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Ten Great Gifts for Mom

From the thoughtful to the indulgent, presents sure to bring a smile to her face

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Buying a gift for mom shouldn't be a stressful task, but for many, it is. Whether you are searching for a gift for Christmas or Hanukkah, Mother's Day, a birthday, or just because, think about who you are buying for and what type of message that you want to send -- that you are grateful for all your mom does, for you and for everyone in your family.

These gifts run the gamut from inexpensive to lavish, from practical indulgent.

1. Personalized Photobook

Or any photo gift really, that lets her show off her kids. There are dozens (upon dozens) of websites out there that let you take favorite snapshots and turn them into a gift. My favorite are photo collage books (great for the end of the year or after a family vacation). Also available are an endless stream of options from mugs to calendars to blankets to jewelry. All wonderful options!

2. iPod/iPhone/iPad

An indulgence for sure, but if you can afford it, getting mom on the Apple bandwagon is a great gift. Depending on what you'd like to spend, there are a bunch of options available. iPod Shuffles start at $49 and offer just a basic music player. From there the possibilities really branch out, with devices that can take photos and videos, stream movies, play apps and more.

3. Gift Card to a Book Store

Yes, gift cards are impersonal, but there is something about a bookstore that screams "Possibilities!" Unless you are certain that your mom will love the latest best-selling thriller or another cookbook, hit your local bookstore (or one online) and pick her up a gift that will let her get choose a present she will truly enjoy. As a bonus, with your gift card, give her a few hours worth of babysitting so she can have some peace and quiet to enjoy her new read.

4. A Weekend Away

What mom couldn't use a break? Whether you decide to treat her to a trip with or without kids, a change from the daily routine is sure to be welcome. Trips away can run the gamut price-wise, so do your homework to make sure you are getting a good deal. And to make your gift extra-special, be sure to do all the pre-trip packing and planning!

5. Trip to the Spa

If a few days away isn't possible, how about a trip to a day spa? Even if your mom isn't into getting a massage or a facial, even just a few hours away where she can get a manicure or a pedicure, offers up some time for her to relax.

6. eReader

For a mom who loves to read, an eReader can be a wonderful option. Once I got a Nook Color I found I read more than ever. I think it is because I now always have a book on hand. No more waiting until I get to the library or the bookstore (and now most eReaders let you borrow books from the library, right in your living room!). eReaders are available in a range of prices, so no matter your budget you are likely to find something that fits your wallet.

7. Flowers

A true classic, cut flowers add a touch of beauty and sunshine to any room they are in. Even better, there are so many ways to purchase cut flowers, you are certain to find something at a price point you can afford. Liven up the gift with a pretty vase or balloons and don't forget a thoughtful, hand-written note!

8. Streaming TV or Movie Service

If mom is a tv or movie buff, consider purchasing her a subscription to a streaming service. Available at a variety of price points, streaming services offer movies and full seasons of popular television programs, depending on the service you choose. Some can be purchased on a month-by-month basis, while others are for a full year.

9. Slow Cooker

I understand that there are a whole group of people who will not be happy with this entry -- an appliance for cooking does not make a good gift! But for some, slow cooking isn't just a way to make dinner, it's a way of life! Slow cookers are great because they take a lot of the stress out of dinner. Throw some ingredients in one in the morning, set it, and forget it! If you decide to gift mom with a slow cooker, be sure to point her in the direction of the whole host of recipes available using a variety of ingredients.

10. Time With You

When it comes down to it, all mom really wants to spend time with her family. So if you are an adult child buying a gift for your mom or a family friend or relative helping a little one pick something out, consider taking mom out for a meal or simply taking a walk at the park.

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