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Gifts That Aren’t Flowers (Again)

By Maura WaltersMay 1 2021

This Mother’s Day in particular could come with a wide range of emotions: Maybe you’ll be hugging your mom for the first time in more than a year and want to give her something that will blow her away. Maybe you’ll be seeing your new mother-in-law for the first time in person and want a gift you won’t have to think twice about. Or, maybe there’s a new mom in your life who could seriously use some self-care. It may feel next-to-impossible to find a Mother’s Day gift that adequately conveys your love and appreciation (and needless to say, there’s no one-size-fits-all present for moms), so if you’re not sure where to start, take some cues from Rockefeller Center’s Kate Spade New York, Jill Lindsey, and Daniel Wellington.

Put a Polka Dot on It

Kate Spade New York is known for bright colors and cheerful patterns—but one stands out from the vivid pack. “In the five-and-a-half years I have worked at Kate Spade, the style that is hands-down the most well-loved is the black-and-white polka dot,” says Peyton Davis, a Kate Spade stylist and muse. “Throughout the years, we’ve put it on just about everything—watch straps, headbands, card holders, clothing, and home goods. It’s a timeless, fun style that everyone can get behind. Subtly ask your recipient what she’s into, and put a polka dot on it. You can’t go wrong.”

Send Her Off in Style

With travel thankfully on the horizon again, Davis also recommends a luggage tag as an easy but special gift. “Everyone is looking forward to the day they can travel again, and a luggage tag is an endlessly useful and stylish gift.” A simple but sleek travel accessory, such as a luggage tag, leather card holder, cashmere throw, or passport booklet is guaranteed to please a hard-to-buy-for grandma, stepmom, or mother-in-law. Bonus points if you get it monogrammed or customized to her style.

Pamper Her

New and longtime moms deserve all the pampering on Mother’s Day. “I firmly believe that Mother’s Day should be about self-care—especially if you’ve just become a mom,” says Jill Lindsey, whose department store is stocked with eclectic treasures like tarot cards, Maison Louis Marie candles, handmade vases and mugs, and Lindsey’s own artisanal skincare. “A simple candle with an unobtrusive smell, some lovely bath salts or a hydrating hand cream are guaranteed to make her day.” Looking to bring more downtime to her days? Gift her a bath tray and a beach read, lavender-scented shower steamers, a beautiful ceramic mug and some fancy tea, or a silky pajamas set. And if you live near the new mom, offer to babysit for the day!

Make Her Feel Beautiful

While beauty is typically a very personal choice, Lindsey says there are a few foolproof gift options in this category: “There’s something really special about a luxe lip balm, an essential oils kit, or a set of silk hair ties—which are a pretty, effective way to preserve a blowout,” Lindsey says. “I also recommend a personalized makeup case, or a set of face mists.”

When in Doubt, Go Classic

Gift-giving can be especially challenging when someone is new to your life—say, the mother of your brand-new fiancé. “You can never go wrong with gifting a leather watch,” says Arlette Echevarría, marketing manager of Daniel Wellington. “It’s the perfect accessory for both formal and casual settings that’ll appeal to any style. When gift shopping for jewelry, we believe simplicity is key. A bold bracelet cuff or a sleek necklace always grants effortless elan.”

Even though this Mother’s Day might feel a bit different, that doesn’t mean it can’t be special. Just remember: She’ll love whatever you give her if it’s chosen with care. And if you’re lucky enough to be together this Mother’s Day and in New York City, swing by the Plaza for an in-real-life gift—an afternoon in the city, just the two of you.

Visit Kate Spade New York at 610 Fifth Avenue, Jill Lindsey at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and Daniel Wellington at 610 Fifth Avenue.

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