A Mother’s Day Gift Guide for All the Mothers and Mothers-to-Be in Your Life


This Sunday is Mother’s Day and while I know all of you have already figured out how to celebrate the mother in your life (or mother-figure; no need to get hung up on labels!), I figured that just in case you still needed a little bit of help, I’d fill you in on what I think are some of the best ways to celebrate your mother. Or, for that matter, any woman you know who is a mother; it doesn’t have to be yours! Or, for that matter, any woman you know who is going to be a mother. They need celebrating too. The point is, I guess, that this Sunday should be less a celebration of mothers qua mothers, and more a celebration of life and joy and, uh, this really nice weather we’re having? I don’t know! Here’s some things to buy.

photo via earthandskyhealingarts.com
photo via earthandskyhealingarts.com

Everyone is all about self-care these days, and promoting the whole “wear your oxygen mask first, before you put on someone else’s” thing. But you know who has been riding the self-care bandwagon since the moment they were born? Kids. And by kids I mean anyone who has a mother who they can beg to make them a sandwich or who will do all their laundry for them whenever they come home from vacation. Kids have self-care on lockdown. So spread a little of the self-care love and get your mother a massage this Mother’s Day. We particularly like Earth + Sky Healing Arts, and think that any new mom will highly appreciate a gift certificate for one of the spa’s postpartum massages. Plus, in honor of Mother’s Day, Earth + Sky is offering a 15% off sale on gift certificates this week. Just enter the code ILOVEMOM and you’re set! Well, your mom is set. Lucky her!

Getting your mom jewelry is an obvious one, right? Right. But you shouldn’t just get her any old jewelry. No, get her one of these lovely, eminently wearable bracelets from Scosha, which have the added benefit of allowing you to shop for a present for your mom while also donating to a good cause. Yup, each purchase of one of these bracelets, which designer Scosha Woolridge made as part of a collaboration with Circle of Health International, will guarantee that a safe delivery kit and newborn supplies will reach those who need it most in earthquake-stricken Nepal. So not only will this gift make a difference in your mother’s life (because who wouldn’t love this bracelet?), it will also make a difference in a mother-in-needs life. But if you want to just donate to CoHI, whose mission in general it is to “align itself with local, community based organizations led and powered by women” without getting this bracelet? Go right ahead, and visit here.
Scosha x Circle of Health Bracelet, scosha.com 

Image via Milly & Earl
Image via Milly & Earl

Nobody ever thinks about getting their mothers a big ol’ bottle of booze for Mother’s Day, but, really, what better way to say you love them and appreciate what it is that they’re going through than by sitting down with them and knocking back a glass (or two or three) of, say, Greenhook Ginsmith’s Old Tom Gin. It will ease any stress you (or your mom) is feeling, and because alcohol consumption inevitably leads to bonding experiences (uh, your mileage may vary on that one!), you should only be sipping your gin out of a beautiful glass, accompanied by a lovely decanter. I’m partial to this glass decanter set which serves the dual purpose of reminding everyone else to keep their hands to themselves. Because everyone is always trying to take stuff from moms. Everyone!
Milly & Earl 351 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg

I made this hummus thanks to Jeannette at the League of Kitchens!
I made this hummus thanks to Jeannette at the League of Kitchens!

Ok, so this isn’t a suggestion to get your mom in the kitchen, but it is also kind of a suggestion to get your mom into the kitchen. Except, wait! You should get into the kitchen with her. But not just any kitchen—the League of Kitchens. Sign you and your mom up for an immersive (I’m talking multi-hour) session with the League of Kitchens, during which you’ll visit the home of and cook with one of a number of the company’s chefs. Over the course of your workshop, you’ll be fed delicious cuisine from a variety of cultures (workshops are offered in everything from Argentinian to Korean to Indian to Middle Eastern food), and learn how to cook them too. Plus, if my experience was any sort of indicator, you’ll have the chance to meet new people and literally break bread with them as you learn about where they’re from and what brought them here to New York. It’s an inimitable experience and one that would be lovely to share with your mother.

Oh, there’s so many great books out there right now; how to choose? I mean, on the one hand: I don’t know! But on the other hand: I do! Buy your mom the newly released paperback version of Jen Doll’s Save the Date. It’s a perfect book in that it’s smart, funny, and perfectly encapsulates a very specific time of a woman’s life to a degree where—even if your mom’s life experiences were wildly different than Doll’s—your mother will completely appreciate and adore this surprisingly subversive look at the constraints that our society still places on women when it comes to how we are still forced to define ourselves with regards to relationships and marriage and children and on and on.
Buy Save the Date here, or—even better!—at your local bookstore.


Laughter and Tears
Give your mom the gift of laughter and tears with tickets to Women of Letters, a monthly literary salon held at Joe’s Pub, which consists of several amazing women writing and then reading aloud letters they’ve written on topics provided them by the organizers. This month’s event will take place Wednesday, May 13, and will feature such notable women as Anna Holmes, Amy Sohn, Molly Crabapple, and more! I was lucky enough to attend a performance wherein the women (including Stoya, Deborah Kogan, and Molly Ringwald) read letters they’ve written to things that have vanished. These things ranged from a missing birthmark to a one-night stand to a uterus, but shared one thing in common: They were written about honestly and movingly. It was one of the best readings I’ve ever attended, and I think your mom will think so too!
For more information and to buy tickets, visit here.

Poster via thenewinquiry.com
poster via thenewinquiry.com

You know what’s the ultimate in magic? Creating life out of nothing. When you think about it, mothers are the ultimate witches. They’re magical. All of them. So celebrate that with your mother by getting her this poster from Issue 21 of The New Inquiry, and—while you’re at it—get her a subscription to TNI because your mother will love it. I think? Just remember, these words about witches—”“She is a succubus but a withered crone; she is such a woman that she isn’t”—also apply to your mom. Maybe just don’t tell her that part, ok?
For the poster and subscription, visit here.


Who doesn’t like smelling good? (Me, maybe, but that’s another story.) Your mom definitely likes smelling good. It’s pretty much a defining feature of motherhood, I think. Anyway, help her out with that, why don’t you, and get her an incredible scent by Brooklyn perfumier MCMC Fragrances. I’m partial to Kept, with its notes of rose and black tea and leather, as well as its illusion to that most unmotherly of roles: a Lana del Rey-esque kept woman. But you know your mom better than I do, so maybe she’s more of a Maine? I don’t know! Figure it out. Also suitable in this category is Soapwalla’s lavender deodorant, because if there’s one scent that screams MOM, it’s lavender.


So, even if they won’t tell you this explicitly, the one thing every mother—new or old—needs is sleep. Help your mother along by getting her this beautiful sleep mask from Catbird, which will surely aid her trip to dreamland. And if you want to help her along even more? Bring her along for free to a class at Brooklyn Heights ballet barre studio Xtend Barre. It’s offering a special deal this week wherein you can take a class and drag your mother along gratis. Space is limited, but you can sign up here. And really, if you want to splurge big, get your mom a gift card to Xtend Barre. I promise that there’s no other workout that I’ve experienced which will leave you as exhausted (and yet tight as hell) as Xtend Barre. She might not even need the sleep mask after taking one of these classes! But get it anyway. It’s Mother’s Day. Do the right thing.


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