Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away.
You knew that, right? There’s not a sudden sense of panic and dread setting in as you realize you’ve not even considered a gift for mom, is there?
No, of course not. That’s why you’re her favorite.
But maybe you haven’t quite settled on the perfect gift. Or maybe you're dealing with a mother like mine, who's just tough to shop for. Everything she needs, she has. The same goes for most things she wants.
So when you’re dealing with one of those troublesome mothers—lovely, loving, and content in the life she has (so annoying, am I right?)—you might want to get creative. A gift she’ll treasure past the month of May won't come from the mall.
That’s where we can help! Estate sales are a great place to find unique, high-quality gifts. They’re an opportunity to walk through a variety of personally-curated collections. You can buy what you want, taking advantage of the world travels of others, and their lifetimes of hobbies.
Here, we offer you some gift ideas for the mother that’s hard to shop for.
Not all mothers like to spend their days in the kitchen, but if yours does, estate sales are a great place to find vintage cookware. Collectible dishes from companies like Fire King, Federal, or Pyrex can frequently be found at tag sales. Cast iron in all shapes, sizes, and conditions are common as well—perhaps you can find a high quality vintage pan and refurbish it for her. Maybe a vintage stand mixer or a spice rack like her grandmother used to have would make a nice addition to her counter.
The possibilities here are practically endless. Every home has a kitchen, and every person’s tastes are different. Perhaps the first one you visit will be decked out in Coca-Cola memorabilia, but the next has cupboards filled with Fiestaware dishes and bowls and a display of Anchor Hocking glasses.
With every estate sale, you’re stepping into either someone’s carefully curated collection, or a hodgepodge of appliances collected over a lifetime. Either way, you could score the perfect gift.
For the literary-loving mother, look no further than a local estate sale to find libraries full of books. Perhaps hidden among a shelf of presidential biographies or Danielle Steele novels, you’ll find something she’s never read. A rare edition of her favorite classic. A book she used to read to you as a child, or one that she loved herself when she was young but is now out-of-print—all thoughtful gift ideas.
And if you’re simply not sure what she’s read or not, voracious reader that she is, you can always keep an eye out for a fabulous set of bookends to keep her TBRs straight and stylish while they wait their turn.
Unless your mom is an avid board game player, this may sound a little silly, but hear me out. Presenting your mom with a game she loved as a child is not only a great gift in and of itself, but spending an afternoon playing the game together in an adorable, almost Rockwellian display of family togetherness will be a gift for everyone involved.
So if your mother has never said anything about a game she loved to play, do some sleuthing. Ask her parents or siblings. Look in the background of old pictures for games she might have played. Then on May 14, challenge her to a friendly game.
Unless it’s Monopoly. There's no such thing as a friendly game of Monopoly. You’re trying to bring your family together, not destroy it in a single afternoon.
From sewing patterns to paints, brushes, and stencils, estate sales can be a trove of artistic treasures, if you come across the right sale.
While you could go out and buy a few items she can use and call it a day, how impressive would it be to show up at your artsy mother’s house with a box full of vintage fabrics, stencils, stamps, and other supplies she will love?
Whether you’re looking for high end stones, collectible pieces like Bakelite, or inexpensive costume jewelry, estate sales make it easy to find the perfect piece for any fashion-focused mom. (And if you are on the hunt for Bakelite jewelry, we can help you make sure it's authentic.)
Listen, furniture isn’t always the best gift. It’s difficult to know if the recipient will feel it fits their home in the way you’re certain it will, which can create awkwardness when the gift is ultimately hidden in a basement or discarded altogether. So you probably don't want to surprise your mother with a brown leather sectional that will take up half her living room.
But if you have a mother who collects, say, authentic midcentury modern furniture, it's probably a safe bet she's going to want that Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair on sale two towns over.
In fact, you'd probably disappoint her if she found out you passed it up. You don't want to do that, right? After all, you're her favorite.
If none of these ideas seem to match your mother's interests, estate sales still have you covered. No matter what your mother is into, you’re liable to find something she’ll treasure. Woodworking? Got it. Fishing? You bet. German cuckoo clocks? Ja woll! And, of course, using EstateSales.NET you can scope out the goods ahead of time and route your shopping trip accordingly.