The Best Gift I Ever Received — According To Moms

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh.
What is it that makes moms so hard to shop for? It's not like they have everything already, necessarily. Maybe we just think they deserve the world, and it's hard to express that with another "gift certificate" promising to cook dinner one day.

We asked the moms in our lives for some guidance, so we'd be prepared for gift-giving season this year. Most said the best gift they ever received from their children was homemade artwork or ornaments. But a lot of them could name their favorite store-bought gifts they'd received over the years, too.

There were some common threads among the responses. A lot of moms would love to de-stress with massages, spa services, and staycations. And more than one mom loved being gifted a home cleaning service. Click through to see their recommendations — you just might be able to check someone off your shopping list.
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Photo: Getty Images.
When isn't a massage gift certificate a good idea?
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Moms deserve to be spoiled with the products they might not splurge on for themselves.

L'Occitane Divine Cream, $110 for 1.7oz, available at L'Occitane.
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If she loves staying active, she'll appreciate a Fitbit.

Fitbit Flex 2 Fitness Wristband in Lavender, $99.95, available at Fitbit.
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One mom's favorite gift wasn't just sunglasses — it was Tory Burch sunglasses. (Of course, you should feel free to swap in a different brand to suit your mom's tastes.)

Tory Burch Pierced-T Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $175, available at Tory Burch.
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She's busy, always on the go, and can't function without her morning caffeine — upgrade her coffee situation with this Nespresso.

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker, $111.99, available at Macy's.
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One mom swears by the San Francisco Salt Co.'s bath products.

San Francisco Salt Co. Vitamin Soak, $14.79, available at
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Mom's rug looking a little worse for the wear? Treat her to a new one...but maybe bring her along to pick it out.

Threshold Fretwork Rug, $71.99 for 5x7, available at Target.
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If you have the "always cold" kind of mom, show her you care.

Madewell Cape Scarf in Windowpane, $79.50, available at Madewell.
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One mom swore by this moisturizing gel, a sure-to-win holiday gift.

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, $82 for 30mL, available at SkinCeuticals.
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If you know a mom who's on Team Purse Flats, give her a new pair to tote around; these come in a ton of color combos.

Tieks Metallic Bronze Ballet Flats, $195, available at Tieks.
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You can't go wrong with this indulgent Kiehl's lotion.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps Body Moisture, $29.50 for 8.4oz bottle, available at Kiehl's.
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Photographed by Alice Gao.
Multiple moms mentioned that they loved being gifted a month of meals cooked by someone else. Because... Who has the time? A food subscription box — with the promise that you'll come over and cook — is a surefire win.
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Photo: Getty Images.
One Refinery29 staffer's mom loved when her daughter sent her a personalized box of Sprinkles cupcakes at work. It's simple but effective, and lets someone know you're thinking about them.

Sprinkles Cupcakes, delivery fees vary based on location
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If your mom loves beauty, treat her to a makeover — and a gift card to buy a few products afterward.

Sephora Gift Card, available in various amounts at Sephora.
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Photographed by Ruby Yeh.
You know that feeling of coming home to a clean house — the smell of Lysol in the air, and all your magazines in a neat pile? Give someone, anyone, a gift certificate for a house cleaning service and see joy explode all over their face.
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One mom loves receiving gifts from Lush — and we bet you know one who would, too.

Lush Snow Fairy Body Conditioner, $12.95 for 3.1 oz, available at Lush.
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One mom's favorite gift was her smartwatch — and we have to admit we'd feel pretty loved unwrapping one of these for the holidays.

Apple Watch Series 2 in Rose Gold Aluminum Case with Midnight Blue Sport Band, $399, available at Apple.
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Pampering gift sets — never a bad move.

The Body Shop Coconut Deluxe Gift Set, $49, available at The Body shop.
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One mom mentioned a gift of a girls' weekend that included a wine tasting. But if planning a weekend away for your mom is out of your price range, she'd probably be happy with a bottle of wine (to share with you!), too.

Franciacorta Rosé, Contadi Castaldi, $24.99, available at Astor Wines.
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Gift her a cozy pajama set, if luxuriant relaxation is on her agenda.

J. Crew Vintage Pajama Set in Hydrangea, $95, available at J. Crew.
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A cozy gift for the mom who never puts you in the dog house.

Halfinger "Doggy" Slipper, $80.95, available at Nordstrom.
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Photographed by Maria DelRio.
One Refinery29 staffer says that she gave her garden-loving mom a flower-arranging class years ago — and she still talks about it.
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Food gift baskets are popular for a reason. Whether it's ordered online or hand-assembled with your mom's favorite treats, an edible gift set is sure to make her happy.

Hickory Farms Summer Sausage and Cheese Gift Box, $40, available at Hickory Farms.
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One Refinery29 mom loves when her daughter gives her thoughtful bracelets and scarves.

Alex and Ani Champagne Cheers Set of Three Bracelets, $98, available at Alex and Ani.
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One mom loved getting a new pair of gloves, and it's not hard to see why — they're stylish and functional, especially if you go with tech-friendly ones.

Kate Spade New York Bow Tech Gloves in Black, $128, available at Kate Spade New York.
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She's going to want to plant a big smooch on your cheek, but at least it'll be in an on-trend color.

Sephora Collection The Mini Team: Rouge Cream & Shine Lipstick Set, $22, available at Sephora.
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One Refinery29 mom spent the night at New York's Crosby Street hotel, a gift from her husband, and she loved that she was finally able to sleep. Who wouldn't want the gift of ZZZs, or even a staycation to get them?

Crosby Street Hotel, various prices per night based on room type and dates booked
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Multiple moms mentioned that they loved getting new running shoes, exercise clothes, and athleisure wear. Take the mom in your life on a gym date after unwrapping all the gifts.

Asics GT-2000 4 Running Shoes, $99, available at ASICS.
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If your mom, like some of the moms we talked to, can't get enough of the athleisure trend, treat her to a trendy pair of leggings.

Athleta Ponte Luxe Legging in Black, $98, available at Athleta.
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For moms who love keeping things organized, a customizable planner is a lifesaver.

Erin Condren LifePlanner, $55, available at Erin Condren.
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