicure set, or a home-pedicure foot bath. That way, once a week, she can do something for herself (maybe don’t do this if you live in the same city as your mother because then she might make you come over and DO the mani-pedi, which obviously is not part of the gift).  

Other gifts that keep giving: Wine/Beer of the Month Clubs, Birchbox, or a subscription to Netflix (then you can add to her queue so you can finally talk to her about “Pretty Little Liars” or “Scandal.” Everybody wins!)

3. Outsource - If you have kids of your own then you already did all the hard work. Now, all you have to do is give them a piece of paper, washable markers and some dry noodles. Boom: best present ever! My sister does this every year and all the scribbled drawings hang prominently in her home (and are encroaching on MY kindergarten artwork, but that’s another story for another day).

4. Get Crafty - Last year, in an attempt to not be bested by my child-bearing sister, I had my dogs “make” her something! I put their paws in washable paint (allegedly...there are still pink smears in my bathroom), made 4 footprints and wrote “Happy Mother’s Day!” I think my mother thought this was a cry for help, but I thought it was adorable!

Other fun projects to try: cross-stitching! You can do fun mom-themed quotes or movie lines, like “I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!” (Mean Girls).

Moms sort of have to love everything you get them because it’s just an unspoken rule of motherhood. When my Mom actually loves and cherishes something I gave her; that’s almost a gift to me (well, almost. I still have a long list of gifts I would like to be gifted. Why won’t anyone buy me a go-kart?!). And the best thing about moms is that it doesn't take something big and flashy to dazzle them (unlike me).

Just avoid kitchen/cleaning tools and gym memberships and you’ll be sure to impress!

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Jordan Elizabeth

Jordan Elizabeth is a comedian, TV Writer/Producer, collector of hobbies, and master of putting off adulthood. You can find her behind the scenes of "Watch What Happens Live and hear her on the Podcast "3 Dudes and a Broad." She lives in Manhattan with her fiance and two dogs, Brooklyn and Carmelo Anthony. Read more about her life at and follow her on Twitter at @jordielizabeth.