I love Mother’s Day. Each year, our family gathers three generations of mothers together and celebrates with a cookout and time outdoors. While our traditional gathering is the no-brainer, I’m always stuck on what to buy and sometimes even who to buy for. My sister is a mom — should I get her a gift? What about my aunt?

I’ve kind of aged out of handprint art and dandelions as cute gifts and find myself wondering what the heck to get Mommy Dearest. Motherhood is a task and lifestyle — for moms, grandmas, foster moms, guardians, step-moms – that takes great dedication and care.

Here are 3 gift ideas to celebrate the women who gave your life and the other women who grace it.

Gift baskets

Sure, you could stop by CVS and pick up the cellophane-wrapped baskets with stuffed bunnies and chocolate presumably left over from Easter or you could tap into some local resources and build your own basket for mom.

I suggest getting things for mom she wouldn’t normally get herself. Start with a gift card for coffee (try Hex Coffee, Not Just Coffee or Central Coffee) . Moms love coffee — it’s kind of our lifeblood. Layer in some succulents (which you can typically pick up at Trader Joe’s), and a cute accessory from Boris & Natasha or Pura Vida, some essential oils, and local baked goods from Local Loaf or Sunflour Bakery. Really want to be on her good side?  Throw in a bottle of wine from Assorted Table or Rhino Market.

In a pinch? The Cookie Cult has taken all the stress of gift-compiling and has done it for you. Cookies, cards and creatively planted succulents are a few things you’ll find in these one-of-a-kind gifts.

Food

I know it may sound dated and gender-normative, but most moms do a LOT of cooking and sometimes, it’s nice to just not. This Mother’s Day take care of mom by taking care of the cooking.

Moms love brunch. Why? It’s past 8 a.m., which means mom can sleep in, it’s typically not at home and often involves hollandaise sauce, which no mom that I know wants to take the time to make.

Get the kids dressed and hit up a local brunch spot. I suggest Heist Brewery (with a reservation), FuD at Salud or Living Kitchen.

Choosing to cook at home? Check out these great ideas and for the love of God don’t forget to clean up after yourself.

Quality time

The great things about moms is that most are pretty appreciative and embody the “it’s the thought that counts” mentality. Instead of buying a gift, maybe this year you decide quality time is the way to go.  Do something with mom you haven’t done before.

Saturday, May 13, there are quite a few fun free events happening around town. Take mom to Movies Under the Stars at Charlotte Premium Outlets or the Spring into Arts Festival in downtown Concord. Take your lawn chairs or a blanket and go hear the Ragbirds play River Jam at the Whitewater Center.

What’s mom into?  You can always customize a tour of the city based on her interests- go to the park, pick up books at the library, check out the greenway.

Picking a gift to show mom your appreciation for not giving up on the teenage you doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing or overpriced.  Got ideas for mom?  Share them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Diedra Laird/Charlotte Observer, The Cookie Cult

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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