Ask Mom what she wants for Mother’s Day and she’ll probably deflect your inquiry with “I just want my family to be happy and healthy.”
But according to a Mother’s Day survey from Amazon, 71 per cent would love thoughtful gifts, so time to step up your gift game. Because really, all anyone wants is to be seen and appreciated.
We hope our Mother’s Day edit helps your mom feel like you get her, you really get her.
clearly reading glasses
Reading glasses are a fact of life over age 45 and usually come in only two flavours: the pricey prescription pair from your eye doctor or functional-but-blah ones from that spinning rack at the back of the drugstore.
Subtly oversized Derek Cardigan 7014 frames ($95 CAD at clearly.ca) or the cat-eye 7005s ($75 CAD at clearly.ca) with their cool 1960s fashion editor vibe, as seen here on our beauty-director friend Lesa Hannah (above), transform reading glasses from a purely functional necessity into a fashion moment for Mom. (We love the tortoise and the black the best. Also note: Lesa featured her frames-find a while ago; pricing has gone up a bit since then, but still comes in at less than $100 each.)
How to: Just sneak a look at your mother’s existing readers for their strength (on the inside of the arm, anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5) and then enter it under the SPH column and leave all the columns blank on the prescription page of the Clearly website. You will have to measure mom’s pupillary distance (PD column on the same page), so just dream up a plausible reason for measuring her eyes. (You were a teen once. You lied to your mother back then. Just flex that dormant muscle.)
Bold glasses and red lipstick are a classic look, so give mom Maybelline New York’s new Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick in Ruby For Me ($8.96 CAD at amazon.ca and $7.49 USD at ulta.com). It was tested on 50 diverse skin-tones, so it truly is a universally wearable red.
philips high speed power blender
After making dinner every night for literally decades (coupled with that post-menopausal steady drumbeat of doctor warnings about raised cholesterol), a lot of women have lost their patience and their enthusiasm for cooking. Gone. Done. Finito.
So now mom is preparing a lot of smoothies and trying to sneak in some greens to give her beloved husband some much-needed (but undetectable) vegetables.
A brand new Philips High Speed Power Blender ($649 CAD at philips.ca* and $499 USD at usa.philips.com*) is super-powerful (with a 1800 watt motor to pulverize tough ingredients) and it comes with a “noise reduction dome” that effectively mutes the sound of Mom whizzing frozen kale into nanoparticles.
• Genuine Health Marine Collagen ($30 well.ca, which ships to the USA). In addition to containing protein, collagen tackles skin hydration and strength and is the latest repairing ingredient that athletes are adding to their post-workout smoothies because of its ability to support connective tissue and improve joint pain. (Janine uses the flavourless and lemon-lime versions in her kale/pineapple/banana/greens+ extra-energy smoothies.)
• Hemp hearts from Canada’s own Manitoba Harvest ($7.99 at well.ca, which ships to the USA), are loaded with plant-based protein, linoleic acid and cholesterol-reducing ‘’heart healthy’ omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. (Just don’t use the term “heart-healthy” in front of your parents. They hear it enough from their GP.)
fitbit versa lite
Fitbits are marketed to a CrossFit-and-boot camp-loving young audience, but it’s women over 50 you’ll see frowning at the tell-tale wide rubber bracelets on their wrists, checking to see that they made their 10,000 steps.
For a technology and fashion upgrade, Fitbit recently launched the very sleek and (ahem) Apple-Watch-inspired Versa Lite ($200 CAD at chapters.indigo.ca and $160 USD at bloomingdales.com) , sleek yet oversized, with its easy-to-read watch face, and a snappy, brushed metal bezel, it tracks heart rate, calories burned, steps walked and hours slept. At the recent media launch in Toronto, virtually all the fashion writers chose the one with the white silicone strap.
Warning: this gift is guaranteed to make mom cry (in a good way). Dig through an old family photo album to find a picture of mom’s parents, her childhood pet, or any photos from her youth that aren’t too tiny (because you need to enlarge them a bit).
Now steal the photo and get it scanned at the highest possible resolution at Staples. Then upload it to PosterJack (posterjack.ca) choose a frame (or frameless printed on metal as seen here). They’ll mail it directly to her and Mom will get a family picture that she can look at daily instead of it languishing in an album on a shelf.
amazon prime subscription
With an Amazon sub, she’ll get free delivery on her Amazon orders. That’s great.
The real reason for this gift, though, is the included access to Amazon Prime Video so Mom can watch "Catastrophe," which has the best, most accurate (and hilarious) depiction of marriage on television ever. Married or not, she will laugh herself silly.
(Warning: contains sex and profanity. But married sex and married profanity.)
aerin aegea blossom eau de parfum
If your mother keeps a perfect house, displays her perfumes on her bureau, scents her lingerie drawer with bars of fancy soap and always has a pad of paper and a sharpened pencil beside each phone, she will love and identify heavily with Aerin’s new Aegea Blossom eau de parfum ($142 CAD and $125 USD at sephora.com). Creamy with white flowers, citrus and a transparent watery note that feels like you’re floating on the ocean, it’s softly floral and delicately clean. Like you just bathed in a sunlit, marble-clad master bath overlooking a perfect lawn heading to a private beach.
valmont alessandrite I perfume
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful. – Mae West.
Like buying white t-shirts by the dozen so you’ll always have a fresh one, a giant bottle of an exquisite fragrance is excess that we can get behind.
Valmont’s Alessandrite I from their Storie Veneziane collection (it’s adorned with a Venetian mask made of Murano glass) has a sticker-shock price ($550 CAD at holtrenfrew.com*), but for 100 ml of perfume, not eau de parfum, so you’ll use less. (Am I rationalizing? Probably, but it’s just that good.)
With bergamot, jasmine and aldehydes (the legendary soapy/lemony/wax/floral notes used to such great effect in Chanel Nº5) Alessandrite I is a luxe powdery floral except it’s elegant powder from an alabaster jar on a dressing table, not baby powder from the grocery store.
mon guerlain bloom of rose eau de toilette
If your mother loves rose scents, and you’re looking for a summer appropriate perfume something that’s both rosy and sunny, then listen to Guerlain perfumer Thierry Wasser extol the Bulgarian rose. “It just makes me feel good,” he told The Cut. “It smells like lychee, raspberry, and bitter almonds; it’s complex. It’s a happy rose.”
For his new Mon Guerlain sequel (I am tired of the word "flanker"), Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose eau de toilette ($77/50mL CAD and $109/100mL USD at sephora.com) , Wasser added his beloved “rose that dances” to the original lavender, jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla of Mon Guerlain. Paired with neroli (bitter orange) it creates a transparent and gloriously giddy, feel-good scent that highlights the rose’s ethereal qualities.
Also available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Hudson's Bay
jean paul gaultier scandal
If you can’t already tell from the irreverent bottle cap, Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal eau de parfum ($105 CAD at thebay.com and $85 USD at jet.com) is not a fragrance for shy and retiring types. If mom is exuberant and has a sweet tooth, this is for her. Scandal, with its riotous blend of full-on honey, gardenia and patchouli is a gourmand scent for grownups, its honey-sweetness tempered by grapefruit, mandarin and (surprisingly) licorice. It’s for someone who always orders crème brûlée even when she said she was full, because a true gourmand knows that your dessert stomach is a separate entity from your dinner stomach.
Also available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu and London Drugs.
jo malone frangipani flower cologne
Jo Malone’s scents are always more than the sum of their parts. New Frangipani Flower ($96 CAD and $72 USD at nordstrom.com) takes the best of all things classic (creamy white jasmine flowers and tropical frangipani), and blends them with just enough tropical flavour courtesy of ylang ylang and a bit of lemony for a scent that will send Mom digging through her closet for a cheery floral print dress or caftan. And its solar notes (a ylang ylang mix evoking sun-warmed skin) and a sweetly warm benzoin and sandalwood dry down make it a perfect evening scent after a day on the beach.
Also available at Holt Renfrew and Sephora.
So. Anything here look good for your mom (or for you)?
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*philips.ca, usa.philips.com and holtrenfrew.com are non-affiliate links