Little known historical fact: The West Virginia woman, Anna Jarvis, who started Mother’s Day in 1908 was eventually so opposed its commercialization that she boycotted her own holiday. Instead of buying gifts, she insisted that people write their mothers (and, presumably, their baby’s mothers) long letters of appreciation. Whether or not she was cool with handmade ceramic ashtrays that read “World’s Best Mom” is anybody’s guess.
And while the idea of sitting down by candlelight to pen a lengthy, heartfelt treatise to your spouse sounds lovely in theory, who has time for that? So instead, let Jarvis roll over in her grave a little, and tell your wife thanks this Mother’s Day with a gift she won’t accidentally throw away. Here are 11 she’s certain to appreciate, including a fitness tracker disguised as a bracelet, an artsy portrait of the family, and an espresso maker she can bring to the office. Now, just don’t forget to write something in the card.
Ringly Joyride Activity Tracking Bracelet
Sporty as she may be, not every woman wants to wear a bulky rubber fitness band into a business meeting. With Ringly’s new Joyride smart bracelet, she doesn’t have to forfeit steps for style. Hidden beneath the emerald-cut Howlite stone is an activity tracker that not only records steps, distance, and calories burned, but also receives notifications (for email, apps, texts, Slack, all of it) from more than 100 apps, alerting her via one of five colored lights or a series of vibrations.
Little Ulysses “The Snuggle Is Real” Tote
Technically, they these stylish zippered canvas totes are billed as baby bags, but that shouldn’t stop your spouse from filling them with something other than diapers. They’re handmade out of 100 percent canvas, fit comfortably over the shoulder, and boast an interior pocket to keep things organized. In case the snuggle pun isn’t your wife’s style, there are other catchphrases available ⏤ including “Strolling’ With My Homie and “New Kid On The Block”.
Paper Cut Family Portrait
Sure, you can give your wife a framed picture of the family. But you know what’s better? Turning that same picture into an artsy paper cut portrait. Simply provide the artist at Purple Paper People with three different photos, specify everybody’s eye color/clothing/and hairstyle preferences, and then sign off on their illustration. From there, the artists turn it into a 4.5-inch by 4.5-inch watercolor and gouache masterpiece complete with family name and flowers. Price is based on the number of people in the pic (three runs $234), and you can throw in the family dog for an extra $58.
Mommy Milestone Wine Labels
These handmade bottle labels celebrate events in a new mom’s life that “deserve a party” and a bottle of wine: like “First Mommy Meltdown,” “Baby Slept Through The Night,” and “Goodbye Baby Weight.” There are six to choose from, and you can order as many as you’d like, just don’t forget the bottles of wine to stick them on. They come personalized by name/favorite color and, just like her, they won’t run if they get spilled on.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
Not to knock on the ice cream at the local Stop & Shop, but this Santa Barbara institution has been churning out some of the country’s best frozen dessert since 1949. And they deliver. Which makes having a few pints of Sea Salt Cream And Cookies or Whiskey And Pecan Pralines shipped right to the door a no-brainer. Pints cost $12, are available in 21 flavors, and arrive in up to three business days ⏤ although you can throw down an extra $99 to have it waiting for her at breakfast.
The Cottage Greenhouse Foaming Bubble Bath
“Me” time is not typically something mom gets a lot of. Afford her several hours of it to relax in a bath freshly drawn with one of Cottage Greenhouse’s vitamin-rich soaks. Not only do these bubble/milk baths come ripe with anti-oxidants and skin-softening hydrators, but they’re also sold in a plethora of fanciful flavors and eccentric scents including Violette fig and black currant, sugar beat and blossom, and Japanese Plum and white tea.
Sudara Kala Robe
For the socially conscious mom who wants to do her part (but also look stylish while sipping her morning coffee), Sudara’s line of rayon robes are made in India by “high-risk women or survivors of human trafficking.” Part of the proceeds from each sale also go to job creation and training for other women in need. The machine-washable Kala comes in a soft cornflower blue, is trimmed with a golden waves border, and features both pockets and a fabric tie closure.
Leatherman Juice S2
If there’s one thing mom’s do, it’s fix stuff. And Leatherman’s lightweight Juice S2 multitool makes that easier. At 3.25 inches (closed), it’s small enough to fit in a purse, and it comes with all the requisite tools ⏤ including spring-action scissors, two sets of pliers, and tiny screwdriver ⏤ needed to get it done around the house and/or change the batteries in Junior’s favorite toy. Throw in an extra $10 and you can add a poignant engraving and have it delivered in a gift box.
Annie Sloan Mini Project Pack
Perfect for the crafty mom whose idea of taking a much-need break from the baby involves painting a dresser, Annie Sloan’s Mini Project Pack comes with two 3.4-oz cans of chalk paint, two cans of clear/dark soft wax, and a small pure bristle brush. As the name alludes, it’s designed for small projects like “a chair, stool or table.” And the biggest challenge to ordering will likely be deciding on the paint colors, as there are more than 30 to choose from and they all seem to have regal, nondescriptive names like Antoinette and Emperor’s Silk.
Because few things ruin a hiking trip like hauling a countertop espresso machine in your backpack, this handheld instant coffee maker weighs less a pound and extracts a bold cup of espresso on the trail (or on the beach, or at her desk, etc.) in minutes. All you have to do is fill it with hot water, give it a few pumps, and let the internal semi-automatic piston do its thing. The Minipresso accepts either fresh ground coffee or Nespresso or Caffitaly capsules.
Katz’s Deli Mother’s Day Platter
As much a gift for you as it is for her, this platter from the famed New York City deli takes all the guesswork out of making that special Mother’s Day meal. It arrives overflowing with a pound of meat (sliced pastrami, brisket, or corned beef), quarts of both Matzo Ball soup and pickles (full sour or new), mustard, and a half a loaf of Rye bread. They even throw in a bag of chocolate or cinnamon Rugelach for dessert, as well as Katz’s Deli apron and cream-scented candle ⏤ so she’ll still remember the meal long after you finish the meat.