How To

The Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Guide

You put it off again this year, and now you’re on the verge of disappointing your very own mother. You have four days to find and ship an amazing Mother’s Day gift. MARGARET MASON recommends gifts from sites that offer quick delivery.

Kimono Tote

$165 from Gumps

This roomy (14" by 6" by 9") Kimono Tote lends a whole new meaning to the phrase “mom purse.” The fabric is hand-printed with a design found in the archives of a 400-year-old kimono fabric company. It’s trimmed in embossed leather, the handle is red Lucite, and the lining is striped turquoise.

Remember the time you snuck out your bedroom window when you were 16 and left your mother waiting up all night, wondering if you’d been hit by a bus? Time to make it up to her.

Key Lime Pears

$18 from Recchiuti Confections

I cannot possibly describe how good these are. Naked in a bed of 500 thread-count silk sheets good. Listening to the water lap against the sides of the boat on a balmy day good.

Recchiuti takes delicate slices of preserved pear and dips them in glossy dark chocolate. The result is brittle, tart, sophisticated, and divine with a glass of wine.

Betty Vases

$10–$19 from Crate & Barrel

It sure would be nice for your mother to own a vase that didn’t come with an FTD arrangement. These are hand-blown in milky white, painted pink, then enclosed in clear glass to add depth and shine. She can fill them with flowers, or just leave them on the shelf.

iPod Shuffle 512MB

$99 from the Apple Store

Seriously, she goes to the gym with an AM/FM radio Walkman that she bought in 1982. Get her an iPod Shuffle today, and you’ll have just enough time to load it with 120 of her favorite songs, or some choice NPR clips, and present it to her over Sunday brunch. Though you may have to explain what it is. Shipping is free!

Chez Panisse Fruit Notecards

$11 from Amazon

These notecards feature simple images of fruit from the hand-illustrated menus at Alice Waters’s renowned California eatery. The set comes in a small box (pictured), and contains 20 blank folded cards and 20 envelopes. Cards come in four different designs, each more edible than the next.

eBay Gift Certificates

$5–$200 from eBay

You’d like to add to your mom’s collection, but what do you know about Depression Glass? Fortunately, for collectors, the hunt is half the fun, and now you can give her hours of entertainment searching eBay for the pieces that suit her best.

Certificates range in price from $5 to $200, and they’re good for any vendor who accepts payments via PayPal. Best of all, you can send the certificate immediately via email, or print one out and deliver it yourself. The ultimate thoughtful, last-minute gift.

DKNY Watch for Her

$115 from Macy’s

Keep Mom punctual and fashionable. This burnished bracelet watch works as well with jeans as a business suit. Its understated design makes it look much more expensive than it actually is, which is always a nice bonus.

Silver and Glass Locket

$42 from Uncommon Goods

This update of the traditional locket can hold anything up to the width of a penny. Include a small memento, or simply put in two photos that will be visible from either side. (Locket: 1" diameter x 0.5" depth; chain: 24" long)

Martha Stewart Living

$28 from Amazon

Martha is free, and crafty as ever. Her magazine, Martha Stewart Living, is full of projects worth ripping out, whether your mom loves to garden, cook, collect, or create.

If your mom already has a subscription, consider getting her a compilation book like Good Things or Good Things for Organizing. She’ll be dusting the plant leaves in no time.

Garden Hopper

$19 from Amazon

Green thumb, creaky hips. This sturdy work seat lets you scoot from flower to flower, with your tools tucked beneath you and a tall glass of iced tea in the cup holder. Much better than getting your knees all muddy. (23" by 13" by 12.5")

Mom and Heart Copper Bowls

$22 from Uncommon Goods

The inside of this ring dish is coated with enamel that says “Mom” on one side, and has a heart on the other. However, from the outside, it looks like a modern, sleek copper globe. You can rest easy knowing that your sentimentality is hidden from view, but Mom will always know it’s there.

Asiatic Lilies

$30 from Kabloom

If your mom is a more traditional sort, send her your love with a bouquet. Code MDAY2005 gets you 15 percent off any bouquet at Kabloom through May 15.

A bunch of these happy, affordable lilies should last about a week.

Omron Premium Pedometer

$30 from Amazon

This pedometer counts steps, aerobic steps, distance in miles, and calories burned. It does not tell you your pulse, give you inspiring quotations, or microwave your lunch. In other words, it’s a lightweight, simple option for those who choose walking as their primary form of exercise. You can clip it to a belt or tuck it in a pocket and get going.

Classic Terry Robe

$79 from Pottery Barn

This comfy, Turkish cotton terry cloth robe is a perfectly legitimate excuse to be lazy. You can monogram or personalize it with up to 10 characters for a small extra charge. Throw in a bottle of toenail polish and a box of bonbons while you’re at it.

Black Pearl and Diamond Earrings

$323 from Macys

Your mother has been very, very good to you. Now it’s payback time. These elegant black pearls with diamond accents are timeless, but unique enough that she’ll know you were thinking about her personality.

They’re regularly $600, but they’ve been twice reduced. Snap up a pair before they’re gone.