mother's day

Do you remember the first Mother’s Day gift you created with your own two hands? Mine was a potted plant. I can still picture the oddly shaped bugs and smiling suns, drawn in Sharpie, decorating the small clay pot — just as I can remember my mother’s face radiating pure delight at the simple gesture.

As children, we lack the awareness to fully appreciate all the things our mothers do. Luckily, Mother’s Day provides us with a perfect opportunity both in childhood and adulthood.

The team at FindTheData wanted to look at Mother’s Day spending over time and 2016 projections to see how Americans are honoring the maternal figures in their lives.

Understandably, Mother’s Day spending fell during the Great Recession, but has steadily climbed over the last six years. According to Prosper Insights & Analytics‘ Monthly Consumer Survey, Americans are expected to spend $21.4 billion this year on Mother’s Day, representing a 60 percent increase since 2009.

While nearly 16 percent of adults surveyed by Prosper Insights & Analytics don’t expect to celebrate the holiday, the number of respondents who intend to increase their annual Mother’s Day spending outpaces those who plan to spend less by about 10 percent.

Children purchase the bulk of gifts given on the holiday. One-fifth of respondents claimed they will buy a gift for their wives, while nearly 10 percent plan on purchasing a gift for their daughters.

If you’re old enough to purchase a gift for Mother’s Day, you’ve likely graduated from the days of Sharpie-decorated flower pots. When looking at projected spending by category, jewelry wins out at an estimated $4.2 billion this year.

Surprised to see flowers so high up on the list? Mother’s Day actually outpaces Valentine’s Day for the floral industry, accounting for 25 percent of all holiday spending on flowers, according to And although aggregate spending isn’t as high, 66 percent of those celebrating the holiday intend to purchase flowers, according to National Retail Federation data.

Due to their relatively low cost, greeting cards are projected to account for a mere $700 million in aggregate spending, despite being the most-purchased item. Three-quarters of all respondents celebrating Mother’s Day intend to purchase a greeting card.

Where we shop for Mother’s Day gifts might be a sign of the times: 77 percent of surveyed online shoppers last year planned to make their purchases online. In total, online shopping is projected to account for 27.3 percent of 2016 Mother’s Day spending, though department stores will still attract up to a third of all consumers purchasing gifts.

According to 2014 NRF data, those who turn to online shopping venues tend to spend more — a whopping 38 percent more, to be exact.

While many moms would appreciate a kind gesture no matter what the cost — even if you go the DIY route and end up with something a 5-year-old could have produced — last-minute shoppers have plenty of options to choose from.

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