Every brunch is booked, Amazon won’t make it in time, and you’re at least a decade too old to come up with a macaroni painting and call it “art.” Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and here you are, empty handed, definitely about to lose your slot as Favorite Child, and in a bit of a panic. You need a present that tells your mom just how much you love her, how you’re so grateful for her, and how much thought and planning you put into this holiday — or would have if the entire month of April hadn’t slipped through your fingers like your paycheck on a Friday Downtown bar crawl. Lucky for you, we’ve been there and we’ve got your back. Read on for 5 rock-solid last-minute Mother’s Day gifts that will send the right message to the mom you love.

Gearhart’s Chocolate

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably tasted Gearharts Chocolates — or at least heard someone at the office raving about them. A quintessential Charlottesville staple, Gearharts used to sell out early around every “Chocolate Holiday,” making their artisanal chocolate selections a must-have (and hard to get) gift. Happily, they’ve upped production a bit, and all it will take to pick up this year’s 18-piece set (16 pieces from their signature line, plus two specialty chocolates) is a trip by their shop at Vinegar Hill. An added incentive is Agape Florist just around the corner; pick up a bouquet of her favorite flowers for a classic Mother’s Day combination.

Wine

After the trials and tribulations of child-rearing (and adult-rearing), every mom could use a little wine. Check out Tillman’s downtown, Market Street Wine Shop, Feast on West Main, or the curated selection at Ivy Provisions for a quick and delicious bottle. Also pairable with chocolate for the deluxe antioxidant combo that will prove you want your mom around for a long, long time!

A gift that gives back

If your mom is the kind of person who loves giving gifts more than getting them, pop into Ten Thousand Villages for something that will make her happy and extend her impact on the world. Their network of fair-trade shops sells handcrafted goods from all over the third and second world, supporting local makers who produce one-of-a-kind wares.


A good story

Charlottesville is home to a slew of local bookshops — try New Dominion, Second Act, or Blue Whale downtown — and even more local authors. Everyone knows to check out John Grisham’s newest novel, but there are shelves full of C-ville-based writers just around the corner. For short stories with glimpses of Charlottesville, try Sydney Blair’s recent posthumous publication, Honorable Men; for a new novel by an iconic woman, look for Ann Beattie’s A Wonderful Stroke of Luck. Grab a copy for yourself and you’ll find you have much more to talk about next time you sit down to dinner with your mom and, unlike your Book Club pals, she will actually have read the book!

A bonus bit of advice

Spend some time. Even though brunches are *probably* out this Mother’s Day, there are other ways — and other days — for you to spend some quality time with Mom. Wineries, brunch next Sunday, a spa day, a coffee date (Gearhart’s has a special in their Cafe on Mother’s Day), hiking, if she’s into that, dinner and a trip to First Friday at the Fralin – pick something she likes and do it with her. Quality time is the macaroni art of adulthood; the difference is, Mom doesn’t have to fake the “Thank you” this time around.