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Shopping for Mom

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Whether your mom is of the zebra-print-cardigan or pleats-and-flats persuasion, there’s nothing like a thoughtful gift to spice up her springtime. Now, some moms just hate to see you spend your hard-earned money, while others appreciate a decadent treat once a year. My mom is the it’s-the-thought-that-counts type although she can appreciate a nice treat once in a while too! I never know whether to splurge or save, so I research affordable gift ideas as well as luxurious ones, and then decide based on what I think will win the biggest smile.

Here are a few ideas I’ve been collecting this year for my mom and other “mom” figures in my life:

Flowers.


As Jennifer Anniston’s character said best in The Break Up, “Every woman loves fresh flowers!” Hear, hear.


Brownie points: Cha Cha Bouquet by Nico De Swert. At $110, this pretty bouquet in a green ceramic vase is sure to earn pride of place on Mom’s dining-room table.

Thought that counts: If you live in the same city as your mum, go to the local florist on the Saturday before Mother’s Day (yes, they’ll be busy, but you’ll be quick) and spend $40–$50 on flowers. Arrange the bouquet yourself, along with anything you can clip from your own garden, and bring it to her on Sunday morning. Ask your florist about the best ways to store the bouquet overnight.

Tip: Flowers.com makes zippy next-day delivery (at a price, of course). Try to avoid this by getting the number for the florist that your mother uses in her hometown, give them a call, and arrange for a Saturday May 12th delivery of a small, gorgeous bouquet of her favorite buds.

Edible Goodies.


“Life is like a box of chocolates …” so make sure Mom gets what she deserves.


Brownie points: Fauchon treats. Make Mama happy with an assortment of Afternoon in Paris cookies and a selection of wild honey, Chocolate Éclair, and Darjeeling teas. Add some champagne jelly and a pretty box of Marron Glaces for full decadent effect. Note: your brothers and sisters might hate you for making them look bad.

Thought that counts: Scharffenberger.com Chocolate-Dipped Figs. At $16, these finger-licking figs are a sweet deal, and quite classy, to boot.

Brownie points: Juniors Cheesecake. This Brooklyn classic is an unforgettable gift. One day, when I’m a mom, I hope (and pray!) that I’ll receive a Juniors cheesecake in the mail.


Thought that counts: Vosges 4-piece Truffle Collection. This pretty selection of exotic truffles is a lovely way to bring a little ‘zing’ to your amazing mom. (And at $10.50, it brings little sting to your wallet!)


Tip: The chocolate figs or exotic truffles are just the right amount of sweet—I might combine the sweet with a little good by purchasing a journal, album, or candle from the Global Exchange Fair Trade store.

Action Gifts.


Get mom moving and shaking in the ‘hood with a gift that shows your interest in her interests.


Brownie points: Wine-Tasting & Wine Classes. Find either a great wine-tasting event or a wine class in Mom’s hometown. If you’re not sure when she’ll be free, make a homemade gift certificate with her options, along with some print-outs of the research you’ve done, and give it to her along with your favorite bottle of vino tinto.


Thought that counts: Movie Tickets. If your mom prefers to watch the action on the big screen, get her a trip, or several trips, to the movies. If she’s a fan of the small screen in her living room, then get her a box of microwaveable popcorn and a subscription to Netflix!


Brownie points: Local Dance Classes. Mom will jump for joy and maybe even pirouette too when you sign the two of you up for salsa, belly dancing, or ballroom classes.


Thought that counts: Language Classes on CD. Maybe she regrets letting her French go, or she wants to pick up a few Italian phrases for her trip to Rome next year, or maybe you just know she’d love to learn something new. Whichever, they’re a nice way to say merci Maman!

Accessories.


Brownie points: Crystalyn Kae Hobo. Easy to use and hard to stop using—these bags are utterly timeless. Maybe you need matching mom-and-daughter bags?


Thought that counts: Gold Dot Cuff. Big bracelets are great for any age, and Mom will surely appreciate the affordable punch ($39) they pack into her outfits.


Brownie points: Patterned Flats from Piperlime. Get mom a foxy pair of Sam Edelman flats ($145) or a perfectly paisley pair of Bettye Muller’s ($300).


Thought that counts: Yellow Leather Aerosoles. Show Mom that you know she doesn’t need to suffer for her style, and at $69, you don’t either! These comfy and cute flats will become a staple of her Spring wardrobe.

Books.


Brownie points: A Rare Book. Get mom a signed first edition or a rare copy of her favorite book at Alibris, a wonderful resource for rare books. Perhaps she’d be bowled over by a $1,000 signed-by-Harper-Lee first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird (or perhaps she’d whack you over the head with it!)


Thought that counts: Planet Earth: As You’ve Never Seen it Before. Put planet earth on Mom’s coffee table and she’ll have the whole world in her hands. This is an exquisite book and an exquisite gift.


Tip: For combined bonus brownie and thought-that-counts points, write a poem, ode, or tribute to your wonderful mom right here at DivineCaroline, and send her a link.

What I’m getting my mom.


Pretty Pink Nightie from Garnet Hill. So pretty, soft, and so simple, and she recently mentioned she needed a new nightgown.


Tina Modotti Note Cards from MOMA. What could be better than receiving notes from my mom on the note cards of one of my favorite photographers!


Tip: I try to place my online order (and choose the gift-wrapping option, if possible) by Monday May 7th. I let my mom know that she’ll be receiving a package sometime before the 13th, and that she should wait until the morning of the 13th to open it. I send off a hand-written card by Wednesday May 9th.


Related Story: Lessons from Mom

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