Creatively Simple Mother's Day Gift Ideas

by Nancy Twigg

We all agree that our moms are marvelous. We don't need prompts from the greeting card industry to remind us of that. The dilemma is how to make them feel marvelous without buying into all the hype surrounding Mom's special day.

Several years ago, before I became a mother myself, I wanted to get the inside scoop on what moms really want for Mother's Day. What brings them happiness? What makes them feel appreciated? To do this, I asked several women I knew to tell me about the inexpensive, yet meaningful, gifts they have either received or would love to receive themselves, or that they have given their own mothers in the past.

Following are just a few of the ideas I gathered from my little fact-finding mission. As you look over the list, remember that most of these ideas are adaptable and can be used for the fathers or grandparents on your gift list as well.

Children's Artwork

What mom doesn't love the gifts her children make for her? Children's drawings, paintings or poems all become extra special when placed in an attractive frame.

A Hobby Basket

What does your mom do for fun? Create a gift basket using her hobby as a theme. For example, if she loves to play sports, create a gift basket with a new water bottle, a book on fitness, and several new pairs of athletic socks.


Most women love roses, right? Rather than giving her a bouquet that she can only enjoy for a few days, give her a rose bush that will bloom for years to come. If you want, include an IOU good for a few hours of gardening time to help her plant your gift in her flower garden.

Handprints or Footprints

Use her children's hands or feet to make a memorable gift. The impression of a child's hand or foot can be pressed into modeling clay to make a wall hanging or quick drying cement to make a garden stepping-stone. You can also coat the palm of the child's hand or the sole of his foot with washable ink or paint. Then stamp the print onto cardstock to create a keepsake suitable for framing.

A "Thanks, Mom" Journal

On each page of a blank journal, write a message of thanks such as, "Thank you for always encouraging me," or something about your mom for which you are thankful like, "I am thankful that you taught me the value of hard work." Include a note that instructs Mom to re-read this book often to remind her of how much she is loved and appreciated.

A Personalized Apron or Tote Bag

Use fabric paint or iron-on transfers for your inkjet printer to create an apron that is just Mom's style. Decorate the apron with transfers of family photos or use stencils to paint on your decorations.

Chocolate Fantasy

Is Mom a chocolate fanatic? Fill a gift basket with several varieties of homemade cookies, candy and muffins in her favorite flavor. If Mom loves sweets but is concerned about her weight, use recipes for special goodies that are low in fat and sugar.

Any of these low-cost, high-value gift ideas are sure to bring a smile to the face of the special mom in your life. Or, if you are a mother who thinks your family may need a little help with Mother's Day gift giving, you have my permission to make several copies of this list and leave them in conspicuous places around the house!

Adapted from Nancy Twigg's book, "Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions" ( Nancy is a speaker and author who loves inspiring others to live more simply. Visit Nancy online at

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