6 Lousy Gifts Your Mom Doesn't Want

Last Updated Dec 10, 2010 5:07 PM EST

This is part of a 2-part package on buying gifts for your parents. Click here to read the other story: 6 Lousy Gifts Your Dad Doesn't Want.
Your mother loves you, but sometimes your holiday gifts leave her, well...sad, frustrated, ready to poison your egg nog. She has so much trouble telling you what not to buy without seeming critical. We're here to help.

Here are 6 lousy gifts that your mother does not want. Seriously. Give these gifts at your peril.

Eau de Sale Table: You know that mom wears perfume. What kind is a mystery. So instead of finding out her favorite scent, you buy the big bottle of fragrance that you see on sale. Not to be unkind, but when she wears the perfume you got her last year it makes everyone feel as if they're stuck in an elevator with someone's dear-departed grandmother. A small bottle of the scent mom likes will be so much more appreciated than the gallon-sized bottle of Eau de On Sale. Take my word on this one.

Brightly Packaged Hints: A gift certificate to Mom's favorite spa is a gift. A gift certificate for an eye-brow wax is not. If you're really concerned about Mom's uni-brow, try to break it to her when she's not worried about having 25 people to dinner. Better yet, suggest that you go for a spa day together before or after Christmas. She likes spending quality time with you and it gives you the opportunity to suggest the brow lift gently, as if it's an afterthought while you're there. Dinner will be a much more pleasant affair if Mom doesn't open an insult disguised as a gift on Christmas morning.

As Advertised on T.V.: I know that the Snuggie you saw on t.v. (when you were up late stressing about all the gifts you had left to buy) looked really cozy. And it looked even cozier when they mentioned the free expedited shipping -- and that they'd throw in a Rondo Meat Slicer for free! But when you wrapped that up with the "Shoedini" for your sister and the "Pro Tek Weather Shield" for your Dad, your family detected a pattern that did not leave them with the right warm and fuzzy holiday feeling. In fact, they're cancelling your DirectTV subscription. Maybe next time you buy your family gifts, you'll do it without a channel changer in your other hand.

Easily Programmable Gadgets: Everyone in your generation has a digital photo frame and you can't understand why the one you gave mom in 1994 is still in a box under her bed. Quick hint: Has your mom figured out how to work her cell phone yet? Then what are the chances that she's going to get over her lifetime technophobia to figure out both a digital camera and a digital photo frame? Unless you're willing to put the pictures in it; the songs on it; or set it up so that all Mom has to do is look at it fondly or hit "play," give it to somebody who likes to read directions.

And while we're talking techno-gadgets, Dad would really like you to return the digital clock that projects the time on the ceiling. To be sure, Mom finds it handy when she's awake in the middle of the night. It's so much easier to time her hot flashes that way. But it does not leave her in a good mood in the morning. Dad has packed it neatly in the box with the receipt and directions to the nearest Brookstone. Many happy returns.

Fabulous Fauxs: PETA will not be upset about the fake fur you bought Mom for $149, but your mother is sad about all the little polyesters that had to die to make it. It was very generous of you and mom loves that, but she'd like you to return the coat. Quickly. The Gucci purse that costs $25? Uhm...Not Gucci. Not close. You should know that the Chanel #5 knockoff perfume really doesn't smell like Chanel, either.

When you think of your mother, she'd like you to think "genuine" and "classy." Knockoffs? Not genuine. Not classy. You could buy her a beautiful cashmere sweater for the same amount as you spent on the faux fur. Instead of the bogus purse, how about some pretty silver earrings or a silk pashmina? Unless Mom specifically noted that she wanted a fake Rolex this holiday season, pass it by. Mom doesn't need Rolex, but she does need real. That's how she rolls.

Gifts to Me for You: Your mom can totally understand how you'd know that she'd like Call of Duty: Black Ops. After all, you've wanted that game for ages. And she's been dying to learn how to use the XBox. Blowing up enemy combattants looks like so much more fun than making dinner. But when you promised to teach her how to use it and then spent the next 7 hours waiving her away while you progressed to "the next level," she began to question your sincerity. Now, she's in the back yard popping the circuit-breaker on the t.v. so that she can get your attention long enough to tell you that, for that thoughtful gift, you get dish-duty.

Merry Christmas.

Moms, anything to add?

More on MoneyWatch
6 Lousy Gifts Your Dad Doesn't Want
5 Reasons Debit Cards are Dangerous
How to Meet Wesley Snipes in Prison
Weird and Wonderful College Scholarships
10 Ways to Save this Christmas
7 DIY Gifts
7 Things You Should Buy After Christmas

Comments