I found gift giving really difficult ...ok, always. I have a hard time choosing things for people. I'm a little like Shrek, "Well, I don't really like it, but I thought you might..." I'm also not great at receiving gifts, but I think I fake it pretty well. (I hope so!)
As I embrace minimalism, I don't want to get someone else something that will sit around someone else's house, collecting dust and creating guilt. Another blogger referred to these items as a "clutter burden," and that exactly describes how I feel about some gifts I have given or received. So I've been trying to create a variety of consumable gifts. At Christmas I gave handkerchiefs, body scrub, homemade Nutella lip balm, knitted socks, things like that. I figure they'll get used, used up, and (hopefully) recycled at the end of their lifespans.
But, Mother's Day is coming up, and Father's Day after that. I need new inspiration, and you probably do too. I don't want to just get whatever the radio station is pushing this year. (My radio stations have already started with Mother's Day ads. My mother does not need jewelry or shampoo, but thanks for asking, radio station.)
This year I'll be making flavored salts for a variety of gifting occasions. They're interesting, unusual, and very low waste. Chili-lime salt, on roasted potatoes, sounds amazing to me! Red wine sea salt looks beautiful, and Sichuan- sesame salt is supposed to be yummy on watermelon and mango, and those are just coming into season. I think that would be a great set, and it will end up in a variety of people's gift boxes now and through Christmas this year.
If your mom is more sweet than salty, flavored sugars might be the gift for her. Lemon, orange, vanilla, mint, cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar on toast or cookies, or stir it into tea for a flavor boost.
Bath salts are classic, but there's a reason. I prefer to package them in reused plastic containers (because I don't want to drop glass when I'm barefoot), but if your mom's not clumsy, a pretty glass container is more elegant. I've also made this for my daughter's male dance teacher, but we relabeled it "muscle soak" to be more "manly." If you have a dad who suffers from sore muscles often, this might be something he'll appreciate.
Of course, if you'd prefer to buy something rather than make something, I like experience gifts. A massage, dinner out (on a day that is not Mother's Day!), someone to clean the house -- any of these would be a hit for me. Of course, you know your mother better than I do, so think of the things she does, and either get her something to make her regular activities easier (house cleaning service) or encourage an interest she has. I've seen a lot of Groupons here for wine tasting and painting classes (together), so if your mom is creative, this might be the gift for her. I really like Groupons because they present ideas that I often wouldn't have thought of otherwise, and they get me out of my rut.
I'd love to hear other ideas for Mother's Day gifts, from mothers and not-mothers. I love hearing new ideas for things people can use without making clutter.