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So hard to choose… (Design: Tina Tiller)
So hard to choose… (Design: Tina Tiller)

SocietyMay 12, 2023

An incomplete list of NZ’s worst Mother’s Day gift ideas

So hard to choose… (Design: Tina Tiller)
So hard to choose… (Design: Tina Tiller)

Tara Ward comes bearing a hamper of some of the most bonkers gift ideas being hawked this Mother’s Day.

Finding the perfect Mother’s Day present can be tricky. The day began as a way of honouring the incredible sacrifices mothers make for their children, but is now mostly about rampant consumerism, sexist advertising and cursed marketing campaigns. Earlier this week, for example, a Wellington Pak’nSave was criticised for a Mother’s Day giveaway of laundry liquid and air fresheners, because we all know nothing makes mums happier than three bottles of Persil and a house that smells like a car dealership.

Mother’s Day advertising on social media is particularly hectic, and it’s enough to make you order this personalised jar of Vegemite and make a run for it. Which weird online gift best symbolises your gratitude and love: two boxes of tissues or a three-day skip bin hire? Mother’s Day can be hard for a variety of reasons, but there’s no need to make it worse by clicking on bad ads. Here’s a selection of some of the most bonkers presents that New Zealand brands are hawking this Mother’s Day.

For the mother who is a dry shank of meat in desperate need of basting

At last, the chance to show the wisened old matriarch in your life how much you care. Slather her crackled witch-husk in this Very Dry Skin Cream and Lotion combo, drizzle her in a rich coating of age-reversal serum and then sit back and listen to her dehydrated membrane gurgle with joy as the years fall away. The drought is over, the rains have come. 

For the mother who has zero expectations and even less desire to forgive 

Ecostore’s “bathtime to bedtime” gift box contains baby body wash, baby oil, baby soap and baby nappy balm. Obviously these products are designed for filthy young children, not fully developed adults, which means this Mother’s Day gift pack contains absolutely no gifts for the mother. Forget bathtime to bedtime, this gift will bring on the end times. 

For the mother who has grown tired of crying into her sleeves

This grim combo pack of tissues might seem like a budget gift, but the queenly sum of $21 is money well spent. This lucky mother will now have something to wipe away her tears of disappointment and regret, before she sets fire to the empty box and any remaining hopes and dreams. Just give her a roll of loo paper and be done with it.

For the mother who wants to see how far ‘unconditional love’ really goes

Congratulations! You just unlocked the key to your mother’s heart, because nothing says “thank you” like a smart deadbolt. This is her chance to shut you out of her life forever. 

For the mother trapped in a life of unpaid domestic servitude due to the patriarchal structures of our capitalist heteronormative society

Enjoy these dryer balls, Ultimate Laundry Mum!

For the mother who yearns to know if her earwax type is hereditary

As a mother, finding out if your unibrow is a genetic mutation or just a blessing is a primal urge, one that springs forth like colostrum or acid reflux. With this Ancestry DNA gift, your mother can scrape the inside of her cheek in the comfort that they will soon be connected to thousands of as-yet-unknown relatives, none of whom will be Vikings, but who will all share the same earwax DNA. 

For the mother who adores spores

Now your mother can create lasting memories with her beloved mushroom, who from this point on will be formally known as the favourite child in the family.

For the mother who values a safe disposal solution for large volumes of waste

What a dream come true. This Bay of Plenty company understands that a pink skip bin is the heavy metal equivalent of a mother: durable and reliable, yet fun and approachable. Both can withstand heavy weather conditions and intense wear and tear, and both will put up with your rubbish. Best of all, after you fill your mother’s heart with this gift, she can fill the skip bin with all the other shitty presents you’ve ever given her.

Mother’s Day is Sunday 14 May. Good luck!

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