The Worst Mother’s Day Gifts Of All Time

It’s not terribly difficult to buy a decent gift for Mother’s Day. Generally, you want to get something that’s a bit meaningful, as moms tend to see right through thoughtless gifts and then proceed to nag you about them for years to come.

Unfortunately, sometimes children tend to over-think things. This can be catastrophic, and you can easily end up with the kind of Mother’s Day gift that would only make sense if your mother regularly left you in a locked car in the middle of the summer. Here’s a look at a few of the worst Mother’s Day gift ideas out there.

  1. Puppies: A puppy is a great gift for anyone, provided that the person is both at least 12 years old and really, really OK with smelling poop all the time. When my friend, who we’ll call Ben, told me his mother reacted badly to his gift of a 3-month-old beagle, my first reaction was, “Well, yeah. But she must have understood that you were, what, 6 or 7?”A puppy is a great way to tell Mom, “Thanks for taking care of me all of those years. Now, take care of this thing.”
  2. The Book Of Myself (And Other Over-Personalized Gifts): There’s nothing wrong with getting to know your mother a little better. However, interrogating her is probably the wrong way to go, and that’s what The Book of Myself feels like. It’s a range of questions designed to be answered by a person who wants to keep a journal but lacks the imagination to think of exactly what to write. Questions include things like “Who was your first crush?” and “What was your relationship like with your father?” The catch is you’re supposed to ask your mother these questions as you write down her responses. Nobody likes being interviewed, especially when your own child’s asking the questions.

    “The conversation will make memories that last a lifetime,” according to the person who recommended this gem to my friend.

    “Yeah,” my friend countered. “Neither one of us had ever been so uncomfortable.”

    It’s always fine to get Mom something personal, but if you go overboard, you may seem a little Norman Bates-ish.

  3. Cleaning And Exercise Equipment: We’re probably all guilty of buying Mom something insulting at least once. This is an easy mistake to make, especially when you’re 16. “Hey,” you said to yourself, “Mom seems to like mopping. I’ll get her a mop.” Cleaning supplies are a bad idea unless it’s something expensive and cool like an iRoomba vacuuming robot. Exercise equipment is an even worse idea. See, there’s a reason why chocolates are still a popular gift. They seem to say, “Here, you’re thin enough to enjoy a few of these,” while workout equipment sends a message along the lines of “I love you, but you need to lose some weight.”

What’s the worst Mother’s Day gift that you’ve ever bought (or received)?