Holiday aisles in stores are starting to get more bare this week. Pastel Easter decor made way for Mother's Day cards and candies, which are starting to get picked over. So for many children and doting husbands, picking the perfect gift for mom can pose quite a challenge.
Finding out what mothers really want can be crucial. As much as she may claim to need a new toaster, mother of two Nancy Finck insists that what moms truly love is something personal.
"I usually get something homemade, which I adore," Finck said.
Make Some Memories
For Katie Young, preserving memories is her strategy for Mother's Day success.
"This year, I've made plans to have (my mother's) old film reels turned into DVDs," Young said. "She still has the old projector, but the tapes are slowly falling apart."
The Web content producer said she is also is a fan of MyPublisher.com. The site helps design and create hardcover albums, personalized every step of the way.
This Year's 'It' List
The trend-savvy Web site DailyCandy publishes an annual Mother's Day "it" list sure to point out pretty little things moms will love. Editor-at-large Dannielle Romano said this year 's focus is on custom gifts such as aromatherapy bath salts or Eggpress.com's "Stitch Kit," which includes hand-screenprinted canvas and easy instructions for do-it-yourself stuffed animals.
"They are things where you can add an element of yourself," Romano said. "It's kind of a grown-up version of the kindergarten art your mom would hang on the fridge -- elegant and useful, but comes right from you."
DailyCandy also is a fan of egglings, the Japanese plant kits that allow you to grow four different herb and flower varieties just by cracking the eggling's top and adding water.
"It's a really neat, unusual way to bring a little sunshine into your life," Romano said.
Isn't Mom Sweet?
For something sweet, Romano suggests organic artisan honeys from Big Island Bees. The company, located in Kealakekua, Hawaii, offers three uniquely textured and truly Hawaiian flavors like the Ohi'a Lehua Blossom, which is described as light and delicate, perfect for toast or mixed in green tea.
Most DailyCandy suggestions are relatively inexpensive, but if money is really tight, Young suggests creating a family cookbook.
"You can even use a scrapbooking method and make pages with the recipe, a photo and some decorative buttons or beads," she said.
Paint-your-own pottery places such as All Fired Up in Redding, Calif., tend to be gold mines for creative, innovative ideas and offer quick turnaround for glazed items -- not to mention a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
"We definitely get more business around the holidays for crafty gifts," employee Casey Stewart said. "A lot of people like to do bowls and plates with their children's handprints."
Amid spring fever and a hectic schedule, many time-challenged shoppers are left scrambling for gifts. But there are countless resources for finding the quick gift that appears thoughtfully planned.
Adorable Gift Baskets puts together luscious fruit and food baskets, teddy bear bouquets, and candy and chocolate packages. Most baskets can be delivered the same business day, if you place your order before noon.
Many online vendors ship overnight for those down-to-the-wire procrastinators.
For fans of gift certificates, try pampering mom after a visit to SpaFinder.com.
While at the spa, Molly Maids can come and clean your mom's home. The company -- featured on the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -- has been providing domestic assistance for more than 25 years and gives in-home consultations and estimates.
Whether in a time bind or just searching for something special, thinking outside the box may be the best way to impress mom.