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Gifts to brighten up your mom’s quarantine life

You can’t take your mom to brunch for Mother’s Day. From jigsaw puzzles to monogrammed stationery, these gifts are designed to bridge the gap between you and her.

Gifts to brighten up your mom’s quarantine life
[Photos: courtesy Senreve; Jiggy; Papier]
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Mother’s Day is around the corner, but this year, it’s harder than usual to celebrate. I’m lucky enough to live 10 minutes away from my mother, but I haven’t seen her in person since the stay-at-home orders kicked in, except to deliver her groceries from a safe distance. Ordinarily, we’d go out for a fabulous brunch or have an elaborate home-cooked dinner at home. The best I can do under these circumstances is deliver a thoughtful present that will cheer her up in the midst of this seemingly interminable period of social distancing.

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You might find yourself in the same situation. If you’re trying to find ways to bridge the gap between your mom and you during this difficult time, here are some gift ideas to help her feel cozy and engaged during this time at home.

[Photo: courtesy Papier]

Personalized stationery

In the midst of social distancing, people have been craving any form of human contact. Besides digital communication over Facetime or Zoom, there’s been a spike in old-fashioned letter writing since the world went into lockdown. Taymoor Atighetchi, founder of British stationery company Papier, says his sales have tripled since social distancing began. He says that some customers are drawn to the novelty of sending a tangible greeting, but for older letter-writers, it’s a way to remember the good old days when snail mail was an important way of communicating with people far away. If your mom enjoys sending letters, you can find a design she’ll love from Papier’s selection, ranging from florals to leopard prints, my personal favorite. If you want to take your gift up a notch, you could customize the paper with her name or monogram.

[Photo: courtesy The Sill]

Air-purifying plants

Instead of ordering your mom cut flowers, why not send her a live plant that will last long past the spring, and make her home more tolerable during this long stretch of time at home. The Sill, for instance, has a selection of flower plants curated for Mother’s Day such as orchids, lilies, and anthurium. You can order it online to be delivered to your mom’s doorstep. They come with detailed instructions about how to properly care for it. The Sill also offers virtual workshops for $10 about various aspects of plant care, from potting to caring for specific plants, such as fiddle leaf figs.

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[Photo: courtesy Weezie]

A summertime robe

Since you can’t take your mom to a spa this year, perhaps you can make her bathroom feel a little more spa-like. Weezie, a woman-owned direct-to-consumer startup, has just launched a summertime bath robe. It is short-sleeved, reaches the knees, is equipped with pockets, and comes in a range of fun geometric patterns. You can even personalize her robe with her initials on it.

[Photo: courtesy Jiggy]

A feminist puzzle

If your mom is into puzzles, she’ll love Jiggy, a startup that creates puzzles from paintings by female artists. Some are funny, like the one called Boobs, which requires no further explanation. Others are based around issues of social justice. Berlin Magalog, for instance, is a piece of artwork illustrated by an Afro-European artist named Diana Ejaita that is meant to articulate issues of racial and gender discrimination.

[Photo: courtesy Coyuchi]

Cozy loungewear

Our wardrobes have changed considerably while we’ve been stuck at home, so your mom might appreciate a few more cozy pieces of loungewear to add to her drawer. Coyuchi, a brand that makes ethically sourced organic cotton home textiles and clothes, has a range of options that are perfect for the season. The solstice chemise and robe are great picks for the summer and don’t look too casual, so your mom can wear them while gardening or sitting on the porch. There are also rompers and joggers that are perfect for walks out.

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[Photo: courtesy Senreve]

A little bit of luxury

If your mother is something of a fashionista or has a taste for luxury, she may still appreciate a beautiful accessory right now, even if she doesn’t have anywhere to wear it at the moment. You might get her something from Senreve, a direct-to-consumer brand that makes luxury handbags, founded by two mothers who had been searching for a beautiful bag that also stood up to the rigors of real life as a mom. The brand is best known for its versatile Maestra bag that can be carried in many ways, from a backpack to a crossover to a satchel, and comes in three sizes, depending on how much your mom needs to carry around. If your mom is more into jewelry, the brand sells necklaces and earrings in the shape of the brand’s mascot, the octopus. “Like octopi, women are simultaneously juggling many roles, identities, and responsibilities,” the brand explains. If that doesn’t describe motherhood, I don’t know what does.

About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a senior staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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