Mother’s Day — don’t worry, you didn’t forget it. Yet. (Sunday, May 8, genius.) Because even if you patted yourself on the back for bringing that sentimental A game last year, it’s time to show up again. Stop grumbling and thinking of this as a “Hallmark holiday.” Think of it, rather, as Hallmark shaming you into making up for the other 364 days a year you don’t do enough to show your appreciation.
Chocolates, flowers, jewels; that’s not you. You’re the guy who is thoughtful, creative, and giving (not to mention “a catch”, according to your mother-in-law, now 14-years running). Here are 14 unexpected gifts that at least start to show your undying gratitude.
Flowers are to Mother’s Day what beer is to major league baseball stadiums — way too expensive, usually piss poor quality, and yet absolutely vital to its enjoyment. Bloom That outdoes the FTDs of the world by shipping aesthetically superior bouquets across the country the next day (or the same for those in select cities). And you can make it even easier by ordering them via an app on your damn phone. Put it right next to the app for MLB Game Day.
Bloom That ($38+)
Because motherhood isn’t a one-lifestyle-fits-all endeavor, photographer Ali Smith captured more than 40 beautiful portraits of modern moms in her photo essay Momma Love — from an Oscar nominee to a gay couple’s surrogate to a woman determined to raise her son while battling a terminal illness. If you need more incentive to buy, Smith is donating $10 to WIN NYC (Women In Need) for every book sold. Better gift wrap this one with a travel pack of tissues.
Momma Love by Ali Smith ($35)
Quotes from luminary mothers (like Anita Diamant, Amy Tan, and Simon De Beauvoir) are set against Samantha Hahn’s watercolor brushstrokes. This collection is just the kind of sentimental inspiration that a new mom needs during the trying times — like midnight feedings. Or 3 AM feedings. (Or 5 AM feedings.)
A Mother Is A Story by Samantha Hahn ($20)
Get your special lady the bag that says, “I’m full of French passports and opera receipts,” and not “I’m full of squeezable snacks and books that talk like Elmo.” This colorblock tote is big enough for her every day carry and your kid’s everyday necessities, and it will make her feel classier than carrying a backpack featuring cartoon foxes everywhere she goes.
Lori Colorblock Tote by Nisolo ($178)
You find yourself asking “what smells,” about 50 times a day — and the answer to that question is usually sitting in the crib, grunting and farting. Try putting Norden’s scented candle in a hand-thrown mug near your gross baby. Enjoy a nursery that smells more like a breeze blowing off the water of Big Sur, instead of a used diaper covered in Indian food.
Norden 12 Oz. “Big Sur” Ceramic Candle ($55)
Commemorate exactly where your kid was born (or, if you’re feeling saucy, conceived) with this necklace powered by Google Maps. Just input your coordinates and A. Jaffe will stamp the location on a silver or gold pendant with a diamond — instead of an X — to mark the spot. A La Quinta off the interstate? Now that’s romance!
Maps by A. Jaffe ($125+)
You care about things: Your wife, your kid, the Earth (when it isn’t too much of a hassle). And because you’re such a progressive guy, you’re going to buy your wife this recycled gold and sterling silver sphera cuff. She’ll appreciate the fact you’re not killing the earth mining for more precious metals. You’ll appreciate the fact that she appreciates that fact.
Sphera Cuff by Melissa Joy Manning ($360)
Who doesn’t appreciate a nice shawl? Fair Sea Supply Co. blanket is 5 feet of Turkish cotton that you can spread out on the sand for a romantic picnic, and then wrap her up tight when things get chilly (and sexy). You can even use it as a towel when, in the midst of that sexiness, you forget the tide is coming in.
Fair Seas Supply Co. San Diego Blanket ($128)
You know what they say: The family that bicycles together gets places a lot faster than the family that walks everywhere (it’s kind of a literal aphorism).The 7-speed Bisou touring bike from Tokyo Bike can be outfitted with all sorts of baskets, racks, and even a kid’s seat if this becomes her primary mode of commuting. You? You can stick to riding that 10-speed that you’ve had since college.
Tokyo Bike Bisou ($695)
Any idiot can go out and buy a box of chocolates (that was the point of Forrest Gump, right?), but you’re going to be the idiot that makes them for Mother’s Day. Benchic sets you up with everything you need to make 60 kick ass pieces of confection. Mix up the organic Peruvian cocoa butter (and Dominican Republic cocoa powder) with honey, lucuma powder, crushed almonds, and coconut. Mold it. Eat it. Make more because your wife will be home soon.
Benchic Chocolate Kit ($79)
Don’t just make Mother’s Day a great day for the mom in your life — make it a great one for a mother you don’t even know. Nothing But Nets is an organization dedicated to eradicating malaria through the simple act of providing bed nets for families. It only costs $10 to purchase one and prevent the mosquito-spread disease in a child.
Nothing But Nets ($10 and up)
Since your baby is a work of art (even though the Smithsonian fails to “officially” recognize it), this digital frame will approximate that professional gallery feel. Each Meural is a 27-inch, Wi-Fi connected, high-definition screen that vividly displays classic and contemporary art and photography from their vast, subscription-based collection. Or, substitute your own vast collection of home birth photos. (Hey, better than most of what Damien Hirst does.)
Meural ($445 – $545)
Do you know what ladies love even more than Cool James? A nice pair of wool slippers. These Alenas from Ugg have a soft interior for bare feet and a rubber exterior for the living room floor that looks like a LEGO Battle of Antedum. They also have Oprah’s stamp of approval, so double-check your closet to make sure she doesn’t already own a pair.
Ugg Alena ($120)
In some ways, spring can be rougher than winter to decide to go for a jog (preferably with a well-reviewed jogging stroller). At least winter has the decency to tell you it’s cold. Spring just acts superior, like it’s all warm and shit. Aether’s Pursuit jacket with sweat-wicking Schoeller®-Dryskin fabric will keep her morning run comfortable — despite your weirdly specific feelings about seasons.
Aether Pursuit ($195)