Mother's and Father's Day spending

Mother's and Father's Day spending


Celebrating parenthood: Survey insights on gift giving and spending trends for Mother’s and Father’s Day

Holidays of appreciation

Twice each year, Americans set aside time to honor the work and sacrifice of parents and caregivers on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We surveyed 1,000 adults (both parents and children over 18) to find out what gift giving will look like this year.

What moms and dads want

Since Mother’s and Father’s Day are all about parents, let’s explore how moms and dads feel about these holidays. How do they want to be celebrated, and what do they hope to receive from their kids?


Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are meaningful traditions for American parents, as 90% of moms and 83% of dads said it was important for them to celebrate. But celebrations don’t need to be fancy; only 38% of moms and 25% of dads expected gifts from their children for the holidays. Kids can make the day extra special for parents with gifts of quality time, something handmade, or treating to dinner. If children want to buy something for either occasion, a gift of around $100 is more than enough to make their mom or dad feel appreciated.

Key takeaways

95% of American parents celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day in some capacity.

Of the parents who told their children not to give them anything for Mother’s or Father’s Day, 14% admit they secretly hope to receive a gift and will feel disappointed if they don’t.

Mothers and fathers generally believe spending a little over $100 is adequate for a Mother's or Father's Day gift.

Moms are 120% more likely than dads to feel disappointed when their children don't give them a gift, even after they've told their children they don't want one.

42% of mothers expect their partner, and 38% expect their children to get them a gift this Mother’s Day.

36% of fathers expect their partner, and 25% expect their children to get them a gift this Father’s Day.

The most desired gifts fathers want this Father's Day are:

  • Quality time
  • Handmade gifts
  • Being treated to dinner

The most desired gifts mothers want this Mother's Day are:

  • Being treated to dinner
  • Handmade gifts
  • A card

Mothers and Fathers agreed the most unique gifts are:

  • Handmade gifts
  • Personalized photo books of family memories
  • Tickets to a show/concert

Honoring moms and dads

With the ever-present expectations of their parents upon them, how do adult children view Mother’s and Father’s Day, and what gifts do they have planned for their moms and dads?


Celebrating moms and dads is almost as meaningful to adult children as it is to their parents, as 87% said it was important to celebrate Mother’s Day, and 76% said the same for Father’s Day. Also like their parents, 82% of adult children preferred giving the gift of quality time over spending money on presents, but 35% felt societal pressure to buy something.

Of adult children who do make purchases this Mother’s and Father’s Day, 33% will spend less due to inflation (32%), the high cost of groceries (28%), and a desire to build up their savings (27%). Still, 69% of moms and 53% of dads can expect a gift of around $100 from their children.

Key takeaways

35% of adult children feel societal pressure to purchase gifts for Mother's and Father's Day.

33% of adult children will spend less on their Mother's and Father's Day gifts this year, with inflation being the top factor influencing their spending.

Most adult children plan to spend around $100 for a Mother's or Father's Day gift.

The top gifts adult children plan to give their mothers for Mother's Day are:

  • Flowers
  • Treating to dinner
  • A card

The top gifts adult children plan to give their fathers for Father's Day are:

  • Treating to dinner
  • A gift card/cash
  • A card 

People report spending the following, on average, for major holidays:

  • Birthdays: $350
  • Thanksgiving: $300
  • Christmas/Hanukkah/Easter: $800
  • Mother's and Father's Day (collectively): $200

Expressing love through gifts 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are wonderful opportunities for children to show their parents appreciation and love. One way to express that love is by gift giving, and in the true spirit of parenting, most moms and dads don’t want expensive or fancy gifts but prefer the gift of quality time or handmade treasures. As Mother’s and Father’s Day approach, children of all ages can take a little extra time to prepare something personal and make new memories with their moms and dads—as long as it’s from the heart, parents are sure to love it.


We surveyed 200 parents and 800 children over the age of 18 to explore spending habits and emotions experienced when celebrating special occasions. All data referenced in the article is from this survey.

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