What gifts do Moms want for Mother's Day 2021?

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
Jamie BallardData Journalist
May 05, 2021, 2:13 PM UTC

Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, with many Americans intending to recognize the matriarchs in their life — or in many moms’ cases, planning to be celebrated themselves.

Two-thirds of Americans (68%) plan to celebrate Mother’s Day, according to a YouGov poll of 2,056 US adults. Seven in 10 mothers (71%) say they will be celebrating the day, with mothers of children under 18 (78%) being especially likely to be commemorating the day with a phone call, card, special meal, or other event. 

Most Americans who are acknowledging Mother’s Day this weekend plan to purchase a gift (55%). Two in five celebrators will send a card (41%), while 40% will have a special meal or celebration at home. Around one-third will talk on the phone (37%), while one in five (21%) plan to dine out as a part of their festivities. 

Mother’s Day appears to be more of a spending holiday than Father’s Day, which is coming up on June 20. Among those who are celebrating Mother’s Day this year, 62% say they spend more on the maternal holiday. Just 6% of celebrators say they will spend more on Father’s Day. 

But what do mothers actually want to mark the day? Two in five (43%) mothers say they’d like to receive a card, while 36% are hoping for flowers. One-third of moms (33%) would like a special experience with their family members, such as going on a hike or going to the beach. Around one-quarter of mothers want a keepsake gift (26%), chocolate (24%), or a homemade gift (24%). 

About one in five mothers would appreciate a certificate for a massage or spa day (23%), jewelry (21%), or to have a day to themselves (19%). Another one in five mothers (19%) would be pleased if someone took care of household tasks that they are normally responsible for. About one in six want a food item (17%), while 14% would appreciate books or breakfast in bed. 

Even fewer mothers want clothing (12%), alcohol (12%), or electronics (9%). One in 20 mothers (5%) are not certain what they want, and do not want anything at all. 

This is the first Mother’s Day where millions of Americans will be vaccinated against COVID-19. YouGov data from 2020 showed that only 38% of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day last year did so in-person. About one-third of celebrators talked on the phone (37%) last year, and around one-quarter (23%) video-chatted to mark the day. 

This year, half of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day will be in-person (51%). A little more than one-third (36%) will talk on the phone, and one in five (20%) plans on video chatting. Slightly fewer will mark the day with text messages (17%) than last year (22%).

See the toplines from this YouGov poll and sign up to be a panelist for YouGov Direct

Related: Is Mother's Day a real holiday? Americans say yes

Methodology: 2,056 US adults, including 724 mothers of children of any age, were surveyed via YouGov Direct on April 25, 2021 between 7:20 and 7:42 EST. Data is weighted according to age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 3.2% for the overall sample and 5.3% for the sample of mothers. 

Image: Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels