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Thoughtful Mother's Day Gifts for When You Can't Be There in Person

If you live far away and can't take Mom out to brunch, these gifts are the next best thing.

Robin Mosley Former CNET writer
Robin Mosley (she/her) formerly wrote commerce deals for CNET about beauty, fashion and other essential gear. Before that, she freelanced for Healthline, Simply Recipes and Nerd Street. She is a Chicago native living on the East Coast who is a fan of all things beauty, food, gaming and tech. When she isn't writing, she's at a restaurant, shopping online or making YouTube gaming videos.
Desiree DeNunzio Editor
Desiree DeNunzio is the gift guide editor for CNET's Commerce team. When she's not writing and editing, she's either hiking through the redwoods or curled up with a good book and a lazy dog.
Expertise Desiree has been a writer and editor for the past two decades, covering everything from top-selling Amazon deals to apparel, pets and home goods. Credentials
  • Desiree's previous work has appeared in various print and online publications including Search Engine Land, PCWorld, Wired magazine and PBS MediaShift.
Robin Mosley
Desiree DeNunzio
4 min read
See at Audible
Audible Original Space:1969 on an iPhone
Audible audiobooks
Better than a physical gift
$50 at Sur La Table
Gaston's Bakery plain and chocolate croissants
A tasty morning treat
$76 at Goldbelly
Callie's Hot Little Biscuits
A Southern-style Mother's Day breakfast
See at Mixbook
For the sentimental mom
$65 at Amazon
Trtl travel pillow
Trtl travel pillow
The only way to fly
See at Wine Insiders
Wine Insiders
A toast to Mom
$39 at Beanbox
Bean Box coffee and chocolate tasting
A perfect pairing
See at The Sill
The Sill plant subscription
For the mom with a green thumb
$140 at Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite
The best e-reader for your book-lovin' Mom
See at Disney Plus
disney plus logo on a phone
Disney Plus
For the mom who's a kid at heart
$38 at Amazon
Homesick 'Thank You Mom' Candle
Fancy candles are a mom staple
$160 at Uncommon Goods
Long-Distance Friendship Lamps
Let Mom know you're thinking of her
$43 at Etsy
Handwriting bracelet
A personalized bracelet will make her day

Mother's Day is the one day of the year that's totally dedicated to the woman who's had your back since day one, so you know you don't want to miss out on celebrating her this year, even if you live far away. You might not be able to give Mom a hug or take her out to brunch, but there are still tons of thoughtful gifts at your disposal to make her feel special. It's not the same as physically being there, but it goes a long way towards letting your mom (or Grandma or mother-in-law) know how much she means to you.

Sure, you go always go the traditional route and get her something like flowers and cards, but how about a sweet gift for the sentimental mom, or something to make it easier for her to visit you? To help you find just the right gift for your long-distance mom, we've created a list of the best Mother's Day gifts for when you can't be there in person. These unique and thoughtful gifts will show her that your love can truly go the distance.

Russell Holly

If Mom needs to travel to get to you, give her the best way to pass the time while she's in the car or on the plane: audio books. I love giving Audible gift subscriptions as gifts, and it's one of the best gifts I've gotten my mom. A one-month gift subscription costs $15, and your recipient gets one book credit to start. You can also buy three months with three credits ($45), six months with six credits ($90) or 12 months with 12 credits ($150).

Sur La Table

Start her Mother's Day off the right way with delicious pastries straight from the oven. This affordable pastry assortment comes with seven plain croissants and eight chocolate croissants. They arrive frozen, so all Mom has to do is let them rise overnight and then pop them in the oven the next morning. And voila! She'll have a bounty of tasty treats that will transport her straight to Paris.

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit

If she prefers something a little more savory, treat her to a sampling of Callie's Hot Little Biscuits.  These Southern-style biscuits arrive fully cooked and frozen, so all she needs to do is pop them in the oven whenever she's ready for buttery biscuit goodness. I'm a big fan of the Charleston Cravings Biscuit Sampler and couldn't get enough of the pimento cheese. Read more about our favorite gift baskets for 2024.


When you can't be with your mother in person, a personalized photo book of all of your moments with her can fill in the gap. Mixbook, one of CNET's favorite photo book services, lets you create the ultimate gift by uploading photographs from your phone, computer or social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, and from there build your book, calendar and more with just a few steps. 


Mom might think this one looks weird, but believe us, she'll thank you for it after she's used it for a long flight on her way to visit you. I've tried the Trtl, and I'll never go back. You might feel a little silly wearing it, but to me, getting some much-needed shut-eye is worth it.

Wine Insiders

If you want to send Mom a bottle of wine -- or even a case --  but you don't want to sign up for a full subscription service, Wine Insiders is an excellent option. This wine delivery service offers a carefully curated selection of wines including whites, reds, whites, rosés and sparkling wine, all under $25 a bottle, and you get free shipping on six bottles or more. 

Bean Box

Bean Box is smack our list of the best coffee subscriptions CNET's tested. For Mother's Day, we highly suggest Bean Box's coffee and chocolate tasting box. This sampler box comes with four 1.8-ounce freshly roasted coffees paired with four artisan chocolate bars along with tasting notes for each one. 

The Sill

If flowers seem too conventional, a houseplant is a meaningful gift, and it will last a lot longer, too. Our experts at CNET tested a variety of greenery and flora to find the best places to order plants online. For Mother's Day, we especially like The Sill's gift subscription boxes, which start at $55 for three months. But you can also place one-time orders for everything from orchids to pet-friendly plants.

David Carnoy/CNET

 The Kindle Paperwhite is our favorite all-around e-reader for a reason. It features warm light settings, a long battery life and is completely waterproof. For a better viewing experience, this edition of the Kindle Paperwhite sports a 6.8-inch display and an adjustable warm light, perfect for reading late at night. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Give her the gift that keeps on giving: all the Disney she can watch -- or entertain her family with. We rated Disney Plus as the best streaming service for family-friendly content. Disney Plus' ad-free Premium service costs $14 per month, or it's $8 per month for the ad-based plan. And you can purchase a Disney Plus gift card for any amount between $25 and $200. Mom can finally see what all the fuss is about with Baby Yoda.


There are a variety of ways to express gratitude to your mother, but a candle (together with a handwritten letter) is a wonderful touch. This candle is 13.75 ounces and will burn for around 60 to 80 hours. Created with a natural soy wax blend that includes notes of bergamot, lavender, sage, jasmine and other fragrant aromas this candle will brighten her day. 

Uncommon Goods

If you want Mom to know you're thinking of her in real time, this is the gift for her. No matter where you are, this lamp will work like a charm by lighting up and transmitting a colorful glow to her when you touch it. One lamp costs $80, but we recommend you splurge and go for the set of two for $160 so that the lamps can actually "talk" to each other.


If you're looking for an extra-personal gift, it's hard to beat this customizable, handmade bracelet.  Once you decide what you want it to say, you can upload an image with your own writing or with your child's. It can take about a week for it to arrive, so be sure to order this one in advance.

More for Mother's Day