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No need to go guess: Mom knows best what she wants for Mother’s Day

Not all moms are the same, let your mom’s character dictate her gift
(AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Not all moms are the same. They like and do different things. Some, gasp, don’t love the idea of flowers and chocolates for Mother’s Day.

Consider these alternative gifts, many based on testimonials from actual moms.


There’s a zillion ways to pamper mom. There’s breakfast in bed, of course, and homemade coupon books offering to do some of her least favorite chores, or joining her on something she loves but you don’t. If you’re looking for a self-care something, this hair tool is pricy but there’s little it can’t do. There are styler-dryer Dyson Airwrap sets for straight to wavy, and curly to coily hair. All avoid extreme heat. So many attachments. So little time. $599.99. Widely available.


Still in the pamper mom search? Gift cards for mani-pedis, a spa day or a spa weekend may be greatly appreciated. How about cleaning out the garage or pantry without complaint? Not happening? Re-pot some plants, clean up the garden or put in a bunch of new annuals to add color. Try a gift card for car detailing, and an offer to go get it done so she doesn’t have to. Better yet, kids, clean mom’s car inside and out for free. Do a good job.


Consider a swing through a garden center or three so mom can pick out whatever she wants. Again, with no grumbling. Alternatively, go yourself and bring home flats full of her favorites. Offer to do her indoor chores for a week so she can spend more time in the garden. Gift her some new outdoor containers or fancy indoor pots.


Whether mom is a runner, hiker or camper, think gear. There’s so much tech in gear and she may not be completely up to date. If that’s not important, there’s plenty of just regular stuff, too. Perhaps a LifeStraw water filter bottle. $44.95. Check out the Altra Lone Peak trail shoes. $140. A fancy tent or camp stove, perhaps. High performance shorts and matching tops. A new bicycle? The possibilities are endless.


Bags of her favorite beans, or anything coffee-related. Coffee pods, a Starbucks card, a new coffee maker, funny coffee-themed signs for the kitchen, a homemade coffee cake to go with mom’s cup of Joe. Have at it. You could even turn her on to some new beans. Artisanal java is everywhere.


Mother’s Day is usually about togetherness. What if mom wants to go it alone? Easier said than done for some families. If doable, send her somewhere on the actual day, rather than a future one, where for 24 hours her every need and desire will be anticipate and met. Massage, delicious food, alone time in a calming, private outdoor spot by a creek. No one asking her for a single thing. A slice of heaven.


Sometimes, new moms just want their own moms. That’s not always possible, considering distance and cost. Splurge! Especially if mom is marking her first postpartum Mother’s Day. Fly in her mom if you have to. Plan a nice brunch, either at home or at a restaurant, followed by an afternoon at a botanical garden or a park. Are there grandkids? Daughters who are pregnant or with new babies? Make it happen that everybody is together. It’s what memories are made of.


Does mom collect a specific kind of crystal, china, anything else? You could pick up a piece or come up with a new or expanded display scheme. See if there’s a museum tie-in, either locally or on a trip, that you could take her to. Does the cherished collected thing inspire coffee-table books or books of history? Is she passionate about a specific TV show or movie franchise? Merch is everything. How about a new yoga mat?


Got a backyard? Got a mom who wants a she shed? Seize the day! Buy a garden shed and convert it, or spend more on a higher-end structure. Head to Amazon or Etsy or Lowe’s or Wayfair or tons of other places. Choose the perfect wooden she shed at here. Also try StudioShed. SunVilla via has a particularly chic glass and aluminum shed good for all seasons. $4,499.99. Back in stock mid-May. It’s worth the wait.

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