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Red Letters

The Top 10 Worst Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is a mere three weeks away. Many of you will be looking for the perfect gift this year. And if you are, DO NOT buy anything on this list of the top 10 WORST Mother’s Day gifts. (Disclaimer: Moms, there’s no shame in liking or wanting anything on this list. Just be very clear that you do like it!)

1. Weight Loss Books or Videos
Nothing says, “I love you, but I wish you were thinner,” like the latest fad-diet or exercise video.


2. Lotions & Potions from Bath & Body Works
Yes, they smell nice. But lotions, soaps, and bubble baths are what you buy if you’ve run out of time (or creativity).

 3. Anything with the words, “#1,” “Best,” or “World’s”
You may think your mom is the World’s #1 Best Mom, but  she doesn’t need (or want) the T-shirt to prove it. Resist the urge to be sucked into the marketing machine that will sell you a matching shirt, mug, and necklace declaring your mom as “the best.”

 4. Father’s Day Gifts
Some of the worst Mother’s Day gifts are actually FATHER’S DAY gifts. You know, like a new golf club, a backyard grill, a new power drill. If it’s something you’ve got your eye on for yourself…RUN!


5. Cleaning, Cooking, or Kitchen
With the exception of moms who are dying for a new “kitchen power tool,” it is generally good advice to stay away from anything that screams, “household chores.” Mother’s day should not evoke “work.” No vacuums, blenders, or the like.

6. As Seen On TV!
It’s like buying TWO of the worst Mother’s Day gifts for the price of one. Examples: the Ab Circle (#1), the Steam Shark (#5), the Flavor Wave Oven (#5), the Shake Weight (#1), the Snuggie (#9), do I need to go further? If you saw it on TV, you should NOT see it on Mother’s Day.

7. Pets
Enough said. Pets = work. See #5.


8. The Wrong Size Clothing
That’s just embarrassing for everyone. Too big or too small, she’ll think YOU think she’s the “wrong size.” And no mom should feel “wrong” on Mother’s day.

9. Baggy Sweat Pants
Oprah coined the term “shlumpadinka” to describe women who look like they are wearing the sweat pants they wore yesterday (and slept in). No sweat pants or over-sized sweatshirts.

10. A Homemade Coupon Book
Unless you are under 13, a homemade coupon book is NOT as adorable and thoughtful as you think. You know you’re hoping she never redeems them. And unless you are telepathic, you probably don’t know what kind of coupons she’d want anyway.


This guide should help you avoid the worst of the worst. Remember, the worst gift is buying nothing at all. If this post does nothing else but remind you to get your butt in gear and go shopping, then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

So, if you can’t buy sweat pants for your wife or score a new pool table, what should you buy? I’ll let a mom answer that question. This post comes from Karen Wistrom, sponsorship coordinator for the Kind Hearts CarePoint in Ethiopia where they are about to undertake an enormous project to build a new school there. From Karen:

Today – Kind Hearts is serving almost 150 children (orphaned or from destitute homes) and our small 4-classroom building is literally overflowing with kids (150 kids squeezed into 4 small classrooms)!  In order to enroll more students in September and to continue to advance the older students, Kind Hearts will need a new school building!  With a new school building in place by September – we can continue to expand the CarePoint and eventually be able to serve up to 300 children!!!


Robyn Davidson sponsors a child at Kind Hearts and also had the opportunity to visit Kind Hearts when her family was in Ethiopia to adopt their son.  Robyn has generously offered to create Mother’s Day Cards and donate 100% of the funds raised to the new school building at Kind Hearts.  Robyn has created this beautiful Mother’s Day Card which she will personalize with your name(s) and your Mother’s name and mail it for you in time for Mother’s Day.


I’ve put a link to her post below so you can see the Mother’s Day cards they’ve made up for this year. . Thank you Karen!

For Mother’s Day – Help us Build a School in Ethiopia!

Comments read comments(3)
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posted May 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Tom…I think some of these were warnings from personal experience… :-)

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posted May 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I think saying buying no gift at all is the worst is just wrong. Some people make their gifts for their mother, or even do something as simple as spend time with their mothers. Its not about the money.

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