You may not want to do anything resembling a chore on Mother’s Day, but Tsh Oxenreider, founder of and author of Organized Simplicity (Betterway Home, 2010), advocates taking a few minutes to sketch out a two-week meal plan. “When you plan a menu, the stress of staring at the fridge at 5 p.m., wondering what to cook, is gone. You simply refer to your plan and start cooking.” It also requires you to shop for food only twice a month, and then it can lower your grocery bill since you can plan double- (or even triple-) duty for every ingredient you buy. Serve roast chicken one night, chicken salad another, and chicken noodle soup with homemade stock yet another. Best of all, she says, “Once you start the habit of menu planning, it takes only a few minutes and you’re done.” Isn’t Mother’s Day an auspicious day to start a habit that will make all other days easier (and more delicious)?

And, of course, chocolate

Trite as it may be, no self-respecting list of appropriate Mother’s Day gifts can omit chocolate. But we'd never suggest run-of-the-mill confections. Motherhood is often surprising, and sometimes bittersweet—your chocolate should be too. Theo’s organic, fair-trade Bread & Chocolate bar, with buttery artisan bread crumbs and sea salt, is complex enough torepresent the full spectrum of modern maternity.

About the author:  Kate Hanley is the founder of, the mother of two kids, and a major proponent of giving moms massage gift certificates for Mother's Day. (Hint, hint, honey.)