Perfect Gifts for Mother's Day

Anyone of any age or budget can make a mom feel loved on Mother's Day. You can always get flowers, but why not surprise her this year? Creativity and a little advance planning will help you find thoughtful and perfect gifts for Mother's Day.

Getting Started

Meet Mom. The best Mother's Day gift corresponds with Mom's needs and interests. If Mom had a choice for the perfect day, what would she do? Even if the answer is "relax with a good book," you can still make that answer into the perfect present. Make a list of what Mom likes to do, what she loves to talk about and what you think of when you think of Mom.

The gift of time. Many moms are busy, so they just want time as a Mother's Day gift. Mom needs time to spend with special people, time to rest and have time to herself, time away from chores or time to put her feet up. Gift-givers can perform a single extra chore, and this may be more appreciated than flowers. Give Mom a certificate for a night off, which includes dinner prepared (or brought in) by someone else, a cup of Mom's favorite tea or cocoa, a good book or a soothing music CD. Other relaxation gifts could include some bubble bath, a funny movie and some gourmet snacks or home-baked cookies. On her night off, the gift giver should also take care of the dishes and any evening chores.

A gift of time could include spending time with Mom doing something she likes to do, such as sitting and chatting and playing cards on an uninterrupted afternoon. A gift like that can include a new deck of cards, a cute pen, a pad for keeping score and some good snacks. Put together all of these items in a little basket with a certificate or card explaining what it's for, and tie it with a ribbon.

Capture treasured memories. Moms love to show off pictures of their kids and grandkids. A unique Mother's Day gift of pictures arranged in a collage or images printed on a mug or key chain can give Mom more opportunities to do this at home or at the office. Moms also appreciate kids' artful showings of appreciation. Kids can draw a picture of themselves, or even a series of pictures illustrating a story of them doing something with Mom that they really enjoyed. Put the series of pictures into a little book, a photo album or a hand-decorated folder, or create a slideshow that represents her favorite memories.

The personal touch. Creative writing can personalize any gift. You could write a poem by starting with the list you made when you first started thinking about Mom. Use these special qualities and memories to find the most meaningful words to create a poem in Mom's honor. Some companies can do this for you if you would prefer something more professional or literary.

You can also decorate a picture frame with paint pens and putting a favorite photograph or drawing. Or, record a young child's voice singing or talking about the reasons he or she loves Mom, and put it onto a CD.

Time to Shop

A Mother's Day gift doesn't have to be homemade. You can still find something she'll love in the stores if you give yourself enough time to find the perfect item.

Mom's favorite things. Go back to that list of hobbies and interests, and think of practical gifts. If Mom drives a lot, what about assembling a good mix of music for her to listen to in the car? Moms who love to cook could enjoy a selection of gourmet spices, a small cookbook and a new kitchen gadget. Add a personal touch to a white bib apron or chef's hat and using paint pens, iron-ons, a picture printed onto a fabric transfer or fabric pens. If you choose flowers for Mother's Day, you could combine the flowers with a few items that represent her interests.

Think of a theme. Make Mother's Day gift baskets out of several small items. Get a bunch of little things that go along with a theme, and package them together in a reusable container, such as a basket or tin. For example, if Mom likes skiing, how about a skiing magazine, hot cocoa mix, a warm pair of earmuffs and socks and a thermos, all packaged in a tote bag personalized with her initials? Grandmothers who like to knit might love a personalized bag with a selection of colorful yarn, a knitting magazine, knitting needles or crochet hooks and some gourmet snacks in their favorite flavors.

For a mom who spends lots of time at the office, a personalized coffee mug filled with new pens and pencils, some whimsical office supplies, some candies and snacks for munching during work time and a hand-drawn picture, poem or photo in a frame can remind her that you are thinking of her when she is at work. If Mom uses a computer often, you can order a mouse pad with a family picture on it.

Get everyone together. If several people in your family plan on buying Mom a gift, why not get together and have each person contribute to the themed gift basket? Or pool your resources for a larger gift that you know she will love?

Choosing the perfect Mother's Day gift starts with thinking about all the ways Mom is special. Include a personal element of creativity or fun, and the gift will be all the more meaningful.

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