What to buy Mum for her 60th Birthday - Long Distance Edition
February 12, 2014 7:57 AM   Subscribe

My Mum turns 60 in early March. I live in Canada and she lives in the UK. Rather than return home to celebrate with her, she will be visiting me in July and we will attend the Calgary Stampede together as her birthday treat, but I still want her to actually be able to open something from me on the big day. What unique gift can I send to ensure her day is memorable?

In the past I've sent flowers, cheese hampers and that kind of thing. Mum isn't a big drinker so any alcohol type gift is out. She loves golf and is a fantastic golfer, but over the years I've given many golf related things and short of buying her a new club (which is a very personal thing) I don't think she needs any more novelty golf items.

I'm really at a loss.... it's a special birthday for her and also coincides with UK Mother's Day so there must be something wonderful I can send her - I'm just all out of ideas right now so I'm turning to you for help!

The gift must be able to be ordered online and sent to the UK so I'm erring towards UK based websites, but I'm also looking for fun ideas too that will show her how much I love her and miss her. I'm not averse to getting her a gift in Canada and posting it to her but in the past presents have taken so long to get there I'm worried I'll miss her birthday.

Help me please!
posted by JenThePro to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
A really nice cowboy hat :)
posted by Madamina at 7:58 AM on February 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

I was also going to say a cowboy hat.
posted by jeather at 8:00 AM on February 12, 2014

I was going to say cowboy hat too, but I will amend it to maybe a cowboy style golf hat.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:00 AM on February 12, 2014

For the past few years, I've gifted my mum a gorgeous potted plant for her patio. It might be too early for that in the UK, but what about another type of houseplant? They last longer than cut flowers. Orchids are particularly festive and will last for months, and some will re-bloom the year after.
posted by barnone at 8:07 AM on February 12, 2014

Does she like to read? Does she have a Kindle or anything like that?

Also, a subscription service might be nice. At least here in the US, there a million now from cheese to snacks (healthy or not) to stuff to make a meal at home. I think it would be nice for her to get something from you each month of the year.
posted by dawkins_7 at 8:32 AM on February 12, 2014

Sexy knickers! She probably wouldn't buy them for herself but she deserves to feel good about herself. Bonus if you arrange for her to open the gift while with with other family or friends. If she is single, throw in a lasso in the gift box with a comment that you'll help her rope a cowboy at the stampede.
posted by saucysault at 8:52 AM on February 12, 2014

A nice piece of jewellery, with the note about how much you are looking forward see her wearing it in person soon.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2014

Whereabouts in the UK does she live? And what's your budget?

You could buy her a year of cheap art exhibitions all over the country with the Art Fund, or skip-the-queues access to the blockbuster exhibitions at the big London museums, or free access to nature reserves with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust or the RSPB. Downside: she'd be opening a membership pack rather than something to enjoy immediately.

Or you could get her some art to enjoy at home (disclaimer: I haven't ordered from www.art.co.uk myself; they were just the top hit in my Google search).

Picking up on barnone's suggestion, early March is a great time for potted spring flowers. For instance, here's a windowsill planter with mini daffodils and primulas, available for delivery on dates up to the 1st of April.

For a less traditional option, Firebox is a good source for quirky, fun, often mildly geeky stuff - maybe she'd like a Scratch Globe or a kit to make a couple of glowing houses?
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:18 AM on February 12, 2014

I'm about you mum's age, and if she's anything like me, she has enough "stuff and things".
I'd suggest an experience instead, perhaps a massage, or manicure? Or possibly a nice long chat the phone?
posted by dbmcd at 10:51 AM on February 12, 2014

I found this UK based western wear store as well as this one. A cowboy hat is a great idea, but usually requires trying on. But some western jewelry--collar points, bolo tie, earrings--will be a nice Stampede "warm-up" and you can go from cheap and cheerful to elegant and expensive. The only thing I would watch for is to ensure that you don't pick something offensive to First Nations -- looks like the UK stores are a bit tone-deaf. But if you're in Canada, especially if you're in Calgary, I'm sure you know what to avoid. Have a great Stampede!
posted by angiep at 11:20 AM on February 12, 2014

Oh yes, depending on your budget, does she already have a tablet? She might love an iPad. Awesome for video chatting and there are lots of golf apps :-)
posted by barnone at 4:32 PM on February 12, 2014

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