From dolls to prom dresses to great big hugs, Mama always knew just what we needed.

mother handing gift to child
From dolls to prom dresses to hugs when we needed them, Mama knew just what we needed.
| Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty

With only a few more days to get our Mother's Day shopping done, we started thinking about all the gifts that she has bought for us. And so we asked our Facebook braintrust: What was your all-time favorite gift that Mama bought for you? Of course, we know her best gifts don't come from the store, and some of our responders pointed that out. They also demanded equal time for Daddy (which we promise to deliver on Father's Day week—but for now we'll say thank you, Daddy, for all the presents YOU built and bought, the teams you coached, the bikes you fixed, and countless hugs, freely given).

Here are some treasured gifts our Facebook friends remember getting from their mothers. Share yours with us in Comments!


"She bought me a prom dress I was dying to have. It was white satin with pink roses, and I thought it was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. She made payments on it to get it for me, and even though I got stood up by my date that year, a dear friend rescued me, and it turned out to be a decent prom. I wore that dress several more times and loved it every single time."

"My mother was generous. She indulged me in all the teen fads, from mohair sweaters to wrap-around skirts, culottes, and a hope chest filled with China and silver flatware. Of course, there were times she didn't indulge me and encouraged me to work for what I wanted, which was a gift as well."

"A sewing machine so that I could make things the color and style that I wanted."

"A wine velvet (!) suit that I would just DIE if I didn't get for Christmas. She convinced me she and Daddy couldn't afford it but then slipped it under the tree. This 70s girl thought that suit was a serious fashion statement—my version of Ralphie's Red Ryder BB Gun."

"My mother could sew so well, and down through the years she made my sisters and me beautiful clothes. But the best was, she made my wedding dress. To say that was special is so not enough. It was beautiful and fit me perfectly."

"A Singer sewing machine for graduation. I used to make a lot of my clothes. Thanks, Mrs. McGrady, for the Home Economics class."

"My mama made my wedding dress. It was perfect."


"A 'real' gold charm bracelet with a sweet sixteen charm on it. She would give me a new charm for future occasions."

"I just had to have a pair of snakeskin boots for Christmas one year! Got 'em!"


"A Madame Alexander Cissette doll. She was ten inches tall and came with three extra outfits. I received her on Christmas Eve and had no clue about her. I thought a pair of house shoes was in that box. I was about ten and had never seen one before. It led me to collect more Cissette dolls many years later—and I still enjoy looking at her."

"My favorite gift was a box of hand-sewn clothes for my Barbie dolls—they were my favorite toys as a child. I still have many of them. They are totally 1970s style! It was also a big regret—I noticed a shoebox on a high shelf and found them before Christmas. Spoiled the surprise and learned my lesson.


"My mama gave me the gift of allowing me to take dance classes (she made all of my costumes) since I was 2 1/2; taking piano, art, and sewing lessons; and being in Brownies and Girl Scouts. She worked hard outside and inside the home so that we could try our hand at lots of creative pursuits."

"A bright orange go-cart with black-and-white striped seats . . . and a racing flag! I think Dad had a good hand in that, too!"


"My favorite gift was not bought, but the gift of time. We never lived close to parents our entire marriage, but my mom came to my rescue every time I needed her. Every hospitalization, sick kids, moves—you name it—she would come and spend several weeks. My house ran as smooth as silk, and we had a great time together. After my first back surgery, she took me Christmas shopping. I couldn't lift anything, so she filled her arms to overflowing. We laughed ourselves silly imagining what everyone thought about the young woman making the old lady do everything. Sure miss those times and her."

"It was this: My mother telling me, when we finally had a moment alone in her hospital room not long before she died, 'Darryl, you'll never know how much I love you.' I said, 'Mother, I do know. You taught me how to love.' She didn't hesitate a second and she said, 'You taught me how to love.' I was totally blown away. I never expected an answer like that but will never forget it."

"My sweet Mama (and Daddy) never stopped with the presents—I'm not sure I could narrow it down to one thing. So I'll just thank them for the wonderful childhood."

Many of our Mama stories revolve around Southern mothers and daughters, but Mama's got a special bond with her boys:

Get those elbows off the table, son, and act like you weren't raised in a barn! (You know Mama loves you, baby, but sometimes you try my patience, bless your heart.)