Please don’t say that you forgot about Mother’s Day this Sunday. Well, even if you did, all is not lost. And no, you don’t necessarily have to shell out a shocking amount of cashola on some wilting supermarket flowers… Oh goodness, you weren’t really going to do that, were you? Oh boy. Well, clearly this is an emergency. Don’t fret. I’m here to help.

At this point, you missed the window on standard shipping times, so if you want to give a gift, your choices are few: Pay out a premium for some sort of last-minute delivery (if that’s even still possible), physically go to a store and pick something out, or make a home-made gift. And really, that last one shouldn’t even be considered unless you’re actually a halfway decent artisan or a child.

For everyone else, here are some last-minute ideas (most under $50), with gifts you’d be proud to give.

Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas



A case or skin in her favorite color

Cell phone cases are like purses and shoes for a lot of women — some of us like to mix it up and match it to what we’re wearing. So even if she already has one, she’ll probably welcome another, especially if it’s in her favorite hue.

Whether it’s for a feature phone or smartphone, you can find cases from $15 to $50 in a different patterns and colors from a huge variety of retailers, from Target to Best Buy to that kiosk at your local mall. And if you’re traveling to see her, the airports are full of them.

Don’t know what her favorite color is? Okay, first things first, you need to spend more time with her. And second, know this: Juicy eye-popping colors are hot for spring, so if she’s a fashionable lady, she’ll know that bright colors are trendy. If she’s not, then go with a classic neutral. (Black, brown, tan, red, or white.)


A portable speaker

Why not let Mom play her tunes or podcasts anywhere in the house she likes, without having to wear earbuds? They’re handy, practical and depending on which one you choose,  can be quite cute. Personally, I like the iLuv iSP100. It’s a decent brand and this model is inexpensive, at $24.99. It’s also available nationwide at places like KMart. (Of course, you should call ahead to make sure it’s in stock.)


Digital Photo Frame

Frankly, CEIVA is probably my favorite in this category, but if you need to make sure you have a gift on hand for Sunday, then the selection at places like Best Buy can save you. It ranges from a keychain photo viewer for as little as $10 up to tabletop ones for over $100.


A Memory Card — loaded with pics of you and the family

If she’s a point-and-shooter with a digital cam glued to her hand at all times, she will appreciate some extra memory. The fact that you give it to her loaded with family memories will mean even more. For bonus points, make sure there’s a way to view the pics right away. Nothing says Mother’s Day like the sight of your Mom crying happy tears and telling you what a good kid you are.

If she’s even a little bit tech savvy, consider upgrading that gift to an Eye-fi wireless card for instant uploads. The Eye-fi Connect X2, with 4GB, is $49.99 and is available at practically any tech store, camera shop or consumer electronics department.


Digital write board

For some reason, even though I’m a tech fan, I still can’t seem to forego my bulletin board and post-its. If your Mom is the same way, try ushering her into the digital age with a cool and clever alternative. The Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet costs just $40 and is available at Brookstone, the staple shop of malls across the country. In fact, even if you’re not hot on this item, popping into the store isn’t a bad idea. It has a really diverse selection, so chances are, you’ll see something else that catches your eye. (And if you go with this, let me know. I’m tempted to jump on this one myself.)

MP3 Player

If she doesn’t have a smartphone, then this one is sure to delight her. Who wouldn’t love being able to relax with some Vivaldi, rock out to some Gaga or listen to their favorite audio book on the go? Whatever her tastes, you can have it covered with an MP3 player. I lean toward the iPod Nano because it’s adorable, easy to use and sync, and offers solid performance for under $100. Plus, there’s a wealth of accessories out there for this item, so if you want to score brownie points, consider something like the Griffin Slap iPod Nano Wristband. The silicone strap also comes with a spring-steel armband, perfect for Mom’s jogging runs or work outs.

The iPod Nano is available at any Apple retailer and resellers, including many nationwide big box retailers. The Griffin wristband can be found at many Mac/Apple accessory stores, as well as Ritz Camera and Provantage shops, for $25. I know, this bundle exceeds the $100 threshold, but she’s your mother. Isn’t she worth it?



Speaking of budget, if you’ve got more to play with, well then the list would change dramatically. Here are some ideas for premium gifts:

  • An eReader (if you can’t wait for the Amazon Kindle to be shipped, Barnes & Noble sells its Nook onsite at its stores)
  • A GPS or hands-free car kit
  • A new camera (with HD video capture)
  • Noise-cancelling headphones (Bose QuietComfort headphones are truly amazing. And at over $300, truly expensive.)
  • Or my number one favorite pick — a tablet. My in-laws are absolutely CRAZY about theirs. Now I won’t debate the merits of different tablets here, but I will say that when it comes to Moms, the zero-learning-curve experience, among other things, has me recommending an iPad 2.

What are you getting your Mom for Mother’s Day? Are you leaning toward something techie or sentimental? And if you do go with those supermarket flowers, well — we won’t judge. At least you’re remembering her on Sunday, and that’s the most important thing.

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