Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

Whether you’re looking for a gift or brunch ideas or you want to know more about the history of Mother’s Day, here’s a guide to the best gifts for Mother’s Day and how to make the most of the special day.

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When is Mother’s Day?

In 2023, Mother’s Day is May 14. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May on an annual basis.

Who invented Mother’s Day?

Anna Reeves Jarvis is generally the woman who is credited with starting Mother’s Day. According to BBC, Jarvis began her work to honor mothers because of her own mother. Her mother had wanted to recognize the work of other mothers, and when her mother died, Jarvis tried to create a memorial day in honor of mothers. She didn’t have children of her own, but wanted to remember her own mother.

The holiday was soon created. BBC reported, “Three years after Mrs. Jarvis’s death, the first Mother’s Day was celebrated in the Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton — Anna Jarvis chose the second Sunday in May because it would always be close to 9 May, the day her mother had died.”

While Jarvis is credited with starting the holiday, there’s another person who was also influential in the holiday’s creation — Julie Ward Howe. Howe is best known for her penning the song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She was an abolitionist, suffragette and peacemaker. The Old Father’s Almanac said Howe started advocating for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” in 1870.

The holiday took hold in Boston for 30 years, per The Old Father’s Almanac, but the celebration stopped. Jarvis reignited Mother’s Day celebrations in 1907. While some states like West Virginia started celebrating the holiday, it would take seven years for it to become a federal one. “In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as a legal holiday to be called ‘Mother’s Day’ — dedicated ‘to the best mother in the world, your mother.’”

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What’s the most popular Mother’s Day gift?

The most popular Mother’s Day gift are flowers, greeting cards and jewelry, according to a Retail Me Not survey.

52% said the top Mother’s Day gift was flowers. According to WKYC, 39% said greeting card and 35% said jewelry. While “other” ranked the lowest, the other less popular Mother’s Day gifts were travel experience at 7% and home appliances at 8%.

The best gifts for Mother’s Day

Finding the perfect gift can be difficult. There’s some research on what mothers actually want for Mother’s Day. Parents.com did a survey to determine what they’d like for Mother’s Day and found that 30% said they’d like sleep, 30% said they’d like a day off or alone time, 11% said a spa day or treatment and others said things like breakfast in bed or jewelry.

Another survey conducted by OnePoll found what mothers would like most on Mother’s Day is time. CBS News said 2,000 moms were surveyed to determine this.

Giving the gift of time can be a great way to show appreciation for your mother. One way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to clean the house top to bottom and give your mother time off — that can look like taking care of the kids for the day, taking over the meals for the day and giving mothers the opportunity to do what they would like to do for the day.

YouGov conducted a poll where they found some mothers do want more traditional presents. “Two in five (43%) mothers say they’d like to receive a card, while 36% are hoping for flowers. One-third of moms (33%) would like a special experience with their family members, such as going on a hike or going to the beach. Around one-quarter of mothers want a keepsake gift (26%), chocolate (24%), or a homemade gift (24%).”

The best way to know what your mother would like for Mother’s Day is to ask. If your mother would like a traditional Mother’s Day gift, here are some ideas.

  1. Flowers. If you’re out of state, you can use flower delivery services to ensure the flowers arrive on the special day.
  2. A gift card. Make the gift card more personal by getting it to her favorite restaurant or to her favorite store. If your mother likes to shop or eat out, this is a great way to give her a gift to do just that.
  3. Chocolates or charcuterie. Fancy chocolates are irresistible. Getting some truffles or caramel filled chocolates can be a sweet treat. If your mother loves cheese, consider getting her some charcuterie. Some places like Graze Craze offer customizable charcuterie boxes.
  4. A spa certificate or hair salon certificate. If your mother loves to get a facial or a massage or a hair treatment, this is a good option.
  5. Scrapbook. You can make scrapbooks online or can print the pictures yourself. Pick some of her favorite memories and make it into a scrapbook or photo book.
  6. Candles. If your mother loves to have candles around the house, consider getting her favorite candles as a present.
  7. Make her favorite dinner. Spending some time making her favorite meal can be a fun way to celebrate the day.
  8. A warm blanket. Getting a nice wool blanket or a soft plush blanket can be a cozy way to memorialize the day.
  9. A book. If your mother likes to read, getting her a book she mentioned she’d like to read or a gift card to a bookstore can be a great gift.
  10. A homemade gift. If it’s homemade, it’s from the heart.
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Mother’s Day brunch recipes

  1. Cinnamon rolls. Sally’s Baking Addiction’s cinnamon rolls are ooey and gooey with a sweet icing on top.
  2. Breakfast casserole. Simply Recipes’ breakfast casserole has a little bit of everything in it and is a good option for a savory breakfast.
  3. Croissants. Baking croissants is ambitious. The New York Times recipe takes a full 24 hours (with a good amount of down time) to make.
  4. Waffles. Nothing beats a classic waffle like this recipe from All Recipes. Get your toppings ready and make a mini waffle bar. You could even try your hand at Bon Appetit’s chicken and waffles recipe.
  5. Biscuits and gravy casserole. Trader Joe’s has an easy recipe for biscuits and gravy casserole.
  6. Baked eggs. Love & Lemons has a simple recipe for baked eggs. You can serve them with a piece of crusty bread.
  7. Pancakes. There are a lot of possibilities here. The Spruce Eats has more than a dozen pancake recipes with flavors like peppermint hot chocolate or orange buttermilk or blueberry lemon ricotta.
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When should I book a restaurant for Mother’s Day?

Reservations for Mother’s Day fill up quickly. Using a service like Open Table can help you find restaurants with available reservations when you start looking. Booking by the Thursday or Friday before the special day can help make sure you get a reservation somewhere.