Relaxing Christmas gifts
November 18, 2011 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Relaxing, comforting Christmas gift ideas for my extremely busy mom on a $150 budget.

My family has had a fairly difficult year, so I've decided to go big this Christmas. My mother, especially, has had a hard time; she bought a house in need of a lot of remodeling, had a messy break-up with her long-term boyfriend, and had to deal with three kids. I want to give her some very special gifts that will make her smile, take a deep breath, and feel relaxed.

My siblings are already taken care of (Saint's Row 3, comic books, shirt, boots), but Mom's a little harder. She's practical, busy, and almost constantly on the go, mentally and physically. Likes coffee and sleep, very neurotic about her bedding. Doesn't take baths, only showers, so any bathy stuff is out. Honestly, she's been so overloaded that she doesn't really have any hobbies; she works, comes home, eats something, watches The X-Factor/The Big Bang Theory, and goes to bed.

So, ideas I've thrown around:

- Spa gift card
- Bedroom slippers
- High thread-count sheets
- Stylish clogs (her favorite kind of shoe)
- Estée Lauder face lotion (she's out of it currently, has worn it since she was 11)
- Starbucks gift card

Anything obvious/not so obvious I'm missing?
posted by jingle to Human Relations (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
High-quality coffee/espresso machine for her coffee habit?
posted by lakersfan1222 at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2011

Cook her dinner for a week or so. (Assuming you are good at cooking)

A nice new personalized coffee thermos

Espresso machine

Or maybe just help her run errands so that she can free up some time to have hobbies/relax.
posted by astapasta24 at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2011

Tasty something-of-the-month club? Nice for busy people. If she's not watching what she eats, chocolate-of-the-month would be a comforting and upscale treat.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

A good massage pillow is a wonderful thing.
posted by mkultra at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

A DVR or e-reader? On your budget, you can afford something good and these are nice, brainless hobbies. A Kindle would be nice if she finds herself with downtime while she's out and about (waiting on line, etc.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:38 AM on November 18, 2011

I like the meals idea. What's better at the end of a long day than knowing dinner is waiting for you (and the kids)? One of my least favourite parts of being a mom/wife is that at the end of the day when I'm spent, I then have to deal with dinner. My in-laws had a hard year last year. For Christmas we bought them a crockpot and I made them a bunch of crockpot-friendly Supperworks meals that I knew they'd like. Once in a while I treat myself to a batch of some too, because they are really actually delicious and so great when you can forecast a busy day and throw one in before you leave for work.

Other thoughts: Even though it's not Christmas yet, I'd dearly love for someone to come around and do the winterizing yard work for me; and I wish I could swing having someone else to do the deep-clean my kitchen really needs before starting my holiday cooking and baking. Can you relieve her of some no-fun chores that tend to build up especially if they were ones that the boyfriend formerly took care of (not knowing anything about their particulars - I'm just saying that when mrgood doesn't do his part, which is emptying the dishwasher before bed or first thing in the morning, it holds up my whole day of throwing stuff in as I eat and cook and make the kids' lunch so she might really be missing whatever he did to help, however small).
posted by peagood at 11:45 AM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

A cozy throw blanket -- cashmere or something otherwise plush -- for curling up on the couch? (Don't know if being neurotic about her bedding would translate to being neurotic about throw blankets, though.)
posted by scody at 11:48 AM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

A massage that lasts an hour-and-a-half will be the absolute most relaxing thing you can give her. I am so neurotic and after I got one, I was floating. Also, maybe a bar of chocolate and a bottle of OK wine with the certificate. That should be around $150 if you are in most American towns and cities (including tip for the masseuse).
posted by 200burritos at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

I only take showers, too, and I'll be stocking up on some of this decadent L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil this holiday season.
posted by sillymama at 12:47 PM on November 18, 2011

A good esspresso machine will cost more than $150. Get her a massage and make sure she goes!
posted by Gor-ella at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2011

The massage gift cert + chocolate + wine is a great idea! But is missing a vital component: a promise to keep an eye on the kids so she can actually go get the massage.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Upgrade her bedding situation! (If she doesn't already have a bed she's in love with.) If you're super busy, it's wooonderful to sink into a super comfortable bed at the end of the day. You can get a memory foam mattress topper on for >$100 (I have one for myself and have purchased 2 for friends), or you could get a cozy down comforter or really nice sheets...

But honestly, unless she already has a great mattress, the foam topper makes more of a difference than nice sheets (at least for me).
posted by alleycat01 at 2:05 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

A massage! aka spa gift card sounds awesome.

Or something that saves her time if she's feeling overburdened.

I wanted to get my mom something nice this year so I just got her a Kindle Fire which is like a kindle tablet. I'm hoping she'll use it to read magazines/books and watch Netflix in bed.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:28 PM on November 18, 2011

Whatever you get her, add a Starbucks card to it. As a busy mom on-the-go who loves coffee, it's by far my favorite thing ever to get. I hate wasting my own money there, but I love the gift cards!
posted by katypickle at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2011

Massage gift cert or a gift certificate for housecleaning.
posted by gt2 at 5:07 PM on November 18, 2011

Frieling 18/10 French press + Breville electric kettle + really gourmet coffee + really nice ceramic cup.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:15 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

As a busy Mom who's on the go, I'd love a GPS for the car. It would feel like luxury to me.
posted by theora55 at 5:52 AM on November 19, 2011

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