Mother’s Day gifts that are cliche & how to upgrade them

Thank U, Next - Mother’s Day gifts that are cliche and how to upgrade them
Photo credit: Milkos/Getty Images; Nancy Price/

If you’re reading this, it looks like you’re trying to get a jump-start on shopping for Mother’s Day gifts. First of all, on behalf of moms everywhere, thank you. Your thoughtfulness doesn’t go unnoticed. Especially since you clearly don’t want to get your mom just any gift, you want to get her one she’ll actually love.

Before any presents enter the picture, though, you should know that your mom is going to treasure what you get her, no matter what. You could give her a broken crayon and she’d probably tuck it away in a drawer somewhere for sentimental safekeeping.

But real talk, she’s probably long overdue for something that — how do we put this delicately? — she actually wants. Something she needs. Something she’s probably dropped a few subtle hints about in your presence.

If you’re feeling the pressure, well, don’t. We’ve got you covered! Avoid clichés by following our guide to the dos and don’ts of Mother’s Day gifting for the modern mom.

Forget about flowers, get her a plant

Listen, if your mom seriously adores getting a fresh bouquet, then by all means give your local florist a call. But most of us moms are pretty practical, and we don’t really want you wasting your money on a gift that will wilt and die before the week’s out.

A plant, however, is the gift that keeps on giving. Every time she waters it, enjoys its blooms or simply glances in its direction, she’ll think of you. If she lacks a green thumb, you could always go with something hardier, like oh-so-trendy succulents or a Sansevieria.


Costa Farms Snake Plant Sansevieria
Photo Credit:Costa Farms/

Chocolates, schmocalates – what she really wants is wine

To be clear, few mothers are going to turn down a box of chocolates. However, it’s one of those gifts that a mom might scarf down and then feel guilty about. But wine? Ain’t nothing wrong with that. So, bring along a bottle of her favorite vino to pour into the brand-new, double-wall-vacuum-insulated, stainless steel wine glass tumbler you’re buying her.

Stainless Steel Tumbler
Photo Credit: CHILLOUT LIFE/

MORE: Moms tell us what they DO want for Mother’s Day (Hint: not flowers)

Risk buying something she’s already read? Go with a new tome instead

Picking up a book by her favorite author may seem like a safe bet, but let’s be realistic: If she’s really a fan, she’s probably already read everything that is out and has the author’s next book on pre-order.

Here’s an even better bet: Buy soccer legend and motivational speaker Abby Wambach’s new book Wolfpack: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game. After all, your mom’s the fiercest woman you know, right? She’s always empowered you, so here’s your chance to return the favor.

Abby Wambach's Book
Photo Credit: Abby Wambach/

Move away from the cookbooks! Mama needs an Instapot

Trust us on this; she has plenty of cookbooks. And beyond that, she’s got Pinterest. But if she doesn’t yet have an Instapot, you’ve got the opportunity to be a real hero this Mother’s Day by giving your mom the trendiest countertop appliance around.

Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Photo Credit: SilverOnyx/

Bypass the DIY spa kit in favor of a DNA kit

Sure, moms love pampering. Alas, one woman’s bathroom can only hold so many bath bombs, loofahs and lotions. If you really want to show her you care, give her the chance to learn more about her (and therefore your) family tree. Connecting with her relatives on a deeper level by purchasing a DNA kit — like 23andMe — will make her feel more special than any moisturizer or soak could.

23andme Box
Photo Credit: 23andme

Say no to a coffee mug, but yes to a tea kettle

Coffee mugs are cute and all, but they tend to take up valuable real estate in a kitchen. The more you have, the less you actually use — instead of fussing over how to reach the one in the back precariously supporting a stack, Mama likely just uses her favorite. In other words, don’t bother with buying her any more.

What you could do, though, is buy her a cool color-changing electric kettle. That way, she can quickly and easily prepare a hot beverage to drink from her trusty mug. Make the gift even more special by promising to join her for tea from time to time.

Color Changing Electric Kettle
Photo Credit: Chefman/

Skip the traveling toiletry kit and splurge on luxe luggage

For moms who love to travel, a toiletry kit might seem like a perfectly logical gift idea. They’ll need one when they’re on the go, right? However, if she travels often, she undoubtedly has at least one of these already (and probably back-ups, too).

Take your gift one step further by investing in quality luggage. She’ll feel impossibly chic strolling through the airport with this vintage-style, genuine leather steamer-trunk suitcase.

Small Carry on Suitcase
Phot Credit: COTRUNKAGE/

MORE: 11 coffee mugs that speak the truth about motherhood

Let her pick out her own gift

Again, your mother will appreciate anything you give her — even if it is another collectible that will ultimately accrue dust on a shelf somewhere. You can do better than that, though. How? Let her pick out her own gift with an Amazon gift card. There are few things more pleasing to a mother than being given carte blanche to order from Amazon Prime.