Gift Guide: Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts From Your Local Bodega


Mother’s Day is approaching quickly and, well, you are broke and/or busy. Here are some simple, realistic gift ideas for Mom that will say “I love you and appreciate you but it was late and the bodega was the only thing open.”

A Loaf of Bread
They say that bread is the staff of life, so what better gift to give the woman who gave you life? This thoughtful, carb-heavy present is not only delicious, but a thought-provoking meditation on the nurturing human life. If your mom is doing Atkins or South Beach or something right now, consider getting her some cheese shreds, which are basically the same on a symbolic level.

A Pack of Cards
A pack of playing cards is not a mere gift: it is also a promise to spend time together learning her favorite games, from bridge to blackjack. It represents the good times that are not only behind you, but ahead of you as well, as you bond over the analog pastimes of yore. Plus, maybe she’ll just want to play solitaire while you catch up on Game of Thrones, which is pretty much the ideal Mother’s Day Sunday afternoon.

A jar of handmade, lacto-fermented Hungarian pickles speaks to your shared ancestry. Upon receiving them, she’ll immediately know that you listened to all the stories she shared about the traditions she grew up with, and she’ll be so moved by your thoughtfulness. You can’t get handmade Hungarian pickles at the bodega, though, so you should probably just get her a jar of dill pickles and explain why they’re such a nice gift.

A Lighter
Nothing brightens a home like a fire in the hearth, and how can she light a fire in the hearth without a lighter? Giving your mom a zippo lighter says that you care about the ambiance of her home, and that you want to bring her warmth and light. Plus, if she smokes, she’ll probably use it all the time.

Some emergen-c is a warm, generous way to say “Mom, it’s time for me to take care of you the way that you’ve always taken care of me. Plus, I know that you had to take two flights to get here, so you were pretty much definitely exposed to a lot of germs. Actually, I’m really trying hard to stay healthy until I run this 5k next week, it would suck to try and run it with a cold, so can you maybe take this immediately? Also, as a precaution, maybe stay in a hotel? It’s not personal. I just really, really cannot get sick right now.”

Gwen Lawson bought a nice loaf of bread but she’s probably going to keep it for herself.

Image by Shawn Hoke.