The best thing to give your mom is your love. The second best is to give your mom an experience or reasons to make her own.
Overview: Our Top Picks
- Refillable Notebook Journal ($12.77)
- Mixology Bartender Kit ($42.36)
- Americanflat Shadow Box Frame ($36.59)
- Personalized Wine Glass ($13.99)
- JARLINK Scratch off USA Map ($12.99)
- Occer Compact Binoculars ($31.99)
- 8-Piece Gardening Tool Set 39.99)
- Home Spa Gift Basket ($32.99)
- Multi-purpose Travel Passport Wallet ($12.99)
- Jocuu Juicer ($84.99)
- Joyaria Women's Soft Bamboo Pajama Set ($48.99)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Best Practical Retirement Gifts for Mom
- Best ‘Treat Yourself’ Retirement Gifts for Mom
- Best DIY Retirement Gifts for Mom
After her working days are done, mom’s going to want to fill her time doing the things she loves. Maybe she’s been talking about the things she wants to do once she retires—now’s your opportunity to make a wish come true.
Whether you’re actively looking for a retirement gift for mom or you’re just curious, check out the list below.
Tip: Growing older and retiring means watching your friends and family members grow older, too. And that often means coping with loss and grief. If you know a retiree who's facing a loss, our post-loss checklist may be able to help.
Best Practical Retirement Gifts for Mom
Each one of the ideas listed below can be suited to fit any budget, decorating style, or pastime. Just make the adjustments to suit your mom’s style best.
1. The journey continues
Let your mom know you understand her retirement is a new and exciting journey. Look for a special journal and pen.
Leave a special message inside to let her know that her words and memories are just as important now as ever.
We like the FREUDE Refillable Notebook Journal from Amazon.
2. Professional bartender’s basket
If your mom likes a cocktail now and again, a bartender’s basket is a great idea. At a minimum, you’ll need a metal shaker (with a secure fitting lid), a strainer, a muddler, a double cocktail jigger, and a drink recipe book that includes the history and geography of cocktails.
You can toss in a few starter spirits and lemons if it’s a party.
We like the Mixology Bartender Kit from Amazon.
3. Frames for a lifetime shadow box
Does your mom have a lot of photos, memorabilia or newspaper clippings from her career? You could “borrow” them next time you visit and head down to the local frame shop or order a frame online.
We like the Americanflat Shadow Box Frame from Amazon.
4. Not just any old mug or wine glass
Designing a personalized mug or wine glass is easier than ever. Have a look at some online mood boards for inspiration. Then find the right business to help you create the perfect gift.
We like the Personalized Wine Glass With Stem from Amazon.
5. Traveler’s map of the United States
It’s an unwritten rule that RVs need a traveler’s map. If your mom is something of a road dog, she can proudly display all of the states she’s been to.
If she doesn’t have a National Park pass yet, you can find one online to help her fulfill her retirement bucket list travels.
We like the JARLINK Scratch off USA Map from Amazon.
6. Online genealogy memberships
Having time for hobbies is one of the greatest perks of retirement. A lot of people find that researching their ancestry is exciting.
Your family history can be quite a rabbit hole! If your mom has been hinting at this, there are a few online genealogy memberships from which to choose.
7. The lifer project
If you don’t know what a lifer is yet, you’re about to find out. With a bird magazine subscription and a pair of binoculars, you can encourage mom to get out, visit local parks, and even take trips looking for that one bird that she has yet to check off the list. Countless adventures await!
We like the Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars from Amazon.
8. Family portrait session
Families are so spread out these days. Kids grow up in small towns and move away for preferred jobs and lifestyles. So, next time the whole family is together, book a session for a family portrait with the local photographer to commemorate the occasion. She’ll love it.
9. Rustic gardening gift basket
This is one of those Alexander Calmers bliss ideas. By giving her a gardening basket, your mom is going to have something to do, something to look forward to, and something to love.
Start with the essentials (trowel, rake, gloves, seed packets, and a knee pad or stool). Advice: find ones made with a rubber grip and stainless steel so they last a long time.
We like the 8-Piece Gardening Tool Set from Amazon.
10. At-home spa basket—farmhouse style
Whatever your mom’s decorating style, you can find bath accessories to suit. To start, you’ll need a bathtub caddy, organic toiletries with essential oils, bath salts or oils, and some hypo-allergenic lotion.
Start small so you can add to the collection with things like a robe, eye mask, or rice-filled heat pack on special days down the road.
We like the LOVERY Home Spa Gift Basket from Amazon.
Best Treat Yourself Retirement Gifts for Mom
If your mom is not the type to splurge on herself, you can do it for her.
11. Personalized wine
Does your mom like a red with dinner? A rosé on a Saturday afternoon? Maybe a white with her girlfriends? If so, you can find companies that will commemorate her retirement by personalizing wine labels.
Depending on your style, you can add either photos or a personalized little saying. It’s up to you!
12. Spa day and salon package
Kickstart the destressing process by booking a massage, facial, mani-pedi, and new haircut for your mom at her favorite day spa and salon.
Make it a double date so you can both spend some stress-free downtime together.
13. House cleaning or lawn care service
Your retirement should be for more than keeping a tidy home. Indulge mom with short-term or long-term lawn care or house cleaning service (or both). This will add hours to her week, so she can do something she really loves.
14. Passport holder and plane tickets
Finally buy those tickets to Paris! Print out the email confirmation and stuff it into a passport holder. Leave some time in case her passport has expired. You can spend the next few months helping her plan her wardrobe and itinerary.
We like the Zoppen Multi-purpose Travel Passport Wallet from Amazon.
15. Casino and cash
Does your mom have a thing for the penny slots? Or is it just about getting away and mingling? If so, find a great little purse and fill it with casino chips or cash—whichever the casino takes.
Then spend a day with her while she’s pulling the penny-slot lever and enjoy a meal together.
16. Juicer or smoothie-maker
If your mom is like me and loves experimenting with different juice flavors and smoothies, this is the perfect gift. Do your research to find the most durable, high-rated juicer, and you’ll avoid any unnecessary hassles when the kale addiction goes off the rails.
We like the Jocuu Juicer from Amazon.
17. Vintage jewelry
Does your mom covet vintage Lucite or jade bangles? Does she have a growing collection of 19th-century garnets? Perhaps she has an eye for 60s ballerina rings or Japanese Cloisonné bracelets.
Ask your local jeweler to help you find the perfect piece to add to her collection.
18. Yoga or pilates membership
This is one of those memberships she’ll either love—or really love. Yoga and pilates are like internal massages coupled with complete detoxification. After a few steady weeks, the stress magically melts away.
19. Fireplace casual
This is luxury pampering, but at-home. Whether your mom likes to curl up with a new book every week, catch a ball game, or binge-watch movies, she’ll have the perfect nestling attire with her new plush blanket, PJs, and slippers.
We like the Joyaria Womens Soft Bamboo Pajama Set from Amazon.
20. Photography or art class
She’s a budding artist. She’s always got the best eye when it comes to photos of her grandkids or meticulously drawing that bird. So, why not find a community education class where she can hone her skills?
Best DIY Retirement Gifts for Mom
If you are lucky enough to be the crafty type, try your hand out at a homemade gift for your mom’s retirement.
21. Handcrafted recipe box
When she’s not looking, borrow all of your mom’s recipes and organize them into a handcrafted recipe box. Whether you are a painter, wood burner, or collage-maker, she’ll smile every time she sees it.
We like the Mint & Elm Bamboo Recipe Box from Amazon.
22. Framed word cloud
This is one that you can get her friends involved in. Have everyone email to you the words that best describe your mom, then find a word cloud creator—and voilà. The art piece on her wall will include all of the reasons people love her.
23. Personalized garden stones
If your mom is going to be spending a lot of time in the garden now that she’s retired, make some yard art for her. You can find some DIY tutorials or steps online.
If you'd prefer to purchase a ready-made stone, we like the Spoontiques Butterfly with Flowers Stepping Stone from Amazon.
24. Help redesign and build a new garden
This is more about the time spent together than the new garden. If you’re close by and you’ve got Mondays free—you’ll remember them always.
25. Be your mom’s personal house cleaner for a month
Send your mom out bird watching or shopping while you vacuum and clean the mirrors.
26. Bring her homemade dinners
Home-cooked meals show your mom how much you love her, just like the ones she made for you all throughout childhood.
27. Take a wine glass stenciling class together (or painting party)
These are very trendy right now. Probably because they’re a lot of fun. Call up her girlfriends to make it a group party.
28. Create a mom’s toolbox
Does your mom tinker? Carve? Is she Ms. Fix-it? If she doesn’t already have her own toolbox, she’ll certainly find a special place for one on the shelf or in the garage.
We like the DOWELL 10 Piece Small Tool Kit from Amazon.
There’s a New Journey Ahead!
She’s been working for someone else for a long time. Now it’s time for her to concentrate more on herself—and things she loves to do.
Read our guides on presents for older folks or parents, the best retirement gift ideas for women, and retirement party etiquette. if you're looking for more recommendations.