The Van Mag Mother’s Day gift guide

Maybe you've been a good son or daughter. Maybe you haven't. Either way, we've got just the right locally-sourced gift idea for you to make things right with Mom

Maybe you’ve been a good son or daughter. Maybe you haven’t. Either way, we’ve got just the right locally-sourced gift idea for you to make things right with Mom

It’s been said that you can’t buy love, but there are definitely times when buying a great gift can increase your lovability. And if you’ve been a less-than-loveable son or daughter lately, well, it’s time to put that into practice given that Mother’s Day is less than a week away. Save your promises to call more often, visit more frequently, and be less conspicuously frustrated when she asks you how to bookmark something on her iPhone or asks what a meme is, because it’s too late for any of that to work this year. No, what you need to do is buy a kick-ass gift for the woman who brought you into this world—and the woman who, depending on how delinquent you’ve been, has probably considered taking you back out of it a few times as well.But what to get her? Well, it all depends on just how neglectful you’ve been. To determine what gift to get your mom and, more to the point, the amount you should be dishing out in order to get it, we’ve devised a simple 10-point system based on what we’re calling our “Offspring Quotient” scale. Using that OQ scale, which goes from 1 (complete reprobate) to 10 (golden child), you’ll be able to find the gift your mom deserves. Obviously, the lower your score, the more impressive the gift needs to be to make amends. Likewise, if you score high, perhaps some flowers and a hug will suffice. Where do you fall on the scale? Well, see for yourself.You score a 1 if you have only spoken to your mother twice this year, and one of those times was when she called to see if you were still alive after you forgot her birthday.You score a 5  if you called once a month but decided to ditch her and the family over the winter holidays to go on a two-week tequila bender in Mexico—and show her the pictures afterwards. You score a 10 if you are on a texting basis with your mother, you have dinner with her once a week, and you were the first one to call her on her birthday. Tread carefully here—going to 11 is not a good thing. 

Gift Ideas


Offspring Quotient: 10

You and your mom have a strong bond and she knows how much you value her. The perk of being such an ideal child? A classic and simple gift like Angela and Gabriel’s  beautiful flowers and potted plants can validate your status without blowing your budget. You can order these online or over the phone to custom create a bouquet or potted arrangement that is perfect and unique like her (okay, quit showing off). Arranged bouquet prices: $40-$200


Offspring Quotient: 9

Besides the odd hiccup here and there—the oven mitts at Christmas were a swing and miss—you’ve earned a pat on the back for being an exceptional child. To help alleviate those hiccups, a gift that makes your mom smile and relax is the way to go. A journal that doubles as an adult colouring book will help her de-stress after long days, and possibly even bring back fond memories of your childhood—unless, of course, you were terrible at drawing. Secret Garden price: $14.95


Offspring Quotient: 8

Overall, the year went smoothly, but you didn’t remember to call your mom on her birthday until 5 p.m. and you might have shown up too hung over to eat brunch a few times. To turn those potentially bitter memories sweet, get her a box of Beta5 chocolates—ranked the best in the city by our judges in March—along with some flowers and a card. Gift box price: $90

 Offspring Quotient: 7

What’s the difference between a 10 and a 7, you ask? It’s simple: If at any point this year your mother was upset at you for more than a week and let you know about it, you’re a 7 at best. It doesn’t matter why, either—just that it happened. As a 7, you have to give her something that’s both charming and useful,  and some chic eyewear gives you just that. With a gift certificate from Bruce Eyewear, you can help make your mother’s glasses the envy of her office, book club, or terrible child discussion group (these exist, right?). The best part? You choose the price.


Offspring Quotient: 6

So, you missed her birthday. Not good. Not good at all. Sure, you were busy—but is anybody ever really that busy? You need a good gift to bail you out here, and to make up for the time lost, get her one that brings you closer together as a family. There’s no better way to do that than in a cooking class, and even if cooking isn’t you or your mom’s forte, learning to make a new dish is a fun and useful experiment. The Dirty Apron Cooking School has a wide range of gift certificates and couples classes—and yes, mother and daughter qualify here—to accommodate your oh-so-busy schedule.

Spa Hammam

Offspring Quotient: 5

From the few occasions you actually saw your mother this year, you know you are the reason for at least some of the stress she’s wearing on her shoulders. That’s why giving her a day at the spa is the perfect gift for you and the rest of the fives out there. It’s basically like kneading out all of the tension you’ve created, and after a relaxing, exfoliating massage and some dreamy aroma therapy, she’ll come out and see you as the cute little cherub you once were. At Miraj Hammam Spa, you can book a Mother’s Day Special for $199.

A Mother's Love Bangle Gift Set

Offspring Quotient: 4

You are now clearly on the bad side of the scale, and the cost of boosting your lovability—or, perhaps, salvaging your status as a beloved child—is going up. Your gift needs to be something memorable, something that reminds her of your generosity and kindness and distracts her from the fact that your attendance record at family dinners is substantially more lacklustre. Yes, that means jewelry—and in this case, a gift from Pandora’s Mother’s Day collection. Get the A Mother’s Love bangle gift set for $145 and add some charms from the collection.


Offspring Quotient: 3

At this point, your very existence is keeping your mother on her toes—and, occasionally, hopping mad (madder, even, than when you use silly puns like these). It’s time to make up for that shoddy track record with what we’re calling the “Cinderella treatment”—you have been a pumpkin, after all (more puns!). Purchase these made-to-order, custom-measured shoes that are guaranteed to be the perfect fit for your mom’s feet. The Latvia sandals by Westerly Handmade Shoes are perfect for that summer getaway your mom might be planning, for walking the dog in the sunshine—or kicking you in the ass. Price: $365


Offspring Quotient: 2

You’re straying dangerously into disownership territory here, so it’s time to pony up for some penance. And what better way than to buy her some time for herself away from you? Springing for a weekend getaway gives your mom a chance to see how caring you actually are deep down—or, at the very least, a good reason to overlook your flaws until the next time you remind her of them. Every time she looks out at the ocean view from her room at Pacific Sands Tofino Beach Resort she’ll see the good in you. With their spring rates, you can get your mother a room starting at $249 a night. But you’d probably be better off making it an entire weekend.Stittgen Cove Ring

Offspring Quotient: 1

It’s time for the hail Mary pass. Maybe you asked her to bail you out of prison. Maybe you asked her to do it more than once. Either way, you need to dig deep here, and the gift you come up with has to be meaningful, unique, and meticulously chosen. Fortunately, there is jewelry for neglectful offspring to purchase. The best way to remind a mother that no matter what happens, at heart you are always together, is to give her something she can always have on her. The Cove Ring from Stittgen Fine Jewelry, with a fresh water pearl and 18k yellow gold, will help your mom always keep you close, even when you don’t remember her cell phone number. The price of the Cove Ring, which can vary with size and customization, is $3,850.