While I think any and all Mother’s Day gifts are meaningful, this year is different. If you normally see your mom on Mother’s Day, like I do, this year is going to be extra hard if we’re not able to have those huts, that time together, those three-generations-in-one-photo shots. For those moms and grandmas these are gifts that are extra special — meaningful Mother’s Day gifts that tell her you really really miss her may strike the right tone.

Of course if the gift is from the kids, also be sure to check out our many posts about DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas, or visit our Mother’s Day crafts Pinterest board.

I hope these ideas help you find the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year.

If you shop through affiliate links on this page, we may earn a small commission that helps support our own small business at no extra cost to you. So, thank you!

– This post has been updated for 2021 –

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Gifts for Far-Away Moms or Grandmas on Mother’s Day

Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: A special new mug to make her think of you every day | Mother's Day Gift Guide


Miss you mug
($17.58, White Wolfe Design)

Add tea, if she needs it. Add vodka, if she needs it.

Flower alternatives for Mother's Day: succulents in a reclaimed wooden crate is rustic and beautiful with any decor


Her favorite flowers or plants

We are such fans of the artisan, small-farm flower bouquets from The Bouqs and their flower subscriptions,
Or, pick a beautiful potted plant or one of these clever bouquet alternatives that last.

Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: a framed photo of the family she's missing | Mother's Day Gift Guide

Framed photo of the family 
(This one $35 for 8×10 plus frames $20 and up, Minted)

Always a meaningful Mother’s Day gift. Especially if she’s missing your faces.


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: A personalized pie pan with a special recipe printed on it | Mother's Day Gift Guide

Pie Pan personalized with a favorite family recipe
($75, PH Pottery)

Maybe one from her own mother?


  Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: A one-of-a-kind vintage locket with photos of you or the grandkids | Mother's Day Gift Guide

One of a kind vintage locket
($175+, Stella & Luna + 15% off with code shopsmall2020)

We love this woman-owned small biz that tracks down and refurbishes vintage lockets.
Every one is different. Add a special photo so she can keep you close to her heart, literally.


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: A heart coffee scoop so she starts her day with loving thoughts of you Mother's Day Gift Guide

Pewter heart handmade coffee scoop
($42, Beehive Handmade)

This way she can wake up thinking about you every morning.
( If you love the Dansk canister, we tracked it down at West Elm or Replacements.com can find for you)


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma:A Keepsake box featuring this Tennyson quote. Fill it with something special or let her do it| Mother's Day Gift Guide

Tennyson quote wooden keepsake box
($118+. Hereafter LA)

Absolutely love this meaningful Mother’s Day gift with the perfect quote.
Fill with recipe cards, photos, a handmade bracelet from the kids, or just let her decide.


Related: 14 personalized gifts for grandmothers who deserve the best


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: Knit your own blanket for her from this kit from We Are Knitters | Mother's Day Gift Guide

Cozy hand-knit blanket from you
(Prices vary)

If you’re crafty, get those needles out! If you need supplies, find everything in ready-made kits right down the the yarns and right needles from We Are Knitters. Shown here: Their XXL Udon Blanket Kit, $185

Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: A personalized photo album | Mother's Day Gift Guide

Hardcover photo album
($69 and up, Artifact Uprising)

A perennial favorite mom or grandma gift for all of us. Be sure to check out our comparison of the top photo book sites.


Meaningful gifts for mom or grandmas on Mother's Day: Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Untamed  by Glennon Doyle
($16.74 or $11.99 for Kindle, Amazon)

Let her know that you love her just the way she is, for who she is, no matter what.

Meaningful Mother's Day gifts: Her favorite chocolates she'd never splurge on herself. These from Vosges

Her favorite chocolates that she’d never spluge on for herself
(From $8 for a gourmet chocolate bar to $85 for a Grande Gift Tower, Voges Chocolate)

We love everything from Vosges, but that soft caramel and pecan milk chocolate truffle is something else.

Related: Our favorite Mother’s Day food gifts for all kinds of moms


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: a bracelet spelling out a message in morse code| Mother's Day Gift Guide

Custom morse code message bracelet
($23.95, Rustik Heart)

This shop can make hers read Nana, Grandma, Mama, or a word of your choice.


Pandemic Mother's Day cards: Perfect if you can't see your own mom this year

A card to make her laugh…or cry?
($5, Em & Friends)

Probably both. There’s quite a collection of options this year from Em & Friends.


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma:A board game for playing together over zoom calls -- like this luxury monopoly set | Mother's Day Gift Guide

A new board game to play over Zoom with the kids. 
(Prices vary)

Our post about virtual family game night ideas has been so popular! Refresh her game stash with something new. For a huge splurge, check out this Luxury Monopoly Edition from Pottery Barn ($229) but she’s got to really love Monopoly!


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: Personalized flower art with words on petals, suspended in this glass frame | Mother's Day Gift Guide

Personalized poetry art on rose petals
($38, Resolute Star)

Choose the right sentiment for a truly meaningful Mother’s Day gift that fits right on a shelf or nightstand.

meaningful Mother's Day gifts: a donation to Feeding America

A donation in her name to Feeding America
(varies; give generously)

Nourish others the way she nourished you. The perfect gift if she already has everything she could want.

Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma you miss: Schedule a Group FaceTime or Zoom call with the whole family

Schedule a group Zoom call or FaceTime call with the entire family

Plan it…or surprise her. Especially if you’re scattered around the countryIt may be all the gift she needs.


Meaningful Mother's Day gifts for mom or grandma: A new weekender tote from Dagne Dover, plus a promise for plane/train tickets when we can travel again

A new weekender bag
with a promise to include train/plane tickets when we can travel again
(XL Carryall Duffel, $215 from Dagne Dover, smaller sizes available)

Best of all, you can select a charity at check-out, and a portion will be donated to support Feeding America, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, Fair Fight, Stop AAPI hate, or another one that matters to you — and her.