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We’ve Got Your Last-Minute Quarantine Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Right Here

Out of time and out of ideas? We've got you.

joan allen, william h. macy

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, that special time of the year where we give gratitude and thanks to the women who changed our diapers, made us breakfast, and molded us into the more or less functional human beings we are today. But of course this Mother’s Day will be markedly different than the ones that came before, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of our favorite holiday activities are no longer on the menu: we can’t take mom out for a nice brunch, or a spa day, or to get her nails done. And most importantly, unless you’re quarantining under the same roof, you won’t be getting any IRL face-time in with the woman who used to spit on a Kleenex and wipe your face with it (was this just me? the 1980s were WILD y’all).

But despite the world crumbling around us, you can still show mom you care with something sweet. Here are our recommendations for quarantine-friendly Mother’s Day gifts.

1. A Subscription to BritBox and/or Acorn TV

essie davis is phryne fisher

(image: Acorn TV)

If you’re mom is anything like mine, they love themselves a good British drama. Whether it’s a mystery like Vera or a period piece romp like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, there is something delightful for every Anglophile. And it’s not just dramas: comedies, documentaries, films … everything from old episodes of Doctor Who to Absolutely Fabulous are available to stream. So fire up some Father Brown and give your mom something she’ll really enjoy. If you want, you can also boost this gift by sending mom some tea and biscuits. Theme gifts: what a concept!

2. Free Tech Support

This particular gift is inspired by the 90 minutes my sister and I spent last week trying to teach my own mother how to use Zoom. If you’re parents are less tech-savvy, chances are they’re calling you because the internet has gone missing or they’re asking you how to attach a photo to an email for the 30th time.

Is this frustrating? Obviously. But parents need help with this stuff, so offer up your skills and give mom a free few hours of tech support. Help her with whatever she’s struggling with via Facetime or Marco Polo or whatever mode she uses. And here’s the thing: don’t get frustrated and don’t be a judgmental ass about it.

Ask her what she wants to learn/do and help her make it happen. Maybe she wants a Twitter account. Maybe she wants to scan old family photos. Maybe she wants to finally figure out that iPad you bought her two Christmases ago. HELP HER OUT. This is two gifts in one, because you’re spending quality time with mom AND you’re teaching her the wonders of Instagram.

3. A Subscription Box Service


(image: Causebox)

Everybody loves getting gifts in the mail, and in today’s world, there is truly a subscription box for every interest. Sign mom up for a monthly subscription to literally anything: Causebox features jewelry, home decor, and beauty products from socially conscious brands. Ipsy lets her sample a variety of different beauty products every month. If your mom loves grilling and cooking, set her up with ButcherBox, which sends prime cuts of meat straight to her door (Caveat: don’t just assume your mom enjoys cooking/cleaning/any other domestic chores. This is about treating her. No one wants a new iron). Clothes, make-up, jewelry, snacks, crafts, charity … if you can think of it, there’s probably a box for it.

4. Get Creative

The above clip is from season 2, episode 11 of HBO’s classic series Six Feet Under. In the episode, Claire Fisher (Lauren Ambrose) gets high on mushrooms with her college friends. In a drug-fueled haze, she sews her mother Ruth (Frances Conroy) a pair of ridiculous harlequin pants with bells on them. The next morning, Claire is hungover and embarrassed by her fashion disaster, but Ruth is endlessly delighted.

The moral? Moms love stuff made by their kids. So use your skills and write her a poem, paint her a picture, sculpt her a mug, sing her a song. Ruth loves Claire’s hideous pants because they were made with love (drug-fueled love, but love nonetheless). You can’t go wrong with something from the heart, something that let’s mom know how much she means to you.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

(image: New Line Cinema)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.