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17 best gifts for mom in 2021 that are thoughtful and meaningful – NBC News

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It’s no secret that finding a gift for mom can be tough. And if you go the direct route and ask mom what they want, they might fruitlessly say something along the lines of good health or some much-needed alone time. Although these are lovely sentiments, they aren’t easily gifted, and for the mother who deserves to be treated this holiday season, you may be on the hunt for a more tangible present that can be wrapped with a bow.
Instead of putting off shopping for mom while brainstorming ideas (and risking shipping delays due to the ongoing supply chain issues), we’re helping streamline the process with a list of gifts to treat mothers to this year. To determine the best gifts for mom, we consulted our previous expert guidance on hair care tools, tech and more to round up some top-rated items based on Select reader interest. It may be the thought that counts, but any of these gifts can’t hurt.
To help you find the best gifts for mom, we revisited our previous expert guidance on everything from hair care to tech and rounded up top-rated items aligned with Select reader interest. We also included some notable new releases from brands like Apple.
This smartwatch is a thoughtful gift for someone who is about to have (or already has) their hands full: It makes hands-free communication easier with the ability to call and text without needing to grab your phone. Plus, Apple’s newest watch boasts a 20 percent larger screen area than the Series 6 and faster charging capabilities, according to the brand.
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 (and priceless) card they can keep at their desk during the day or on their bedside table to read before sleeping.
The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is an industry staple, according to the celebrity hair stylists we consulted in our guide to the best blow dryers. Hair stylist Courtney Foster previously told us that the Supersonic is her favorite blow dryer because “it prevents heat damage by regulating direct heat on the hair strands [and] provides high shine, which is crucial when it comes to getting the perfect blowout.” For a robust package, the blue and copper gift edition comes with a case, brush set and eight attachments.
Instead of presenting the beloved mama in your life with a bouquet of blooms, channel their love of flowers into a relaxing experience. With Poppy, you can pick from lush seasonal floral collections that are both vibrant and fragrant. The kit comes delivered to their door with design instructions and access to a Poppy video tutorial with arranging tips. From there, you can decide if this is a bonding experience to do together or a chance for them to enjoy some alone time. Poppy also offers monthly subscription packages for a gift that keeps giving.
Whether mom is a photography enthusiast or just incredibly sentimental when it comes to priceless family moments, this robust camera captures 4K photos and videos. With intelligent auto and manual modes, the user can craft their skill or let the camera take over while shooting 20.3 MP images. This lightweight camera comes with a 12-32mm lens and syncs with smartphones so you can easily share photos or livestream videos when using it as a webcam.
This set of 12 travel-size lipsticks adds color without the stickiness (which is an important consideration when it comes to lip products and face masks). In a range of bestselling hues and finishes including Satin, Matte, Amplified, Retro Matte and Cremesheen, these long-lasting lipsticks stay on for up to 12 hours and give mom the chance to experiment with different shades. The brand also offers a Tiny Tricks Mini Lipglass Lip Gloss Set that includes three lip glosses in your choice of warm or cool.
For the mom who has a lot of photos on their phone and no time to print or scrapbook them, consider a digital photo frame that takes the work out of displaying memories. Aura’s Mason Luxe photo frame offers the company’s highest resolution display yet — the device features a 9.7-inch 2K display, dual orientation and a 4:3 aspect ratio. The Wi-Fi-enabled frame allows you to control it through the companion app or online, and you can invite family members or friends to contribute media to display. In addition to photos, the smart frame supports up to 30-second videos. It comes with free unlimited storage for photos and videos and is compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
If truffles are the way to mom’s heart, speak their love language with a luxury gift box filled with truffle goodies and caviar. The sophisticated set comes with black truffle salt, raw black truffle honey, 2 ounces of black truffles from France and 2 ounces of caviar. For sauce enthusiasts, there’s also truffle ranch and sriracha gift sets as well as truffle buffalo sauce.
If an international wine tasting trip isn’t in the cards for mom this year, treat them to a virtual experience from the comfort of home. This virtual experience from Amazon Explore transports participants to Reputable Caro Winery in Mendoza, Argentina, where the host walks you through the historic property while explaining three unique wines as well as original fine art on exhibition. Pair your gift of the 45-minute session with three bottles of wine for her to taste along the journey — and enjoy after.
Last year, the Christmas sketch on “Saturday Night Live” nailed it when it called out the one gift that moms always tend to get: the bathrobe. And although this go-to present can leave mom wanting more, that’s because not all robes are created equally. If you’re going to go this classic holiday gift route, CB2’s Aria robe is a treat to the skin. Made from organic Turkish cotton, this robe swaddles the wearer in warmth and is also very absorbent for quickly drying off post-shower. Plus, the durable material is GOTS-certified, which benefits both the environment and the consumer. “Organic cotton next to skin — it doesn’t have any of those pollutants, insecticides and pesticides,” Anupama Pasricha, PhD, an associate professor of apparel merchandising and design at the St. Catherine University School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota, previously explained.
As noted in our guide to the best noise cancelling headphones, Sony gives Bose a run for its money with its extremely powerful WH-1000XM4 headphones, which cancel out more noise than most of the competition. The new WF-1000XM4 earbud headphones are a less bulky alternative for moms who could use assistance blocking out the background chaos. These Bluetooth earbuds are water-resistant, have eight hours of noise-cancelling battery life with wireless charging and boast voice detection with speak-to-chat technology.
As many learned during the pandemic, there’s something to be said about pajama days. From a female-owned and size-inclusive brand, these long-sleeve pajamas are made from 100 percent organic cotton (and new prints are GOTS-certified organic cotton). Available in 24 bold prints and a range of petite, tall and plus sizes, these polished pajamas with contrast piping details are stylish enough to double as everyday wear.
The holiday season is especially stressful for many parents as they work to try and make everything magical for their families. Help mom combat this with a month full of soothing bath treats. This bath bomb advent calendar comes with 25 handmade bath treats that are vegan and made in the United States with essential oils. The brand also offers smaller sets, including 6 Fizz and Foam Bath Bombs, as an alternative to the December countdown packaging.
For the mom who runs on caffeine, this fully automatic espresso machine from Philips can brew five types of coffee with the touch of a button. It has a built-in adjustable ceramic grinder with 12 settings and three temperature settings. With the LatteGo function, it tops cups of coffee with frothy milk and can clean itself in under 15 seconds. The touch display allows you to adjust the coffee’s strength, volume and amount of milk.
This brand was founded by a mom seeking to create elevated designs for women that are actually comfortable. With a foam insole, shock-absorbing heel, ankle strap and crisscross metallic piping detail, these slip-on shoes feature thoughtful details while prioritizing the wearer’s comfort.
This robotic vacuum is the smartest vacuum available, Carl Prouty, tech expert at Abt Electronics, previously told us in our guide to the best vacuums. This smart robotic vacuum model maps out an entire floor of your home to clean it more efficiently. Owners can also set boundaries from smartphones to prevent the vacuum from going into specific areas. “It can also empty its canister, return to its base when it knows it needs a charge and can stay current with software updates to add features in the future,” Prouty added.
Time isn’t a luxury that all moms have, which makes long-lasting nail polish an essential for many. This set of nine vegan polishes comes in a range of long-lasting shades, including Dirty Peach Creme and Gold Chrome. Each contains nourishing ingredients including biotin, keratin and green tea extract.
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