Holiday Gift List for Mom


Even if you’re one of the 33% of Americans who “wish they could skip the holiday season rather than spend money on gifts,” we think you’ll agree.. .

You really can’t skip over Mom!

But look past silly or pointless gifts. Rather, give her a gift that will make you feel better about her security and will show you really care. We’ve put together a Gift List for Mom to get you started. (If you don’t have a mom, just substitute any older person you care about!)

Click here for a Full Page Version – but read the whole Advisory first so you don’t miss any of the details!

Here’s what’s behind this gift list for Mom . . .

My shopping recommendations follow, along with some specific examples in a chart at the very bottom of the page.

Part One: Gifts to make life easier for Mom.

Most of these gifts are long-lasting material “things” that make fun stocking stuffers and great “mystery” gifts.

Part One gifts have been perennial favorites in our family. (You can actually find a gift for every age here!)

  • Bottle opener suitable for the kinds of cans and bottles that Mom opens
  • Flashlight/lantern/solar lamp with glow-in-the-dark handle
  • Emergency radio for news if the power is out
  • Motion-activated light in the driveway or on the porch
  • Portable cellphone chargers
  • A collection of batteries of various sizes

Part Two: Gifts to help Mom avert or avoid an emergency.

Part Two of the Gift List for Mom is another category of gift altogether. Each of these items requires some involvement on your part!

No use waiting for Christmas. Consider some of them for Thanksgiving . . .

  • Take a walk around the outside of Mom’s place. See some things that need to be taken care of before winter really hits? For example: trimming branches that may break in high winds. Making sure downspouts all connect and lead away from the house. Bringing in or covering up outdoor furniture.
  • Take on some fire prevention around your Mom’s’ home: rake up piles of dried leaves and clean out gutters where flying embers could find purchase. (Get the kids involved in this one, too.)
  • Make sure there’s a tool kit in Mom’s car that contains at the very least an emergency light, jumper cables and flat tire inflator. (Even if she isn’t sure about how to use these tools, a good Samaritan could make use of them on her behalf.)
  • Pack a simple Survival Kit for each car in the family, including Mom’s. Fill with warm clothing and/or blanket, snacks, a flashlight, a bottle of water. You never know when rain, snow or an accident will trap you for hours or even overnight on the road. For Mom, being trapped like that could be a real emergency. (You can find more info about what to look for on our Emergency Kit Reviews page.
  • Install a couple of new, lightweight fire extinguishers in Mom’s home. Put one in the kitchen. Make sure Mom holds and handles the extinguisher and understands how to use it. (PASS: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handle, Spray from side to side at the base of the fire.) Again, see the chart below for a specific recommendation.

Part Three: Gifts that could save Mom’s life.

Before you head out for your next visit, pack up a few essential tools and supplies so you have what you need to complete these important household chores.

They may have been overlooked for too long.

  • Test Mom’s smoke and CO alarms! You may not enjoy climbing ladders, but your Mom may not be able to! Bring a few 9 volt batteries when you come to visit and take 15 minutes to test all the alarms in her house. (If the alarms are over 10 years old, replace them.) (We have more about CO alarms here.)
  • Does Mom live in earthquake country? Load up on a few brackets and straps at the hardware store and fasten shelves and bookcases to the wall. Tie down computers and TVs. Every day we get closer to one of the “big ones” and these simple preparations can save lives.
  • Has Mom added more electrical gadgets in the house, like fans, heaters or lamps? Maybe even an electric chair? Arrive with a couple of heavy-duty power strips and make sure none of her plugs is overloaded. (Get the kind with an overload switch. And choose the right length cord – 2, 4 or 6 ft.)

And here are some selected examples of gifts from the list for Mom!

All these items come from Amazon, where we are Affiliates. If you click on the images, you’ll go directly to Amazon where you can check full details including prices. Note that in a couple of places I’ve suggested variations on the basic product. Scroll down the Amazon page and you may find a comparison chart with those other variations listed.

Emergency lamps and lanterns -- These lightweight inflatables are solar powered! They do need to sit in the sun for several hours before they are charged - but if Mom has sun, she won't run out of light even during an extended power outage. Plus, these lamps are durable, waterproof, and the amount of light is adjustable. (If you need even more info about lanterns, remember we have a whole review page devoted to them here at

Findable Flashlights -- The top one in the picture is a typical metal flashlight with a glow-in-the-dark handle. The second image shows a whole collection of smaller flashlights with entire rubberized, glow-in-the-dark cases. I've said it many times -- have a flashlight in every room! Having glow-in-the-dark models will make them a lot easier to find in an emergency.

Emergency radio will pick up news and weather even when the power is off. I like this radio particularly because it can operate with solar as well as with batteries. And it has a powerful battery storage bank.

Dawn to dusk security light is motion activated, powered by batteries. Once you have one on your porch, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. Once Mom has one, she'll wonder why you never thought of it before now!

Batteries and Power Banks. Yes, you could add a whole collection of batteries as a great holiday gift. But I'd also add a simple power bank like this one, to charge Mom's phone. (We own a couple of similar ones. They hold a charge forever -- well, not really forever, but for weeks.)

Car Tool Kit. We all have tool kits in our cars, in various conditions. Be sure Mom has one that's complete. This one holds jumper cables and emergency items; if Mom lives in a place where she could get stuck, find a car kit with a tow strap. (That will add another $10 to the price . . .)

Fire extinguishers -- yes, more than one. Be sure to have one near the exit in the kitchen! And get a size and a squeeze mechanism that fits Mom's capabilities. (There are even spray can extinguishers but they empty out almost instantly. Still, better something than nothing.)

In my experience, moms often delay making decisions that someone else might label as “just for her.” You can help your Mom avoid any of that by making sure YOU take action for her welfare.

She will appreciate your thoughtfulness. She may even love you more!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

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