There are ample amounts of holidays and reasons to give a gift to the moms in your life. Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthdays, Mothers Day, Anniversaries, or just because. With all of those opportunities, many people wrack their brains trying to think of the next thing to get for their mother, wife, grandma etc.
Well here is a list that I think would help a lot of people who end up saying "I just don't know what to get her."
1.) Time with you: If you are a child older than 10, you most likely have a "life" of your own. I am also referring to all adult children no matter how old you are. Your mothers want to see you and spend time with you. Unless you are a serious pain in the neck who has shamed the family with atrocities, your mom misses you and wishes she could spend more quality time with you (and even with your spouse and children.) Give her a "date" with the family. It can be as simple as picking up dinner and hanging out, or going to a park and having a picnic with her. Just think about being able to talk to her and give her time to relax with the family.
If you are a husband, a date with you doing something SHE likes or has always wanted to do with you. If its inexpensive its okay, but it should be focused on her (including letting her know how much you enjoy being with her and spending time with her.) Its is especially important that you plan it, prepare for it, and deal with all the details (babysitting, place, time)
2.) Time for herself: This is especially true for mothers with kids at home. Most moms have to be forced to spend time on themselves. Pedicures, haircuts, shopping trips (for her not the kids), a nice lunch with friends, time for her hobbies are all things that get put on the end of the list when you have a family. Think about the moms in your life and what they used to do pre-motherhood or what they have mentioned such as "when I ever have the time I'd love to...". Sometimes an hour or two to concentrate on anything other than the house, kids, groceries etc. can be refreshing. Again, it is important that this is done in addition to planning the details (babysitting, timing, dinner afterward so she isn't worried about it etc.)
3.) That thing she asked for: Seriously, the item or things she has been asking for, pointing at, emailing you about over and over. She has said it, I promise you, and she has said it as bluntly as you can imagine "I REALLY WANT...". If you haven't heard her or forgot, start sending yourself emails, texts, or saving a "Gift Idea" file for her and every time she mentions that thing/things write it down, set an alarm and save it somewhere for the next time you need to get her a gift. Don't think it will seem like you weren't thoughtful for getting her what she wanted. She will be so happy you listened and remembered and that you didn't just run out and grab some random gift to wrap, but got her something she actually wanted. I'm really, really serious about this one. (AND I'M MOSTLY TALKING TO THE HUSBANDS HERE!)
4.) Something thoughtful: This is not an easy category but it is a good one. There are not a lot of specifics here but things to think about (AHEAD OF TIME) that will be super awesome when you have to give a gift.
FOR HUSBANDS: Think back to when you were dating like the first year or so of courtship. Think about how you would notice things about her.: What her favorites were, things she needed but didn't know she needed, just little things you paid attention to because you actually wanted her to like you. Try doing that for about a month and you will get some idea(s) that you might never have thought of or that she hasn't even asked for yet.
FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: Something sincere telling your mom how thankful you are for her for specific things she does and how she takes care of you (a letter, story, a handmade card, or artwork.) Also, something from all the children that will capture a memory from that age like a photo book, hand prints, etc (most likely this will require grown up help which will also get a lot of appreciation for Husbands who assist.)
FOR ADULT CHILDREN: Do something that creates a memory or brings back an old one. Collect favorite clothes of yours and your siblings and make a quilt, or shadow boxes. Something that shows a special connection for the two of you in particular. Something involving the grandchildren is always fun too.
FOR ANYONE: Think of something she HATES doing (filling up her car with gas, lawn work, cleaning out the fridge, cleaning out her car) and give her coupons or set dates that you will do that for her. In the same vein, think of something she's always wanted done to the house, but never been able to do (paint, landscape, organize etc.) and get enough people together to get it done. It isn't fancy or wrapped pretty, but I assure you every time she sees the work you've done, it will matter more than the sweater, CD or other gift you got her.