In preparation for Mother’s Day this year, we’ve compiled a list of gifts that are beautiful, practical and sure to impress every maternal figure in your life. From face masks and passport covers to wireless headphones and orphaned-elephant sponsorships, we’ve got even the most impossible-to-shop-for moms accounted for.
Skip to the section that sounds most like your mom, or browse them all for wide-ranging gift inspiration.
For those who celebrate fashion and functionality, these shoes are a godsend. The Juvenate’s socklike construction comfortably hugs the foot, and because the shoe doesn’t have a tongue and the upper is fully collapsible, it is especially easy to pack. These are smart additions to any closet featuring athleisure wear or any trip itinerary that involves staying on one’s feet for hours (and what trip doesn’t?).
A perfect gift for the active and eco-minded, these wicking, ripstop pants are made from recycled fabric and were created with adventure travel in mind. According to Athleta, the material has already assisted in diverting 32 tons of waste from landfills this year! Formulated to maximize your mom’s next outdoor experience and to help the planet, they are an unbeatable combination.
For those who may be inclined to lose Apple’s AirPods or want something a bit more versatile, Bose’s SoundSport Wireless Headphones may be the right choice. The unusually shaped “extended flexible wing” helps them stay in place during a workout, and because the cord sits on the back of the neck, they stay out of the way even when removed. Formulated to resist moisture, they can be worn rain or shine — or even just sweaty.
New York City designer Rebecca Minkoff creates pieces that are both sportive and subtly daring. With its aquamarine pebbled leather accented with palladium hardware, the Julian Backpack showcases the designer’s unique style. The two exterior zip pockets, two interior slip pockets and card slot, and adjustable straps make it a convenient, fashion-forward choice for travel.
This classic leather tote comes from Ellen DeGeneres’ (nearly) eponymous lifestyle brand, ED Ellen DeGeneres. Featuring a subtle spotted lining and a spacious interior, this tote would fit effortlessly into many women’s lives and personal styles. It comes in a rich whiskey color and is accented by padlock hardware.
These menswear-inspired pj’s are loose-fitting cotton knit for maximum comfort. Available in heather graphite or navy, the white stripes make either color a consistently classic choice. Perfect for weekend lounging or taking along on a cool-weather getaway.
This in-home smart device may cause some to balk, but to many, it’s akin to having a personal assistant — and what mom couldn’t use that? For those who already use Google products/services, this new(ish) tech gadget will likely fit seamlessly into her day-to-day. Some things it can do: Report the weather and traffic, create reminders, play music, set alarms and timers, translate languages, read the news, manage shopping lists, even turn on the TV (if it has Chromecast) and play certain streaming services, all with voice activation. Find more possible commands here.
This sleek Series 3 Apple Watch, with gold aluminum case and pink-sand sport band, boasts features like GPS, a heart race sensor, up to 18 hours of battery life and water resistance up to 50 meters. Billed by Apple as “the ultimate device for a healthy life,” the watch can record distance, speed and the route of outside activities with GPS, and the altimeter tracks elevation. While not intended for vigorous water activities like water skiing or scuba diving, its capacity for water resistance means it can be worn safely while swimming.
This is an ideal gift for mothers who are tech savvy but appreciate printed memories for scrapbooking, framing or sharing with loved ones. Easily packable, this gadget can turn an iPhone into an on-the-go photo printer. Barely bigger than a smartphone itself, it comes ready to use with 10 adhesive-backed sheets of photo paper. Connect via Bluetooth to begin printing and — if your mom is the social-media type — let her know she can connect her profiles to the HP Sprocket App to print any social media photos. It comes in black, blue-violet, gold, purple, red and white; for 4.4 Android and above; iPhone 8 and above.
Family memories will be center stage in this beautiful golden metal frame. An excellent choice for sentimental mothers who aren’t short on style. While small — it holds one 4-by-6-inch photo — this polished addition is a welcome accent in any home. Get extra points for framing a family photo before gifting.
For instant serenity, consider transporting your mom back to one of her favorite hotels with its signature scent in the form of a candle, fragrance or even skincare products. This unique gift idea is the perfect long-lasting souvenir that can transform any space into a relaxing haven — and make her remember a favorite getaway at the same time.
Featured in Vogue, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan and more, each Homesick candle smells like the state it honors. Attempting to bottle regional nostalgia (think blooming magnolia flowers for Mississippi or apple orchards for New York) may seem like a bold venture, but it appears to be an idea that’s taken hold. If the scent for her state won’t appeal to her, Homesick also offers candles that smell like “memories,” including aromas like “Summer Camp” and “Grandma’s Kitchen.”
One of Time’s most anticipated books of last year, this nonfiction work pulls from the notebooks of legendary author Joan Didion. The first section offers reflections on a road trip she took with her husband in 1970 through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The second draws from field notes while on assignment covering the Patty Hearst trial in 1976 that ends up a meditation on San Francisco and Sacramento. This candid exploration of Didion’s experiences in various parts of the United States is informative, engaging and provides past-meets-present insight into our current political climate.
Moleskine was founded in 1997 with the desire to re-create the simple yet iconic black-oilcloth-bound journals used by Van Gogh, Picasso and Hemingway and made famous by travel writer Bruce Chatwin. This journal bears all the hallmarks of the brand — eco-friendly paper, high-quality craftsmanship — but also has special features like calendars, checklists, travel information, budget and trip planners and more. Mom can also personalize her journal with over 200 adhesive labels and 10 customizable sections.
Evian spray can be used to set makeup or to rehydrate skin when faced with the poor air quality of an airplane cabin. And while it might not be advertised this way, we think a spritz of cool mist can be a quick morale boost when the rigor of travel gets you down — especially if the destination is tropical!
SK-II is everywhere at the moment. This Japanese beauty brand was founded almost 40 years ago when scientists, observing the youthful skin on the hands of sake brewers, discovered a miraculous anti-aging ingredient. After examining the strains of yeast involved in the sake fermentation process, they isolated and extracted the anti-aging agent. Now called Pitera, this vitamin-rich ingredient is infused in many of the SK-II products, including this Facial Treatment Mask.
This lavender hand cream from Provence-based L’Occitane helps nourish hands with shea butter and leaves them gently scented. Lavender, known for its ability to calm, is a welcome addition to any nervous flyer’s arsenal. Plus, since air travel has the tendency to dry out the skin, this cream kills two birds with one stone.
This luxurious quilted leather passport case is ever-stylish and available in earth tone, deep marine and black. All are subtle and elegant, but black will likely fit with any other accessories she might take along.
Perfect for relaxing at home or napping on red-eye flights, this Pure Silk Sleep Mask is — as you may have guessed by the name — entirely composed of the highest-grade long-fiber mulberry silk, from the filler to the elastic band. Hotel rooms, airplanes and even airport lounges can all be transformed into private sleeping quarters with the aid of this luxurious sleep mask. Available in 10 colors; our personal favorite is the light-gold caramel shade.
We are longtime supporters of the incredible David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and encourage everyone with an interest in wildlife conservation to read more about its mission.
Founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who passed away last month, the trust addresses wildlife conservation issues of all kinds, but most central to their mission is the Orphan’s Project. This renowned rehabilitation program combats threats facing elephant populations in Kenya through hand-raising and the reintegration of orphaned elephants back into the wild. Fostering has a minimum fee of $50 per year, and donors may choose which orphan to support. Updates and monthly summaries allow donors to keep track of their progress.
Another opportunity to support the natural world comes in the form of World Wildlife Fund’s symbolic adoptions. Browse its lists of wild animals, sorting the options alphabetically, by threat level or popularity. The most popular gift tier, $55, comes with a plush toy figure of the chosen animal, a species card with species facts, a photo, an adoption certificate and two World Wildlife Fund gift bags. You can also maximize the impact of your donation by choosing a “virtual adoption,” where your gift recipient will receive only an acknowledgement letter.
Ten percent of this company’s net profits are donated to wildlife partners annually, resulting in over $1.3 million generated in just the past three years alone. Endangered Species Chocolate is committed to transparent and ethical reporting on its production process, and its product is the first American-made chocolate with cocoa that is fully traceable from its origins in West Africa. Most anyone can enjoy it, too: It’s kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO and specially marked bars are also vegan. Some flavors can be purchased on Amazon (like the Dark Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt bar), or check its website for available retailers.