Stitchagram Throw Pillow ($68)
Mothers love photos, and children (by and and large) hate sitting through endless sessions with dusty albums hearing the same stories of how adorable they were way back when. Be happy that the internets and social medias have combined to help bridge this divide. With a Stitchagram pillow, you can print a whole bunch of your best Instagram shots on a lovely couch addition for mom. This means that you have control over which images she’ll go on and on about, with the added benefit that the pillow could never fit as many images as mom’s album could. For her part, mom gets to brag about how savvy her kids are, in addition to how adorable they are. For more on Stitchagram’s Instagram custom pillow, check out our hands on.
Lenovo I3deaPad Yoga ($999)
The whole laptop/tablet hybrid thing is more right for mom than you might think, and Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga is as mom-friendly an example as we’ve seen. Offering speedy performance and a solid build, it also features a responsive touchscreen. and its beautiful display boasting wide viewing angles. It’s the perfect solution when you and your siblings all want to gather around YouTube and get her up to speed on 3-month-old memes. Because the Yoga works in four different positions – laptop, tablet, tent, and stand – it’s among the most versatile hybrids we’ve seen and will either shore up mom’s tech cred or actually instill her with some for the very first time.
Shoes Of Prey ($Varies)
Whether your mom has a shoe fetish or just no time to shop, Shoes of Prey lets her create a pair of shoes custom made just the way she likes it. No more wishing this came in a small heel, or different color or fabric; Shoes of Prey has a huge selection of material, so moms can customize every detail down to the trimming. If she doesn’t want to design a pair from scratch, she can also use the site’s inspiration gallery to pick a design she likes, then edit the little details. If she ends up not liking the final result, Shoes of Prey will also refund the unworn pair for 100 percent of the cost, no questions asked.
Sony Cyber-shot TX30 ($349.99)
What is it with moms and their purses? We’re not talking about the sexy Hermes but that giant Mary Poppins carpet bag that’s full of wadded up tissues, dated cosmetics, and expired meds. Mom is weighted down by baggage, so the last thing she needs to carry around is a honking big camera. Do her a favor by gifting her the 18.2-megapixel Cyber-shot TX30 from Sony. It’s incredibly thin at 0.6 inches, plus it’s tough – waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and freezeproof – perfect for bringing along on that beach vacation or to junior’s soccer practice. It has a 5x optical zoom for spying and a large, bright 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen that doesn’t require squinting to view.
Netflix ($7.99 per month)
Assuming you are conscious, you’ve probably heard of Netflix’s instant streaming. The great thing about Netflix as a gift is that it works for any situation. If your mom is still raising a family, there are plenty of shows all ages can watch together. If she has since booted the offspring from the nest, the options are endless. Whether she likes old movies or new TV shows, you’re covered. Of course, if your mom is also conscious, there’s a reasonable chance she already has a Netflix subscription – never fear. You can pick up her tab for a whole year for less than $100 and make her think she’s raised a financially responsible kid who can pay monthly bills on time, to boot.
It’s great that tablets are so light and thin, but, just like thin TV’s, tablets are equally thin on sound; that can make watching movies and TV shows or listening to music a real drag. The Sound Cylinder from Definitive Technology solves that problem while doubling as a convenient stand for mom’s tablet without involving a single wire. This little speaker’s built-in battery will give her up to 8 hours of wireless audio via Bluetooth and it’s compact and light enough to carry around without feeling weighed down. Don’t let its small stature fool you, though. The Sound Cylinder is capable of some of some astonishingly big sound. We love this little speaker, and if you tell mom that she should, she will, too.
If your siblings have already gotten mom a Stitchogram Throw Pillow (damn siblings!), you can still leverage her obsession with family photos by getting her a gift from Ancestry.com. They start at $29.99 for downloadable software that will help her organize the family tree on her own computer, go up to $77 for a 6-month site subscription that will aid in identifying relatives she never knew you all had, and top out at a $99 DNA kit for serious ancestral sleuthing. Of course, if mom still lives in the house you grew up in, that last option could potentially be utilized to ID anyone who’s ever been in your childhood bed. Come to think of it, this gift might be a terrible idea…
Knomo Alice ($425)
The worst part about owning a laptop is how downright ugly laptop bags are. Most of them are black, and full of velcro and snaps – the kind of stuff more suited to a George Lucas movie than a normal person. Knomo’s bags are different. The Alice Shoulder Bag is a laptop bag no one would even recognize. Made of soft-pebbled leather, the bag can hold up to a 15-inch laptop, and has all the padding and extra storage a mom might need for other things. The shoulder strap is optional and it comes in four colors.
Mom said she loved the Starbucks gift certificate that you gave her last year, but she has to say that. This year, erase any doubt but getting her something truly useful: Automatic. This device plugs into the OBD II port in your mom’s car (it’s beneath the steering column) and, along with the corresponding phone app, monitors driving habits like abrupt breaking, excessive speeding, and aggressive acceleration. Then it will alert mom and tell her when her driving sucks! In addition, it contacts emergency services in the case of an accident and even includes a vehicle locator for when she forgets where she parked.