Mother’s Day gift list 2023 for senior mums
Hand up, I use that title to get the attention of the search engines. But really, our Mother’s Day gift list is for any mum of any age. We don’t believe that the over 70s have less need for joy than younger people. We can all do with a bit of being appreciated.
So here are our ideas for presents for mothers this year. With many of these suggestions we’ve been delighted to be able to get our hands on the products and services to review. We’ve made it clear where we’ve been sent review copies – but our comments are always our own and no one approves or disapproves them.
We have not included this gift in the list, but it is always nice to receive Mother’s day flowers.
New to the market and also worth a look is Fantastic Voucher Codes, a startup aiming to improve the shopping experience with premium voucher codes.
One of the challenges of getting older, as I’ve recently discovered personally, is the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes and the need to cut down on sugar and carbs. Foodie type gifts that just give you a taste of these treats can be an indulgence that doesn’t go too far. Here are a couple of ideas.
The ‘Bearing Gifts’ hamper is a box filled with teatime goodies and snacks that would work well for one or two people. Some of it is sweet – biscuits, chocolates, even popcorn. But there’s savoury too, including a small tub of crisps and some dry roasted peanuts. There’s also tea and coffee. I don’t recognise any of the makers’ names, which to me is a good thing. The items are packed into a neat cardboard box. I will admit I am typing this while tucking into the salted caramel chocolate. Just one piece for tasting, I told myself. Oh well. £42 from hampers.com.
A quick complimentary mention for Snapfish, which is one of those firms that will print your photos on just about anything. I ordered and paid for photo printed mugs featuring children and pets for Christmas last year. They were all good quality at a very reasonable price, but what I would really like to highlight was the customer service. One of the mugs arrived with a shattered handle, and customer services were very quick to reply and send out a replacement. Fun gifts, received with a smile.
Electronic devices have an excellent role in helping us to expand our reading horizons. But sometimes it’s just nice to have a real book that can sit in our bookshelf and smile at us.
‘Buzzworthy: Cocktails inspired by female literary greats’ sounds like a cocktail recipe book. And it is. But it’s also much more. Fifty female authors of fiction, short stories, poetry, genre fiction, graphic novels, essays and memoirs are celebrated here by writer Jennifer Croll. On each double spread you’ll find a description of the author and her works on the left, together with a short cocktail recipe that she has inspired. On the right is a full-page illustration of the author from New York Times illustrator and artist Rachelle Baker. There are some authors that you’ll instantly recognise, such as Agatha Christie, May Angelou and Virginia Woolf, but there are many that I at least don’t know. Happily Jennifer has put together a selection of their leading works that mum will be able to go on to read for herself. I shall enjoy delving further into this book. It was sent to us for review by publishers Prestel. A robust hardback book printed in good size typewriter font and includes a page marker. Visit their website for stockists. £14.99 RRP.
I find you can get to an age where you just don’t need more ‘stuff’. If that’s the case, experiences can be the answer. Whether it’s afternoon tea, a ride in a fast car, or some luxury pampering, a voucher can be a great gift. Red Letter Days is an established leader in the market, and offers a huge range of possibilities. We chose to explore short breaks, and opted to review the Two Night Magical Minibreaks Gift Box. You can receive the gift box as a physical delivery in the post, or just the voucher by email (possibly safer in these days of a hit-and-miss postal service in the UK). With voucher number to hand, the recipient can browse the Red Letter Days site for a hotel in a location that appeals, and then book directly with the hotel using the voucher number. Checking out the options can take a while, but the voucher is valid for 2 years, and most breaks have options to upgrade. £139.99. Red Letter Days is currently offering 15% off with the code MUMSGIFT.
For those in the south of the UK, Portsmouth makes for a grand day out. There’s a major shopping centre at Gun Wharf Keys, which also boasts a number of restaurants. That alone can take a big chunk of the day. One area I haven’t visited yet at in the vicinity is the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, but it’s on my to-do list. There’s plenty to see here. You explore the story of the Mary Rose, delve into the history of HMS Victory, uncover the life of Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson and be among the first to experience the new 4D immersive cinema experience. The Ultimate Explorer Ticket costs £39 for adults and £29 for children and allows unlimited access to PHD and its exhibitions for a year.
We’re lucky to live just over an hour from the coast, so on hot days we pack up a picnic and head to the seaside. I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out one of the gorgeous artist-designed Sea Life selection of flask from Thermos. Forget those tartan Thermos flasks built for two cups of tea from your childhood. These are dainty pouring flasks – just the right size for keeping the milk cool to accompany your beverages. Too small to include a cup but there’s a smart and easy-to-use locking device. I chose the seahorse for review, but I’d happily accept any of the others. £28 from https://thermos.co.uk/shop/theartistcollection
Hobbies and pastimes
If mum is into arts and crafts, how about finding something completely different? I’m one of those people who doesn’t much appreciate being encouraged out of my comfort zone when I’m perfectly happy in it, so I wasn’t sure about being booked onto a taster glassblowing course by a son. I was pretty anxious about it beforehand – didn’t think I’d be able to hear, didn’t think I’d remember the instructions, wasn’t sure I’d be able to find the place. The list goes on. But actually I am immensely pleased with the simple glass tumbler I created, with a great deal of help from the experts. The image is of my tumbler. When I saw I was expected to kneel down to blow the glass at one point and then jump up and rush to the next stage, I was very concerned, but all I had to do was mention my problem and they had an answer. I haven’t yet decided about going on to do any other courses. I could make a vase, or a bauble, or even a penguin, but it’s not the cheapest hobby and it’s not that close to me geographically. I blew glass at the Adam Aaronson glass studio near Guildford.
Journaling has become quite a thing to help improve mental health by taking up pen and notebook and expressing thoughts on a daily basis. The people at Pen Heaven have written an article about what journaling is and how to get started. They also provided us with our own smooth-running, slimline Parker Jotter stainless steel ballpoint pen £14) and the Palmi large leather notebook in a lovely Made in Italy box (£19.50) in which to get started. Both can be personalised, as can many of the other writing tools available.
We’ve been sent a couple of items for review by Sherpa Adventure Gear. Every item bought from Sherpa provides a day at school for children in Nepal. Sherpa recently hit an impressive target of providing one million school days for the children of Nepal, with a goal of providing 10 million school days by 2030. The Sherpa Bhodi Tote features the sacred Bhodi tree design, representing a powerful symbol in Buddhism of joy and enlightenment. £20, available in sorbet or haze. The Sherpa Varuna Namaste Tee says ‘Namaste’ – respect, appreciation and warm greetings. The T is a blend of organic cotton and recycled materials. £40. More information on both at http://sherpaadventuregear.com/
Pampering and wellness
We’ve reviewed products from ARRAN Sense of Scotland before, and for this list we received a full 100ml jar of After the Rain lime, rose and sandalwood shea butter cream. I’ve a quite sensitive sense of smell, but I find this a subtle scent, and I think it is reminiscent of a landscape releasing its scents following a shower. The cream itself is soft and thick, leaving a shiny sheen on the skin. ARRAN Sense of Scotland offers a wide range of scented products as individual items, in gift sets, and as a personalised Gift Box Builder. Here you choose from bath, body and home fragrance items, add your personalised message, and your bespoke gift box will be delivered directly to the recipient. The personalised gift builder has a minimum spend of £60, which includes free gift wrapping plus free UK delivery.
The pandemic brought many of us to an appreciation of the value of the internet for learning new skills and participating in group activities. We’ve just been introduced to Goldster, a monthly subscription-based model that offers Zoom-based classes grouped into Fitness, Wellbeing and Purpose. We asked Goldster what set their service apart from the free apps. As well as highlighting the choice of around 18 classes a day, including tai chi, painting, yoga cookery, life coaching, photography and more, they pointed to the science behind the service. It’s what they call the only ‘systematic multi-modal, non-drug’ approach to health and wellness, put together by clinical researchers and advisers on the basis of clinical evidence. The company says it also has the only prescription tool for wellness. We gave the service a quick whirl using a desktop PC and found it very easy to navigate, clearly showing which classes were available on the day or further into the future, as well of recordings of classes you may have missed. Pick a class and you can add it to the calendar. Goldster is currently offering readers of When They Get Older a free first month.