You’ve done it again. You’ve left it too late to buy your Mother’s Day gift and now you’re stuck with one day and zero ideas to work with.
While many might dismiss Mother’s Day as a Hallmark holiday, there’s no doubt that it’s a great opportunity (and maybe a reminder) to show some appreciation for everything your mum does for you.
Here’s our ultimate personality-based list of last minute Mother’s Day gifts that won’t make you look like a bad child.
What to buy your mum if she’s…
A frequent flyer
A pretty, practical suitcase: Luggage is something people can be complacent about – they will quite happily lug around a battered case because buying a “nice” one seems too indulgent. Take the guilt out of it and splurge on an fun suitcase for your mum that’s also super-light and travel-hardy. Flylite’s St Barts case (stocked at Strandbags stores) has a hard shell to ensure it survives careless luggage handlers, while the bright aqua cornflower blue is suitably cheery.
Passport cover and luggage tag: Who doesn’t love to feel like a first class passenger even if you’re down the back in economy? Having the right accessories makes a big difference. Ted Baker’s black woven passport and luggage tag set (available from David Jones) is chic and classic.
Cashmere shawl: Doubling as a scarf for colder climates and a blanket for chilly planes, a cashmere shawl is the perfect versatile gift. Creswick Wool in Victoria offers affordable options, while Australian label Jac + Jack stocks luxurious, pricier versions.
Knife: Ok, so it seems sinister, but never underestimate the value of a really great knife. If you mum is a great chef, she will understand that your gift isn’t a threat but a blessing. Knife brand Global (stocked at Myer) produces high-quality knives that are perfectly sharp and multi-purpose. Go for their cooks knife, $159 at Myer.
Baking dish: It’s lasagne season, so encourage your mum to whip out her favourite recipe with an attractive baking dish from famous French cookware manufacturer Le Creuset. They’re the best in the business. We like this pale blue offering available at David Jones.
A fit freak
Fancy water bottle: Sure, a plastic bottle from 7-Eleven will do the job but the chemicals are far from good for you and the bottle itself is easily squashed. Get your mum a water bottle that’s eco friendly and stands out from the crowd. Lulu Lemon’s Pure Focus bottle is made of glass and comes in bright, feminine colours.
Fitbit Zip: The influx of health and exercise monitors can be overwhelming. If your mum is interested in health but far from tech-savvy, Fitbit’s wireless activity tracker (available at JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and Apple stores) is simple and acts as a fancy pedometer. Your mother can track her steps and calories burned, then load the information onto her computer if she wants to.
She Will Have Her Way: If you missed this 2005 CD the first time around, trust us when we say it remains one of the best collections of covers on the market. Female Australian singers from Claire Bowditch to Missy Higgins to Kasey Chambers cover the classic songs of the Finn brothers and there’s not a single weak offering. Great dinner party background music and a true collector’s item. Available from ABC stores.
Concert tickets: Acts like Katy Perry or Rihanna sell out in seconds, but if your mum is a true miso she will appreciate tickets to gigs by lesser-known artists or old-school favourites. Upcoming tours include Robbie Williams, Andrea Bocelli, an ABBA tribute tour (for a cheesy but fun night out) and Dame Kiri Te Kanama.
The musical The King and I will also hit Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney this year. Alternatively, you can let her choose with a Ticketek voucher or simply take her to a gig at your local bar and treat her to some expensive wine.
Real Housewives DVD box set: Any of the Real Housewives series is sure to be a hit if your mum loves lounging on the couch and indulging in some guilty pleasures. Pair a DVD set of The Real Housewives of New York with a container of expensive hot chocolate and her Sunday nights will be set from now on.
Ugg boots: Although they’re a winter necessity, good quality, attractive ugg boots can be hard to come by. When purchasing, ensure they’re made from real sheepskin so your mum doesn’t have to deal with that icky synthetic feeling. Peter Alexander does a full range of ugg boots in an array of pastel colours so you can match the slipper to your mum’s personality.
A seed subscription: Buy your mum a gift membership to the Diggers Club and she’ll receive seeds, advice, monthly newsletters and discounts in the mail. It’s a great way for her to expand her gardening knowledge and feel like a part of a big network of fellow plant-lovers.
Lemon tree: Lemons are an essential ingredient in many meals and, if you’re buying them on a weekly basis, the chest can really add up. Not only is a lemon tree a productive purchase, it also adds some vibrant colours to your garden or terrace. Bunnings Warehouse sells dwarf meyer lemon trees for $25.
Writers festival tickets: If your mum is a book-lover, so probably already owns enough novels to make a bedside table. Instead, let her get amongst the action with tickets to your local writers festival. Festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, Bendigo, Brisbane and Bali are still to come and tickets can be purchased online.
Vanity Fair subscription: Buying Woman’s Day is easy, but a luxury international magazine like Vanity Fair will make your mum feel special every time it arrives. Subscriptions are available for six or 12 months and can be purchased online.
A designer key ring: Mums usually have a lot of different keys that often get swallowed by huge handbags. Streamline her collection in the most stylish way with a colourful, glamorous key ring form her favourite deign brand. It’s affordable (compared to a designer handbag) but will still add a bit of style to her day-to-day life. Coach sell a range of feminine key rings that make great gifts.
Personal styling session: Seeing a personal stylist is like a celebrity experience for normal people. Rather than telling your mum she can’t dress herself, a stylist will rework existing items in her wardrobe and suggest gaps that need to be filled. They will also help her buy clothes based on her shape and colouring. Westfield Shopping Centres offer personal styling sessions for two to six hour periods.
Alternatively, if you’re a style maven you can suggest a mother/child shopping trip and, if something catches her eye, you can sneakily buy it for her.
Your best friend
Sometimes, all your mum needs is some quality one on one time with you to feel special. If you book an experience for her, book yourself in too so you can enjoy it together. Ideas can include:
An indulgent breakfast: Pick the nicest cafe in town and take her there for some French toast and maybe even some champagne.
Expensive flowers: Fresh flowers are great, but beautifully arranged, unique bouquets are even more special. Grandiflora in Sydney has elaborate arrangements on offer, otherwise visit your local florist and personally pick out the flowers you want in the bouquet. That way, you can choose her favourites and the gift will feel really personal.
A professional photo shoot: Buy yourself and your mum a session with a professional photographer so you can have beautiful snaps of the two of you together to print and frame. If you have siblings, invite them to come along too.