Craptacular Mother’s Day gifts we have known

By Rachel Hynes.

As my teenager gets older, her Mother’s Day gifts edge further towards something I might buy myself rather than something I might donate to a goodwill store. But I will always remember with great fondness those funny little presents she brought home from her school’s Mother’s Day stalls.

I love imagining what went through her mind as she perused the selection (at two price points: $5 and $10), and what made her stop at the pair of Napolean false eyelashes and go YES, that is what my mum, who wears minimum make-up, really needs this Mother’s Day.

Craptacular Mother's Day gift - fale eyelashes

I know false eyelashes are de rigeur for everyone from starlets to students these days, but let me assure you the only people wearing them in 2006 in Australia were drag queens.

My then 8-year-old was desperate for me to wear them. I told her I would save them for a special occasion. When too many special occasions came and went without me taking those falsies for flutter, she was crestfallen. I spent a couple of days wearing them around the house to appease her.

The question is often “What is the best present you’ve ever received”, but I think it’s much more fun (and easier) to recall the craptacular presents from our kids. With Mother’s Day upon us, I asked a few friends…

“An aqua blue, peanut-shaped terry toweling pillow, that housed an iPod (not supplied, unfortunately). So I could lie on this pillow with my neck at a strange angle and feel like the music was coming out of my brain.”


Craptacular Mother's Day gift: iPod cushion

“Alice has pre-empted Mother’s Day in her excitement and wrapped up a $1 coin, which I had to open last week.”

Anna Craptacular Mother'S Day Gift - $1 coin

“Unfortunately, the more weird or inappropriate presents have come from my partner: various kitchen appliances/gadgets/utensils (further reinforcing the message that mum = kitchen. This has now been banned), a spider catcher (yes, really), a bucket and spade (to symbolise a holiday that he was going to book, but never did), and the worst: a chintzy Mother’s Journal so I could record all my memorable mothering experiences and share this ‘gift of motherhood’ with my children as they grow (a freebie from his work).”

Craptacular Mother's Day gift: spider catcher

“I remember one year I had to lie in bed pretending to be asleep while the kids lay flowers from the garden all over me and the bed. I even managed to not flinch when I got a still wet-from-the-early-morning-sprinklers rose laid across my face. I thought, ‘this is what I’m going to look like when I’m dead’!! It was all very cute until I realized some of the flowers harbored bugs that started exploring their new environment.”

Katherine (TKAAR Community Manager)

Craptacular Mohter's Day Gift: flowers - and bugs - in bed

Photo Credit: aussiegall cc

“I regularly get vouchers that don’t often come to fruition, such as ‘we will do the washing up for a week’, ‘we will pack our school lunches for a week’, ‘we will come for 1 run with you (around the block)’. Empty promises … but they mean well…”

Craptacular Mother's Day gift: empty promises

What craptacular Mother’s Day gifts have you received?

IN THE FORUM: What do you really want for Mother’s Day?



  1. mimbles says:

    I once received a medium sized yellow digger toy truck for Mothers Day. My husband had taken Mr then 4 shopping and had been assured by this diminutive authority on the subject that a toy digger was what Mum would REALLY like.

    My father-in-law once gave my mother-in-law a chainsaw for Mothers Day, apparently he needed one, as a result gifts such as the aforementioned toy digger are known in our family as chainsaws.

    • Thekids says:

      That is priceless. And did Mr 4 end up with the digger after all? Or did you put it in pride of place, just out of his reach? I hope there will no ‘chainsaws’ waiting for you Sunday morning.

      • I don’t think the pretence that it was my present lasted even one day but I can’t really remember (this was 12 years ago). I’ll let you know how I go on Sunday 😉

  2. Oh yes, I have had some doozies! Gaudy keyrings, lipstick holders, -beautiful- bracelets.. etc! My boys are doing their Mother’s Day stall shopping today at school. Always interesting.. always!

  3. I actually fare pretty well but I do have issue that I pay $10 for invariably a block of chocolate…I donate a $5 gift, I give son $5 to buy gift, he comes home with a $2 block of chocolate….hmmmm
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Mother’s Day – yet another thing to divide womenMy Profile

  4. There’s been some craft items where I struggled to identified exactly what it was, faking my way through with “it’s lovely”, “I’ll use it all the time”. Also youngest daughter has always been big on sparkles, so I’ve enjoyed some tops which would have worked well with your drag-queen eyelashes – we could have gone on tour!
    Janine Fitzpatrick recently posted..Journey to JoyMy Profile

    • Thekids says:

      Ha! Now that would be a sight! Those unidentifiable objects could only be one of three things: a keyring, a paper weight, or a pot holder.

  5. This will only be my third Mother’s Day, and hubby has done all right so far. But he asked me yesterday what I wanted for Mother’s Day. When I told him, he said okay, but it would be difficult to get it in time. I said ‘I know, there are only three days to go’. He was shattered. He thought it was next month!

    Pretty sure I can milk a pancake brunch and some time to myself out of that one, though, so I can’t complain!

  6. Katherine says:

    Not yet a mother of a teenager, but I’m feeling like I’m going to miss out on the craptacular Mother’s Day presents because we are on holidays and my six year old has missed the school Mother’s Day stall. On the upside, I just bought myself a really awesome (but uneccessary) dress for $100 (eek!) and am making it ok by telling my kids and hubby that it can be my Mother’s Day present! Meanwhile I’ve bought my own mother some reusable bags for your fruit and veg…that is a pretty dud present isn’t it? Oh dear, poor mum.

    • Thekids says:

      Um, do you really want me to answer that Katherine? 🙂 PS – buying that dress is totally ok. Tell them I said.

      • Katherine says:

        Oh damn, it just seemed like a good idea at the time! Seems it may not only be young children that buy craptacular presents…may be 36 year-olds too…

  7. I think there’s something cute about the dud presents. If my birthday presents are good then I don’t mind so much.
    Robomum recently posted..WTF is that on your head?My Profile

  8. Tea Towels! I got tea towels last year – the kids went shopping with the ex and he inspired them ?!?
    Sabeen recently posted..O Blogging Mojo – Where Art Thou?My Profile

  9. We never did mother’s day growing up because mum said it was commercial rubbish. My sister and I are starting it up because we are mothers now and realise that this is a hard job so why not celebrate it. Ned has come home from preschool with pressies but I can’t remember what they were now. How bad is that! He doesn’t go to daycare on Fridays so apparently I’ll get my mother’s day gift when he goes back to preschool tomorrow. V.
    Vanessa recently posted..Day 10: Embarrassing hairMy Profile

    • Thekids says:

      I don’t think it needs to be commercial if you don’t want it to. Honestly, the best part of the day for me is breakfast in bed 🙂

  10. Hello, the twinnies made fans for me at school and presented them proudly last Sunday. I will miss the gifts from school so much. We’re not big on Mother’s Day here well, not this year anyway. Teen16 called me when he woke up saying; “Where are you, I want to make you breakfast’ but I’d been up and out for HOURS already. They need their sleep those teens.
    Seana Smith recently posted..Bill Granger’s Chilled Green Soup- In The ThermomixMy Profile



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