This Was The Worst Mother’s Day Gift I Ever Received, According To 11 Women

Sure, it’s the thought that counts. But if the gift reflects little-to-no thought in the first place, well, do better.

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Woman about to open a gift as husband looks on

Mother’s Day is a great time to stop, celebrate, and acknowledge all the hard work moms do to keep their families running. Celebrating it might involve brunch or breakfast in bed, a beautiful floral arrangement, a spa day, gift basket, or a thoughtful, homemade gift. What’s important is that partners keep in mind the emotional aspect of the holiday. Mother’s day is a celebration of your wife and Mother’s Day gifts should reflect that. The gift should be, at the very least, thoughtful. That is, it displays an understanding of the person’s personality and interests.

Unfortunately, some of the $23 billion total spent on the holiday is wasted on some really boneheaded, if unique, stuff. Sure, the thought does count. But if the gift reflects little-to-no thought in the first place, well, do better. To dig in a bit deeper, we asked a group of moms to tell us about the worst Mother’s Day gifts they ever received. From trash lamps to tools, here’s what they said. Give it a read and try not to repeat these errors.

1. A Garbage-Picked Lamp

“My husband got me a really beautiful lamp one year. It had a vintage look to it, was colorful – which I love — and seemed like a really thoughtful gift. But he garbage picked it. I’m not snobby when it comes to spending money on gifts, but I kind of draw the line at garbage. It seemed like he just drove by a pile in someone’s driveway and thought, ‘This’ll do.’ It didn’t even work! He didn’t bother to test it before he gave it to me, which showed me that he was too busy to care.” – Anna, 37, Wisconsin

2. Food Poisoning

“He and the kids made me breakfast in bed. It gave me food poisoning. We think it was the spinach they used. At the time, I was in agonizing pain, and stuck in the bathroom for hours at a time, so I just kept cursing them out to myself. But, it was a sweet gesture. Breakfast in bed is a pretty standard Mother’s Day gift, so at least they made theirs stand out.” – Lisa, 42, California

3. A Free Backrub Booklet

“I had to pretend that I loved a gift about three years ago — a coupon book for free back rubs. Sounds great, right? I haven’t had the balls to tell him yet, but my husband gives terrible back rubs. He just seems so happy when he does it, like it’s part of ‘Husband Life’ or something. And I appreciate the gesture. When I opened the gift, I said, ‘Awww. Thank you!’ On the inside, it was more like, ‘Awwww…man!’” – Jenna, 36, Ohio

4. A Gift Card From Him, For Him

“A gift card to his favorite restaurant, which is a steakhouse. I’m a vegetarian! His response was, ‘They have salads.’ I was equal parts pissed and impressed that he had the balls to even try that. I told him to keep it and get me something more thoughtful. Luckily, the gift from my kids that year was awesome. They made a cookbook using all of my homemade recipes. It was so adorable. My husband definitely rode their momentum that year.” – Ann Marie, 35, Connecticut

5. A Dremel

“My husband got me a Dremel. It’s got all sorts of attachments for everything from cutting, to filing, to drilling. Honestly, I use it a lot. I’m a big DIYer, and it’s very practical. But…what does it have to do with Mother’s Day? The reason I hated it so much — at the time — was because it was so impersonal. I’m a very practical person, so maybe he was trying to appeal to that side of me. But it was so disappointing to open that gift bag and seeing ‘Variable Speed’ and ‘Comes With Saw Blade’ on the box. I just felt deflated.” – Heather, 40, Massachusetts

6. Gnome Jars

“Probably spice jars shaped like gnomes. Or elves. I don’t know what they were. Creepy little figures that he thought were from Lord of the Rings. I’m a big fan, and I guess he assumed that all small, magical beings come from Middle Earth. I couldn’t be mad, because it showed genuine thought, but I did end up just tossing them after he’d forgotten about them. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but, yeah, those gnomes sucked.” – Kirsten, 34, Ohio

7. A Card

“Mine was from my mother-in-law, actually. She took me and my sister-in-law (her daughter) out to brunch to celebrate. My sister-in-law, who wasn’t even a mom at the time, but a godmother, got a lavish gift basket and giant bouquet. I got a card. I couldn’t believe it. My mother-in-law later said she felt bad that my sister-in-law was in her 30s and still single, so she had to go overboard to make her feel ‘included’. It was really screwed up, awkward, and weird. Even my sister-in-law acknowledges how uncomfortable it was.” – Theresa, 42, New York

8. A Temporary Distraction

“Usually, a day at the spa never fails. My husband got me a day-long spa package a few years ago, and I thought it was fantastic. I went in the morning, and was excited for a massage, some skin therapy, the works. Turned out he just wanted me out of the house so he could have his friends over to watch sports. I got home a little earlier than expected, and the house was a mess, the kids were crying, and he was just yelling at the TV with his friends. The spa day turned out to be just a temporary distraction, which really hurt my feelings.” – Rebecca, 39, Michigan

9. Makeup

“He got me makeup. Guys, makeup is both an art, and a science. A woman is very loyal to her favorite products, because she’s probably spent a long time finding ones that exactly match her skin tone, skin type, and so on. So, unless you really, really know what your wife uses – my husband didn’t – don’t even bother. What he got didn’t work at all for me, so we just let our son and daughter play with it until it was gone. Luckily, that was pretty quickly.” – Holly, 37, Ohio

10. Rooms Without a View

“My husband and I are good friends with another couple who also have kids. So, both guys plotted to get us cruise tickets one year for Mother’s Day. They said they got a great deal. We were so excited…then we went on the cruise. Turns out the tickets were such ‘a great deal’ because the rooms had no portholes. Which meant we just had four walls in the inside of the ship. It felt like we were in storage. We made the best of it, but definitely let them hear about it when we got back.” – Erin, 40, Florida

11. A Really Dumb Mug

“I work for my husband’s company. He’s the boss, and I deal with client relations and retention. One Mother’s Day, he got me a mug that said, ‘I Sleep With The Boss’. I just rolled my eyes. Like, seriously? What am I supposed to do with that? I can’t take it to work, obviously. And I can’t use it at home because our kids will start asking about it. It was just a dumb gift, which he thought was hilarious.” – Kaicey, 38, Tennessee

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