14 best Christmas gifts for mums: From jewellery and chocolate to pyjamas and more

·13-min read
For the gardener, the reader, the fashionista – we've found lovely gifts to suit every taste and budget  (The Independent)
For the gardener, the reader, the fashionista – we've found lovely gifts to suit every taste and budget (The Independent)

Christmas shopping for your own mum, the mother of your children or a matriarchal figure means picking something particularly special. With the chance to recognise everything mums do, during the festive season and all year round, it’s only fair we spoil them.

Whether she’s just had a baby, or has grown up “kids”, is your mother-in-law, or a mum friend, Christmas gifts can cover practical ideas and total treats too, encompassing everything from the useful (hair scrunchies) or indulgent (posh chocolate), but we will spare you any naff token presents.

If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve put together a full list of tried and tested favourite items. From luxurious make-up buys to gardening gifts, eyemasks that aid relaxation, as well as some classics like jewellery and perfume. We’re sure whatever she’s into, you’ll find something in our Christmas gift list.

How we tested

Our tester is a mum of two children, and we sampled both classic favourites and brand-new launches. Summarising different mum scenarios and ages, the included gifts have been trialled over anything from a month’s testing to several years of use.

We explored a range of price points, from stocking filler to splurge, so read on for our best mum gift guide this Christmas.

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The best Christmas gifts for mums for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Jo Loves pomelo a fragrance: £115, Spacenk.com

  • Best gift from her children – Pretty Serendipity personalised two ring Russian necklace with heart: £65, Prettyserendipity.co.uk

  • Best for a new mum – Spacemasks box: £15, Spacemasks.com

  • Best mother-in-law present – L’Occitane youth hand cream: £24, Loccitane.com

  • Best for the Instagram lover – ‘Underbelly’ by Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson: £12.99, Waterstones.com

  • Best gardening gift – Crabtree & Evelyn ceramic herb planter in terracotta: £31, Crabtree-evelyn.co.uk

  • Best for outdoor mum life – Barbour crimdon quilted jacket: £239, Barbour.com

  • Best for a bit of luxury – Pierre Marcolini bean to bar hazelnut praline tablet: £8, Marcolini.com

  • Best beauty treat – Victoria Beckham Beauty posh gloss: £26, Victoriabeckhambeauty.com

  • Best for a night out – Scream Pretty X Hannah Martin baroque pearl huggie earrings: £55, Screampretty.com

  • Best for toddler mum – Silk Works London large silk scrunchie in rose gold leopard: £14, Silkworkslondon.com

  • Best for relaxation – The White Company Avignon-print cotton pyjama set: £80, Thewhitecompany.com

  • Best for a WFH mum – Lumie halo light therapy lamp: £199, Johnlewis.com

  • Best for fashion loving mums – Dancing Leopard blaze boilersuit in hot pink: £55, Dancingleopard.co.uk

Jo Loves pomelo a fragrance, 100ml

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

Recently celebrating its tenth anniversary, this Jo Loves signature fragrance is stylish, and timeless for all ages. The square glass bottle is substantial but unimposing, with simple branding and a clever magnetic closing black lid. There’s also a 50ml size for £75 too. When adding a spritz, we noticed how sweetly uplifting the aroma is, without being overpowering. We quickly picked up on warm, clean, and spicy notes, as well as brightening citrus ones too. This is because the main pink pomelo fruit notes are joined by fresh grass, grapefruit, and earthy vetiver.

A small spray goes a long way, and our tester noticed the scent remains for several hours on end. We have topped up throughout the day, but other than fancying a refresh, you don’t really need to. Although undeniably an extra special splurge, the crisp and inviting perfume is suitable for vegan mums too.

Buy now £115.00, Spacenk.com

Spacemasks box

Best: For a new mum

Rating: 9/10

Containing five individually wrapped self-heating eye masks, these soft masks offer an escape for those needing some easily accessible and quick “me time”. We popped the mask onto our face, using the white ear loops to hold it in place. There’s no tightness or pulling, just instant calm from covering our eyes for a moment. Giving ourselves a quick recoup, we lay down and let the heated relaxation get to work.

There’s a lightly soothing jasmine scent, as the warmth soaks into our eyes. Gently comforting, we’ve used these masks over several years, to soothe symptoms associated with headaches, hay fever, tiredness, and stress. The heat lasts about 15 minutes, which is enough time for some peace and quiet.

Buy now £15.00, cultbeauty.co.uk

L’Occitane youth hand cream

Best: Mother-in-law present

Rating: 8/10

Recently launched, this hand cream combines shea butter with the brand’s famous immortelle extract. Featuring an illustration of the immortelle flower, its recyclable gold metal tube is a sizeable 75ml and offers French apothecary style elegance.

The cream itself is a smooth consistency which we noted absorbs well, leaving a luminous glow. Although our hands felt slightly slippery to the touch while drying, there was no greasy residue. Its light scent reminds us of premium skincare, which makes sense because the ingredients do match L’Occitane’s immortelle overnight reset serum. Rubbing the product in doesn’t take a lot of effort, and its glossiness glided over our hands and nails. We were left with a botanical aroma and conditioned skin looking and feeling silky soft.

Buy now £24.00, Loccitane.com

‘Underbelly’ by Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson. Published by Orion

Best: For the Instagram lover

Rating: 9/10

The first novel by journalists and Mother Pukka co-founders Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson, Underbelly explores sharply intertwined themes of social media, motherhood, and female friendship. We immediately noticed a trigger warning for some particularly sensitive references, which we thought was a refreshing heads-up for readers. Telling the story of two mums whose lives become inextricably linked, yet intensely separate, we polished off this insightful page turner in two days.

Middle class Instagram influencer Lo and aspiring author Dylan meet at the school gates. While Lo is posting seemingly picture perfect images of her life, single mum Dylan is struggling to put food on the table. Their friendship deepens and unfolds, with dark and disastrous consequences. As readers we were completely gripped by the intuitive narrative of mum life being navigated alongside social media’s glaring gaze.

Buy now £12.99, Waterstones.com

Crabtree & Evelyn ceramic herb planter in terracotta

Best: Gardening gift

Rating: 8/10

Part of the brand’s new Greece collection, which includes ceramic dishes as well as Greek inspired jewellery and more, five per cent of profits from this purchase go to cancer charity Pnoi Agapis. The planter was made in Athens by ceramicist Myrto, who created its pattern by pressing her grandma’s lace and doilies into the natural clay. Also available in ochre and sage green shades, our tester chose the terracotta colour.

The patterned front and back panels are a raised texture, which we noticed to be intricately tactile. Glazed throughout, the white edges feature a signature stamp and fold in the natural clay. Our tester noted that these hand-finished creative touches make the piece feel like a more unique present. With a 10cm diameter and 9cm height, the planter sits neatly on surfaces, while we have also used the decorative container to keep trinkets in.

Buy now £31.00, Crabtree-evelyn.co.uk

Scream Pretty X Hannah Martin baroque pearl huggie earrings

Best: For a night out

Rating: 8/10

These pearl drop earrings are part of a collaboration range by makeup artist Hannah Martin. Also available in silver rhodium, this pair is made of recycled 925 sterling silver with 18 carat gold plating. Arriving in a black cardboard box with velvety insert, our tester first noticed how sturdy the earrings are, for such a delicate design.

The shiny gold huggie hoop component has a 2mm width, and snugly sits against the lobe. We couldn’t add them into higher placed piercings for that reason, but they work perfectly as part of a curated ear vibe. Firmly clicking shut without any fiddling about, the luminescent pearl attachment hangs straight down. Because of the huggie fastening, these are dangly earrings that don’t pull or add heaviness to our lobes. Even when wearing them for a full day, we barely felt their presence. We could justify the £55 price point based on their robust quality, wearable comfort, and fancy pearl finish.

Buy now £55.00, Screampretty.com

Pierre Marcolini bean to bar hazelnut praline tablet

Best: For a bit of luxury

Rating: 8/10

A staple within luxury chocolatier Pierre Marcolini’s range for 20 years, there are several new bean to bar flavours to choose from. Ingredients such as nuts, pralines, caramels, and cocoa nibs are taken from plantations and regions globally, and bars include white chocolate, salted butter caramel and pecan pralines. Within this version, covered in hazelnut pieces, it has a praline melting middle and is encased in indulgent chocolate.

The sizable bar is 70g and presented in a slimline cardboard box with chic branding. You can also buy the tablet cube (10 bars at £64.00) and the collector box (20 bars at £160.00). Not at all tough to bite into, we devoured the milk chocolate with 45 per cent cocoa, rating it a decadent treat.

Buy now £8.00, Marcolini.com

The White Company Avignon-print cotton pyjama set

Best: For relaxation

Rating: 8/10

A premium pair of cotton poplin PJs, the delicate ditsy grey floral print reminds us of little festive stars. Features like the front pocket and piping add extra elegance, while the material is incredibly soft.

The cotton is a substantial thickness meaning we didn’t find them see through, despite being white. The bottoms have an elasticated waistband which can tie up, as well as roomy pockets. Trialling over a month’s testing, after machine washing and ironing several times, the cotton has retained its smoothness with no print fade. Although pricey, we’ve appreciated their high-quality finish and comfortable fit. Overall, they feel like luxurious loungewear for cosy evenings and sleeping alike.

Buy now £80.00, Thewhitecompany.com

Lumie halo light therapy lamp

Best: For a WFH mum

Rating: 8/10

A light therapy lamp that also looks aesthetically pleasing, the copper dome shape is held in place by a stand. It does require decent surface space, such as a desk or coffee table, due to the 32.4cm width and 19.7cm depth.

Bringing brightening light on dark days or during night feeds, the lamp offers cool and warm LED options. The 10,000 lux amount mimics natural light, which while working from home, we’ve found has helped with our afternoon energy slump. After pressing the power button, options for use include a day and night setting, and we run our finger across the Lumie branding touch slider to dim its glow. You can tap the halo surround to add in backlighting, which creates a warming ambience. Our tester uses the lamp daily, for a mood boost, and when feeling particularly tired.

Buy now £199.00, Johnlewis.com

Victoria Beckham Beauty posh gloss

Best: Beauty treat

Rating: 8/10

This brand-new high shine lip gloss from Victoria Beckham Beauty comes in a universally flattering clear shade. Showcasing VB’s signature Posh style, the chic glass tube and horn effect lid looks suitably expensive. The applicator wand is precise rather than clumpy, enabling us to coat lips and layer up for a bolder effect. Because of this, a mirror isn’t needed during application.

We didn’t find the gloss to be at all sticky or gloopy, yet its consistency does offer a satisfying amount of shiny coverage. Lightly hydrating, our lips felt softened. Meanwhile the sleek sheen stayed well put. Even after fading slightly when eating and drinking, we could still see a pouty finish. Our tester also noticed a plumping effect, elevating otherwise simple make-up.

Buy now £26.00, Victoriabeckhambeauty.com

Barbour crimdon quilted jacket

Best: For outdoor mum life

Rating: 8/10

Available in three colours including navy and nori green, our favourite is the sandstone. The long length reaches our shins, which is both satisfyingly warm and ideal over dresses. Featuring subtle branding on the coat and zip, it looks luxurious. We’ve been wearing this cocooning coat for rainy dog walks and standing on the side of sports pitches. The hood is a mum essential when we don’t have spare hands to hold an umbrella. Plus, its popper closing pockets are usefully deep. This colour has khaki tones, so marks don’t show up easily despite the light shade.

Machine washable, the smooth rather than shiny coat has kept us dry during rainy showers. Its faux fur lined hood adds extra cosiness, while the ribbed cuffs bring a snug fit. Plus, the quilted puffer style feels quite streamline for such a thick coat.

Buy now £239.00, Barbour.com

Dancing Leopard blaze boilersuit in hot pink

Best: For fashion-loving mums

Rating: 8/10

An all-in-one outfit, this cord boilersuit comes in several colours including green, blue, sand, and our chosen hot pink. Featuring a long shirt-style sleeve with button fastenings, its zip closure is joined by a shape flattering waist drawstring. We’ve found the polyester material to be a midweight loose fit, which makes for easy layering up underneath too.

The collar adds a smartness, and we’ve been pairing it with heels as well as trainers and boots. Wearing the suit while out with friends or running after our kids, we’ve seen outfit versatility that will take us through cold and warm seasons. We love the chest and side pockets too.

Buy now £55.00, Dancingleopard.co.uk

Pretty Serendipity personalised two ring Russian necklace with heart

Best: Gift from her children

Rating: 9/10

This handmade necklace is packaged in a gift-wrapped box, complete with handwritten note and polishing cloth. The sterling silver personalised piece depicts each child’s name (up to 18 characters long) on intertwined Russian rings, traditionally symbolising eternal love. With a diameter of 23mm, there’s a tiny silver heart hanging in between too. A varied selection including a personalised mother and daughter necklace (£55) is available, if you need to add in less or more than two names.

After wearing ours regularlyfor more two years, we’ve found the size big enough to be noticeable, while also feeling comfortably wearable. In that time, we’ve occasionally polished the silver, but otherwise its original condition hasn’t faded. Surprisingly lightweight yet suitably robust for regular wear, the rings and chain don’t jangle about too much either.

Buy now £65.00, Prettyserendipity.co.uk

Silk Works London large silk scrunchie in rose gold leopard

Best: For a toddler mum

Rating: 8/10

Whether dealing with a tress-grabbing toddler or just needing to get hair off your face in a hurry, we’ve found this silk scrunchie also offers cute wrist adornment. Available in other colours including caramel, black and pink (as well as a skinny size), we love the newest large leopard print version.

It arrived in a fabric drawstring pouch, which we kept for handy storage between use. Being made of pure mulberry silk, it means the hair tie helps prevent breakage, which can be usefully gentle during any post-partum hair loss too. We use it to secure our locks in place without any tightness either. Its smooth texture didn’t leave any annoying scrunchie kinks, which made retaining our wavy style much easier.

Buy now £14.00, Silkworkslondon.com

The verdict: Best Christmas gifts for mums 2021

For a classic gift suiting mums of all ages, Jo Loves delivers a luxuriously uplifting and long-lasting scent. Meanwhile, Pretty Serendipity offers a personalised jewellery touch that she can always treasure. Finally, for some much-needed mum “me time”, we really rate Spacemasks for some soothing TLC.

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