A meal with NO dishes: a perfect last-minute birthday gift for moms

Need a quick last-minute birthday gift for a mom friend? This simple “meal with no dishes” kit is a perfect way to say happy birthday to a mom around you who just needs a little break for her birthday. And…really…don’t we all?
Need a quick last-minute birthday gift for a mom friend? This simple "meal with no dishes" kit is a perfect way to say happy birthday to a mom around you who just needs a little break for her birthday. And...really...don't we all?We all know that birthdays as a mom tend to be much less exciting than they were when we were kids. We don’t usually throw big parties with our friends, our class doesn’t sing happy birthday, we don’t get a special birthday badge to wear. We still have to make lunches, do the laundry, and keep up on the day to day tasks of life. That’s not necessarily bad…it’s just the reality of adulthood and mom life.

Still, It’s nice to feel like the day is a little bit special. So, when I realized my friend’s birthday was last Sunday, I wanted to do something. This is the woman who is always willing to watch my kids, who dreams big dreams for the future with me, and who showed up on my porch with flowers and dessert after she found out I had a miscarriage. We have kids the same ages, we have similar views on life…we are truly kindred spirits.

I keep a stash of “just in case” gifts for these kinds of situations, but I apparently haven’t restocked in a while, because the box in my closet was EMPTY. Whoops. I moved onto Plan B…which consisted of me wandering around my house trying to think what I could do to brighten her day.

As I stood in my pantry staring at completely un-exciting options for things to give her (half-eaten package of goldfish?…probably not), I (thankfully) had a momentary streak of brilliance.

I thought to myself…what is one thing all moms want on their birthdays?

A break!

And then I saw it…the box that houses all of my party supplies and paper goods. In that mess, I saw the makings of a perfect last minute birthday gift.

The gift of a break from doing the dishes.

Doing the dishes has LONG been one of my most loathed chores. In fact, I made a deal with my mom in high school that I would do certain other chores in exchange for not ever having to do the dishes.

When I got married, my husband learned quickly doing dishes would earn him major brownie points, and he took over the job. The way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, but the way to a woman’s heart is through the kitchen sink–at least in my house.

However, with the arrival of kids, I took back the job of doing dishes most nights because I’d rather my husband get in some good play time with the kids (and I not-so-secretly enjoy having a few minutes to myself while I scrub a pot or two).

So what perfect gift did I find lurking in the depths of my pantry?

A simply packaged stack of plates, utensils, and napkins to be used for the birthday dinner (or whenever) and then thrown away.

Because no mom should have to do dishes on her birthday.

It was so simple to put together, inexpensive (I actually already had everything at home), and it was an easy way to say “Kick back and relax a little on your birthday!” to my good friend.

Need a quick last-minute birthday gift for a mom friend? This simple "meal with no dishes" kit is a perfect way to say happy birthday to a mom around you who just needs a little break for her birthday. And...really...don't we all?

Here’s what I did and how you can make your own…

(Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to download the free printable gift tags!)

Materials Needed:

  • paper plates
  • plastic cutlery
  • Paper napkins
  • a rubber band (or some tape)
  • ribbon
  • printable gift tag (see below)

Directions:

  1. Stack napkins on top of plates.
  2. Wrap the cutlery with a rubber band or tape to keep it together. Stack on top of napkins
  3. Tie a ribbon around the whole thing, and tuck in your gift tag.

See? Super simple!

Because picking “favorites” has never been a strength of mine, I designed two different options for gift tags that you can print to go with your gift. Luggage tag with a happy floral print, or square with confetti? You choose!

Need a quick last-minute birthday gift for a mom friend? This simple "meal with no dishes" kit is a perfect way to say happy birthday to a mom around you who just needs a little break for her birthday. And...really...don't we all?

Oh, and tell me which is your favorite in the comments. I’d love to know for future design reference. Thanks!

CLICK HERE to get your free printable gift tag.

Gifts don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to be meaningful. So, the next time you have a mom friend who needs a little birthday cheer, give her a “meal without dishes.”

What are your favorite last-minute birthday gifts to give?

Need a quick last-minute birthday gift for a mom friend? This simple "meal with no dishes" kit is a perfect way to say happy birthday to a mom around you who just needs a little break for her birthday. And...really...don't we all?

14 thoughts on “A meal with NO dishes: a perfect last-minute birthday gift for moms

  1. This is such a cute idea! I often reach for the paper goods when I need a little break myself so I’m sure someone else would also appreciate this! If you have a few extra minutes it’d be nice to stop at the store and pick up a frozen lasagna or something too. And I like both tags, but I think the luggage tag is extra cute. 🙂

    1. My friends and I don’t usually exchange gifts either, but that’s what I like about this gift. It’s simple and inexpensive enough that I don’t feel like someone would feel obligated to give me a gift in return on birthday (nobody needs that stress). It’s just an easy way to say “I’m thinking of you today.”

  2. This is absolutely the cutest idea! You should also make one that says “Because no mom should ever have to do dishes on Friday (or Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday…. well you get the idea 😛 )

    1. Love it! I really might do that now, because it’s the perfect “just because” gift, too, for a mom you know is busy, stressed, or otherwise having a hard day.

    1. Absolutely! Especially if you pair it with a simple, yummy meal she can keep in her freezer until after the baby is born, it would be perfect!

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