I can’t promise these are good ideas. Just, possibly decent. Maybe.

Let me explain.

Last year, I wrote this handy guide to last-minute Mother’s Day gift shopping.

It was met with mockery by other members of the OnAllCylinders team.

Them: “Your Mother’s Day gift guide was suspect.”

Me: “I know. A prime suspect for winning the ‘Best Mother’s Day Gift Guide Ever’ Award.”

Them: “You put a park-assisting laser on the list. As if mothers need extra help parking in the garage.”

Me: “That’s not how I meant it. Lots of people can use park-assist lights when parking in tight spaces.”

Them: “Regardless, do you think it might have been a good idea to consult — oh, I don’t know; some MOTHERS?! — while compiling your list?”

Me: “Well, I… ummm… hmmm. Yes, I suppose you’re right.”

[Fast-forward to today, Mother’s Day week 2017]

My gut, along with the rest of the team, was telling me to lean on the collective wisdom of my maternal co-workers to create the best Mother’s Day gift guide possible, and then I did what everyone expected me to.

Dual laser parking assistant for garage (or possibly laser death rays)
Very useful parking-assist device or Martian death ray laser beams? Either way, what mom wouldn’t want that?! Exactly.

I just picked out all the stuff by myself again.

I don’t care what those judgy moms say! My Park Right Dual Garage Lasers suggestion was brilliant, and I have both Kenneth and Harold in the Park Right Dual Garage Lasers customer reviews to back me up on this. And those are clearly common names for mothers—very common. My mom’s name is Harold.

I just made that up. (Sorry, mom.)

But I didn’t make up the part where I picked these parts again without consulting the staff moms. Why learn from your mistakes when you can double-down like an intolerably stubborn and juvenile co-worker?

Sons and daughters, husbands and brothers, and other people too… rejoice! Your Mother’s Day buyer’s guide is here.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2017

Heated Travel Mug

heated travel mug

Almost every day, I pick up coffee on my drive into the OnAllCylinders world headquarters, and almost every day, the second half of my coffee is room temperature by the time I drink it. You might think we have a bunch of sweet coffee makers right at our desk. Or that we can use Park Right Dual Garage Lasers to reheat our coffee. But we don’t. And we can’t.

What would actually help is a Heated Travel Mug.

Mom’s gonna be so stoked.

A Christmas Story Party Game

Christmas Story board game

Moms like doing things as a family. Moms like doing things as a group. Moms like games.

And EVERYONE likes “A Christmas Story.”

“Oh, look at that! Will you look at that? Isn’t that glorious? It’s… it’s… it’s indescribably beautiful! It reminds me of the Fourth of July!”

Like the way we talk about hot rods. And like the way mom’s going to talk about her new Christmas Story board game.

10×10 Pop-Up Canopies

black canopy

Ever sat out in the rain? Or under a blazing sun? Mom has. And in those moments, the only thing she wanted more than a heated travel mug, or a death-laser parking-assist device is a canopy above her head.

And YOU can make that happen. Like a young warrior completing a noble quest. Like a thoughtful person supplying moms with gifts that keep on giving, rain or shine.


Nostalgic Main Street jigsaw puzzle

“Puzzles perform wonders to our human minds and everyone. Be it children, adults, or seniors, people significantly benefit from improved memory, brain chemistry, disposition, and creativity.”

That’s an actual quote from a website called “Dumb Little Man – Tips for Life,” but the article was written by a woman named Gigi, and just maybe, she’s a mother. A mother who loves puzzles.

Silver Camper Bird House

silver camper bird house

Alright. So, my mom doesn’t own a camper, but she DOES love watching birds flock to her bird feeder, and she gets a little bent out of shape when she catches squirrels crawling up to steal the seed.

But maybe your mom or wife or sister loves squirrels AND birds, which if you think about it, is a little bit like a pot-sweetener for choosing this bird house as a gift.

Mom raised a thinker!

3-D Coke Bottle Thermometer

coke bottle thermometer

Oh, mom prefers Pepsi, or some other thing? Bam. “Other-thing” thermometers are available too.

But she probably likes three-dimensional Coca-Cola Classic bottle thermometers.

That’s entirely speculative, you say, and I have nothing to back that up? True.

Mustang Paper Towel Holder

mustang paper towel holder

True story: I’m a sucker for a good paper towel holder. If you don’t already have one mounted to a wall or under a cabinet, then having a paper towel holder is a better choice than a sad and exposed paper towel roll wandering around your kitchen without a home.

Send that roll of paper towels home.

I’m trusting you not to choose this for Chevy and Mopar moms. Only Ford moms should receive Ford things. If you have a Chevy mom, buy her Chevy things. And if you have a Mopar mom, buy her Mopar things.

That’s just common sense. Like owning Park Right Dual Garage Lasers and a vintage Stroker McGurk sign.

Summit Racing Ladies Varsity T-Shirts

Ladies Summit Racing varsity t-shirt

Just so we’re clear about where I’m going with this, this shirt is more of a Buy For Your Wife gift suggestion. I’m basing this entirely on Andrew’s customer review which reads, “Wife looks hot in this. Fits like a glove.”

In all seriousness, these shirts are available in a few color options and carry a five-star customer rating from verified purchases, including from a few of the ladies.

Looks like a winner. Kind of like last year’s Mother’s Day buyer’s guide.


Jeep neon clock

Much like thermometers and T-shirts and neon signs, a diverse clock offering provides a little something for everyone.

We like knowing what time it is.

Like right now, when it’s time to wrap up another fantastic Mother’s Day buyer’s guide about which I consulted zero mothers.

To my mother for raising such a grounded, level-headed son with a knack for Mother’s Day gift-giving, and to each and every mother out there (with the possible exception of my co-worker moms who said my 2016 gift guide wasn’t amazing): THANK YOU AND HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.

Now, if you want to see a Mother’s Day Gift Guide approved by an ACTUAL mother (and all joking aside, I wouldn’t blame you), check out:

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2.0: Mom-Approved Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.