With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what to give the woman who gave you life. Most of us want to do a good job, and many times, we think we have found and gifted the perfect present, but there are just some gifts you shouldn’t give…especially to mom.
Check out this list of 15 Mother’s Day Gifts you Should NEVER Give, and you may just find that you’ve been guilty of a few of these. Not to worry. Mom loves you anyway, and with a new day of gift giving ahead, you have another opportunity to make things right. Just stay away from these, okay?
1. Gifts from your Youth
Remember when she used to carry around all your kiddie crap in that suitcase she called a purse? The problem with getting her a handbag for Mother’s Day is that you still think of it in those childhood terms. But once you became self-sufficient, she couldn’t run fast enough from the idea of hauling around a purse that, let’s face it, needed wheels and a handle to be maneuvered comfortably. Mom’s tastes change just like anyone else’s. She doesn’t need you buying her the latest edition of Monopoly just because she loved family night back then, and she doesn’t still collect Beanie Babies, so stop adding to the collection that she abandoned 15 years ago.
2. Gifts Devoted to Mom’s Sex Life
Not meaning to be Captain Obvious here, but sexually oriented gifts like lingerie, and edible underwear are a definite no-no unless you’re the one married to Mom. The Graduate should never come to mind when you are shopping for Mom’s special day gift selections. So that pretty much rules out anything at Spencer’s gift stores.
3. Household Appliances
Just because Mom vacuums the house once per week and has been complaining about how her vroom-vroom is on the skids, that doesn’t mean she wants a new one on her day of days. A far better use of the vacuum cleaner as a gift is for you to surprise her by not just vacuuming, but also steam cleaning and tidying up the rest of her house while she’s away. And cook dinner while you’re at it; she’d love that! Just make sure to avoid gifts that enable Mom to work even harder than she already does, like washers and dryers, for instance. This day is about appreciation and relaxation. It’s not about seeing how much hard labor you can get out of her.
4. World’s Best Mom
All right, Mom, I confess: I so didn’t want to put any thought into your gift at all that I decided instead to buy you a hat/shirt/mug with the words, “World’s Best Mom” on them in hopes that the blunt and obvious approach would make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you really want to impress dear old Mom, don’t tell her she’s the world’s best Mom via crappy screen printing. Show her through gifts of love and thoughtfulness that are designed to pay her back for all that she’s done for you over the years.
5. Imaginary Coupon Books
Holiday themed coupon books are among the WORST gifts for any occasion, not just on Mother’s Day. You’ve probably seen the little coupon books that are sold at novelty stores in mall near you. “This coupon entitles you to one free car wash,” or “This coupon gets you a free dinner cooked by your loving son, the ingrate too lazy to get you a real Mother’s Day gift that you’ll actually end up using.” These made-up holiday coupons are cheap, rarely if ever redeemed, and unbefitting of the woman, who went through hours of hellish labor pain, to give you life. These coupons are, quite simply, IOUs on gifts that you will probably never give her.
6. Cleaning Supplies
Carpet soaps, toilet cleanser, scrub brushes, window cleaner-what could possibly go wrong here? Cleaning supplies make the list of 15 Mother’s Day gifts you should never give because of the implications that Mom isn’t doing enough around the house and her place is a sty. They could also be construed as a subtle hint that your place is wrecked and you’d really appreciate it if she would come over and fix weeks of neglect and dirty living in a few short and painless hours. Either way, it’s a bomb as a gift idea. Nobody ever places anything that smells like ammonia on their wish list. Mom’s no exception.
7. Spanx Slimwear
Nothing says I love you mom like the gift of Spanx! These slimming garments which have been hiding unflattering curves on women for years may seem like a great idea at first glance, but trust us, you don’t want to be the one sending this as a gift. Touted as fashionable, flattering and always in style, unless your mother specifically asks for Spanx, you better steer clear. Otherwise, you may be accused of calling her “fat” and not even know it.
8. Bath Soaps and Salts
While these gifts stop just short of telling Mom that she stinks and needs to bathe more, they are still not very much fun, and since gazillions of these boring gift sets are given every year on Mother’s Day, it pays to stay away from them if Mom means anything to you whatsoever. For one, sets rarely contain products that she will get full use out of. She may use the body soap and hand lotion, but inevitably, there will be tons of little pointless add-ons that end up hogging room in her medicine cabinet for the next few decades.
9. Gifts that Hint at Her Insecurities
So you’ve heard Mom go on about how she’d really like to get more involved with Yoga or Pilates and drop some of those excess pounds. What better gift to give her on Mother’s Day than a video that will help her do just that? Or maybe you really love Mom, and you want her to have that high-dollar treadmill. Then again, maybe weight isn’t the problem, and she could just really use some time with a professional getting that makeover you just know she would love. Wrong, wrong, wrong! On Mother’s Day, you want to give her gifts that are going to celebrate the beauty that already exists within her. If you think she needs a makeover, why not enter her for a Mother’s Day Makeover Contest, without her knowledge of course, and let fate decide?
10. Things for the Kitchen
No matter how much the woman likes to cook, don’t just assume that kitchen items are going to be at the top of her list of Mother’s Day gifts. Toasters, blenders, and hand mixers, may make her life a bit easier inside the kitchen, but they still call to mind the idea of mom as servant. Cookbooks won’t cut it either because they pretty much say to Mom, “Enjoy your day while it lasts, I’ll have some garlic mashed potatoes.” Besides, if she really wants some new recipes, those can always be found for free online at sites like Skinny Bits. Anything else to do with the kitchen-aprons, pots, pans, knives-are just better left avoided.
11. Cutesy Jewelry
Buying Mom cutesy jewelry such as imitation silver necklaces and other too-cheap-for-TV pendants and keepsakes are not good ideas, even if they do have “Mom” cheaply fashioned somewhere in the design. What this says to her is that she’s not worth the real deal, and should the chain snap or the materials break down, as they inevitably will, at least you were only out three bucks on the purchase price.
12. E-Gifts and Cards
“Dear Mom, I cared enough to send you the very best e-card I could find on the Internet,” is not something she wants to hear from you. Nor does she want a free subscription to the latest E-zine on beauty tips for the over 40. Whether Mom is tech savvy or not, she wants the joy of opening a present and holding something real in her hands. So don’t think that a Facebook trinket you bought with “enough credits” is going to cut it, and stay away from the desktop wallpaper that says “Happy Mother’s Day” with a floral print. If you want to give her anything electronic, make it a new smartphone, a digital picture frame, or a high-megapixel camera.
13. “It’s Pat” Sleepwear
Remember up there where we told you it was a bad idea to get Mom lingerie unless you were the one married to her? Well, don’t take that as a license to go the other way. Flannel pajamas, Snuggies, and anything that says, “Mom, you have a face and body for radio,” are not allowed.
14. Photo Sculptures
The Photo Sculpture might mean well. After all, it’s just a favorite photo blown up on a piece of heavy duty acrylic and featured on a black rectangular stand, but be realistic here. Mom never intended for her home to resemble a video store or movie theater lobby, and that’s just how this item would make it appear.
15. Survival Gear
The world’s a dangerous place, Mom, and if you aren’t watching your back every single minute, you’re liable to get mugged, attacked, or stranded out in the middle of nowhere. Yeah. That’s just what she wants to hear on Mother’s Day. So try to stay away from survival based gear, such as stun guns, throwing stars, survival kits, and other forms of fear-mongering. Sure, maybe she could use them, but there’s a time and a place. Mother’s Day isn’t it.
In summary, this list of 15 Mother’s Day Gifts you Should NEVER Give will at a minimum, save you much time, trouble and embarrassment. Which ones should have been included on this list? Any gift giving disaster stories that you would care to share? Sound off below. We want to hear your comments!