No More Mother’s Day Cards

No More Mother’s Day Cards

Three years ago my husband (with the prompting of his very wise mother-in-law) started a fabulous tradition. It’s frugal and priceless – the best kind of traditions – and gives him some major husband points!

mother's day journal

This is my Mother’s Day Journal.

Every year on Mother’s Day my husband sits down with our two kids and they create a new page for me in lieu of a Mother’s Day card. Being one and three years old, my first few pages are full of scribbles and a photo or two to commemorate another year of love and motherhood. In the future I suspect I’ll see first sentences with adorable sounded out words and then later on, hopefully some heartfelt and funny memories as my children reflect on our relationship.

md journal 3

I love that all my Mother’s Day “cards” are bound together. It provides a sweet place for me to flip back and see how we’ve grown as a family over the years. Best of all, my husband can put the money he would have spent on a card or two towards my gift, lol!

So mamas, this year, task your husband with purchasing a pretty journal and join me in saying “No more Mother’s Day cards”! Some favorite options here, here, here and here.


Other Articles You May Like:

Best Mother’s Day Gift – Family Collage

Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

Easy Mother’s Day Gifts from the Crafty Kid

Don’t Get Your Mom This for Mother’s Day


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Gretchen hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest along with her husband and two young children. Before transitioning to life as a stay at home mom, Gretchen worked in sales and marketing while earning her Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership. Now her days are focused on managing meal plans and nap times while organizing her sewing stash and children's toy bins. My oh my, how life changes in the blink of an eye! Gretchen writes frequently about natural parenting, becoming more environmentally conscience, her affinity for thrifted treasures, and hopes of making it out of yoga pants each day on her blog That Mama Gretchen (


  1. […] mother’s day journal – This idea from Baby Gizmo Mom’s Best Friend is a wonderful and frugal way to keep mother’s day remembrances through the years! This journal […]

  2. This is a cute idea. When I was younger my mom worked nights for a few months and we would write in a notebook to each other. I’d write to her at night and when she got home she would write me back. Loved it. I like to get my mom flowers or a nice bead for her bracelet.

  3. words cannot explain how special this idea is! Personalized gifts always melt my mother’s heart. i always get her mini roses for her garden..and I think I will do this combined.

  4. I love the idea of the Mother’s day journal, honestly my children are all so young right now I like anything that is personalized by their hand prints or foot prints <3

  5. We do this for Father’s day (with the journal); LOVE THIS IDEA (I got it from you), and my hubby who really hates stuff that goes to waste or piles up loves it, too! Best mother’s day gift idea… whatever mom wants! For me, not to have to cook/clean for the day and maybe a massage πŸ™‚

  6. Such a cute idea! My favorite Mother’s Day gift I like to do for my mom & MIL is a hand painted picture or pottery from my son.

  7. A cool gift Idea I thought of for my mother was; to purchase mini roses and plant them in her garden. Her mini roses bloomed for years! she loved them.

  8. A journal is a cute idea. Though I do love the homemade mother’s day cards. I think it shows a lot of personality!

  9. This year I asked for a breastmilk pearl to add to my charm bracelet. I also want to preserve a lock of my childrens hair in beads to put on it. Last year my husband got me a birthstone ring with my son’s name& birth date on it. It made me cry like a baby

  10. This year is our first mothers and father’s day as parents, so its a perfect time to start! Love it!

    My family has always just appreciated time together for mothers day. But the one thing I remember getting my mom one year was a tree that she really wanted.

  11. I love the journal idea. Great idea for my kids and hubby to do for Mother’s Day. As I am older though, I usually get my mom something I hear her say she needs or likes like a purse or flowers and a card.

  12. The journal is a neat idea, too bad we’re too late in the game for that, lol. My favorite gift to give is a plant or flower. My favorite to get is the dress my oldest buys me every year. Different dress each year, lol.

  13. Love this idea! I may do it myself and have ny daughter write in there from now on. It’s awesome that it will show her growth. So much better than a card. This is a great idea for grandmas as well!

  14. I love this idea! Another great gift idea would to put a coupon on each page for use in that year, for a free breakfast in bed or day off etc.

  15. Great idea!! I would love to start this tradition with my family. My favorite gifts for Mother’s day are kids crafts .

  16. Great Mother’s Day idea! I always try to do this but time gets away. If you can’t get it in the book immediately, email a note to yourself so you don’t forget to add later! Always think personalized Mother’s Day gifts are best.

  17. I love the journal idea! How neat would it be to have that with you at all times so you can write down all their little sayings πŸ™‚

  18. My kids started this last year. I wish I had started it sooner since my older kids are 15, 13, and 13 now. I am sure they would have said some really cute things when they were little.

  19. I love this journal idea, I would love the cover to be covered with pictures along with inside and backside cover. I could use it everyday and have my pictures right there with me where ever I go.

  20. Cute idea! My mother, sister and I usually sneak away from our husbands and kids for the day and never tell our husbands what we did. We usually go shopping, go to the movies, get mani/pedi’s and go out to dinner.

  21. thats an amazing idea i dont think i can top that lol…. my favorite Mother’s day gift is anything homemade and from the heart πŸ™‚

  22. This is totally something I would do!

    Favorite gift idea is getting my wife a Pandora bead each mothers day.

  23. What an amazing idea! Cards aren’t cheap anymore and they just go right into a drawer after about a week and never seen again! I love this! The gift I want this year is actually a piece of jewelry made from my breast milk. Our little man is our last one and I wanted it to be special!

  24. I love this idea. My only idea. Walgreens always does a free 8×10 around mother’s day. I usually will get my son to take a great photo. I then frame it in a nice frame and give it as the gift.

  25. I love to do a spa basket! With a specially blended Tea for Her, a candle, eye pillow and a bath bomb!

  26. My favorite gift idea right now is a blue painted canvas, with a cut out of the kids blowing a kiss and some butterflies or hearts. Hoping to get it done for my mom from my girls.

  27. I love thiss idea. Never too late to start!

    My fav gift from mother’s day is my gold chain that my husband replaced. It was stolen some years back and he knew how much it meant to me so he replaced it.

  28. I’ve been writing a letter to my mom for mothers day the past few years. She loves it (and says it makes her cry everytime). Now I hope to one day get letters from my kids! Love the journal idea so it’s in one place!

  29. My husband started this for me last year. I almost cried looking at my little one’s handprints in finger paint in my journal. AND, hubby wrote me a beautiful letter too. SO SWEET.

  30. Love this idea! My favorite Mother’s day gift is the one I got to open early today. My husband got me a pajama set with a matching sleeping gown for our little guy due in June!

  31. I love love love this idea! To date, my favorite mother’s day gift was a mommy and me snuggle photo shoot. We showed up in our PJs, read a few books, jumped on the bed, and had a photographer capture it all. The pictures are some of my favorites!

  32. This is a good idea! We reuse the same cards every year for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and laugh at the signatures from when the girls were little.

  33. I love this idea!! I would love for my hubby to do it with my kiddos…so meaningful! My all time favorite gift is usually jewelry, nothing $$ but my Alex and Ani bracelets with my kids initials are my favorite.

  34. I love this idea! Maybe we’ll start it this year. I’ve only had 1 true Mother’s Day where my daughter could do something, but I love the card ‘she made’ for me. πŸ™‚

  35. I love personal gifts like handprints of kids or something meaningful that has time and thought put into it. Love the journal idea but my hubby is not that kind of hubby.

  36. We usually give my mother in law potted plants. She loves gardening and it’s nice to brighten up her yard.

  37. I absolutely love this idea! A journal would mean so much to me and be so fun to create. Thank you so much for this idea. I apperiacte it. β™‘

  38. I love this idea..i need to tell about it to my hubby..precious memories ..My favorite gift of course flowers,my mom loves flowers!

  39. My fav Mothers day gift would be the Happy Planner my oldest baby girl got me with saving up her allowance… made me tear up! I have the best babies! She’s 16 but she will allways be my baby… lol i love all my babies like crazy!!! (16, 9 and 3 on the 4th) Thank you Holly!ο»Ώ

  40. It is an interesting idea. I have never thought about doing that. It would be easier to store than a box full of cards.

  41. I told hubby about this, but he thinks there is a catch and that he’s still supposed to get cards lol.

  42. that is a really sweet idea!!! i LOVE art prints of hands and feet the best! that’s my number one kid gift for mothers day! personally, i could use the sleeping in, house cleaning, cooking and general doting like any mom, but i enjoy the gifts of spending time as a family more. one of my favorite mothers days was going to a butterfly house with my hubby, daughter and mother in law!

  43. Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE that idea!! Definitely going to have to start that tradition!! And we will make one for my Husband for Father’s Day as well!! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the idea! Another fun idea that I like would be to plant a flower or tree in the yard each year so throughout the year you can nourish and love the plants and watch them grow and take care of them, just like your relationship with your child πŸ™‚

  44. Love this idea! I love things that are sentimental for Mother’s Day, such as breast milk jewelry or a necklace with the kids’ names on it.

  45. journal is a great idea… I love anything homemade and from the heart… That means way more than anything bought. I always get breakfast made for me which is lovely!

  46. This is an amazing idea and I’m definitely telling my fiance.
    Last year, my mil stamped my daughter’s feet onto a bathroom tile and made a stand for it with a clothespin. It was super cute.

  47. Such a nice idea! My oldest daughter and I have a notebook that we write little notes to eachother in. I hope she keeps them so we can look back at them together years from now!

  48. I love this idea bc I’m not a huge fan of cards. But it’s such a great idea to have all the memories in one place! Love this!

  49. Oh my! I love this idea! I don’t know if I want my kids/husband to start one for me …but I will definitely start one for each of my boys to have their own “Birthday Journal” where’ their dad and I can write them an entry on their special day!

  50. Great idea. We’re getting my mother and mother in law Alex and Ani grandma bracelets for Mother’s Day!

  51. I love this idea! I’m not very good when it comes yogurt giving. I love any suggestions I can get. I hate giving lame gifts.

  52. LOVE this idea!!! As a kid we use to make little books for our mom that had coupons of doing things around the house. Free but she lovedit!

  53. This is such a cute idea. I’ll have to remember it for future reference. πŸ™‚ My favorite Mother’s Day gift idea, is homemade cards.

  54. Such a great idea! Since my kid is big enough I like to ask him what he would like to give his grandmothers and help him make it. It’s always something he can make or find on the road so I just get the supplies πŸ˜‰

  55. So I showed this to my hubby because I thought it was a great idea… well he got me a journal… a blank one… he couldn’t remember what I wanted it for… but at least he got the blank journal! hahaha

  56. So thankful you took the time to post such a wonderful idea. As a grandmother of 3 I will be thrilled to receive mine for my son & his 2 kids with my daughter & her daughter. I thought one book from all of my grandchildren making it together would be even better than 2 separate books. Thanks so much for your post.

  57. My husband bought my “Mother’s Day Journal” from Vera Bradley. It’s beautiful and just the right size.

  58. I love this idea. It’s not just for moms though. My son recently asked me to give him a journal with all my words of advice and favorite scriptures written in it for his birthday, and then we can add to it each year. He’s only 10, but he said he wanted to make sure he had our words forever. Yes, I’m raising one incredible kid.

  59. Hello! I would like to purchase the notebook shown on this post – is it possible to provide the link? Someone I know wants to start this tradition with their family, with this exact notebook! πŸ™‚ Thank you in advance!!!

  60. Great idea, will give one to each grown daughter so they can start. Another great place to get a journal is “Trades of Hope” , they help women around the world out of poverty and difficult situations with the sales of their hand made items. A win-win-win situation!

  61. Interesting… I have been doing this for 13 years now πŸ™‚ I love looking back at it each mothers day and birthday ( My husband has my son write me letters for both occasions). So loving to see his baby scribbles to his now “more meaningful” letters.

  62. Oh, my word. This is the best idea EVER. It’s so simple. How did we not think of this. Mine are grown now, but how amazing would this have been. They have always written sweet notes in the cards. I would have loved that in a journal. And I seriously hate how expensive cards are. This is just a win-win all the way around.

  63. I LOOOOOVE this idea. Even nice for all family members to have so we can leave little messages for eachother. Nice keepsake. Thanks for the post!

    • That’s the great thing about opinions. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not. You want equality, stop being hateful towards things different than what you believe or how you live your own life. Spewing hateful derogatory comments allows you hypocrisy to show.

      If this article were about 2 women celebrating mother’s day with this idea you would rejoice in it. Just because it is a woman talking about what her husband does for her doesn’t make it oppressive. Your own insecurity does. Embrace your way of life and stop caring so much about other people’s opinions. Don’t become the thing you hate.

  64. I absolutely love this idea!! My husband creates his own cards foe every occasion but they are loose everywhere while I try to keep them in one place! So this is a wonderful way to keep them in one place.

  65. My husband and I have a journal between the two of us that we use on anniversaries, birthdays and Mother/Father’s Day. We started 7 years ago when we got married. I love it so much. No wasted cards for holidays and anniversaries. I love it so much, I started giving it as a wedding present with a description of what it is used for . Live the idea from the kids though. Thanks for sharing.

  66. I love this idea and will share it on my hubbys Facebook so all his friends can get this idea too. What a wonderful keepsake, thanks for the idea πŸ™‚

  67. What a great idea! My kids are all grown up, but I am going to keep this in mind for future grand kids plus I have many young nieces and nephews who would benefit from this. Thanks for sharing!

  68. This is so sweet! And thoughtful!!
    Usually the only thing that I get is forgotten…
    And whatever the teacher has my kid make.
    Hubby says, “You’re not MY mother!!” and doesn’t get at all that it is HIS responsibility to teach our child how to be thoughtful toward me.
    It really hurts, frankly.

  69. Excellent idea! Much more practical and might be used for all of the “Festivities” that naturally occur during the year. Love this and obviously so does my daughter because she sent me all of the info!!! Excellent idea!!!!!!

  70. Great idea! I am going to start a personalized one for each of my kids families when they start families. I will put it in their baby shower gifts!!

  71. What a fabulous and unique idea. Cards are wonderful but what a lasting memory for the whole family to look back on in years to come.

  72. We have had one of these for my mom since 1990! My sister was still a toddler. Not only do we get to see the progression of our messages and our hand writing and art skills, we traced our hand every year until it stopped growing and it was easy to see when my dad got the next greatest printer! πŸ™‚ Three kids in the family, two of us are married…and we still write it in every year…and now my husband and sister-in-law contribute too! Never fails…a happy tear is shed looking back on where it all began!


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