Guilt-free gift ideas for mom - The Buffalo News
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Guilt-free gift ideas for mom

My mom was the kind of woman who truly preferred heartfelt, handmade gifts – no matter how ugly – over expensive jewelry or delicate flowers.

Like many moms, it made her feel guilty to have money spent on her, or to see anyone make a fuss.

She was the kind of woman who, if her hat was on fire, would have said, “Oh, honey, don’t waste your glass of water on me – you’ll get thirsty!”

Lots of moms in Western New York share the same humble character. Of course, their selfless sweetness only makes you want to pamper them more.

So how do you shower a modest mom with the love and gratitude she deserves while setting her at ease enough to enjoy it? Put to work the frugal strategies she has undoubtedly taught you over the years. She’ll be proud of your penny-pinching prowess and feel able to enjoy her gifts without feeling anxious.

• Jewelry is always a popular gift for moms. Retailers know that, so they tend to bump prices up shortly before Mother’s Day.

To avoid paying inflated prices, save the jewelry for mom’s birthday, and choose something different for Mother’s Day.

But if you have your heart set on giving mom a bauble, consider one of the hand-made or otherwise one-of-a-kind creations to be found on

Search “mom jewelry,” and you’ll find more than 100,000 unique and beautiful items to choose from, many of which can be personalized. Just send a note to the seller to make sure they can guarantee delivery on time.

• Spa deals. A massage or facial is probably exactly what mom needs, but the last thing she’d feel comfortable indulging in simply because it’s so ... indulgent!

Fortunately, spa deals are always coming through on daily deal sites such as and, where you can get massages, facials, mani-pedis and hair care services for as much as 90 percent off their regular price.

Even better, if you buy a Groupon through the website this month, you can get as much as 12 percent cash back. If anything can help mom relax, it’s a deal like that.

• Flowers. Nothing makes modest moms feel guiltier than receiving a fancy bouquet. To you, it’s a beautiful, blooming tribute to the one you love. To her, it’s an ostentatious display of far too much money being spent on something that’s going to be dead in a few days.

There are a couple of ways to handle this one. First of all, consider giving her a potted plant, which will provide more lasting enjoyment.

But if you really want to give a live bouquet, consider pairing a gift of roses with some new gardening shears, pots, potting soil and gardening gloves. That way, mom can replant some of the cut stems to grow new rose bushes that will last forever.

Note: this option is only for moms with green thumbs. Nothing will make mom feel worse than killing what were supposed to be her “forever roses.”

• Gift cards. Traditionally, these are a bad choice for modest moms, because they always end up spending their gift cards on other people.

But if you let mom know you bought her gift card at for a 10 percent to 50 percent off, she might actually feel OK spending it on herself.

email: “Like” me on Facebook at or follow me on Twitter, @DiscountDivaSam.

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