Mother’s Day is just around the corner, which means that it’s that time of the year to start making some decisions and firming up plans around how to spend the day. Of course, a day focused on celebrating mothers and mother figures wouldn’t be complete without digging into what they actually want. 

As a result, this year’s insights shed light not only on what the gift givers have in store, but also what the gift receivers would prefer. 

Mother’s Day Spending Expectations

As CivicScience data show, this year’s gift givers are already shaking things up. More consumers plan to spend on gifts for mom, but budgets are tighter among spenders than last year. The biggest change in spending comes from the under $50 category. Those choosing to spend in this range have increased five percentage points over last year, while each of the remaining spending categories have fallen by one to two percentage points. 

It’s worth noting that although spending in general is up from last year, those planning to spend up to $50 are the most likely to report that they’re financially worse off than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, those likely to drop $51 to $100 on a gift this year spend the most time on social media – which could influence their purchasing behavior.

Take Our Poll: What are you most likely to buy for Mother’s Day?

What Gifters Are Adding to the Cart  

While flowers remain the top Mother’s Day gift for 2024, they’ve dropped four percentage points since this time last year. Coming in second place is a meal out, which stayed steady at 19%. Notably, gift cards have jumped from 11% to 15%, suggesting a growing trend toward letting mom call the shots with a gift this year.

Mother’s Day, On Mom’s Terms  

So, how do these plans stack up with moms’ actual hopes for the day? Let’s take a look. 

As we saw last year, spending time with children or a partner takes the top spot for what moms want to do on Mother’s Day. Almost half of moms say this is their preferred way to celebrate. Second to that is dining out. And although moms absolutely deserve to treat themselves, just 11% choose to do so on Mother’s Day – opting for time with loved ones instead. This is in line with recent findings that show parents are more likely to value ‘time’ over ‘money’ when asked.

In terms of gifts they’d like to receive, a meal out with family comes in first place, with 37% preferring that over anything else. In second place is receiving a handmade card or gift from their children, furthering the narrative of quality time being the way to win Mother’s Day this year. 

Of course, there are unique preferences according to age – Gen Z moms are the most likely to attend a Mother’s Day event, while moms aged 55+ are the most likely to desire quality time with the family. But at the end of the day, moms young and old enjoy celebrating this day together. 

As the data show, this year, Mother’s Day is less about spending and more about quality time. With gift givers trending toward more modestly-priced gifts, and mothers themselves preferring time together, the best gift for mom may truly be priceless.

Join the Conversation: What would you rather have for Mother’s Day?

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