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We're dropping big bucks on mom this Mother's Day

Americans are expected to spend an average of $173 on mom this year, up $10 from last year. Gift cards will be popular.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

Mothers across the country can expect to get a greeting card, a nice brunch and some special gifts on Sunday.

Americans are expected to spend an average of $173 on mom this year, up $10 from last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2015 Mother’s Day Spending Survey. That’s the highest amount in the survey’s 12-year history. Here’s what’s on the gift-giving list:

  • Nearly everyone who celebrates (80 percent) buys a card
  • More than half (67 percent) will buy flowers
  • A third (34 percent) will splurge on jewelry

Spending on jewelry is expected to hit $4.3 billion, that’s up $700 million from last year and a new high for this survey.

Other popular gifts include clothing, electronics, housewares and personal services (such as a spa treatment). Add it all up, and that’s an estimated $21 billion in Mother’s Day spending.

Gift cards are now an accepted and welcome Mother’s Day present. Two in five of us (44 percent) will give a gift card, spending an estimated $2.2 billion on them, the NRF survey found.

“Sometimes mothers are difficult to shop for,” noted Greg Emmerich, a project manager at eBay Deals Blog.

Emmerich said he’s thinking of giving his mom a gift card this year because he won’t be home to celebrate with her – and his sister already bought her earrings.

“I know some of mom’s favorite restaurants and I’d like to give her a nice experience since I can’t be there,” he said. “If you don’t live near your mother, gift cards are a really viable option.”

For TODAY's complete Mother's Day Guide, click here!

Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit The ConsumerMan website.