Buying last minute gifts for your mother doesn't make you a bad person, just an average one. The timing of my Mother's Day gift buying has been off since 1992, the year I made one of my final assemblages of neon feathers, glitter glue, a line or two of poetry, and Pizza Pocket stains. It was a simple time when, upon finishing my work, I stepped back and thought, damn, she's going to be blown away.
The feathers are gone with the wind; the glue bottles are all dried up. The scrapbook of my family vacation is not happening now. That painting from New Mexico will not be arriving on time. Below are a list of places where you (and I) can get last minute gifts that don't feel last minute. As my mama always says, "What I'd really like is world peace…but buy me something good, too, okay?" And then she lets out her I'm-the-lady-in-charge-here laugh, and I wish I had a million dollars to spend on her.
Mother's Day falls right around the time you start to really feel the change in seasons, which is always a reason for a wardrobe update.
Aaraa Accessories, 408 6th St., Hoboken
I've written about my love of aaRaa before, and that love has not waned. Modern, cool, colorful, and affordable. You will leave here with something.
Another Man's Treasure, 353 Grove St., Jersey City
A Jersey City staple that keeps bringing it with amazing vintage finds. Even if your mom isn't a vintage fiend, she'll probably appreciate a one-of-a-kind necklace or bracelet that's beautiful and transitional. (I just bought a locket for my young cousin here, and it will still look great on her in 10 years.)
Feena Boutique, 297 Grove St., Jersey City
Feena is haven for Portuguese gifts and accessories. There's a mix of higher end items and work from independent artisans.
Lines don't come finer than the one separating something that's for your mom from something that's just for your mom's house. Go here for items that strike the perfect balance.
Washington General Store, 509 Washington St., Hoboken
A new kid on the block, but a cool kid that you like right away. David, Digest associate publisher and Son of the Year, picked up some things for his mom here and shipped them to her in California. Teas, soaps, and tons of other gift options.
Kanibal Home, 213 Montgomery St., Jersey City
A lovely collection of curiosities that includes candles, notebooks, card sets, and more.
Hoboken Hot House, 120 Washington St., Hoboken
For when you're going the plant or flowers route, but want something more than just a plant or flowers.
I'm not talking about Sunday. There's so much focus on snagging a reservation for Mother's Day that the actual act of eating together can get lost in the shuffle. It's a great feeling when you treat a parent to a nice meal on a non-holiday. Pick a place, make a cute card with the reservation on it, and present it with a bottle of wine or a small something. The restaurant options feel limitless, but here are a few suggestions.
sam a.m., 112 Morris St., Jersey City
Sam a.m. runs a Thursday Supper Club that's BYOB. Each one has a theme, and the restaurant is totally charming and sweet.
Thirty Acres, 500 Jersey Ave., Jersey City
For the adventurous, cool, and elegant mama who loves trying new things.
Cucharamama, 233 Clinton St., Hoboken
A Hoboken classic that still feels special.
Spa Treatments/General Wellness
Is your mom stressed out? Are you the reason? Let's fix it.
La Femme European Day Spa , 720 Monroe St, Suite E-407, Hoboken
Newly opened in the Monroe Center, La Femme has great deals going on right now for facials, massages, and more. Fantastic staff with tons of experience.
Renaissance Pilates, 335 River St. Hoboken
Friends of mine swear by this place. Great opportunity to let mom try a class package. Beautiful location.
SunMoon Yoga, 413 Monmouth St., Jersey City
A 5-class pack goes for $80 here. I've been several times, and it's a small, relaxing place with a mix of ages and skill levels.
And when all else fails, go for the relaxation potions — wine and tea.