wearablecamera.jpgIn my younger days, I was the Grade-A champion of poor Mother’s Day gift giving. From the “To mom. From son” card when I was 7 and for the next 10-15 years, I don’t think I got my mom anything that she really liked or used. That’s for the second upcoming installment of this blog, however.

These days, my mother’s day gifts are a bit nicer and better thought out. Of course, I’m getting off a little easier nowadays. My mom wants a day with my daughter and my wife just wants a day off, so I can easily make both of those happen at the same time. With Mother’s day around the corner, I thought we’d take a look at great gifts this year for those of us with gifter’s block. Here are 10 cool gifts for Mother’s Day this year.

I didn’t come up with all of these suggestions. An assist goes to my wife and my coworker for their unconventional yet thoughtful suggestions.

An eReader

Both my wife and coworker own eReaders and have spent endless hours before bed reading and adding new books to their libraries. Take something like the Kobo Glo HD for example. It has a wide and bright screen with 4 GB storage capacity which means you can carry up to 3000 books in electronic form. With a touch screen display, it’s much easier to navigate than the eReaders of old, and it lasts for around 2 months on a single charge. Some of us do still prefer the feel of the pages of a book, but with more authors publishing electronically exclusively to cut down on production costs, having both in your hands always helps.

Fitbitmom.jpgFitness Tracking and Accessories

Fitness trackers can go a couple of different ways and they depend on your mom’s personality. If my wife got one, it’d be a one way ticket to the return line and possible scolding. However, my own mother is on her feet a lot of the day at school and was curious to track how far she was walking every day. For her needs, we ended up settling on a Fitbit (accessories also available.) I chose it based on compatibility with her devices, ease of setup (including the app) and smaller size. It also had all the features she wanted (including sleep tracking) in an easy to digest format. I’m personally a bigger fan of the Microsoft Band 2 but I crave as many features as possible though I admit mom doesn’t have use for things like golf and elevation tracking. If your mom does though, get cracking on reading up on new fitness tracker for mom!

A Wearable Camera

Okay, hands up. How many of you have seen “iPad mom” out in public? You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones who take their tablets everywhere and use them as cameras? I had a chat with my own mother about this phenomenon, as I’ve accused her of being “iPad mom” before. She said that she wanted to capture memories and since she always remembered to take this with her, it was the only camera that came to mind. Nowadays, she’s chasing my toddler and is always out and about with her. I’m considering getting her this Narrative Clip Wearable Camera so that she doesn’t have to miss those moments and can stay hands free.

 

A golf tracker

You know what’s an interesting phenomenon? I’ve spoken to so many mothers that have picked up golfing when their kids were in their teens. I’ve spoken to at least a dozen coworkers over the years that took up driving ranges or casual golfing once their kids were in high school. I don’t know what sort of connection there could be (that’s for a researcher much smarter than I am) but the mother/golfersI’ve spoken to have really enjoyed the idea of Zepp and at least a few said they’d be asking their kids or spouses for it. It’s a gift you’ll have to explain, but any mother with a smartphone can see their golf game thrive with it. It does a lot of great things like measure the trajectory and angle of your swing, your club plane and more. At the end of it all, it uploads your data directory to Zepp and you receive a coaching drill in return. I reviewed Zepp last year and that was the moment that tied the worth of the device to me. I now recommend it like crazy and think every golfer (including your mom) should give it a try.

juicingmom.jpgA new Juicer

I walked around work and asked a few moms about a good mother’s day gift they felt that could share with the rest of the family. A resounding number of moms told me they wanted juicers so that they could sneak vegetables into a lot of their kids’ drinks and also use them as a fun way to encourage the kids in the kitchen that wasn’t baking sweets. Juicers are definitely making a resurgence and they’re compact and more powerful than ever. You’ll find a huge selection of them from trusted brands like Hamilton Beach and Breville. Best of all, you’ll have the kids getting their daily fruit and vegetable needs in no time flat.

An All-In-One Battery

This is a great gift for both outdoorsy or practical moms. The Weego 12000mAh Jump Starter Battery+ is one of the coolest devices I’ve seen recently and is one of those things that I know my wife would get a kick out of. It’s a small power block about the size of an average external hard drive and does everything. It can charge through your car or the wall, can charge pretty well all of your small electronics and even includes jumper cables to jump start a vehicle, boat or ATV. If that isn’t enough, because it fits in your glove box, it even comes with emergency beacon functions.

Jewelry

It’s the 2nd most stereotypical gift in the book (next to flowers) but it still seems to work. Did you know that Best Buy sells jewelry? In fact, there are nearly 4000 different choices in the jewelry category for you to take a look through. From diamonds to birthstones to jewelry boxes and everything in between, you can get a huge virtual look online at what mom’s gift may look like.

A Streaming Device

More and more of us are starting to cut the cord and moving toward online services fulltime. My wife and I have and while my own mother hasn’t, she’s using her Nintendo Wii as a streaming device and has been getting interested in how to push content from her phone and iPad to the TV after I showed her our Chromecast. The Chromecast is a great start but if you have somebody that craves a lot of content in addition to being able to access their Netflix account, something like a Roku might be a better option. We have one of these two and my technologically challenged mother in law was able to access everything she possibly wanted with its easy to follow and build menus. They’re easy to use and easier to set up and will make life easier for mom than watching her streams on a computer or tablet.,

facetimemom.jpg

A new iPad

I bought my mom her first iPad for Christmas a couple years. She’s now on her 3rd iPad, having outgrown the first and lost camera function on the second. In comparison, I’m still comfortably on my 2nd one. My mom uses that iPad for everything from FaceTime with her sister to playing every possible game that starts with “candy” or “cookie.” It might be time to upgrade mom this mother’s day. iPads nowadays are capable of taking 4K video, have up to 10 hours of battery life and weigh just over 1lb; it’s lightweight, functional and will even let your mother transform into the previously mentioned “iPad mom” for all those important family photos and memories.

Backup (External Hard Drives)

I asked my wife point blank about the type of gifts she wanted as a mother. She touched on a lot of what I’ve listed above but mentioned a huge component I hadn’t thought of: A way to back all of these good things up. You see, while we’ve been contemplating new gizmos, gadgets and technology, we’ve bypassed the idea of what could happen if all of that was lost. We’ve backed our things up a few times over the years but I wonder if my mom ever has? I doubt it’s ever crossed her mind.

Look at something like Seagate’s backup line. Not only does it provide you a healthy amount of external storage space (depending on mom’s needs) but buying this and registering before June 2017 will also give you 200GB of accessible cloud storage space for a third layer of backup.

It’s not the most extravagant, flashy or beautiful mother’s day gift but for all of those years with thousands of digital photos, videos and memories, it may be the most practical. It’ll probably require a lot of explanation behind it, but hopefully mom understands when you show up with a backup box and it’ll sure last longer than flowers or breakfast (though you can still get her both.)

Mother’s Day 2016 in Canada is Sunday, May 8th. There’s no better way to get started than with the tips above. Enjoy getting your gift together and I’ll be back soon with some of the worst ideas you could possibly get for mom this year.