Mother’s Day comes but once a year, but it’s arguably one of the most important celebrations on the calendar. After all, the woman bore you, made gave you hot lemon-and-honey tea when you were sick, and cried her eyes out at every graduation. This Mother’s Day, steer clear of those horrible brunch buffet deals, for the love of all sacred family bonds! Instead, get mom something cool and sophisticated, whether it’s a piece of personalized jewelry, an experience, or something she insists she’s not cool enough to wear.
Take her to see 12,000 flowers
FTD, the world’s largest floral company, is currently creating a 20-foot wall of over 12,000 flowers at Water Tower Place in honor of mothers everywhere. The blossomy unveiling celebration will take place this Friday and Saturday, so you can treat Mom to a little pre-Mother’s Day loving. The two of you can take a bouquet-building workshop and snag a few free blooms of your own. Water Tower Place, May 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Let a private chef make her dinner
Maybe your mom cooks dinner every night, or maybe she keeps her sweaters in the oven. Either way, she’ll surely appreciate the sight of a handsome man whipping up a fresh, gourmet dinner in the kitchen. Enter Chef Charles, any mom’s dream: He’ll come to your home and whip up a luxurious dinner (think truffles, okay? Just think truffles). Invite a small group of Mom’s best girlfriends over, open up a few bottles of wine, and let a man do all the cooking. Starts at $80 a person, minimum of $800 per event. No minimum guest number. chefcharleswebb.com.
Make a custom silhouette from her favorite photo of you
Remember back in the day, when everyone owned at least one beautiful, cameo-style paper silhouette? Mom remembers. And now Winifred Grace, formerly of Anthropologie and Free People jewelry-making fame, is designing custom paper painted silhouettes for Mother’s Day in collaboration with Chicago artist Carol Jarvis. Bring in a special photo to the store, and the final painting will be ready in a week. Pricing runs from $80-$120. 5642 N. Clark St., winifredgrace.com.
Treat her to the perfect spring sweater
Ever noticed that Mom is constantly in the market for a soft, elegant sweater? Take her on a shopping trip to Eskandar and browse through their luxe Spring 2015 collection, which is full of creamy, billowy white sweaters, perfect for chilly May nights. She’d love the one-ply cashmere slim sleeve bateau neck top in long plus. $1950. 70 E. Walton St., eskandar.com.
Buy her a pair of Chelsea boots
Why should Millennials get to snap up all the skinny jeans and hip footwear? Mom might be convinced that her trendy days are behind her, but show her how wrong she is by getting her a pair of always-classic, ever-cool Chelsea boots. The chicest pair in Chicago might just be at VMR Chicago—they’re a pair of buttery brown booties by Veronique Branquinho with slim metal detailing around the sole. $720. 34 E. Oak St., vmrchicago.com.
Help her decorate her bedroom
Mom spent years helping you decorate your bedroom—hand-sewing your curtains, shopping for the perfect shade of hot pink paint, and allowing those wall-to-wall band posters during your high school years—so why not buy her something lovely for hers? The chrysoprase and brass wall hanging from local jeweler Theresa Cowan (Mineralogy Design) is understated, calming, and exquisite. $240, etsy.com.
Design her a necklace in Morse Code
Jewelry that says “Mom” is just so overdone. Instead, local jeweler Jules Vance lets you choose a secret message—her initials, the word “love,” or a private joke between the two of you—and have it carved into a sleek, mysterious necklace. From $125. Inquire about rush rates. julesvancejewelry.com
Work out together
Between May 3 and May 10, Exhale Spa is offering a “bring your mom to class” deal, where Mom works out for free when the two of you take a class together. Just call any Exhale location and mention “Mom’s special day.” Exhausted after that spin class? Book a spa treatment with Mom and you’ll both get 25 percent off. 945 N. State St., exhalespa.com
Sneakily book her a professional closet assessment
Mom’s always dreamed of having one of those perfectly coordinated, grab-and-go, minimalist wardrobes full of neutrals and classic silhouettes, but who has the time? Make her organizational dreams come true by booking her an appointment with the closet organization specialists from Sararose on Oak. Rates start at $150/hour. 67 E. Oak St., sararoseonoak.com.