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What Moms Really Want for the Holidays

Are you stumped about what to get for the mom in your life?

Or maybe you're the mom who needs our help dropping some hints to your elves.

As moms, we typically manage the holiday shopping for the entire family. I know my mom is the "keeper of the master list," with a detailed spreadsheet of gifts to ensure there is no overlap and everyone is covered. 

So, who takes care of shopping for mom? Maybe it's a partner, or maybe it's her kids.  Do you know what she really wants? Shopping for mom can surely be a challenge - so, we're here to help you figure out what moms really want for the holidays. 

We asked local moms what they really wanted for the holidays this year. It turns out, the overwhelming response was SLEEP, closely followed by more time. 

But, since you can't wrap sleep and time in a box, we've also provided the other top responses below, in our holiday gift guide for moms:

holiday shopping, what moms really want, gifts



  • Instant Pot: You can't buy time, but you can give a little time back to mom with this pressure cooker contraption. These are all the rage with the mom crowd. It isn't your grandmother's pressure cooker - the Instant Pot is safe, fast, and -- dare I say -- exciting. The true test? When a mom said she wanted one for Christmas, several moms chimed in that they LOVE theirs and it has changed their life.
  • Roomba: Several moms in our poll are hoping for a Roomba - yet another device geared towards giving mom what she really wants: more time to herself. This tiny robot vacuum will get all that extra dog hair up while you sleep. It really is magic. And, if you're not interested in robot vacuums, mom would love a new vacuum in general according to our poll.
  • Apple Watch: Moms need to multitask and the Apple Watch helps out in this regard. Since moms are "always on," she can feel comfortable walking away from her phone, knowing that if one of her kids or partner needs her, her wrist will alert her to the call or text. Plus, if your mom is looking to keep track of steps and fitness, the Apple Watch has great features for this.
  • An experience with the family: Now, you'll need to be a little creative for this one, but several moms said they didn't want things, they wanted time with their loved ones. So, think about what she loves doing. Hiking? Relaxing by a lake? Sporting events? Create a gift around an experience for your family, including purchasing any tickets needed. Researching and planning takes a lot of effort, and mom will be so happy to have a family experience that doesn't involve hours of effort on her part. 
  • Cleaning service: I can't tell you how many moms said this was their top wish! Hire a cleaning company to do a deep clean - or, if you want to move your mom to tears, hire them on an ongoing basis. Moms suggested So Fresh and So Green and  Two Chicks and a Broom, but there are many individuals providing cleaning services as well. 
  • Crafting Machines: Is your mom crafty? Does she love to create? Several moms said they would love a Silhouette machine, which uses blades to cut over 100 materials, including vinyl and plastic, to create designs that can personalize basically anything. If your mom prefers a thread monogram to a vinyl, you could gift her an embroidery machine so she can monogram anything that sits still long enough. 


  • Spa Day: Give a gift certificate to mom's favorite spa and you're guaranteed to make her happy. There are so many great local spa options, including Gould's , Serenity, and Feathers (located in the Peabody Hotel). If you know her preferred treatment, you can make the gift card out for that, but rest easy knowing that the spa treats the gift certificate as a certain value, so if mom really wants a facial instead of a massage, she can use the value of the certificate to get whatever she wants. Now - remember, if she is the primary caretaker during the day, you'll also want to arrange for child care so she doesn't have to worry or stress in using her gift.
  • Tickets to a play or production: Be it a concert, play, or sorting event, surprise mom with tickets to the event of her choice! One local mom wants tickets to see Wicked at the Orpheum. You could search here to see what concerts are coming. 
  • Family photo session: Isn't mom always behind the camera? Gift her a family photo session with a professional photographer. There are many talented photographers in town. If you do not already have someone you use, you could check out the Memphis Moms Blog local photographer guide.  
  • Car Detailing: Depending on the age of her kids, mom probably has goldfish, random toys, and traces of mud and dirt throughout her car. The mom-wagon is where she likely spends a good portion of her day, so show her ride some love with an appointment for car detailing. Even better if it is a mobile detailing service that comes to her!
  • Gift card for a shopping spree: Shopping alone, without having to worry where the money is coming from, is a dream for a mom. Surprise her with gift cards to her favorite stores and arrange for childcare so that she can leisurely stroll the aisles, actually try on her choices, and enjoy the experience. Not sure what kind of gift card to get? Nordstrom Rack just opened in East Memphis and has been a hit with Memphis moms. Macy's and Dillard's are two other safe options.Several moms said they would love to get fitted for a good, nice bra, so Soma would be a good choice there. If all else fails, you could always get a Visa gift card for her to choose where to shop.
  • Custom jewelry: Pull on her heartstrings and get her a piece of jewelry that symbolizes her child(ren). Whether it is the birthstone of her child or their names, a custom piece of jewelry is sure to make her feel special. One of our moms said she hopes to get these custom rings from Lisa Leonard Designs. 


  • Bath towels: You may think this is boring, but moms love fresh, new bath towels. After a while, towels get rough and scraggly.. and mom deserves better. Do a little recon and see what color works with her bathroom decor scene, and worst case, go with white. You can't go wrong.  
  • Perfume: Help mom feel a little less like a pack mule and more like a human being with a little spray of a new perfume. If you aren't sure what kind to get her, you could see what she already has and use it as a guide - the beauty counter employees can suggest similar scents.
  • Q&A 5-Year Journal: One of our veteran moms swears by this book. Help mom create a treasured keepsake full of memories of her most prized possessions. 
  • Comfy socks: A pair of comfy socks, wooly and fuzzy, are always a good idea for mom. Can't you picture her snuggling up on the couch watching TV? The sock slipper is a good bet for mom. 
  • Starbucks bottomless cup: One of our contributors suggested this great idea - apparently, Starbucks sells a travel cup around the holidays that buys you one month of free coffee. And, you know how moms feel about coffee!
  • Homemade "coupons": Maybe they are from the kids, maybe from a partner, but a favorite mom gift is a homemade coupon book - things like "One coupon for a clean room," or "One coupon for homemade dinner." Now - here's the important part.. you've got to follow through with what you offer!

And -- one last thing... in our research, we found out that mom does not always get her stocking filled. Santa (with mom's help) fills everyone's stockings and then mom is left to either fill her own (which is pretty sad) or leave it empty. So - make sure to remember her stocking! Add some candy, a new toothbrush, some hair ties, and a bottle of nail polish, and hang from the mantle with care.

Remember at the end of the day, what moms really want is to know that they are appreciated and loved. You probably know her best and love her most, so you got this! Our biggest advice is to not let her gift be something you're trying to check off of your holiday checklist. The extra time and effort will go a long way!

So, moms, what else is on your list this holiday season? Feel free to comment below and add to this list.  And don't forget to pass this along or share it on Facebook so your people can see it before hitting the stores!  


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