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She’s your confidante, rock, mentor, and built-in best friend. She’s been there through it all and this holiday season she deserves something really special. Yet, mom can be one of the hardest people to shop for on your list. After all, what do you give someone who literally gave you life?
The good news is that the perfect gift for your mom is out there, and it doesn’t have to be expensive to make her smile. When it comes to gifts for mom, whether you want to go with something big or small, thoughtfulness is key. That’s why we scoured the web and collected 50 really special gifts that show your mom you care, all under $50.
Pick a gift that embraces nostalgia, her favorite hobbies, or some quality time with you — whatever you give, mom will love it.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
An air plant that shows your appreciation
You Are My Rock Air Plant, starting at $26, available at Etsy
She’s your rock, so let her know. This air plant, which comes in a pretty rose quartz planter, will make a cute piece of decor — and the packaging box will remind her how important she is to you.
A book subscription service for an exciting new read every month
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Book of the Month Membership, starting at $44.99 for 3 months
Note: Right now, you can get a free book when you sign up with code “SUGARHIGH”
If she’s always asking you for new book recommendations, she’s going to love this service that curates great books and sends them to subscribers once a month. Each monthly delivery will be an exciting surprise as she discovers a new read she might not have found otherwise. Our editor tried the service herself and loved it.
Textured planters that she can fill with her favorite plants
3-Piece White Loom Planter Set, $14.95, available at CB2
After all those years taking care of you, caring for her plants is nothing. These planters, which can stay indoors or outdoors, are a pretty and practical way to hold some greenery.
An indulgent box of gourmet, handmade chocolates
Gourmet Peanut and Nut Butter Cups, $40, available at Uncommon Goods
Give mom her chocolate and peanut butter fix with some candy you can’t buy at the drugstore. This box is filled with 16 handmade, gourmet chocolate and nut butter cups, each one a different unique flavor combination.
A carry-on cocktail kit that’ll make long flights a little better
Margarita Carry-On Cocktail Kit, $24, available at Uncommon Goods
Just add tequila. Mom will love this little kit that lets her make her favorite cocktail quickly and easily while in the air. This gift will be especially appreciated when given right in time for a family vacation.
A sampling of coffee from all around the world
World Explorer’s Coffee Sampler, $32, available at Uncommon Goods
Perfect for the lady that knows there’s more to a cup of coffee than caffeine. You might not be able to buy her a flight so she can sip in coffee shops around the globe, but you can buy her this pack of globally sourced blends, which might be the next best thing.
A simple case to keep her important cards safe
The Signature Card Case, $35, available at Dagne Dover
This card case is small enough to fit in her pocket, but big enough to house her most important cards and some cash. It’s extremely practical and the minimalist style will go well with everything she already owns.
A high-end manicure she can give herself
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish, $18.50, available at Amazon
One gel manicure costs a lot more than this duo set, which gives her one colored nail polish and a gel top coat. Bonus points if you use this to have a girls’ night together, manicures included.
A T-shirt that shows off her values
The 100% Human Box-Cut Tee, $22, available at Everlane
Give mom a shirt she can feel good about wearing. When you buy this tee, Everlane will donate $5 to Equality Now — an organization promoting equal rights for women around the world.
A silk eye mask for when she really needs some sleep
Silk Sleep Eye Mask, $35, available at Ahalife
Mom seriously deserves some quality sleep. Make it a little easier for her to get it with this comfortable, silky smooth eye mask.
A cover to make her tech look a little nicer
Fintie iPad Case, $16.99, available at Amazon
If she loves using her iPad, this case will keep it protected — and it looks a little more interesting than the plain metal device. Plus, this case functions as a stand, so she can keep her tablet upright when necessary.
A map that reminds her of her favorite place
Custom Map, starting at $49, available at Grafomap
Some things just breed nostalgia. Grafomap will make a custom map of a location of your choice — you can even add personalized labels. Choose the place she grew up, a place where you have fond memories together, or a family favorite vacation spot. It’s a great piece of home decor that means something to her, too.
A set of soaps that smell like a bouquet of fresh flowers
Box of Flowers Soaps, $28, available at Uncommon Goods
There’s something so wonderful about the smell of fresh flowers. That mood-lifting smell, combined with all-natural, soothing ingredients, make these soaps a unique and welcomed addition to her bathroom.
A framed photo she’ll always cherish
The Aiden Frame, $39, available at Framebridge
Nothing can compare to a gift that she can keep hung up forever as a reminder of the great memories you’ve shared together — that’s what makes this framed photo so special.
A massage for an hour (or more) of true relaxation
Massages, price dependent on area, available at Groupon
You know your mom deserves some pampering, but maybe you’re worried you can’t really provide that on your budget. A spa day doesn’t have to cost you your whole paycheck — check out Groupon for some great deals on massages in your area, so your mom can get the relaxing time off she deserves.
A nourishing, limited-edition set of all-natural skincare products
Herbivore Coco Rose Luxe Hydration Trio, $39, available at Nordstrom
This set of body polish, face mist, and lip conditioner are all made with nourishing ingredients like rose and coconut oil. Plus, it’s all natural so she can feel good knowing she’s using products that are good for her body.
A candle that smells like her favorite place
Homesick Candles, $29.95, available at Amazon
Take her back to her favorite place with these nostalgia-inducing candles. Whether it’s the scents of fall in New York like pumpkins, apple orchards, and nutmeg, or the salty seaweed, morning coffee, and ocean air of the beach cottage she frequented as a child — these Homesick candles are sure to bring back fond memories.
A cookbook from a home cook icon
“Cook Like a Pro” by Ina Garten, $20.99, available at Amazon
Ina Garten, the icon of home cooks everywhere, just released a new cookbook — and you know your mom will want to add this one to her shelf. With new recipes and techniques, you might even get to benefit from what she learns with a delicious meal.
A set of wines she’s probably never tried before
Italian Wine Gift Set, $39.99, available at Wine.com
If she loves to try new wines, make it easy with this trio of three Italian varietals. It’s no trip to Tuscany, but it still tastes pretty darn good.
A vintage-looking indoor herb garden
Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden, $20, available at Uncommon Goods
These mason jar make growing fresh herbs easy. All she has to do is plant the seeds, add water, place the jars in a sunny spot, and let the herbs grow. It takes little effort on her part, but having fresh herbs will make all the difference in adding flavor to her favorite dishes.
A mortar and pestle to up her guac game
Crate & Barrel
Molcajete 8-Inch, $34.95, available at Crate & Barrel
Mom’s guac game just got a lot stronger with this molcajete. The mortar and pestle are made of volcanic stone to grind out everything to the perfect texture — so she can claim the title of best dip on the table.
A spiralizer that’ll help her get inventive with cooking vegetables
Mueller Multi-Blade Spiralizer, $24.99, available at Amazon
Chances are, she was the one telling you to eat your vegetables growing up — but that doesn’t mean you can’t share the same sentiment for her with this spiralizer, which can grate, slice, spiralize, and shred her favorite vegetables for all different kinds of uses.
A customizable cookbook to keep all of your family recipes together
My Family Cookbook, $35, available at Uncommon Goods
Whether it’s grandma’s secret sauce or mom’s homemade banana bread, your family recipes are sacred. Keep them safe for years to come with this customizable cookbook, which lets her jot down recipes, add pictures, and even has space for family members’ reviews.
Adorable animals to hold her rings
Zoola Animal Ring Holders, $3.99, available at West Elm
Whether she wants to show her rings off, or make sure she doesn’t lose them, these little animals do the trick. They look super cute as a piece of decor, but are undoubtedly practical. You could even pair these with a cute ring to start.
A cozy scarf that will keep her hands warm too
Handknit Pocket Scarf, $48, available at Uncommon Goods
Who doesn’t love bundling up in something cozy for winter? Give mom the gift of comfort and warmth with this oversized scarf that also has pockets for holding little knick-knacks or keeping her hands toasty.
A fitting diffuser for the taste-maker of your house
Tastemaker Diffuser, $40, available at Snowe
With scents of shiso leaf, wild mint, and meyer lemon, this diffuser will look and smell great anywhere in the house.
A stylish water bottle that will become her go-to
S’well Stainless Steel Bottle, starting at $25, available at Amazon
With a variety of shapes and sizes, S’well vacuum insulated water bottles do a great job of keeping all kinds of beverages hot (for 12 hours) or cold (for 24 hours). They come in a bunch of fun colors and patterns, which makes using a reusable water bottle a lot more fun.
A cozy throw she’ll love to cuddle up in
Faux Fur Cozy Throws, $39, available at Pottery Barn
This cozy throw is something she’ll want to snuggle up with all winter long, and then some. It’s not too heavy, so it’s great for all times of year, but this super plush faux fur is just what she needs for your family movie marathons over the holidays.
A fun game that your whole family will crack up playing
What Do You Meme?, $29.97, available at Amazon
She might not even know what a meme is, but there’s no doubt she’ll be laughing for hours creating funny memes with this card game. It’s perfect for a family game night, but if you family members who err on the much younger side, go for something a little more PG.
A decorative way to repurpose her old wine corks
Wine Cork States, $35, available at Uncommon Goods
She insists on keeping the corks from some of her favorite wines, so give her somewhere to actually show them off. This state-shaped display board turns her keepsake wine corks into a piece of art worthy of being seen.
A dainty necklace with meaningful initials
Custom Initial Necklace, starting at $29, available at Etsy
Whether it’s her own initials, you and your siblings first names, or any other combinations of letters that matter to her — this necklace is a little but thoughtful way to keep those important to her close.
A cool tote bag she’ll use everyday
Duck Bag, $32, available at Baggu
From a grocery bag to a work bag, this canvas tote can do it all. It can fit a 15-inch laptop and has adjustable straps so she’ll be comfortable carrying it around all day.
A convenient charging port for her most-used devices
elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, $24.99, available at Amazon
She has an iPad, Air Pods, and Apple Watch — it might seem like there’s nothing else you could get your Apple-loving mom. This is a great gift for loyal Apple fans — it’s a three-in-one charging hub that looks much nicer than an average extension cord, and it’ll fit all of her devices perfectly.
Gift a ClassPass gift card, starting at $50
If she’s always trying out new boutique fitness classes, a ClassPass membership will make a great gift. ClassPass will help her take boutique fitness classes for less, so she can try all kinds of new classes and activities, and add some variety to her workout routine.
A little book that reminds her why you live here
“What I Love About Mom by Me” Book, $10, available at Uncommon Goods
She loved your macaroni necklaces and IOU coupons when you were a kid, so she’ll definitely appreciate this semi-homemade book. It’s filled with prompts about why your mom is amazing, all you have to do is fill it out. It’s small, but she’ll love to look back on it as a touching reminder of how great she is.
A custom phone case made with a collage of family photos
Custom Phone Case, starting at $29.95, available at Casetify
There’s nothing she loves more than family, so let her show it off everyday with a personalized phone case. Upload some of your favorite family photos to put on this super cute case — there are plenty of options for different layouts and cases for all kinds of smartphones.