“Mom and apple pie” refers to quintessentially American values. So it’s not surprising that Mother’s Day is a pretty big deal in the United States. Celebrated every year on the second Sunday in May, it occasions the purchase of countless cards, floral arrangements, and restaurant outings for mom and her family.
Mother’s Day also is associated with a range of gifts often promoted specifically for the occasion. All those gifts add up to quite a substantial amount of money.
In fact, the National Retail Foundation (NRF) anticipates that Mother’s Day 2019 will be the biggest to date. According to the NRF figures based on its survey, Americans will be spending a record $25 billion on Mother’s Day gifts and outings.
The breakdown of what they are spending that money on shows some shifts away from the gifts you give in boxes to the gifts that are experienced. This is in line with society’s rising awareness that experiences tend to spark more joy than the accumulation of things.
The Kondo philosophy
A major force of that trend is Marie Kondo, the tremendously popular decluttering guru. As the video below indicates, her approach has proven so captivating and entertaining that she now has her own show on Netflix.
The Kondo philosophy is something that people should consider before they purchase any gift for anyone, and certainly when they want to pick out something that will spark joy for their mothers on Mother’s Day. Like any person, mothers often receive a gift that they have no use for, in which case it adds to their clutter and stress rather than to their experience of joy.
That’s why before you buy something that is offered by the retailer as a “great Mother’s Day gift” you should think: “But is it a great gift for my mother?” Is it something she will really enjoy having, or is it just something that lets you check the box of having purchased a gift to deliver on May 12?
How can you know figure out the answer to that? It takes a bit of thinking. You have to consider what your mother enjoys and what gift will deliver that experience or the gadget that makes the experience happen.
Many mothers find themselves sleep-deprived and rely on a good jolt of caffeine to energize them for the day. Some also come to appreciate the taste of a superior brew and want to have the option of enjoying that cafe experience even when at home.
For those coffee connoisseurs, there are several great gifts options, including choice coffee beans delivered in a gift basket or every month as a subscription. But great coffee takes more than the right beans; you have to be sure that your mother has the right coffee maker.
Doesn’t your mother deserve something better than a standard Mr. Coffee? Of course, she does, and here are some selections to consider to add some joy to your mother's mornings.
What can spark greater joy than waking up to the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee? For the mom who is a bit of a science buff or who loves the look of retro-tech, this is the ultimate coffee maker option.
Coffee maker options
The Barisieur is about as geeky cool as you can get. It is not merely a coffee maker but a brewing alarm clock that gives you a choice of freshly made tea or coffee.
The glassware used for the Barisieur is modeled after the kind of beakers used in chemistry experiments. And there’s quite a bit of science involved in it, too. As the site describes it, “The milk vessel cools through a Peltier cooler and is automatically activated by an infrared sensor when milk is present.”
It has been serving up its brews to guest at the likes of the Ace Hotel and the Four Seasons Hotel. And you can now buy it for your mother in either black or white for $445 by ordering it directly online. You can add on the matching glass for $25.22.
For the mom who likes a modern, high tech look with a range of functions, consider something like the Ninja CF091 Coffee Maker. It would allow her to customize her brew according to her taste and create any specialty coffee drink she desires. It also offers a built-in milk frother.
If your mom is really serious about her milk froth, you can buy a gadget that specializes in that in the classically designed Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk Frother. For fans of froth, it’s a great choice, offering separate disks for frothing milk for lattes, cappuccinos and hot chocolate. It holds up to 3 cups of frothed milk, so she would have more than enough to pour out for guests. See it in action below:
The low-tech coffee brewing options
The low-tech approach to coffee brewing is also really trendy now, as indicated by the proliferation of coffee preparations systems that don’t plug into outlets. For hot coffee, there are many options for pouring the hot water over the coffee yourself.
They range from simply holders for filters that go directly over your cup to elegant carafes. Option from Chemex has some of the design vibe associated with the Barisieur -- though not the same range of function -- for a much smaller investment.
For those who want the poured-over taste but not quite as much responsibility on their own part, it’s possible to buy a system that pairs a Chemex-style carafe with a kettle that will heat the water to just the right temperature in this set from Aroma. It will cost you more than just a carafe, of course, but just think how delivering joy to your mom is priceless.
Cold-brew coffee and iced tea
Cold-brew coffee is also extremely popular, especially as the weather gets hotter and more people want their coffee iced rather than hot. It also appeals to people who want less acid, as it is 70 percent less acidic than coffee brewed the traditional way and is also said to have a smoother taste.
There are a number of cold brew devices on the market. Among the most popular is the rather affordable Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker (& Iced Tea Maker). If you’d like to investigate further to consider which gadget you should buy for your mom’s cold-brew at home.
Most of the selections above also work for brewing tea, but if your mother’s cup of tea is actually tea, and she likes to have it on the go, consider something like the Pure Zen Tea Tumbler with Infuser.
High tech food
What if your mother wants something more substantial for her morning routine? For the mom who appreciates high tech applied to food, you can buy a 3D printer for pancakes for as little as $223.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond. The video below shows how you can “print your breakfast” in the shape of your choice.
So we don’t yet have the gadget that will deliver apple pie on demand, but there are still a number of choices to show your mom that you do value her and want your gift to add a spark of joy to her days for years to come.