Senior Resources » Best Sentimental Mother’s Day Gifts from Adult Children

Best Sentimental Mother’s Day Gifts from Adult Children

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Mother’s Day will soon be upon us. Did you know that it’s the second most popular holiday for gift-giving? That begs only one question: What do you give the woman who gave you the world? Fortunately, there are countless ways to show Mom how much you love her. Nothing will be more appreciated than a gift from the heart. Keep reading to find out some sentimental gift ideas and two of my most memorable Mother’s Days.


“There is an endearing tenderness in the love of a mother to a son.” —Washington Irving

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It was early May, and I was working on cleaning up my flower beds. While my front beds were tidy and mulched, my back bed looked pretty unkempt, covered in leaf debris. Unfortunately, I was traveling with a friend that fateful day. And that’s when someone with a heart of gold broke a little piece of mine. My friend came over and admired my front beds. Of course, she couldn’t help but notice they were more pristine than my back beds. That’s when she decided to surprise me.

The only problem? She wasn’t a gardener. Not even close.


Like a deforestation campaign, she cleared my entire backflower bed. 

To say I was upset is an understatement.

For, you see, the “weeds” and vines she cleared made up my friendship garden. So many of my friends and loved ones had contributed to that sentimental section of earth—including my deceased mother and sister.

My son came home from work and found me in tears. If anyone knew about my love of flowers, my son did. I’d taught him about bird, tree, and flower identification from the time he was young. He was my junior planting assistant during those years.

What my son did over the next two days still melts my heart.


After listening to me name all the casualties of the botanical melee to my husband, my son wrote down the names of the plants. Knowing he missed a few, he pressed me for more details a few days later.

The next evening, my son came home with a carload of larger cultivars than the plants I had lost. He hugged me and said, “Happy Mother’s Day”.

The incredible thoughtfulness of my adult son made my friendship garden more precious to me than the original. 

“A daughter is God’s way of saying, ‘Thought you could use a lifelong friend.'” —Unknown

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On my darkest Mother’s Day, my adult daughter deeply touched my heart. My mother lived 600 miles away and had hidden an illness that took her from this world entirely too soon. I saw Mom for what would be the last time on Mother’s Day weekend and had a wonderful visit.

Two weeks later, she was gone.


At the same time, my favorite cat passed away. I didn’t have time to process either loss due to my husband surprising me with a trip to Charleston, South Carolina for our 25th anniversary. Tours of historic homes and gardens lifted my spirits. Back at my home, my daughter was orchestrating another spirit-lifting surprise. She spent that week calling veterinary clinics for kittens who needed a good home.

The day after we returned from our trip, we picked up a tiny black ball of fur. My 20-year-old daughter’s Mother’s Day gift was more than the gift of a kitten. It was the gift of hope and laughter for the dark moments ahead.

I will forever cherish her tender gesture.

Tell Her About It

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Follow Billy Joel’s advice and let Mom know exactly what she means to you. This can be done in a variety of ways. It’s “just the kind of thing she ought to know.”

  • Write your mother a love letter. Remember your childhood love letters you scribbled to Mom in school or children’s church? You’re never too old to write Mom a letter of appreciation and adoration. 
  • If you prefer a lighter tone, simply write out your favorite and funny memories of your mom. You’ll be sure to bond over memories and laughter. 
  • If you aren’t very wordy, a simple acrostic will do. Use every letter of your mother’s name to express the special qualities she possesses. 
  • If you were inspired by your mother’s faith while growing up, share your favorite Bible verses that best suit her. This will mean so much to her.
  • If you struggle with your own words, write out applicable quotations. There are many beautiful quotes about mothers. Google them and find a few that capture how much your mom means to you!

Take Her Down Memory Lane

photo album
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If time and distance allow, spend a day sharing your favorite memories with your mom. Or schedule a trip in advance to make this very special day happen. If she’s homebound, get out some old photo albums. Don’t forget to ask a lot of questions. You may be amazed at the things you learn about her and even yourself along the way. Special places to visit might include:

  • Her hometown including her childhood home, grandparents home, special relatives, etc.
  • Her favorite teenage stomping grounds or downtown destinations
  • Her alma mater
  • The first home she lived in when you were born
  • The church where she married
  • The family cemetery
  • Her favorite lake or beach
  • Her favorite country road

Give Her a Piece of Your Heart

paper heart in a woman's hand
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There are many sentimental items that will show Mom just how important she is in your life. 

  • Give Mom a Legacy Box. Take old home movies and photo albums and make them digitally accessible from Mom’s home computer, laptop, tablet, or cellphone. 
  • Take a special old family quilt and have a seamstress make a robe, especially for Mom. (You might want to ask your mother about this, first!) Quilt robes are a wonderful way to be warmed by memories.
  • Give your mother the gift of personalized jewelry. Have a ring made with family birthstones. Have a personalized necklace or bracelet that will enable Mom to wear her family close to her heart. 
  • Antiquing some mid-century treasures from her era. If you don’t want to surprise her, take Mom along and hunt together. 
  • If your mother loves flowers, show her that you’ve been paying attention. Buy and plant one she has talked about loving in her past or presently admires. Make sure to be the one to do the pruning if she isn’t able. This can also be a houseplant or a container plant.
  • Buy her that special something she won’t or can’t buy herself. I have a friend who buys her mother purses that she used to buy for herself before she retired. The last gift I bought my mother was a white recliner. She had an old one that had seen better days, yet she didn’t want to spend the money on a new one. It truly surprised and delighted her when I had one shipped to her home. 

Give Her the Gift of Time

mom and daughter
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Nothing is more sacred to a mother’s heart than the time she spends with her adult children. The gift of time can start on Mother’s Day, but with some creativity, can last all year. 

  • Take a Mother’s Day walk, if the weather permits. Then, do it daily or weekly. 
  • Share breakfast on Mother’s Day. Breakfast can be at home or a favorite restaurant. When leaving, make plans for your next morning meal.
  • Give her a Mother’s Day gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure. Make sure her free visit coincides with your own, whether it’s for a fingernail fill-in or a first-time experiment for both of you. If you enjoy it, do the same on both of your birthdays!
  • Virtual visit your mother on Mother’s Day. If the distance is too great, and you can Facetime, let your mother see you on her special day. Don’t say goodbye without planning your next visit. 
  • Clean Mom’s place. Or you can wash her car, or refresh her spring patio furniture on Mother’s Day. Ask if you can help with other chores soon. Many moms have a difficult time asking for their adult children’s help. 
  • Call her on Mother’s Day. If you can’t see Mom, let her hear your voice. I text my adult children, but I much prefer a phone conversation when possible. I talk to my kids daily, and I feel blessed to do so.

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Originally published April 29, 2024


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