Four roses with a card saying Happy Mothers Day

Seven Ways to Say “I Love You, Mom”

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and you know what that means: You need to find the perfect gift. It doesn’t need to be fancy, and it doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to say “I love you, and I’m so grateful for all you do for me.”

So this year, go beyond the standard card, bouquet of flowers, or box of chocolates. Think outside the box, and select a gift that your mom will remember forever.

One caution, however: You don’t want your gift to be memorable in the wrong way! As I was collecting ideas for great Mother’s Day gifts, I heard stories from my friends about really goofy ones. My favorite was a bag of frozen grocery store shrimp (from a husband who said, “But you love seafood!”) Others included fertilizer, a pet toad, and a spatula.

My advice? Skip all of these—unless your mom is really into toads or frozen shrimp—and go for something she’ll actually love. Here are some suggestions.

For a baker: A basket of healthy ingredients.

Find a pretty basket and fill it with high-quality ingredients like fine-ground almond flour, coconut flour, baking chocolate, organic honey, real maple syrup, coconut sugar, and dried fruits. Toss in a Paleo dessert cookbook, and you have an awesome gift. 

For an above-and-beyond mom: a note from the heart.

One woman I know treasures a note she got one year from her son. After a year of financial calamities, he was too broke to buy her anything except flowers—but with them he included a long, heartfelt note thanking her for everything she’d done to help him get through the year. The flowers are long gone, but she’ll keep the note forever.

For a stressed-out mom: a helping hand or a restful break.

Is your mom’s to-do list getting longer and longer? Then call her and tell her you’re going to spend Mother’s Day mowing her lawn, washing her car, or doing her shopping. Then make dinner for her, and do the dishes afterward.

Other good gifts for high-stress moms include scented bathtub salts, books, aromatherapy candles, and—of course—a gift card for a massage.

For an adventurous cook: Something off the beaten path.

Does your mother love to experiment in the kitchen? If you have a little money to spare, buy her some interesting cookware—for instance, a Moroccan tagine. If your wallet is lighter, treat her to some exotic spices, a Himalayan salt barbecue block, or a book on making her own fermented foods.

For a mom with a green thumb: an outdoor or indoor garden.

A mother who loves gardening will be delighted to get an assortment of heirloom seed packets and attractive pots to plant them in. (You can find heirloom seeds at any plant store or online.) Or buy her an indoor herb garden, so she can pick fresh basil or oregano without leaving the kitchen.

For a stylish mom: non-toxic makeup.

If your mom loves different shades of lipstick and fingernail polish, make her happy—and make her healthier, too—with an assortment of products that are free of toxic chemicals. For information on the best brands, check out the Environmental Working Group’s list here.

For a writer: a journal.

Whether your mom is an aspiring novelist or simply likes to write down tidbits about her day, she’ll appreciate this practical gift. Journals come in every style from elegant to whimsical, so you can pick one that suits her personality perfectly.

So there you have it: seven creative options for telling your mom you love her. Add in a card and a bouquet of flowers, and you’re all set.

Of course, the very best present you can give your mom on Mother’s Day is one that doesn’t cost anything. Simply give her a great-big hug and say—“I love you, mom!”

Keep Thinking Big & Living Bold!