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by Erin Torrance April 22, 2020
This Mother’s Day may just feel a little different this year for you and your loved ones. Depending on your situation, Mom may be a little nearer in isolation with you or a little further away and safe at home. While we encourage phone and video calls for those who aren’t isolating in the same home—Moms like calls after all, or at least so my mom says—there’s something a little extra nice in sending her a surprise. For those isolating with your moms, a little wrapped gift or card can help to brighten her day and make it feel a little different from the rest. Here, we’ve gathered together a few gifting suggestions, all from Canadian makers and brands and many from our local neighbourhoods here in Toronto, to help you shop local and get the perfect match for your mom. We also have plenty of Mother’s Day card options for moms, grandmothers, stepmoms, new moms, mother-in-laws, spouses, friends who are moms, and everyone in between—browse the collection here!
While many of us hunker down at home for a little while longer, leaving the home only for essentials and essential work, we work toward creating routine, something to stem a sense of normalcy within this new normal. For many, mornings begin with a cup of something cozy, whether it’s tea, coffee, or hot water and lemon. Be a part of Mom’s calming morning routine with an earthy handmade speckled clay Matsumoto mug from Toronto-based Shayna Stevenson ($50, purchase online), the perfect everyday mug for the minimalist mom. Shayna focuses on creating slow, letting creativity flow unhurried and forming treasures that are meant to complement your own slow living moments. Gifting this mug supports two local Toronto small businesses and adds a little something special to Mom’s day, creating that little subtext of love and comfort with each morning sip. (Learn more about Shayna here.)
Photo courtesy of Shayna Stevenson
Sometimes the perfect gift takes a more traditional approach, particularly for the sentimental mother who treasures keepsakes and souvenirs and prides herself on her collection of family photo albums. A traditional and classic gift, the Grande locket necklace ($125-$135, purchase online) from Lisbeth, designed in Toronto, offers the perfect adornment and is large enough to fit a small photo of your whole family inside. The locket is available in 14k gold fill or sterling silver. Heart lockets from Lisbeth ($110, purchase online) are also available in 14k gold and sterling silver for those looking for a slightly smaller pendant. Don’t have a small enough photo on hand? Design a little sketch or have the grandkids create a tiny art piece to place inside until you’re able to head out and get a photo properly printed.
Photos courtesy of Lisbeth
Not every mothering figure in your life may have played the traditional Mom role. Mothers and mothering is a part of so many facets of our lives. The On Mothering zine from The Vault ($20, purchase online), published by Toronto-based With/Out Pretend, honours the spectrum of mothering with stories of motherhood in all its many forms from a diverse collection of womxn-identifying authors. The foreword to this collection explains the theme of mothering perfectly. In it, Jessica Hepburn writes, “Stop thinking about mothering as exclusive to women with babies. Consider mothering an essential life-saving skill, like CPR, or knowing how to breathe. Make mothering political. Teach mothering to every grade and age and gender. Value the practice of mothering as the highest good, and place those most skilled at the work at the centre of every table, policy, and social movement.” This collection is the perfect locally made gift for those with mothers, parents who have birthed or raised children, and for anyone who has ever questioned their relationship to care, emotional labour, or sacrifice in the name of love. This zine is the perfect pick for mothers as well as atypical caregivers, like doulas and pet moms.
Images courtesy of The Vault zine with illustrations by Wenting Li (@wentingthings)
Mom is the best cook and baker—there’s simply no arguing that—but sometimes it’s nice to give her a little break and treat her to some home cooking. If you’re usually one to make the cake, share some baked goods, or cook her dinner and you’re able to offer up a safe porch drop-off, make your porch drop a little extra special by wrapping your bread or baked goods in a new vintage-inspired wild blueberries linen tea towel by Toronto company Ten & Co. ($22, purchase online) or place your warm dish atop a handmade Ten & Co. cotton rope trivet ($22, purchase online), just be sure to leave a note if the dish is still hot! For those who might be considering a porch drop of a plant instead, these Toronto-made trivets double as the perfect option for placing under a potted plant to protect wooden and soft surfaces.
Images courtesy of Ten & Co.
Babies are keeping to their deadlines but having a newborn can be an added challenge in today’s climate. It can be even more difficult for new moms to get the essentials while caring for their babies and ensuring everyone stays safe and healthy. While a porch drop of backup diapers, groceries, or dinner is always a welcome surprise for new parents, sending a little gift for the new mom in the mail is a nice addition when a porch drop might not be possible. With so much going on post-delivery, it can be difficult for new moms to heal after giving birth. Help her out by offering up some of the essentials for her care and recovery with the Substance post-delivery kit ($30, purchase online). The set includes an herbal sitz bath, a cooling spray, nipple cream (which doubles as a healing cream for C-section scars), and a comforting herbal tea. All the products are made in small batches in Toronto’s west end and contain only organic and all-natural ingredients that are safe for both mom and baby.
Images courtesy of Matter Company
With all the changes that have occurred as of late, many moms are currently working from home and taking care of their children full-time, not to mention also helping them out with online schooling. It can take a lot of energy, patience, dedication, and creativity to fit it all in—it’s a balance that makes for one radical woman. Show your mama friends you’re thinking about them, that you’re in awe of her strength, and that no matter the struggles, you see her power each and every day with a Radical Woman t-shirt ($45, purchase online) from Banquet Workshop. Screen-printed by hand in Vancouver, British Columbia, these t-shirts are made of soft 100% cotton. Some shrinkage may occur when washing, so we recommend sizing up one size if you’re looking for a looser fit.
Images courtesy of Scout
Our generous moms can be absolute heroes everyday but right now, many of them are still working on the front lines to keep the wider public safe, volunteering to ensure the vulnerable have all their essential needs met, or lending a helping hand wherever they can. They’re coming through and giving their all to ensure we’re all staying safe and healthy. Many who are nurses and medical professionals are even self-isolating away from their families at this time to ensure those receiving critical care have an even better chance for survival. They’re sacrificing a lot and sometimes, that also means sacrificing their self-care. Send Mom a reminder to take a moment for her amidst it all, to rest and breathe, to reflect on her strength and resilience, and to see how truly grateful we are for her generous soul with a little self-care kit ($48, purchase online). Featuring a Nova Scotia-made Foxhound soy candle, a Toronto-made argan oil hand lotion from Leaves of Trees, a Toronto-made Skipping Stone soap, and a fun sticker from women-led Seltzer Goods, our curated self-care gift sets come in three scent profiles to match the mom you’re sending it to.
Image courtesy of Scout
To have lost a mother is an indescribable situation that can be made all the more difficult as we all sit in isolation. While we’re able to go out for exercise and walks, many are unable to visit our loved ones’ sites, to sit and honour a moment. While these measures are for everyone’s safety, it forces us to find new ways to connect with loved ones who have passed, to grieve and mourn, and to carry on with some of our much-needed rituals and traditions.
For those grieving, it can be comforting to continue the ritual of purchasing a small Mother’s Day gift. If your loss is recent, it can feel tough not to go through the motions of getting something for her. If it feels right to choose a gift in her honour, consider purchasing her favourite flowers to display in your home and pair it with the same perfect card you would select with care each year. Inside the card, write something that you would say to her, a moment that you might share when the timing is right to visit her site, or simply to write about one of your favourite memories of her and display the card alongside those gorgeous blooms. You may also consider the ritual of making a special treat she savoured, like her favourite jam or cake, or crack open her favourite novel. If you’re searching for a piece to gift to yourself, our Lisbeth lockets are also a great way to honour a mother who has passed, to keep her memory and smile close to your heart each and every day.
Image courtesy of Ten & Co.
We hope these ideas may help to keep you connected and feeling the magic of mothering in whatever form it appears this year. These challenges make us think more creatively and cherish the connections we have in our lives. As we acknowledge the difficulty of shopping online for your important moments, we also acknowledge the limitations of a gift guide. If you’re seeking more ideas, we encourage you to browse our Mother’s Day collection online or reach out by email with requests or concerns, and we’ll do our absolute best to help in whatever way we can. We will also happily wrap your gifts in a simple but pretty kraft wrap with twine and can fill in your cards with your own personal messages to be sent directly to your recipient. Simply add your card message to the notes section in your cart, prior to checkout, and we’ll use our absolute neatest handwriting.
We also continue to send our gratitude to you, for your support in joining us in this community, in supporting us in so many ways, and showing us oh so much love. Thank you for honouring us with your presence and time, and trusting us with your precious sentiments and gifts.
Featured photo courtesy of Gotamago, photographed by Janet Kwan (@janetkwan)
Erin (they/them), a frequent shopper at the store over the years, joined the Scout team when we opened in Leslieville in November 2018 and now oversees both shops as store manager. They pride themselves on giving the perfect heartfelt card and may be considered your go-to source for brunch and coffee recommendations in the East End.
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405 Roncesvalles Ave
Toronto ON M6R 2N1
416 546 6922
1140 Queen St E
Toronto ON M4M 1L1
647 748 1140