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Like last year’s celebration, Mother’s Day might look a little different than it did in years past. But that doesn’t mean the holiday can’t still be celebratory — whether you’re planning a small gathering or celebrating farther away from family. The kindest thing you can do for all the mother figures in your life is make them feel appreciated — and a small token of your affection beyond the standard Mother’s Day card or flowers from a farmer’s market just might do the trick. Whether they’re an ocean or a neighborhood away, you can help bridge that divide with a Mother’s Day gift that’s one of a kind for someone who means the same to you. And that’ll look different for everyone, according to Jenny Yip, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and parenting expert at Renewed Freedom Center in Los Angeles, California. “Does she usually prefer a practical gift? Or does she like something more sentimental? Flowers might be a wonderful gift if you know your mother enjoys them, but if you know she thinks they're wasteful, then go with what you know,” she said.
Ora Nadrich, a life coach and founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking, believes a Mother’s Day gift she can use on a daily basis could be best. “Because there’s a shortage of things to buy during these unprecedented times, giving practical gifts might be the very thing your mother [or] mother figure could really use right now,” said Nadrich. “You can put together a lovely gift basket with more useful gifts and make each one seem special by how you wrap it.”
Gifts aside, Mother’s Day provides a unique opportunity to put our lives on pause and pay homage to the special women in our lives, and that often involves spending time together in person. Don’t let distance deter you from engaging with your mother any less this year. “Ask her something like, ‘Mom, since we usually meet and this year it's going to be challenging, would you like to FaceTime?’ When you do video chat, maybe you do a fun dance or have your kids do a surprise performance for her,” said Yip. “It's a way to still make her feel special even though you may not be able to meet in person this year.”
To help you navigate a sea of thoughtful and unique Mother’s Day gift options, we compiled some of the best ones according to the guidance and advice we got from the experts we consulted. While it might seem a bit early to contemplate what you'll get her for Mother's Day, present realities mean there's reason to act sooner than later.
Unique self-care Mother's Day gifts
While this year’s Mother’s Day is going to be unforgettable for obvious reasons, try making a lasting impression in a positive way. Skip the tired flowers and opt instead for a blossoming loose leaf tea set complete with a 16-ounce glass teapot and either four or six tea blossoms. Each one is made of organic tea leaves hand-sewn around flowers like orange lily, chrysanthemum and hibiscus. Simply place the tea blossom in the pot, fill with boiling water, and wait three minutes for the tea to bloom. For a makeshift high tea session, sip a cup together on FaceTime — British cucumber butter tea sandwiches optional. When her initial teas run out, set her up with a tea subscription from Sips By.
As per Nadrich’s point, packaging is everything. And it just so happens that the contents of this prepackaged gift box are pretty sweet — it comes with a succulent, a soy candle and chocolate (for an added fee). You can choose from four scents for the candle: Coconut Verbena, White Tea, Watermelon and Lavender. For an extra special touch, top off the box with a personalized message that she might keep around long after the candle has melted.
Research shows that muscle and joint pains are one of the most prevalent complaints in the general population — and sitting around can often worsen muscle tension, especially with many of us working from home nowadays. This Theragun massage gun offers a deep tissue treatment to release tension so she can finally relax after a long day. According to the brand, it can be used continuously for two hours and features five speeds to choose from. There’s even an app she can connect to via Bluetooth for a more customized routine. It has an average 4.8-star rating over more than 1,100 reviews on Amazon.
This bracelet doubles as an essential oil diffuser — you can also give her a separate gift set of six highly rated essential oil flavors from Lagunamoon to complete the gift. She can place a couple drops’ worth of essential oils on the locket’s reusable and removable felt pad and secure it in place through the magnetic closure. It comes with eight felt pads in different colors like pink, blue and green, so it’ll feel — and smell — like a new bracelet each time she wears it. A popular pick on Amazon, this bracelet has earned an average 4.5-star rating over more than 4,100 reviews.
This belt bag is a practical piece for holding her phone, keys and other essentials while out on a walk or grocery run. This water-repellent belt bag features exterior and interior pockets. It comes in colors like Neo Mint and Black. As an added bonus, you can stock it up with essentials she’ll need for the road, like hand sanitizer and SPF-infused lip balm.
Unique tech Mother's Day gifts
At some point, you’ve probably heard her say you should read more. You can help her do the same in an easy and lightweight format with the Kindle Paperwhite. This Kindle is thinner, lighter and more water-resistant than other models — so she can use it in the bathtub or next to a pool without worrying about water damage. It can hold hundreds of books — and audiobooks. This model comes with an increased battery life, a built-in adjustable light for indoor and outdoor reading and a glare-free display.
"With print books, you read what’s in front of you and you make it work. There’s joy in simplicity," shared NBC News Shopping contributor Kirsten Akens. "But my aging eyes also appreciate the Paperwhite for its versatility."
Snail mail takes far too long — light up her day instantly by illuminating her lamp with a bright-hued glow when you place your hand on your own lamp (no matter how far you are). You can grab just the one lamp, but you can also choose to shop the pair which is probably how you get the most out of them. Note that she'll need a Wi-Fi connection to make it work. The set of lamps might feel a little more special than just the occasional text.
We can all use the reminder that better times are ahead. Through email, the Nixplay mobile app, Google Photos, Dropbox, or social media, she’ll be able to load this digital picture frame with an ongoing highlight reel of fond memories and fun playlists. (Alternatively, you can also pre-load it for her so she can sit back and enjoy it right away.) Complete with a remote control, it’s a photo album she’ll likely be proud to display on the mantle. It works with Amazon’s Alexa as well.
Unique home and kitchen Mother's Day gifts
Made of waterproof bamboo, this highly rated bath caddy will let her soak with the company of her book, phone, mug and wine glass. It also features plenty of "counter” space for any other bath essentials like incense or candles. This bath caddy has earned an average 4.7-star rating over more than 1,700 Amazon reviews.
Whether she’s a veteran chef or only recently started dipping her toes into home-cooked meals, this personalized waterproof wood cutting board just might help her elevate her cooking game. You choose a size and wood type (either oak or walnut). You can personalize the board, picking from six layouts with engraved sayings like “Home is where mom is” and “Mom’s kitchen seasoned with love.” There’s also the option to personalize the gift further with names or dates. This gift can double as a cheese board, too.
The family dinner table is likely the site of many happy memories. While you might be waiting to gather around the table together again, you can still share your favorite recipes.through this personalized cookbook. Get creative with the “notes” section under each recipe — it’s a great way to add another layer of intimacy to the gift.
Making home-cooked meals isn't always an easy task, but with help from an air fryer, healthy dishes can quickly become part of your daily routine. The Cosori 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer includes a square basket that easily fits a whole chicken or turkey breast. The internal grates and nonstick basket are also dishwasher safe to make clean-up simple after dinner.
A practical gift, bidets can be more eco-friendly than stocking up on toilet paper. This bidet is designed to be easy to install, especially since it doesn’t require electricity or plumbing. It also features pressure and angle controls and a self-cleaning nozzle that sprays water directly from your home’s tap water source. You can choose between three knob styles: Bamboo, Platinum and Bronze. The bidet has earned an average 4.6-star rating over more than 5,100 reviews at Amazon.
The last thing mom wants is a night of restless sleep. The Bearaby Napper weighted blanket may help relieve some stress that’s keeping her awake. Weighted blankets can mimic the feeling of a hug, according to one expert we previously spoke to — and that might be just what she needs this Mother’s Day, even if it’s from a distance. The Tree Napper is designed for hot sleepers, distributing weight evenly across the body. It’s made from natural eucalyptus fibers. The blanket comes in three sizes, ranging from 15 to 25 pounds, and the brand recommends picking a size that’s 10 percent of your body weight. You can choose between three colors: Rosemary, Almond and Pomegranate.
You sure can envelope her in memories with this personalized blanket that you can pick photos for — these can include f milestones from your childhood or glamour shots of mom herself. First, choose your fabric — fleece, plush fleece or Sherpa — along with your preferred size. There are three sizes to choose from, ranging from 30 inches by 40 inches to 60 inches by 80 inches. Hit the personalized button to customize the layout and choose the number of photos you want to include and your preferred background color. Shipping rates and times can vary by location.
Unique Mother's Day gifts that are interactive
You can give her a new creative outlet with this comprehensive 104-piece artist’s kit complete with oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, along with brushes, canvas boards and more. She might end up giving you her art in the future. The set has earned an average 4.6-star rating over more than 4,000 Amazon reviews.
For nimble-yet-idle fingers, this embroidery kit includes the basics for beginners including hoops in various sizes and colorful threads. Whether she knows her way around a sewing machine or doesn’t know how to put a fallen button back on, this kit can offer another creative outlet for her to try out. It has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 4,800 Amazon shoppers.
Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t about sharing material possessions, but sentiments. Filled with prompts like “If you were a scent you would be…” and “I always want to hear what you’re going to say about…” this 112-page journal is like an extended Mother’s Day card she can keep at her desk during the day or on her bedside table to read before sleeping.