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Do’s and Don’ts: A Gift Guide to Mother’s Day

Personally, I think Mother’s Day is one of the most underrated holidays. It’s important to take the time to appreciate the women in our lives who do so much thankless work year-round. Plus, it’s during a beautiful time of the year, so there are always a ton of fun ways to spend the day. But I find that Mother’s Day gifts tend to be flops, especially when I look at online gift guides. So, if you’re struggling to come up with the right gift for your mom on Mother’s Day, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you to it. 

Do: Make sure to include a card/note!

[bf_image id="q7k3s2-8zwk3c-14s0cd"]Mother’s Day shouldn’t just be about the material. It’s important to take the time to show your mom that you appreciate her through your actions as well as through your words. It could be as simple as a pretty, handwritten note saying how much you love her to go along with the breakfast you make her, or as extravagant as a pop-up card pinned in a bouquet of tulips. No matter how you incorporate it, make sure some words of love are there. 

Don’t: Gift something overly generic.

[bf_image id="njnx6gt8t4k8zf99kgp7769"] Please don’t buy your mom a mug that says “#1 Mom!” Unless your mom is an avid mug collector, or it’s a gift to go along with something else, I promise you your mom doesn’t want a chintzy random object with a thoughtless phrase stamped on it. Show your mom how much you care about her by getting her something you know she’ll enjoy and use often. Your gift should be clearly personalized. Now, I know this mug can be tempting when money is tight, and that is an important and legitimate concern. If you can only afford something less expensive, consider filling a mug like this with some of your mom’s favorite candies to make it special and spend the rest of the day with her in a different way.

Do: Consider incorporating some personalization!

[bf_image id="q7jv3f-36da80-9ter97"] Personalizing your Mother’s Day gifts makes them all the more meaningful. If your mom is the kind to photograph everything, consider compiling some of the pictures into a personalized calendar or photobook, or make a nice collage for her to display. If your mom is really into jewelry, consider getting something engraved with a note or buying something with the birthstones of you, her, and any siblings you may have. No matter what, make sure your mom knows that the present you got is just for her. 

Don’t: Ignore the holiday just because of distance.

[bf_image id="qg2f0y-awgq9c-cgbeqx"] Listen: I know travel is a big issue right now because of the pandemic. But there is no excuse to completely gloss over Mother’s Day just because you can’t be with your mom physically! Celebrating this holiday is more than just making breakfast in bed and then going on with your day. Mailing a card is always an option, but you should make sure it’s done ahead of time. Plus, you can always mail a gift to her and have her video chat when she gets it. Most websites let you select that the order contains a gift, and they won’t put a receipt inside. Most importantly, CALL HER! There is no good reason why you shouldn’t call your mom on Mother’s Day unless you physically won’t have access to a phone for a completely unavoidable reason. I promise, she wants to hear your voice. And don’t just make it a two-minute “Hi mom, happy Mother’s Day, bye mom” kind of call. Take the time to ask about her day and give her the time she deserves. 

Do: Consider an activity instead of a material gift!

[bf_image id="f7pjspvmsb45mkg9wmngr4kx"] Mother’s Day celebrations should go beyond just the moment of gift-giving. This is also a really good way to celebrate if you’re strapped for cash. Find somewhere beautiful to observe the spring scenery and walk around with your mom, like the beach or a flower garden. Many museums are also free or very cheap if your mom enjoys art. An at-home spa day is also a great idea – grab some candles, nail polish, and face masks and give your mom a chance to relax. Most importantly: if you’re planning to go out for a meal, make reservations well in advance. 

Don’t: Give her something practical without incorporating something thoughtful and lush.

[bf_image id="mtpw5n6s2mpkrzn45j7f6xrz"] Mother’s Day should be a chance for your mom to be pampered. Now, if your mom is anything like mine, she always asks for something she’ll be able to really use. In this case, make sure you give her something special to go along with your more practical gift. For example, (**IF YOU ARE MY MOM PLEASE DO NOT READ ON**) my mom loves gardening, so I got her beautiful new gardening gloves with some nice hand cream to go along with them. Her hands get very worn out during gardening season, and I know she likes to care for her hands and nails.

It’s so important for us to recognize, thank, and appreciate the women who raised us on Mother’s Day. Even if you didn’t grow up with someone taking on a traditional mother role in your life, consider acknowledging a mother-figure or female role model in your life. Remember: it doesn’t have to be big or fancy and it doesn’t have to cost a million bucks, but make sure to gift something you know she'll be able to cherish and enjoy.  

Alessandra Amore

U Mass Amherst '23

Alessandra is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is majoring in Public Health and is on the Pre-Med track, and is in the accelerated MPH program in epidemiology. She also plays trumpet in the UMass Minuteman Marching Band. She loves baking, her cat, and a good episode of Gilmore Girls.
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