The Best and Worst Mother’s Day Gifts

It’s that time of year to celebrate moms! Although we really should be celebrating them all year, right? Just over half of Canadians plan to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, so we decided to put together a guide of do’s and don’ts and sharing Moms’ preferences for celebrating their day. It turns out that the gifts that Mom’s value the most are something homemade, like the crafts kids make in elementary school. Above all, what Moms want the most is to be celebrated by spending time with family.

What distinguishes people who plan to celebrate Mother’s Day? People with kids, especially young kids, are more likely to plan on celebrating this year. Age is also a key factor. Young people are generally more likely to celebrate the day. Interestingly, people who live in Quebec are less likely than the rest of the country to be celebrating this year.

Just over one in ten Canadians who celebrate Mother’s Day do so without exchanging gifts. For most, though a gift for mom is part of the celebration, it is not necessarily an expensive gift. A $20 to $50 gift is the most popular (37%) followed by a $51 to $100 gift (26%).  Mothers can expect that they will receive comparable gifts to last year, as 78% say they will be spending about the same as last year on their gift.

The most popular gift to give Mom is flowers, followed by food and drink, jewelry, beauty products and clothing.  A few mom’s get houseware or cookware/small appliances.

When it comes to gift giving though, Canadians who give gifts are almost equally divided into three equally sized camps. A third think something homemade makes the best gift. Another third think something from a store is best. Finally, a third eschew things in favour of experiences, which probably include spending time with family.

Although knowing what kind of gift your mother would appreciate may be critical to getting it right, most moms do not have a worst gift experience they can recall – many expressing that any gift at all is appreciated. Forgetting Mother’s Day in general or not getting a gift at all is the top candidate for worst gift. Kitchen/household items are also gifts that risk disappointing mom.

In fact, the best gift experiences highlight that the best thing you can give mom is something personal/handmade or your time. Flowers are also often mentioned as the best gift.

In line with their favourite gifts, moms most want to be celebrated by spending time with or hearing from family. A meal – and not having to help clean the dishes – is next most wanted and few moms want to be celebrated with a gift.


According to Richard Jenkins: Mother’s Day does not need to involve a stressful search for the perfect gift. You already have it. Moms want to celebrate with their family though a little homemade touch goes a long way to melting Mom’s heart.

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The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadians from April 23 to 27, 2021. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This poll was conducted and paid for by Abacus Data.


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