Need a minimalist Mother's Day guide that's actually aligned with minimalism? These 10 gifts are (mostly) experience gift ideas for mom!

10 No BS Minimalist Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

I know, I know, I hate minimalist centered blog posts that claim to have great presents. Doesn’t that kind of go against the whole minimalism thing? Yes, yes it does. Before you tap that X in the right hand corner, let me first tell you that this post will contain ONE physical gift idea and that’s it. The rest of these gifts fully align with a minimalist lifestyle. Pinky promise. In fact, you might even say the physical gift aligns with minimalism as well. After all, it was a Mother’s Day gift I had specifically requested from my family nearly 3 years ago and I still use it every day. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into 10 no BS minimalist gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

Intentional gift giving

A question I get asked a lot is if I hate gifts or presents. People assume that because I am intentional about the number of things in my home, I secretly hate all things presents and gift giving. You know, like the Grinch, but without the problem of not being able to find something to wear.

Here’s the real truth. I love nothing more than a thoughtful gift. Believe it or not, there are different ways to give gifts. It’s why I tell my husband I don’t want flower on Valentine’s Day, but when he bought them for me after my Marie Claire article came out, he brought some home.

Obligated gift vs. Intentional gift

Let’s quickly take a moment to separate these two kinds of gift givings, obligated and intentional.

The major difference here is that someone may by a gift for another person because they feel like they have to because it’s a holiday, birthday or other celebration. This is why so many of us leave Christmas gatherings with a slew of Bath and Body Works candles and bubble bath we never signed up for. People felt obligated to buy you something.

Obligated gift giving usually looks like:

  • Writing someone’s name down on a list.
  • Wandering the aisles of the stores until you find an item
  • Choose one with an appropriate price tag.
  • Toss the item in your cart so you can finally.
  • Check them off your list.
  • Move onto the next person on your list.

This sort of mechanical, detached form of gift giving is something I’m so over at this point. If you’re buying me something simply out of the obligation to buy, the gift has no meaning and I don’t want you to spend your hard-earned cash just to cross me off a list.

Intentional gift giving often looks like:

  • Thinking of someone specific in your life. (Perhaps their dog just died, they’re going through a break up, or just got a promotion at work.)
  • You want to do something to celebrate them or cheer them up.
  • You immediately head to the store (or online) and create a mini care package with all their favorite things.
  • This gift doesn’t require a holiday or birthday to be initiated, it comes from a simple desire to bring joy to another person.

Sign me up for intentional gifts all day long. OK, not literally all day long. I would be drowning in your generosity, but, you get the point.

Need a minimalist Mother's Day guide that's actually aligned with minimalism? These 10 gifts are (mostly) experience gift ideas for mom!

How to give a minimalist, intentional gift

Rather than looking at Mother’s Day as another holiday on your calendar that you’re obligated to buy a present, try thinking specifically of your mom. What has she done for you? Who is she to you? Have you picked up on any pain points in her life? Do you know her favorite things?

If you’ve never taken a single moment to think of any of these things, I’ll wait while you give yourself 5 minutes to do so and if you want to throw in an additional 30 seconds to feel super guilty about this, I’d be OK with that.

Now, here’s the thing, we don’t all have crisp, clean, perfect relationships with our mom. That’s ok. If obligated gift giving is you doing your best, then so be it. You should probably look for another list, or just head straight to the card aisle and pluck one directly from the Humor section.

However if you owe your mom the world, and, quite frankly, your life, then start here.

How to choose a good Mother’s Day gift:

  • What does mom struggle with? (Not picking up your socks. Think more along the lines of prepping dinners or maintaining the house, buying herself new clothes. –We are taking chores off her plate not finding better ways for her to help you with yours.)
  • What is something she enjoys doing?
  • What is a burden on her?
  • What is she always dropping hints about?

Once you’ve done this, I hope you’ve gathered a few ideas, but to help nudge you along, you can keep scrolling through my curated list of 10 minimalist Mother’s Day gift ideas!

Ember mug

About 3 years ago, maybe more. (Covid years don’t count, right?) I looked Tom square in the eye and I told him, “If you buy me anything for my birthday and Mother’s Day (they often overlap), I want the Ember mug.”

Now, not all moms are as straight forward as me, but lord knows no one is planning to sweep me off my feet anytime soon. This girl’s gotta speak up for what she wants. I don’t have time for hinting around.

The Ember mug was something I had my eye on for years. As someone who slowly sips coffee, mine would get cold every morning without fail. At least 3 times per day I was making a trip to the microwave to re-heat my coffee mug. It sounds silly, because re-heating my mug was only taking 5 minutes out of my day, but I dreamed of the luxury of having a coffee mug that consistently stayed hot. No mini vacays to the microwave required.

If your mom is a lover of hot coffee or tea, is is my personal recommendation that you consider an Ember mug. They come in different colors and styles and you can buy them on Amazon.

Need a minimalist Mother's Day guide that's actually aligned with minimalism? These 10 gifts are (mostly) experience gift ideas for mom!

Plants (more sustainable than flowers)

Instead of a bouquet of flowers, consider opting for a more sustainable plant. This is of course only if your mom is someone who likes plants. Caring for and filling our home with plants has many proven benefits, and could literally help your mom breathe easier.

However, remember, we’re not just crossing this off our to do list. Be intentional. Does your mom like plants? If so, is there a certain one you know she would love? Did she have a favorite plant that died that you know she would love to have around again? Does she love bright colors or is she more a greenery kind of gal?

Gardening plants

Perhaps your mom is more of an outdoor gardener. Are there propagated plants you could gift to her so she has something to plant, well, now? Maybe she would love having a few herbs in her kitchen window sill. Think of what she’s currently got and work to fill the gaps.

Faux plants

Then again, maybe your mom is a notorious plant killer (I can relate) and you think more than anything she would appreciate a beautiful faux plant to put in place of all her failed experiments. This might not clean up the air in her home, but the gesture might be appreciated.

Audible membership

If you have a mom who is a book loving junkie, why not consider treating her to an Audible membership? This is a perfect gift for moms who can’t seem to get enough of books and/or podcasts. When you gift an Audible membership, you can choose how many months you want to do the membership for.

Gifting an Audible membership not only includes a monthly download for your mom, but would give her access to The Plus Catalog with bonus podcasts, eBooks and more! Click here to browse Audible memberships.

A freaking vacation

I know, I know, this one is a bit of a stretch, but maybe you can start planning ahead (include siblings if you have them) for next year’s gift. While some mothers happily take their time away without guilt, there are a good portion of moms who decided their dreams of travel are out of reach.

Before my grandma passed, my aunt took her to Norway which is where all of her family came from and it made my grandmother beam.

Maybe your mom is not into travel, and that’s cool, but if you’ve ever heard her mention anything along the lines of, “I have always wanted to go to Paris,” or “I would love to see the Grand Canyon before I die,” then this is your cue to hop to it and start planning! Personally, I took myself on an early Mother’s Day gift in 2023 to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway before it left. If your mama has a dream like that on her heart, nothing would make her happier than for you to help her make it come true.

Here’s my favorite online savings account that pays you to save starting at only $100 per month. If you start now, you’ll have a $1,200+ travel fund set up for next year. This goes double if you have a sibling or dad who want to get in on the action.

Need a minimalist Mother's Day guide that's actually aligned with minimalism? These 10 gifts are (mostly) experience gift ideas for mom!

A planned date with you

A lot of times moms feel a disconnect from their kids as they get older, especially after they leave the house. Something as simple as taking your mom out to eat (one bill…it’s on you this time), would send her directly to the moon. You could treat her to someplace fancy, head back to a restaurant that holds significance from your childhood, or just opt for the local Applebees. Good times and connection with your mom can happen anywhere, and I guarantee she’ll be thrilled that you even considered it.

Family photo shoot

Have you ever heard your mom say, “I wish we had pictures of all of us together!” Why not make it happen? Planning a photoshoot for your mom’s Mother’s Day gift is something you can truly do at any age. Whether you are a teenager, preparing to leave the house, or you’re a 45 year old with kids attached to your hip, your mom wants pictures with you.

You can look into finding a local photographer or, you can book a local photo studio and have a family friend snap some photos for you! Places like Peerspace allow you to find local hourly rentals in your area for photo shoots, or other gatherings. That way you can cut back the costs of a professional photographer, while still carving out a special day for your mom. Choose a location that works best for you and ask that friend who has a knack for photography (trust me, you have one) to tag along. Click here to save $50 on a booking of $150 or more.

Maid service

Should we move this one to the top of the list? Maybe you have one of those moms who loves to clean. It’s her quiet escape throughout the day to be alone with just her vacuum. I can’t relate, which is why I really hope you’re taking this potential Mother’s Day gift seriously.

If your mom is always cleaning, trying to keep up with the housework, why not treat her to a professional house cleaning so she can take a day off. This gift idea goes double if you were/are raised be a single mom. Sure, you could save some cash and bring a few members from your soccer team in to help clean the space, just make sure they do a good job and tell them to stay out of her underwear drawer.

Instacart subscription

If you know or have a mom who is smack-dab in the middle of momming right now. That means they are doing the shopping, cooking the meals, picking up after the kids, it might be worth considering taking one of these things off her plate, without actually having to do the work yourself.

By gifting a mom in your life an Instacart subscription, you instantly free up at least an hour out of her week, and a lot of stress from her life. Gone are the days that I had to haul my 2 kids under 2 to the grocery store with me, but the memories of those times will haunt me until the day I die.

When you cover the cost of grocery delivery, you give that mom-in-need access to groceries at the tip of her fingers without her having to leave the house. Click here and get $10 off your first order.

Need a minimalist Mother's Day guide that's actually aligned with minimalism? These 10 gifts are (mostly) experience gift ideas for mom!

That pampering she won’t get for herself

Something you have may have heard about moms at this point is that they often put their needs last and often prioritize other people’s needs before their own. That’s why an amazing Mother’s Day gift idea, that is still fully minimalist is to find a way to pamper your mom in a way you know she won’t do for herself.

Mother’s Day pampering ideas:

  • Hair appointment
  • Spa day
  • Massage
  • Mani/pedi
  • Facial treatment

What is something that would help your mom feel like a queen on her special day? Bonus points if you go along with her an make a day of it.

Keep in mind, these don’t all have to break the bank. Scrolling Groupon for good deals, or even committing to a little at-home pampering can be a great way to let your mom know that you care.

Host a private dinner / celebration

Another amazing thing about hourly rentals like Peerspace is that you can rent spaces for hosting parties and gatherings. You can always host an in-home party, but if you want to create an amazing atmosphere that makes mom feel extra loved-on without breaking the bank, Peerspace has some amazing options.

This is perfect if you have a large family with lots of kids and grandkids who want to join in on connect with your mom on her special day. Remember, you can use this link and save $50 on your booking of $150 or more.

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Need a minimalist Mother's Day guide that's actually aligned with minimalism? These 10 gifts are (mostly) experience gift ideas for mom!

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