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The best unique gift ideas for mom

TODAY logo TODAY 4/22/2021 Ambar Pardilla, Shop TODAY and Marissa Miller and Megan Foster, Shop TODAY

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Like last year’s celebration, Mother’s Day might look a little different than it did in years past. But that doesn’t mean the holiday can’t still be celebratory — whether you’re planning a small gathering or celebrating farther away from family. The kindest thing you can do for all the mother figures in your life is make them feel appreciated — and a small token of your affection beyond the standard Mother’s Day card or flowers from a farmer’s market just might do the trick. Whether they’re an ocean or a neighborhood away, you can help bridge that divide with a Mother’s Day gift that’s one of a kind for someone who means the same to you. And that’ll look different for everyone, according to Jenny Yip, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and parenting expert at Renewed Freedom Center in Los Angeles, California. “Does she usually prefer a practical gift? Or does she like something more sentimental? Flowers might be a wonderful gift if you know your mother enjoys them, but if you know she thinks they're wasteful, then go with what you know,” she said.

Ora Nadrich, a life coach and founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking, believes a Mother’s Day gift she can use on a daily basis could be best. “Because there’s a shortage of things to buy during these unprecedented times, giving practical gifts might be the very thing your mother [or] mother figure could really use right now,” said Nadrich. “You can put together a lovely gift basket with more useful gifts and make each one seem special by how you wrap it.”

Related: Cleaning supplies, home decor and video games will see major discounts this month — here are some of the best sales to shop right now.

Gifts aside, Mother’s Day provides a unique opportunity to put our lives on pause and pay homage to the special women in our lives, and that often involves spending time together in person. Don’t let distance deter you from engaging with your mother any less this year. “Ask her something like, ‘Mom, since we usually meet and this year it's going to be challenging, would you like to FaceTime?’ When you do video chat, maybe you do a fun dance or have your kids do a surprise performance for her,” said Yip. “It's a way to still make her feel special even though you may not be able to meet in person this year.”

To help you navigate a sea of thoughtful and unique Mother’s Day gift options, we compiled some of the best ones according to the guidance and advice we got from the experts we consulted. While it might seem a bit early to contemplate what you'll get her for Mother's Day, present realities mean there's reason to act sooner than later.

Related: The most purchased products last month that we’ve covered included home, fitness and wellness items.

Unique self-care Mother's Day gifts

1. Numi Organic Flowering Tea Blossom Set

While this year’s Mother’s Day is going to be unforgettable for obvious reasons, try making a lasting impression in a positive way. Skip the tired flowers and opt instead for a blossoming loose leaf tea set complete with a 16-ounce glass teapot and either four or six tea blossoms. Each one is made of organic tea leaves hand-sewn around flowers like orange lily, chrysanthemum and hibiscus. Simply place the tea blossom in the pot, fill with boiling water, and wait three minutes for the tea to bloom. For a makeshift high tea session, sip a cup together on FaceTime — British cucumber butter tea sandwiches optional. When her initial teas run out, set her up with a tea subscription from Sips By.

Numi Organic Tea Flowering Gift Set

text, letter: Numi Tea, Flowering Tea Set In Bamboo, 1 Tea Set (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Numi Tea, Flowering Tea Set In Bamboo, 1 Tea Set (Amazon / Amazon)

Numi Organic Tea Flowering Gift Set $8.58 at Amazon

2. Olive Branch Decor Co. Mother's Day Gift Box

As per Nadrich’s point, packaging is everything. And it just so happens that the contents of this prepackaged gift box are pretty sweet — it comes with a succulent, a soy candle and chocolate (for an added fee). You can choose from four scents for the candle: Coconut Verbena, White Tea, Watermelon and Lavender. For an extra special touch, top off the box with a personalized message that she might keep around long after the candle has melted.

Olive Branch Decor Co. Mother's Day Gift Box

a stack of flyers on a table: Mother's Day Gift Ideas, Gift For Mom, Mothers Gift Set, Mom Gift Box, Gift Box For Mom, Mothers Day Personalized ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home Mother's Day Gift Ideas, Gift For Mom, Mothers Gift Set, Mom Gift Box, Gift Box For Mom, Mothers Day Personalized ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)

Olive Branch Decor Co. Mother's Day Gift Box $30.59 at Etsy

3. Theragun Prime Deep Tissue Massage Gun

Research shows that muscle and joint pains are one of the most prevalent complaints in the general population — and sitting around can often worsen muscle tension, especially with many of us working from home nowadays. This Theragun massage gun offers a deep tissue treatment to release tension so she can finally relax after a long day. According to the brand, it can be used continuously for two hours and features five speeds to choose from. There’s even an app she can connect to via Bluetooth for a more customized routine. It has an average 4.8-star rating over more than 1,100 reviews on Amazon.

Theragun Prime Deep Tissue Massage Gun

a close up of a mouse
  • Theragun Prime Deep Tissue Massage Gun $299.00 at Theragun
  • Theragun Prime Deep Tissue Massage Gun $299.99 at Target
  • Theragun Prime Deep Tissue Massage Gun $299.00 at Amazon

Related: An essential oil diffuser has become an integral step in my daily routine — both during the week and throughout evenings and weekends.

4. Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet

This bracelet doubles as an essential oil diffuser — you can also give her a separate gift set of six highly rated essential oil flavors from Lagunamoon to complete the gift. She can place a couple drops’ worth of essential oils on the locket’s reusable and removable felt pad and secure it in place through the magnetic closure. It comes with eight felt pads in different colors like pink, blue and green, so it’ll feel — and smell — like a new bracelet each time she wears it. A popular pick on Amazon, this bracelet has earned an average 4.5-star rating over more than 4,100 reviews.

Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet

a close up of a watch: Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet,Stainless Steel Aromatherapy Locket Bracelets Leather Band with 8 Color Pads,Girl Women Jewelry Gifts for Mom A-Tree (Walmart / Walmart) © Walmart Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet,Stainless Steel Aromatherapy Locket Bracelets Leather Band with 8 Color Pads,Girl Women Jewelry Gifts for Mom A-Tree (Walmart / Walmart)
  • Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet $24.99 at Walmart
  • Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet $18.99 at Amazon
  • Jack & Rose Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet $34.31 at Sears

5. Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag

This belt bag is a practical piece for holding her phone, keys and other essentials while out on a walk or grocery run. This water-repellent belt bag features exterior and interior pockets. It comes in colors like Neo Mint and Black. As an added bonus, you can stock it up with essentials she’ll need for the road, like hand sanitizer and SPF-infused lip balm.

Lululemon All Hours Belt Bag

a close up of a bag: Lululemon All Hours Belt Bag ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home Lululemon All Hours Belt Bag ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)

Lululemon All Hours Belt Bag $38.00 at Lululemon

Related: Lululemon leggings are a staple in my wardrobe, whether I’m working out, running errands or traveling.

Unique tech Mother's Day gifts

6. Amazon's All-New Kindle Paperwhite

At some point, you’ve probably heard her say you should read more. You can help her do the same in an easy and lightweight format with the Kindle Paperwhite. This Kindle is thinner, lighter and more water-resistant than other models — so she can use it in the bathtub or next to a pool without worrying about water damage. It can hold hundreds of books — and audiobooks. This model comes with an increased battery life, a built-in adjustable light for indoor and outdoor reading and a glare-free display.

"With print books, you read what’s in front of you and you make it work. There’s joy in simplicity," shared NBC News Shopping contributor Kirsten Akens. "But my aging eyes also appreciate the Paperwhite for its versatility."

Kindle Paperwhite

text: Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader (with special offers) - 6 © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader (with special offers) - 6
  • Kindle Paperwhite $129.99 at Best Buy
  • Kindle Paperwhite $129.99 at Amazon

7. Uncommon Goods Long Distance Friendship Lamp

Snail mail takes far too long — light up her day instantly by illuminating her lamp with a bright-hued glow when you place your hand on your own lamp (no matter how far you are). You can grab just the one lamp, but you can also choose to shop the pair which is probably how you get the most out of them. Note that she'll need a Wi-Fi connection to make it work. The set of lamps might feel a little more special than just the occasional text.

Long Distance Friendship Lamp

a person holding a vase of flowers on a table: Long Distance Friendship Lamp - Wood | Wi-Fi Touch Lights ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home Long Distance Friendship Lamp - Wood | Wi-Fi Touch Lights ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)

Long Distance Friendship Lamp $99.00 at Uncommon Goods

8. Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame

We can all use the reminder that better times are ahead. Through email, the Nixplay mobile app, Google Photos, Dropbox, or social media, she’ll be able to load this digital picture frame with an ongoing highlight reel of fond memories and fun playlists. (Alternatively, you can also pre-load it for her so she can sit back and enjoy it right away.) Complete with a remote control, it’s a photo album she’ll likely be proud to display on the mantle. It works with Amazon’s Alexa as well.

Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame

a person sitting at a desk: Nixplay 9.7 Inch Smart Photo Frame with 2K Ultra HD Resolution - Wifi Digital Photo Frame with Web/Mobile App & Social Media Integration - W10E ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home Nixplay 9.7 Inch Smart Photo Frame with 2K Ultra HD Resolution - Wifi Digital Photo Frame with Web/Mobile App & Social Media Integration - W10E ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)
  • Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame $299.99 at Nixplay
  • Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame $259.99 at Walmart
  • Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame $329.99 at Amazon

Related: What is 'smart art'? Wi-Fi-enabled devices stream your favorite photos in digital displays — including art collections ranging from classic to postmodern.

Unique home and kitchen Mother's Day gifts

9. Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy

Made of waterproof bamboo, this highly rated bath caddy will let her soak with the company of her book, phone, mug and wine glass. It also features plenty of "counter” space for any other bath essentials like incense or candles. This bath caddy has earned an average 4.7-star rating over more than 1,700 Amazon reviews.

Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy

a wooden table: Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)
  • Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy $29.98 at Walmart
  • Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy $29.98 at Amazon
  • Umbra Aquala Bath Caddy $40.00 at Umbra

10. BigLemur Personalized Cutting Board

Whether she’s a veteran chef or only recently started dipping her toes into home-cooked meals, this personalized waterproof wood cutting board just might help her elevate her cooking game. You choose a size and wood type (either oak or walnut). You can personalize the board, picking from six layouts with engraved sayings like “Home is where mom is” and “Mom’s kitchen seasoned with love.” There’s also the option to personalize the gift further with names or dates. This gift can double as a cheese board, too.

BigLemur Personalized Cutting Board M1

a wooden cutting board

BigLemur Personalized Cutting Board M1 $61.60 at Etsy

11. “My Favorite Recipes: The XXL DIY Cookbook

The family dinner table is likely the site of many happy memories. While you might be waiting to gather around the table together again, you can still share your favorite recipes.through this personalized cookbook. Get creative with the “notes” section under each recipe — it’s a great way to add another layer of intimacy to the gift.

My Favorite Recipes: The XXL DIY cookbook

My Favorite Recipes: The XXL DIY cookbook (letter format) to write in all your favorite recipes and notes! (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon My Favorite Recipes: The XXL DIY cookbook (letter format) to write in all your favorite recipes and notes! (Amazon / Amazon)

My Favorite Recipes: The XXL DIY cookbook $9.99 at Amazon

Related: From choosing the best air fryer and learning how to use it, to recipe suggestions to get you started, experts weigh in on everything you should know.

12. COSORI 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer

Making home-cooked meals isn't always an easy task, but with help from an air fryer, healthy dishes can quickly become part of your daily routine. The Cosori 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer includes a square basket that easily fits a whole chicken or turkey breast. The internal grates and nonstick basket are also dishwasher safe to make clean-up simple after dinner.

COSORI 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer

Cosori CO158-AF Air Fryer, Max XL 5.8-Quart, 1700-Watt Electric (Walmart / Walmart) © Walmart Cosori CO158-AF Air Fryer, Max XL 5.8-Quart, 1700-Watt Electric (Walmart / Walmart)
  • COSORI 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer $119.99 at Walmart
  • COSORI 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer $129.99 at Target
  • COSORI 5.8-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer $119.99 at Amazon

13. TUSHY Classic 3.0 Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment

A practical gift, bidets can be more eco-friendly than stocking up on toilet paper. This bidet is designed to be easy to install, especially since it doesn’t require electricity or plumbing. It also features pressure and angle controls and a self-cleaning nozzle that sprays water directly from your home’s tap water source. You can choose between three knob styles: Bamboo, Platinum and Bronze. The bidet has earned an average 4.6-star rating over more than 5,100 reviews at Amazon.

TUSHY Classic 3.0 Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment

TUSHY Classic 3.0 Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home TUSHY Classic 3.0 Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)
  • TUSHY Classic 3.0 Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment $99.00 at TUSHY
  • TUSHY Classic 3.0 Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment $99.00 at Amazon

Related: Weighted blankets may help reduce stress and improve sleep — here's how textile pros recommend finding options with lesser environmental footprints.

14. Bearaby Tree Napper

The last thing mom wants is a night of restless sleep. The Bearaby Napper weighted blanket may help relieve some stress that’s keeping her awake. Weighted blankets can mimic the feeling of a hug, according to one expert we previously spoke to — and that might be just what she needs this Mother’s Day, even if it’s from a distance. The Tree Napper is designed for hot sleepers, distributing weight evenly across the body. It’s made from natural eucalyptus fibers. The blanket comes in three sizes, ranging from 15 to 25 pounds, and the brand recommends picking a size that’s 10 percent of your body weight. You can choose between three colors: Rosemary, Almond and Pomegranate.

Bearaby Tree Napper

a made bed

Bearaby Tree Napper $269.00 at Bearaby

15. Shutterfly Gallery Montage of Memories Fleece Blanket

You sure can envelope her in memories with this personalized blanket that you can pick photos for — these can include f milestones from your childhood or glamour shots of mom herself. First, choose your fabric — fleece, plush fleece or Sherpa — along with your preferred size. There are three sizes to choose from, ranging from 30 inches by 40 inches to 60 inches by 80 inches. Hit the personalized button to customize the layout and choose the number of photos you want to include and your preferred background color. Shipping rates and times can vary by location.

Gallery Montage of Memories Fleece Photo Blanket

a group of people posing for a photo

Gallery Montage of Memories Fleece Photo Blanket $34.99 at Shutterfly

Related: We share our favorite relaxation products for when we want to relieve stress, from headphones to coffee makers.

Unique Mother's Day gifts that are interactive

16. Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set

You can give her a new creative outlet with this comprehensive 104-piece artist’s kit complete with oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, along with brushes, canvas boards and more. She might end up giving you her art in the future. The set has earned an average 4.6-star rating over more than 4,000 Amazon reviews.

Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set

a book sitting on top of a table

Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set $72.44 at Amazon

17. Caydo Full Range of Embroidery Starter Kit

For nimble-yet-idle fingers, this embroidery kit includes the basics for beginners including hoops in various sizes and colorful threads. Whether she knows her way around a sewing machine or doesn’t know how to put a fallen button back on, this kit can offer another creative outlet for her to try out. It has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 4,800 Amazon shoppers.

Caydo Full Range of Embroidery Starter Kit

Caydo Full Range of Embroidery Starter Kit Including Instructions, 5 Pieces Bamboo Embroidery Hoops, 50 Color Threads, 2 Pieces Aida Cloth, Circular Packing Bag and Cross Stitch Tool Kit for Beginners (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Caydo Full Range of Embroidery Starter Kit Including Instructions, 5 Pieces Bamboo Embroidery Hoops, 50 Color Threads, 2 Pieces Aida Cloth, Circular Packing Bag and Cross Stitch Tool Kit for Beginners (Amazon / Amazon)

Caydo Full Range of Embroidery Starter Kit $15.99 at Amazon

18. Knock Knock What I Love About Mom Fill-In Journal

Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t about sharing material possessions, but sentiments. Filled with prompts like “If you were a scent you would be…” and “I always want to hear what you’re going to say about…” this 112-page journal is like an extended Mother’s Day card she can keep at her desk during the day or on her bedside table to read before sleeping.

What I Love about Mom Journal

text: What I Love about Mom Journal ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home) © 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home What I Love about Mom Journal ('Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home / 'Multiple' Murder Victims Found in Calif. Home)
  • What I Love about Mom Journal $12.00 at Francescas
  • What I Love about Mom Journal $10.00 at Knock Knock
  • What I Love about Mom Journal $10.00 at Amazon

Related: Research shows bullet journaling for five minutes can increase your daily productivity.

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