10 gadgets you should NEVER buy your mom

Mother's Day is Sunday, and if you haven't been thinking about it for months, you're probably scrambling for gift ideas now. Fortunately, the Web is full of suggestions for gifts for Mom. Unfortunately, many of them are bad, bad ideas. That's where we come in. Click Continue for a list of 10 "recommended" gifts that you definitely should not get your mom, wife, or grandma for Mother's Day this year.

10. Plastic craft toys
One idea Amazon has on its gift list for a Mom Who Has It All": A purple, hand-cranked Create-A-Sticker Sticker Maker from Xyron. Amazon must have been reasoning that if your mom already has everything she wants, she may want to label her stuff with homemade stickers. Somehow, this doesn't strike us as the greatest idea. On the other hand, if you are a mom or dad, at $17 it could make a good stocking stuffer for your favorite 7-year old.


9. A digital photo frame

Digital photo frames just aren't there yet. We've come up with ten ways the industry could improve them, but until it does, digital picture frames remain small, difficult to use, energy-sucking paperweights with cords sticking out their backs. Fox Business's website recommends this $99 one. We say: wait until next year. By then you may be able to get a frame that uses color E Ink.


8. An engraved picture nightlight

Speaking of picture frames, this personalized photo lamp/nightlight from Light Affection is another no-no. Basically, it's a carved cut-out of a photo of your choice in a small light box. We think it's fairly creepy. It comes from a list for "Moms Like Kate Hudson." We swear. The sample image here is of Melanie Griffith. Of course, if your mom is like any of the moms featured in this gift guide (including Angelina Jolie and Katie Holmes), you may have problems other than M.D. gifting decisions.


7. A baby-food machine
This baby-food maker, called the Beaba Babycook, is one of Williams-Sonoma's top Mother's Day Gift ideas. It's fancy and high tech and all, but do you really want to be sending the message to the mother of your child, "Thanks for having my kids — here, spend more of your time in the kitchen grinding up fancy baby food in this $140 mini-blender"? Probably not.


6. A USB-powered mug

In general, we would say think twice before buying any USB-powered gadget. They always seem so extraneous without doing anything special. That's how we feel about Popgadget's recommendation of a USB-powered travel mug. This thing has "re-gift" written all over it.


5. A microwave

Christopher Null of Yahoo Tech recommends the iWave Cube Personal Microwave for your momma. He says, "Perfect for the spare room or mom's office if she's a microwave-popcorn junkie." We say mom probably already has a microwave in her kitchen and doesn't want a portable one for you to explode marshmallows in or light foil on fire in her living room. Plus, if you look at the pictures attached to this review, you'll see that this $130 novelty nuker barely holds a bag of microwave popcorn.


4. A book about the Internet

Ben Arnold over at Inventor Spot's #4 great gadget gift for mom" is Mark Frauenfelder's Rule the Web. We've got nothing against this book, but giving mom a how-to guide as a Mother's Day gift is just a passive aggressive way of saying, "I hate helping you with your computer problems — stop bothering me." Perhaps you could send Mom this book after your next hour-long phone help session. Just don't pretend it's a gift for her.


3. A voice-activated grocery list

Kaboodle recommends the SmartShopper Grocery List. It's a wall-mounted device— you tell it what you need to buy, and when it's time to go to the store it will print out a list. As our colleague points out, it's a servant that has no risk of getting deported. On the other hand, we're talking about a $150 grocery-list printer here. Mom will still have to go shopping herself.

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2. A surge protector

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, one the L.A. Splash website's recommendations for Mother's Day gifts is the $120 Tributaries T12 Power Strip. According to Splash, "Since Mom’s always a stickler for safety, she’ll love that the T12 delivers high-level protection from surge, overvoltage, and powerline noise or electromagnetic interference." We bet she will. Associated Content also seems to think that surge protectors make good gifts. Close your eyes and imagine your mother saying, "Oh! A surge protector! Just what I wanted." Just doesn't work, right?


1. Weight-loss tech

Apparently Wal-Mart is hoping that the Wii Fit will be a Mother's Day sensation. The store will even give you a $10 gift certificate if you order one now. Why's that? Well, Wal-Mart is trying to say that you can give the $10 to your mom on Sunday, because her Wii Fit won't actually arrive until after May 19. Furthermore, what exactly are you saying with this gift? Here's a hint for the future: never, ever, give anyone a gift that has anything to do with weight loss. Just don't go there. Of course, once mom gets over being all offended, she may actually like the Wii Fit.

We're not just haters. There are plenty of great tech gifts out there— you don't have to get your mom flowers for Mother's Day (though we do love these Egglings). Nothing wrong with an MP3 player, a new digital camera, or a fun watch. Personally, we might top our "10 best high tech Mother's Day gifts" list with a brand new DS Lite and a New York Times Crossword Puzzle cartridge.