It’s almost Mother’s Day, and let’s be honest — all of us occasionally grow a bit weary of sending flowers to our moms.
Sure roses, tulips and greenery are pretty, most people love them, and they’re super-easy to send.
But there are plenty of simple alternatives that are fun, funky and perhaps a bit more meaningful for the special mom in your life — and online shopping has made it easier than ever to nab them. Consider these options:
Spice up the life of the mom on your list with flavors they wouldn’t likely have in their cupboard or pantry. I love cinnamon, and one of the best gifts I ever received was a basket full of different types. But you could also pull together a basket full of different salts, or curries — or some that are used in her favorite type of ethnic dishes. Get spices at the local gourmet store or order from online retailers such as Penzeys.
2. Beach poncho
Variations on the poncho could serve a mom in just about any climate or lifestyle. The one pictured, from Barefoot Dreams, is cozy and blanket-like — suitable for an evening walk on the beach — but they come in all weights and shapes. You can check out some light, pastel shaded beach ponchos from Turkish-T on Pinterest. If your mom’s home is more prone to showers than sun, consider a light, hooded rain poncho. It’s one of those things most people don’t consider buying for themselves. Once they have it, though, they can’t imagine life without it. Available at many retailers including Amazon.com.
Aprons have made a comeback — and they come in patterns and themes for every personality. Prices range from a couple of dollars for those found at thrift shops and yard sales to tens of dollars for those at high-end retailers. Whether you choose funky or functional, any cook or baker will don an apron with pride. Check out options from sellers on Etsy and CafePress.com and myriad DIY ideas on Pinterest.
4. Summer bathrobe
Summertime was made for relaxing outside with that first cup of coffee or tea. But getting fully dressing can drain the mellow from the experience. Buy mom a lightweight robe that will cover her when she’s on the patio yet allow her to maintain her cool in summertime temperatures. Many retailers will have a selection. We liked these colorful, cotton knit robes selling for about $40 on Overstock.com.
5. Sports ear buds
Whether the mom on your list is a triathlete or power gardener, she is probably tired of constantly adjusting earbuds. Why not shop for a set that will stay in place whatever her activity? Compare a wide variety of affordable options offered by retailers including Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods, or spoil her with the amazing sound of Bose sports headphones, which will cost you a little more.
6. Wrap her up
Camping, kayaking and other summertime sports are great, but some of us get mighty chilly sometimes. Why not consider a Selk’bag 5G lite? You may think it looks silly at first, but this garment — like a wearable sleeping bag — totally makes up for it by allowing the wearer to move in comfort while staying warm. They go for about $100 direct from the company.
7. Splurge on a spa
Even if a spa treatment — mani/pedi, massage or facial — isn’t something the mom on your list normally splurges on, she will likely enjoy it as a luxury. If she lives at a distance, you might not know the spa she’d prefer, but you can buy gift packages from a chain like Massage Envy, which has locations nationwide. Another option is to buy a spa and wellness gift card from Target or other major retailers — and she can use it at her choice of the thousands of vendors that participate in the program.
8. Go vintage
Check out the vintage stores and consignment shops near you, and you’ll likely find a one-of-a-kind item — think hat, belt, handbag, necklace or even blouse — that she’ll really love. The item might remind her of apparel she or others enjoyed years ago and nearly forgot. Best of all, you’ll know this is one gift she won’t receive from anyone else. You can look in local shops or search online sites such as Poshmark.
9. Yoga mat
Before you say she won’t use a yoga mat, consider its versatility. Sure, a yoga mat can be used for yoga — and why not splurge and give her a yoga app, too? — but they’re also handy for times she wants to relax on the fly and enjoy nature, have a little extra padding for her knees when she’s gardening or keep a picnic lunch off the lawn. Best of all, they’re easy to clean so she can use it again and again. Available at many retailers and yoga specialty shops including Gaiam.
10. Cleaning service
Your mom might keep a tidy home, but having someone else clean is one of life’s true luxuries. Does your mom already have a cleaning service? No worries. Find out the name of the service and call them to arrange to pay for her next regularly schedule house-cleaning or two. If you want to find a cleaning service, check local listings or contact a national chain such as Merry Maids.
11. Limo ride
Why should brides and promgoers have all the fun? Make your mom’s Mother’s Day dinner more special by splurging on a limo ride to her favorite restaurant. Yes, it’s extravagant. Yes, she might balk. But it’s a great way to show her that she’s special to you. Check your local listings or go to a national service such as U.S. Limousine Service.
12. Scrabble coasters
If your mom is like mine, she loves a good game of Scrabble. Why not remind her of the joy of the game by creating coasters, a trivet or other useful items from the game’s squares. Grab squares from a set — you might find a used one at a local thrift store — and then follow the easy directions from Pinterest.
13. Fruit infuser water container
Help mom savor fresh fruits by gifting her a water container with a fruit infuser. Just put sliced fruit in the center cylinder, and fill with water. Talk about a gift in good taste. Available at many retailers including Walmart.
14. Plush bed pillow
A new pillow is one of life’s great pleasures — and one many of us put off buying for ourselves. Splurge on memory foam or down-filled pillows and maybe a set of silk pillowcases. If you will see mom on Mother’s Day, consider placing it on her bed with a mint on top, just like they do in hotels. Available at most soft-goods retailers including Bed, Bath & Beyond.
15. Vinyl record converter
Vinyl is making a comeback. but most people are fairly addicted to digital music. You can help get your mom’s vinyl records out of storage and onto her playlist by giving her a vinyl-to-USB turntable. Many don’t require a computer or any type of high-tech knowledge to transfer the sound between mediums. You’ll find the turntables at many retailers including Amazon.com
16. Designer hand bag
Most women love handbags but end up buying functional ones. Give mom a designer bag without breaking your budget. There are plenty of high-quality, gently used bags from a wide variety of designers at various resellers including Bag, Borrow or Steal (The retailer was mentioned on HBO’s popular series “Sex and the City”). And no, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Designer bags can be had from anywhere from $100 (sometimes $50) and up. Best of all, they are all carefully inspected to ensure they’re in excellent condition — and authentic.
17. Vintage board games
Mystery Date, The Game of Life and Lawn Darts (really) were all games that your mom might have enjoyed in the 1960s or 1970s. Give your mom a nostalgic gift by hunting down a game that was popular in her time. Get a new or used version from online sources like Amazon or go to a reseller, such as TimeWarpToys. Want to make her really happy? Gather a group and play the game with her.
18. Concert tickets
Think of that singer or band that your mom has always loved but hasn’t seen perform in years — or ever. Treat her to tickets for the show, and make it even more special by going with her.
19. Luxurious slippers
Plush or elegant bedroom slippers are one of life’s little luxuries but are mainly relegated to the feet of actresses in classic movies. Replace your mom’s scruffy, utilitarian ones with something special like heeled pom-pom slippers from Neiman Marcus (prices range from about $60 to $600-plus). Not her style? Nordstrom has a wide array of comfy slippers for everything from snooty spa to log cabin.
20. Greenery that lasts
Still want to gift flowers or greenery? Why not give a succulent living wall planter kit that can also be used as a centerpiece? It allows you to stick with the traditional vibe of greenery in a modern — and longer lasting — form. Available from various retailers including Uncommon Goods.
What successful Mother’s Day gifts have you discovered? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.