Gift Giving Ideas When Birthdays and Mother’s Day Fall in the Same Week


Three Holidays in One Week 

We have three holidays in May. Yes, three holidays in one week. As we were planning my son’s first birthday last year, it hit us that we had three holidays in a row in one week! This is made even more hilarious by the fact my husband notoriously hates to spend money. Like he provides for us, but I have unironically called him the human version of the dragon Smaug. Any Tolkien fans here? Thoughtful gift giving can be tough, especially when multiple holidays occur in one week. 

Anyway, it’s been a joke about how he is going to surprise me with gifts. My husband and I are like MC Skat Kat and Paula Abdul in “Opposites Attract” moneywise. I will spend money on things I’ll wear once or things that aren’t practical. Like I’ll be like “Rihanna wore it!” which is great but her style is extreme and she actually has places where she can wear a sparkly headpiece that’s Bob Mackie inspired or blue lipstick more than once. Did I mention I’m in my thirties? My husband ‘s wardrobe has pretty much stayed the same since 2008.

Money is a sticky topic and not everyone has the luxury of gifts. So I am not judging people for their choices. Again, my husband is awesome but we are so opposite about this. Different relationships have different dynamics. I was raised that a man didn’t have to buy you extravagant gifts to prove he loved you. His actions do. If you want your partner to go crazy and you have that relationship go for it. These suggestions will be based on my mindset and my son’s age.

So without further ado here are some practical(ish) gifts that go with this week of celebration. My son is going to be two, I’m going to be 34, and these are going to be my baselines. Let the gift giving begin! 

Gifts for your Toddler 

WeJoySing– My son loves music and he loves being interactive with it. Anything that allows him to be creative is great! It also doesn’t add to clutter since my son’s stuff has taken over our house.

Columbus Zoo: Do it! Also, do the extras you wouldn’t normally do. Spend that money to feed the giraffes! Get a commemorative hat with their name on it! We love the zoo and it wears kids out. Win-friggin-win.

Toddler Soccer Ball– My son is finally getting his baby legs kind of coordinated. He loves kicking balls around. He also has a ton of energy and a toddler soccer ball is something he can use, play with other kids to be social, and doesn’t need a ton of accessories. This is something he can play with outside.

Gifts For Your Lovely Partner on Mother’s Day

A cute tote bag: I love the weird specific things you can get on Etsy. This one features my role model, the Log Lady from Twin Peaks. This isn’t too expensive, is practical, and is a conversation starter. I would use this every time I went grocery shopping. Look up your partner’s interests and get something creative from an artist.

A personalized stainless steel coffee mug: When I was a youthful English major, I thought I understood how coffee was life. Now, as a mom, I need a caffeine drip. This is a way to keep your coffee hot all day and have it be personalized so your partner can enjoy it.

A cross-stitched craft of your family Disclosure, I know the woman who owns this shop and she does incredible work. These are a special thing to have in your home and it’s something to treasure. You can also get more as your family grows. It’s cute and unique.

gifts for Mother's DayGifts For Your Lovely Partner’s Birthday

Concert Tickets: There is nothing like going to a live show. I am seeing The 1975 with my husband. It is a way to wear your impulse buys and just enjoy yourself. Columbus is a great place to see live music and we have incredible acts come through.

Tiffany’s gift: I know, I know, I said that it doesn’t matter where you get your gifts. Hear me out, the thing I found is $165 which isn’t cheap but it’s special. Not to be an ad for Tiffany’s but they do responsibly source their stuff. My Grandfather used to give my Grandmother all of this gorgeous, well made, but not flashy jewelry. My Grandmother has started to give us pieces she no longer wears and I can’t tell you how special they are to me. Columbus also has wonderful places to find antique jewelry (my engagement ring was from Grandview Mercantile).

An experience that’s outside her comfort zone– Again, I have extreme anxiety and I will never do zip lines or jump out of a plane. I’m not fun that way. But if it was something like dancing, cooking classes, or glamping in a treehouse, these are things that just kind of add zest to life. Once you have kids, you spend more time at home. It’s just a fact. So when you get out it should be something really fun and different. It’s really easy to feel like you won’t try anything new for a while. This is an excuse to have an adventure together. Go for it!

What’s your favorite thoughtful gift to give your children or your spouse?

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Alison Gehred
Alison is an Air Force brat, who was born in Wisconsin (and she still visits there often to see extended family) and lived all over the West before her family settled in the Dayton area. Alison received her BA from Bowling Green State University where she met her husband, best friends who are like family, and worked at her college radio station. If there was a cool band in the mid aughts, chances are Alison played them on her show "My Aim is True." Alison received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin and moved back to southwest Ohio. She reconnected with her now husband Mark and moved to Columbus a year later. Several years later, she is still working at Nationwide Children's Hospital as a medical librarian and they have a little boy named Rhys and two feisty cats. They are enjoying re-discovering Columbus as parents and enjoy what the city has to offer in the food, music, and art scene. Alison enjoys fashion, cult movies and tv shows, discovering new music and meticulously keeping track of it in various journals, BBC crime dramas, SCIENCE, reading all kinds of books, and cooking. Alison has her own personal blog about her life and things she finds interesting at She loves to write and hope you enjoy her vignettes about motherhood and this fair city.