Each year, we take one day to recognize the countless contributions that mothers and the motherly figures in our lives have made to our families, before promptly going back to asking them to help us find things they’ll spot within 3 seconds of looking. Mother’s Day is recognized in more than 100 countries around the world. Here in the U.S., it’s celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Collectively, Americans are expected to spend $31.7 billion on gifts and outings in 2022.
Since President Woodrow Wilson signed the 1914 proclamation declaring Mother’s Day a national observance (although the history of the day goes back a bit further), fathers have been buying gifts and saying they’re from the children, or reminding their kids to do something nice for mom in late April. Over time, as the holiday gained traction, spending on gifts and outings for mom has increased. In fact, 2021 was a record year for spending on the holiday, and that’s despite the fact that many families elected NOT to take mom out for a meal due to the pandemic.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) keeps detailed data about Mother’s Day spending. While 2021 set the record at $28.1 billion, 2022’s expected $31.7 billion represents a significant increase in spending. Families celebrating mom reported that they expect to spend an average of $245.76 per household. In part, this may be because of an uptick in post-pandemic return to restaurants, coupled with heightened expectations from last year’s gifting.
NRF additionally breaks spending data out into gift categories, with the number one celebration plan being jewelry for the 8th year running, coming in at a total expected expenditure of nearly $7 billion. I haven’t purchased jewelry for my mother since I tried to buy her a replica of the Heart of the Ocean from the Titanic movie in third grade and she declined, so the joke’s on her. Like many others, I instead have opted to gift my mother a “special outing,” the second most popular category this year. I’ll also be springing for one of the 113 million greeting cards expected to be sold for the holiday. Electronics, gift cards, and flowers round out the top 5 for gift categories this year. Here’s how the spending breaks down across all categories:
Moms in the U.S. will get their special day on May 8, 2022. Whether you’re dropping the average $250 on gifts or making something from the heart, remember that your mom probably cares less about the gift than knowing that you appreciate her.