Infographic: What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

Note: This survey was conducted in 2016 for by Kelton Global among 1,008 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over.

Mother’s Day is a Big Deal

On the gift-giving spectrum, Mother’s Day is a big deal. According to Hallmark, it’s the second most popular holiday for gift-giving, followed only by Christmas. And when it comes to actually purchasing that elusive Mother’s Day gift, the National Retail Federation says the average American spent a whopping $172.63 on Mom in 2015. To put that in perspective: A $172 gift is about the equivalent of 36 long-stemmed red roses or 120 chocolate truffles from 1-800-Flowers!

But do moms really want to be showered with cards, flowers and candies on their big day? RetailMeNot set out to discover what dear old Mom actually wants—and the results are surprisingly affordable.

What Mom Wants

Mom’s top-three wishes are a day off, a gift card and a nice meal. (Very non-materialistic of Mom, if we do say so ourselves.)

If you want to give her the ultimate day off, write up a cute themed coupon and enclose it in a Mother’s Day card. Let her escape and do what she wants—shopping, gardening, a Real Housewives marathon, whatever—the sky (or your DVR-storage capacity) is the limit. If you go the gift card route, put some thought behind it: A gift card to her favorite yoga studio, nail salon, restaurant or clothing store is a good idea. RetailMeNot sells discount gift cards to everywhere from California Pizza Kitchen to Express. (Pro tip: Follow these do’s and don’ts for buying gift cards.)

And finally, if you cook a homemade meal, turn to a trusted source like Allrecipes for menu planning. Remember: You aren’t doing Mom any favors if you leave a messy kitchen, but don’t even think about letting her touch a sponge.

Gifts That Say “Meh”

Nothing says, “I love you, Mom,” like a new set of headphones—said no one, ever. Unless she specifically asks for them, things like electronics, housewares, clothing, candy, jewelry and flowers are better left as birthday presents.

If the data reveals anything, it’s that moms like a gift with meaning. So put some thought, time and energy into what you’re giving her. For kids and teens, these 14 DIY gifts are a great start. If you’re dead set on giving her some flowers, consider coupling them with some homemade cookies or an invitation to brunch sometime soon (and make sure you pick up the tab!).

How to Plan to Celebrate With Your Mom

Unfortunately, many people can’t be with their moms on Mother’s Day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! For one, pick up the phone—or better yet, a video-enabled device. Call or video chat your mom, and let her know you’re thinking about her. Send her a card (five to six business days in advance!) and write a nice note. Recruit a local (your dad or a younger sibling, for example) to help coordinate giving her a thoughtful gift (see above!).

Whatever you do, please do not just send her a text and call it a day.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Source: Olech, Liz, What Mom Really Want for Mother’s Day,, April 21, 2016,


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