Remember the tearjerker Proctor & Gamble commercial about moms that ran during the 2012 Olympic Summer Games? The spot ended with the line: “The hardest job in the world is the best job in the world.”

The point of the “Thank you, Moms” campaign was clear: Behind most successful athletes, musicians, CEOs, and, well, generally productive members of society is a mother who drove them places, did their laundry, cooked their meals, and tucked them in at night. And even though she’s exhausted, she’d do it again and again, no questions asked.

Moms are truly the unsung heroes. So this holiday season, spend time thinking about your mom and choose a gift that shows her how much you “get” her, says Kim Caravella, designer and owner of habitatgreenwich, a design studio and gift boutique in Cos Cob, Connecticut.

“The best gifts for moms are those that have mom’s personality and style in mind,” Caravella says.

Listen, your mom will love you no matter what, but giving her a sparkling jewelry box or brand new cosmetic bag this Christmas will send the message loud and clear: “Thank you, mom.”

12 best Christmas gifts for mom

For the pampered mom

christmas gifts for mom Candle Dough Bowls

Candle dough bowls

Handcrafted candles and items that bring the beauty of nature indoors are favorites of Caravella. This hand-poured soy candle burns for 30 to 40 hours, and she can reuse the pretty wooden bowl. If Mom loves the farmhouse look and creating a relaxing mood in her home, then this beautiful candle will please her. “A gift where the giver nails Mom’s personality makes the perfect gift for Mom,” Caravella says.

For the nostalgic mom

christmas gifts for mom Personalized Photo Ornament

Personalized photo ornament

Writer Anna Quindlen said: “For the young the days go fast and the years go slow; for the old the days go slow and the years go fast.” Your mom is likely nostalgic for the time when you were a child — whether that was when you were 1, 10, or even 20! An ornament for the tree with your baby photo will remind her of those precious moments. And at this price point, you can afford to purchase a few of these. Be sure to include the year the photo was taken.

For the home chef mom

christmas gifts for mom Embroidered Kitchen Apron

Embroidered kitchen apron

An apron, you say skeptically? The answer is yes. If your mom is a true chef, a fresh apron is just what she’d love.

Embroider it with her name or monogram and add the collection’s matching chef’s mitts and potholders for a gift that honors her love of all things food. This item comes in black, cherry, white, or navy, so you’re bound to find it in a favorite color of hers too.

For the hostess mom

christmas gifts for mom Cutting Board with Cheese Knives

Cutting board with cheese knives

Moms who love to entertain also love their serving platters, boards, and bowls. Caravella is enchanted with handcrafted charcuterie boards with a twist. This chic and understated mango wood board with a marble piece and matching knives will add to her cabinet of collectible yet useful items to bring out when friends and family come knocking.

For the chic mom

christmas gifts for teens Engraved Old Fashioned Whiskey Glass

Engraved old fashioned whiskey glass

So many monogrammed gifts use the last name initial or full family name. Why not give Mom a set of glasses etched with her first name so there’s no confusion about who they belong to. They’re sold individually, but you can buy her a set of two, four, six, or more…it depends on how big a party your mom wants to throw!

For the cozy-up mom

christmas gifts for mom Personalized Fleece Blanket

Personalized fleece blanket

If your mom likes watching Hallmark Channel feel-good romances or reading the latest New York Times bestsellers, then she’s the kind of women who likes to put her feet up — and she could use a cozy blanket to cover them. The personal touch of her embroidered name means no one else (we’re looking at you, Fido) gets to cuddle up with her new blankie. Add one of those books or a subscription to a streaming service, and you’ve hit the jackpot with this present.

For the writer mom

christmas gifts for moms Personalized Writing Journal

Personalized writing journal

Whether your mom wants to jot down the grocery list, keep track of her daily to-dos, or take down notes about her future bestseller, a fresh new journal offers the gift of possibility. A stylish pen and coffee shop gift card tucked in couldn’t hurt either.

For the traveling mom

christmas gifts for mom Embroidered Quilted Cosmetic Bag

Embroidered cosmetic bag

Hugh Grant (as Daniel Cleaver) said it best in “Bridget Jones’ Diary”: “If you have to travel alone, travel in style.” Every working mom who must frequently get on a plane for work deserves to have new cosmetic bags — and those who don’t still need a beautiful new update of their old ones. Buy a set of three so she can separate her makeup, toiletry items, and hairbrush and comb.

For the movie-loving mom

christmas gifts for mom popcorn bowls and movie popcorn

Personalized popcorn serving bowl + popcorn set

If your mom enjoys snuggling (see “Cozy-Up Mom” above) with a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie on a weekend night, she’ll really appreciate this popcorn bowl made of sustainable materials (bonus: it’s naturally antimicrobial) with her name on it. Add the film festival popcorn set to make it a proper themed gift. And hands off! No nibbling Mom’s treats.

For the early-riser mom

christmas gifts for mom Ruhi Mug

Handcrafted coffee mug

Caravella is a lover of all things unique and artisan, so handcrafted items top her list of mom presents. This mug by Blue Pottery of Jaipur is made with natural clay. If you must get up with the sun, your coffee might as well be in a beautiful mug.

For the sporty mom

christmas gifts for mom Personalized Tumbler

Personalized stainless steel tumbler

Mom always just grabs your old water bottles when she runs out to hit the tennis court, never bothering to actually buy a higher-end stainless steel cup for herself. Doesn’t she deserve a nice cup to drink from to stay hydrated? Include a note of thanks or love on four available lines of text. Every time she takes a sip, she’ll think of you.

For the sparkly mom

christmas gifts for mom Engraved Jewelry Box

Engraved jewelry box

You’ve likely given Mom baubles over the years, so now it’s time to give her a gorgeous jewelry box to store them in. She probably hasn’t bought a new one for years, and this one will surpass her every expectation. Add some new earrings, and you might get the Child of the Year award.


Elizabeth Craig Wells is a former senior editor at Real Simple magazine where she focused on the Life, Style, and Simple Solutions sections. She writes for magazines, websites, and catalogs, and recently edited a 50-year history for an international women’s organization. Wells holds a B.A. in French and B.M. in flute performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She lives with her three children in Connecticut where she coaches soccer and tennis and is working on a series of contemporary novels.

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