It’s no secret that this Mother’s Day is going to look a lot different this year due to the coronavirus and social distancing — but it doesn’t need to be any less special. The kindest thing you can do for all the mother figures in your life is make them feel appreciated — and that might be doable with a unique gift. Whether they’re an ocean, a highway or a neighborhood away, you can cross 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 says.
Ora Nadrich, a life coach and founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking, makes a case for a Mother’s Day gift she could use on a daily basis. “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,” says 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,” says 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.
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Unique self-care Mother’s Day gifts
1. Numi Organic Tea Flowering Gift Set
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.
2. Olive Branch Decor Co. Mother’s Day Gift Box
As per Nadrich’s point, packaging is everything. While it just so happens that the contents of this gift box are pretty sweet — a succulent, a soy candle in a selection of delectable scents and chocolate and lip balm for an added fee — a box topped off with a personalized message is a keepsake she’ll use long after the candle has melted. At checkout, note your preferred shipping time.
3. Theragun G3 Percussive Therapy Device
Research shows that muscle and joint pains are one of the most prevalent complaints in the general population — sitting around can often worsen muscle tension. The Theragun G3 is a helpful percussive therapy device that can release tightness and knots — so she can finally relax after a long day. It comes with four foam attachments to target different muscles and it includes a protective travel case that makes it easy to transport.
4. Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet
Allow her to conjure special moments you’ve shared together with a bracelet essential oil diffuser, along with a separate gift set of six highly-rated essential oil flavors from Lagunamoon featuring the likes of eucalyptus, orange, and lemongrass. Simply place a couple drops of essential oils on the locket’s removable felt pad, and secure it in place with its magnetic closure. It comes with eight felt pads of different colors like pink, blue and green, so it’ll feel — and smell — like a new bracelet each time she wears it.
5. Lululemon All Hours Belt Bag
Shopping for purses doesn’t make much sense if we have nowhere to be. Instead, help her make the most of her afternoon strolls with a sensible waterproof fanny pack complete with discrete compartments for valuables. Don’t forget to load it up with goodies she’ll need for the road, like hand sanitizer, Kleenex, gum, and SPF-infused lip balm.
Unique tech Mother’s Day gifts
6. Amazon’s All-New Kindle Paperwhite
She might have encouraged you to read more at some point — help her do the same in an easy and lightweight format, no matter the length of the tome. The new Kindle Paperwhite is the thinnest and lightest Kindle yet. It can hold hundreds of books — and audiobooks — at a time. It’s also water-resistant: You can use it in the bathtub or next to a pool without worrying about water damage. Additional benefits to the new model include increased battery life, a built-in adjustable light for indoor-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,” shares NBC News Shopping contributor Kirsten Akens. “But my aging eyes also appreciate the Paperwhite for its versatility.”
7. Uncommon Goods Long Distance Friendship Lamp
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, of course, grab just the one but they come in pairs, which is how you get the most out of them. Note that she’ll need a Wi-Fi connection to make it work.
8. Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame
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 be proud to display on the mantle.
Unique home and kitchen Mother’s Day gifts
9. Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy
Made of waterproof bamboo, she’ll be able to soak with the company of her book, phone, mug and wine glass with this highly-rated bathroom caddy. It also features plenty of “counter” space for any other bath essentials like incense or candles. She’ll feel like royalty when she won’t have to prop her precious belongings onto a wet ledge or the toilet.
10. BigLemur Personalized Cutting Board
Whether she’s a veteran chef or only recently dipping her toes into home-cooked meals, every kitchen looks that much more welcoming with a personalized waterproof wood cutting board. First, choose your size and wood type (either oak or walnut). Then select from six different layouts with engraved sayings like “Home is where mom is” and “Mom’s kitchen seasoned with love.” You have the option to personalize the gift further with names or dates. What’s more: The gift doubles as a cheese board.
11. “My Favorite Recipes: The XXL DIY Cookbook”
Chances are you recall many nights gathered around the family dinner table. While it’ll be long before you can make reservations at your favorite spot again, you can certainly forge a connection by cooking your shared favorite recipes and enjoying them together on video chat. In 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.
12. COSORI 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer
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.
13. TUSHY Classic Bidet Toilet Attachment
It’s basically a global inside joke at this point that toilet paper is the leading global currency. But it’s not exactly eco-friendly, nor safe, to frequently venture out to the pharmacy to keep refilling your stash. Keep mom safe with a hygienic bidet that the brand says is quicker to install than a smartphone update and reduces toilet paper use by 80 percent. Its self-controlled nozzle sprays water directly from your home’s tap water source.
14. Bearaby Tree Napper
If Mom is working hard to keep up with the kids’ schoolwork, doing chores around the house or cooking new home meals, the last thing she wants is a restless sleep. The Bearaby Napper weighted blanket may help relieve some of that stress. According to the brand, medical research shows that laying under weight can improve overall sleep and also increases the production of serotonin which can ease the mind and body. The weight of the Tree Napper distributes evenly across the body and the gentile chunky-knit material is crafted from certified organic cotton.
15. Shutterfly Gallery Montage of Memories Fleece Blanket
You may not be able to give her a hug, but you sure can envelope her in memories that bring a smile to her face. Personalize the blanket to your liking—whether that’s photos of milestones from your childhood or glamor shots of mom herself (today is her day, after all). First, choose your fabric: fleece, plush fleece or Sherpa, along with your preferred size. Then, hit the personalized button to customize the layout and number of photos you want to include (up to eight), as well as your preferred background color. Shipping rates and times vary by location.
Unique Mother’s Day gifts that are interactive
16. Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set
Creative outlets are essential any day of the week, but that’s never rung truer now. Allow her to make sense of her thoughts with a comprehensive 104-piece artist’s kit complete with oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, brushes, canvas boards and more. Who knows? She might just end up with a slew of cherished home décor pieces, making it the gift that truly keeps on giving.
17. Caydo Full Range of Embroidery Starter Kit (limited availability)
All the cool kids know embroidery is best displayed in melancholic phrases, like “Who cares?” and “Everything sucks.” But given that these terms hit a little differently in our current times, leave it to your mom to restore her home with some wholesomeness by creating cross-stitch patterns and sayings that bring her joy.
18. Knock Knock What I Love About Mom Fill-In Journal
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 heartfelt journal is an extended Mother’s Day card she’ll keep on her bedside table for a nightly pick-me-up.
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Megan Foster contributed.