Americans are ready to show mom some bigger love this year by upgrading our Mother's Day gifts. Consumer spending for the holiday is totaled $14.6 billion in 2010, averaging $126.90 per person. That's up $3 from 2009.
You could blow that extra $3 on a bigger bouquet or singing stuffed animal, but why not go rogue and give mom a present that's unique, fun and thoughtful. (When we say mom, by the way, we mean grandmothers, stepmothers, wives, sisters and mom substitutes.)
1. Control Your Man Remote
BaronBob -- $20
Why waste precious time and energy trying to control the thoughts and actions of your significant other when you can automate the process? Push a button and a talking remote controller delivers a riot of verbal one-offs and funny sound effects sure to keep your spouse on the right track. Features 18 saying including, "Time to listen!" "What about my needs?" and "What were you thinking?"
2. Clara's Kitchen Cookbook
Amazon.com -- $15
Millions have become addicted to Clara Cannucciari's charming Clara's Kitchen YouTube videos combining simple Depression-era recipes with stories of times past. This small book includes memories, photos and recipes from the 1920s and 30s to create a folksy peek into Clara's life and family. The recipes are great but reading Clara's stories is like sitting down with your own grandmother. As a bonus, the frayed-edge pages resemble handmade paper for an antique look.
3. Albert Einstein Action Figure
ThinkGeek.com -- $9
For the mother who's stepped on her share of the kids' superhero action figures, Think Geek offers this brains-over-brawn "Speck of Genius. The Einstein action figure stands three-inches tall and is poised to explain relativity or do battle with the forces of entropy.
4. Magnetic Necklace Clasps
Amazon.com -- $6
If complex clasps make mom feel like her hands have turned into pumpkins, she'll appreciate these simplified magnetic clasps. These fasteners can also replace broken clasps and be used on bracelets and anklets. Available in gold or silver tones.
5. BabyPrints Hanging Handprint Keepsake
BabySakes.com -- $10
User reviews say this lasting-memory kit is unique and easy to use, unlike many others on the market. Impressions in the Sand helps you create a raised print of your child's hand or footprint. Each kit includes a mahogany-colored wood frame, plaster and sand for one print, engravable name plate, hanging bracket and smoothing board. Give mom a break and create the print yourself, rather than giving her the kit to complete.
6. Letter-Disc Charm
Tiffany & Co -- $75
Sometimes the present isn't as important as its wrappings. Give mom a real thrill by presenting her with a Tiffany's robins-egg-blue box. Inside she'll find this (comparatively) affordable and classic charm engraved with her initial.
7. Text Cuff Bracelet
Etsy.com -- $36
Can't afford a gift from Tiffany? Mother may be equally pleased with one of these handmade, sterling-silver bracelets on which My Silver Pie will stamp the message of your choice. It's personal, unique and something Mom will treasure forever.
8. Acrylic Earring Keeper With Drawers
OrganizeWorld -- $21.38
I bought one of these earring storage boxes ages ago and can't count how many women have asked where they could find one. You can hang up to 37 pairs of earrings and store oversized or clip earrings in the two bottom drawers. The crystal-clear organizer has a small footprint, makes it easy to find what you need, and the lid keeps out the dust. Trust me -- mothers who like earrings will love this organizer.
9. Celebrate Your Star Mom
Gift.com -- Varies
Even if mom never won an Oscar or scored a number one hit, she's still a star. This website matches your mother to her celebrity twin -- be it Michelle Obama, Gwen Stefani or TV Chef Gia De Laurentiis -- and find gifts that suit her personality.
10. Dyson DC24 Ball Vacuum
Macy's -- $400
Yes, yes, yes it's considered tacky to buy women kitchen or cleaning products for Mother's Day, but this vacuum is so awesome your mom could well go wild. IMHO, Dyson makes the best and easiest-to-use vacuums. The patented ball design is easy to maneuver and the hurricane suction cleans in one swipe. Pet owners may prefer to upgrade to the DC24AN model ($450) made specifically to de-hair your home.
11. Amedei Chocolate Chuao Bar
Amedei: $100 pound
So chocolate isn't a unique present, but how about the best chocolate ever? Gourmet snobs consider this cult chocolatier from Tuscany "easily the best in the world." Amedei's award-winning Chuao bar is so exclusive Amazon.com emails a notification when they have bars in stock. Each bar is handmade, hand-wrapped and hand-numbered.
If $100 per pound is a bit out of your reach, France's Valrhona is a close competitor and a smidgen less expensive. ($28.99 for a 9.17-ounce Mother's Day box)
12. Road Mouse
Road Mice -- $35 wired and $45 wireless
As of June 2008, one-billion personal computers were in use in the U.S. If your mother is one of this crowd, help her cruise the Internet in style with a Road Mouse. These computer mice are detailed replicas of popular auto models with functioning headlights. Too cool!
13. 365 Hugs and Warm Wishes
Pixie Dust Gifts: $30
You could drop $30 on what basically amounts to a jar stuffed with 365 slips of paper or you could buy an attractive container and write your own short messages on slips of paper. In other words, rip off the idea and save roughly $25 (plus shipping).
14. Bamboo Basil Grow Pot
Branch - $22
Basil from a jar is so not basil and it isn't always possible to grow herbs outdoors. These grow pots are made from sustainable bamboo and include all the supplies mom will need to grow healthy basil plants.
15. Griffin iKaraoke for iPods
Walmart -- $30
She's your mother; she deserves to embarrass you now and then. This karaoke microphone/processor will cue up mom's favorite tunes, isolate the lead vocal track and fade it, giving her voice room to shine...and embarrass.
16. Customized GelaSkin
GelaSkins Mobile Art -- Various Prices
Personalize mom's iPhone, Blackberry, laptop, iPod and other mobile devices with a removable skin that features family photos while protecting her mobile device. The online process to create a skin is easy to use and delivery is speedy.
17. Recycled Keyboard Clutch Purse
Perpetual Kid -- $40
Help mom show off her environmental a-wear-ness while making her friends green with envy. (sorry) This 6-inch by 9-inch clutch purse is made entirely from a wireless black keyboard and is cute as a hamster's ear.
18. Zipit - Motorized Clamshell Package Opener
Amazon.com -- $17
Why do manufacturers barricade their products inside plastic packaging that drives sane women to commit Hari-Kiri? Apparently they want us to pay for the products but not actually use them.
Well take that you stupid clamshells! Zipit is a motorized cutting machine that easily cuts through the hardest plastic faster than you can say zip it. Note: The Zipit does NOT come packaged in clamshell packaging.
19. Dinner of the Month Club
Gifts.com -- $72 for three months with free shipping
Send a complete dinner experience once a month from top Italian and American chefs. This one makes a great Father's Day gift as well, for dads who cook.
20. USB Heated Gloves
USB Geek -- $22
Women tend to have poorer circulation, but men too often control the thermostat. Now moms can work the mouse and keyboard while their hands remain toasty. These USB wool gloves expose fingers for typing while defrosting hands with either of two temperature levels. The USB attachment works on Macs, PCs, PlayStation 2 or Xbox 360.
21. Cocktail Monkey Necklace
Perpetual Kid -- $70
Plastic cocktail monkeys are so kitsch they're cool. Even cooler is this solid sterling-silver necklace charm made from a monkey cast. Or you could just buy mom a bag of plastic monkeys for $8.99.
hLive flowers die so quickly it hardly seems worth it, but these pixelated posies never need watering and have three layers of depth.
23. Pregnant Woman Keychain
CompleatMother.com -- $5
We've saved the weirdest for last. This keychain fob is a clear-plastic woman's torso with an infant floating in the womb. Deliver the baby by popping out the clear ball holding the baby.
If you've run out of time or have a difficult to buy for mother, discount gift cards are now available from hundreds of stores and rarely go amiss.