Ralph Waldo Emerson has it right about the art of gift giving.

In Emerson’s essay “Gifts,” he writes, “He is a good man, who can receive a gift well.”

But the poet also acknowledges that some gifts come “from such as do not know my spirit.”

Below, moms share their best and worst Mother’s Day gifts.

“The worst Mother’s Day gift I ever got was from my husband,” wrote Lois Ambash of Needham, Mass. “We fell in love at first sight and enjoyed a legendary romance, including a shared love of cooking. On our first Mother’s Day together, he gave me a salad spinner!”

“My best Mom’s Day gift was from my daughter — a pretty floral top with 3/4 sleeves,” wrote Cathy Stuart of Florida. “Not only did she nail it with design and cut, but she knew I favor 3/4 sleeves. Nice to be understood. My worst was a fake plastic flower stuck in floral foam in a Mickey Mouse coffee cup.”

And Stuart said she saved her mom from an awful Mother’s Day gift.

“My dad planned to get her an inexpensive dish drainer because ‘she needed it,’ ” she wrote. “Yuck! When they were young, and money was tight, they gave each other practical gifts. But after 30 years of marriage, he had never given her flowers. I talked him into one red rose. Mom almost cried with joy.”

Karen wrote, “Although all my children really try to get something special for Mother’s Day, I think the best gift I’ve received was a CD of my son playing the guitar and singing some of my favorite songs, including ‘his’ song, which I frequently sang to him in his childhood.”

“Worst gift ever: Dust Buster hand vacuum from my husband on my first Mother’s Day,” one mom wrote. “Best: Theater tickets with prearranged babysitting so I could go.”

Patricia Moore of Denver wrote, “I’m half Japanese and live away from much [of my] Japanese culture. While they were children, I taught my two daughters to fold origami paper cranes. Several years ago, the girls made me a cascade of colorful paper cranes to hang in our family room. I genuinely loved it since it was a nod to that which is quietly but culturally important to me and it didn’t cost much money. That it was more a gift of their time and intention was touching.”

“My best Mother’s Day gift was the first one,” Sharon wrote. “My first child was born on Mother’s Day, and he was healthy and perfect. No way to top that!”

“My worst Mother’s Day gift was literally nothing,” wrote Lorna Gilkey of Alexandria, Va. “Both of my sons thought the other one was going to ‘Go All Out’ for me so neither got me anything. I was upset, and it was an awkward dinner. The best gift was a cookbook. Not just any cookbook. MINE! I started cooking with my older son when he was four years old. Almost 25 years later, he is a chef. He had come over, stolen the collection of recipes we developed over his growing and learning years, cooked most of them, took pictures and created a real cookbook out of them. Even now, three years later, I tear up thinking of how special that was.”

Whether you love your Mother’s Day gift or hate it, remember it really is the thought that counts. Emerson says we should neither be glad nor sorry because “both emotions are unbecoming.”

Why would he say this?

Because you shouldn’t measure someone’s love by what they get you, whether it’s the perfect gift or a salad spinner.

Belinda McGill of Upper Marlboro, Md., said she doesn’t care what her children get her. “Whatever gift is given, whether from a top designer, nearest Wawa, street corner flowers; our son/daughter took time to get something.”

Bunnee Butterfield of Edmonds, Wash., wrote, “I don’t recognize Mothers’ Day. My kids are great all the time. They call, visit, include me, ask for my help. Why would I want cards and flowers or other stuff on one designated day? I have their love and appreciation, which is all I want.”

And about that salad spinner:

Ambash said that her husband saw her disappointment and gave her more romantic gifts forever after. “He died two and half years ago,” she wrote. “I would do anything for another Mother’s Day salad spinner.”