UK Student Life homepage
Study, work or travel in the UK. British culture and life.
A-Z index
Message Board
Contact us
Mothers Day Gifts
Mothers Day Gifts
Moonpig perfect this Mothering Sunday
< Up
Ideas / Gifts / Mothers Day
Ideas for Mother's Day presents

In the UK, Mother's Day (Mothering Sunday) is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent. In the US and many other countries it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. The dates are as follows:

2011: April 3 (UK), May 8 (US)
2012: March 18 (UK), May 13 (US)
2013: March 10 (UK), May 12 (US)
2014: March 30 (UK), May 11 (US)
2015: March 15 (UK), May 10 (US)
2016: March 6 (UK), May 8 (US)
2017: March 26 (UK), May 14 (US)
2018: March 11 (UK), May 13 (US)
2019: March 31 (UK), May 12 (US)
2020: March 29 (UK), May 10 (US)

The origin of Mother's Day

In the 17th century, apprentices, servants and maids were given a holiday so that they could return home to visit their mothers, known as Mothering Sunday. People used to take a present with them - often a simnel cake (a fruit cake covered with a layer of marzipan), or flowers.

A simnel cake ...

... is a traditional gift

The custom of Mothering Sunday died out in Britain, but a similar "Mother's Day" custom was established in the US in 1890 by a lady called Anna Jarvis, celebrated in May. The custom became popular again in Britain after World War Two, following the example set by American soldiers who came to Britain during the war. In the UK it is celebrated on the traditional date of Mothering Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent), but in recent years it is common to refer to it as Mother's Day.

What to do for Mother's Day

Send a Mother's Day card to your mother, including a personal letter. You may also want to send some Mother's Day gifts like flowers or chocolates. If possible, go to visit her, or arrange a future meeting. You might take her out for a meal or cook something for her, or take her out to an event or show. Other possible gifts include fashion & accessories, beauty, jewellery, handbags, or a magazine subscription.


Choose from a wide range of designs, or your own digital photo.
You can also change the text on the card to personalise it.


Hotel Chocolat
High quality chocolates which can be delivered either in the UK or worldwide.
Alternative suppliers: Thorntons


Flowers for your mother, delivered in the UK


Amazon (music)
Buy a music CD. For example:
Thank you Mum (release date: 9 March 2009)

Tickets to a show

Encore Tickets
Buy tickets to go out to see a play, concert, dance performance, or to go to a special event in the UK.
London Theatre Direct offers combined tickets for a show in a London theatre and dinner in a restaurant.
Alternative suppliers: Ticketmaster or London Theatre Direct


Balloon in a box with a personalised message, sent to a UK address

Magazine subscription

Great Magazines
Why not give your mother an annual subscription to a magazine, which she can enjoy throughout the year?


Amazon (DVD)
Buy a DVD of a favourite film. For example:
The Queen (Oscar-winning film starring Helen Mirren, released as a DVD on 12 March 2007)

Other Mother's Day gift guides

For more ideas for Mother's Day presents, see the following shopping guides:
John Lewis

Back to top


Events and traditions in March: Ideas/Events/March
Theatre: Life/Entertainment/Theatre
Easter gift ideas: Ideas/Gifts/Easter

Home page: Home

Back to top

© UK Student Life 2002-2011

* Search this website ( or the web: