Mother’s Day Gifts: What Never to Give

Forward this list to your partner. This is what you don’t want for Mother’s Day.
BySarah Yang
Mar 2017
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A Schmaltzy Card

“I got a card from my son. It was obviously the last card they had at the store because it thanked me for making him the person he is today. I had to laugh.” — Jh

We’re not against Hallmark or American Greetings, but if you’re going to get Mom a card, actually read it first and make sure the message is something you’d say (and actually mean). Honestly, it would mean so much more to the mom in question if you got her a blank card and wrote a few heartfelt sentences yourself, instead of just signing something that’s completely impersonal.

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

Cold, Hard Cash

“My husband’s gift budget was $100. He couldn’t think of anything to get me, so he just transferred $100 from his account to mine and said I could spend it on whatever.” — JLT

As the commercials go, everyone loves cash. But a mom on Mother’s Day just wants a little bit of thought and consideration. It would have cost her partner $95 less to have put baby’s handprint on a piece of construction paper and framed it for a gift she would’ve loved.

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The Same Gift You Got Last Year (or for Your Birthday or the Holidays)

“If my husband finds something that I actually like, he beats the gift to death by giving it to me for every occasion. Don’t get me wrong: I still appreciate the gifts, but giving the same gift over and over is cheating.” — Mrs.M

Feeling deja vu? It’s not you; it’s the gift. While she may love the gift the first time around, it gets a little stale after the second time (and the third, or the fourth). We advise every mom to throw her partner and kids a bone and start giving some shameless hints of what she really wants now.

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

Electronics She Doesn’t Want

“I had to proclaim no electronic gifts on anniversaries, Mother’s Day, etc.” — FJ

There probably are mamas out there who are wishing for a Wii or an Xbox for Mother’s Day, or an upgrade to their home’s surround sound system. But when a guy gets a woman one of those things, it just looks like he’s getting something for himself.

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“My husband bought me something I specifically said I never wanted for Mother’s Day. It’s a vacuum cleaner — a gift that has utility but is not thoughtful.” — dianad

Unless she’s really jonesing for a KitchenAid mixer or a new Keurig coffeemaker, appliances aren’t really exciting — and getting a vacuum just makes women feel like domestic servants. When in doubt, stick to a nice dinner out or a piece of jewelry, please.

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

No Gift At All

“One time my husband got a gift for my mother-in-law but not for me. He has never made that mistake again.” — Auburn

Yikes, knowing your MIL got a gift and you didn’t isn’t just awkward — it’s infuriating. We know it’s Mother’s Day. But that doesn’t mean just your mom gets a gift. The other moms in your life, especially the mother of your kids, get one too.

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Something That’s Not Pretty, Sentimental, Pampering or Relaxing

“My husband got me a freaking garden hoe for Mother’s Day last year. I kid you not.” — awife

First, how do you even gift wrap a garden hoe? Second, nothing says “Thanks for being the mother of my child” like a garden hoe, right? Just say no to the hoe.

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