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Holiday gifts for the stressed-out mom

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

18 Perfect gifts for moms who seriously need a break

It's wonderful being a mom during the holidays. But no one really spoils moms while they're busy spoiling everyone else. This Christmas, give the mom on your list a gift that will ease a little of that holiday stress.

1. Passes to her favorite class

Whether she takes yoga, singing lessons or CrossFit sessions, give a stressed-out mom passes to the classes that help her wind down. It's a practical gift that shows you care enough to find out what Mom loves.

2. A meal planning subscription

You can't give Mom a year of meals, but you can give her a year of meal planning. Try a gift certificate for a subscription at The Fresh 20. It's the kind of time-saving, stress-relieving service many moms consider but don't pull the trigger on because of the cost.

3. A cleaning service

Give Mom a gift certificate for a reputable housekeeping service. Even one deep clean can make a huge difference when it comes to the stress of keeping a house in order.

4. A vacuum kids can use

The Dyson Motorhead cordless vacuum looks a little like a giant Nerf toy, which makes it perfect for convincing kids that vacuuming is awesome. Give Mom a vacuum she can easily talk her children into using (with supervision) so she has one less chore on her list. (Amazon, $380)

5. Spa time

It's a cliché gift for a reason. Spa time is the ultimate stress reliever for moms. Instead of washing someone else's hair, possibly wiping someone else's butt and attending to the needs of everyone in the home, moms can just chill out in a robe while other people do the work.

6. Lip balm

Kids destroy lip balm. It's a known fact. Replenish her supply with a cute set of happy, fruity lip balms from Eos. (Ulta, $6)

7. Awesome meals

Give a stressed-out mom the gift of a home-cooked meal in a cute casserole dish she can keep. You'll save her the headache of meal planning for a night, and she'll have a sweet reminder of your thoughtful gift for years to come.

8. Babysitting

Certificates for babysitting go a long way. Just follow up to make sure she uses them. Make it clear that babysitting can be used for something as simple as grabbing a nice long shower in the middle of the day.

9. A haircut

Find out where she gets her hair done and nab her a gift certificate her stylist will accept. It's one of those inevitable appointments that women forget they need to spend money on, so covering the cost of an appointment is a great stress reliever.

10. Car detailing

Let's be real. Moms' cars can be kind of a shitshow. Every single one of us have suffered the dreaded juice box explosion. Even moms with teens are faced with the aroma of teens lingering in the upholstery. Give Mom a certificate to get her car detailed by professionals.

11. Tea

Brewing and enjoying tea is a ritual. It's a lovely way to slow down in the morning or at the end of a long day. Pick out some cool, unique tea she won't find at the grocery store. Throw in a clever tea maker and she's set. (Adagio, $19)

12. Grown-up bubble bath

No one likes to smell like a toddler, but everyone loves bubble baths. Give her a bottle of fancy, grown-up bubble bath she can escape into when she needs to soak the day away. (Amazon, $10)

13. A luxury throw

Moms won't bat an eye when it comes to spending money on things their kids need. Splurging on themselves? Not so much. Give her a luxury throw she'll treasure and snuggle with, but never would have purchased for herself. (Berkshire Blanket, $210)

14. Fancy makeup

Playing with fancy makeup is a fun stress reliever. Fancy makeup is also one of those spendy purchases a lot of moms agonize over. Give her something with lots of fiddly little samples she can have fun with, like this winter skin care gift set. (Sephora, $39)

15. Sparkly things

Listen, some moms just want a little sparkle in their lives. Jewelry can be stress relieving. Try this precious kitten ring. It's cute and very shiny. (J.Crew, $242)

16. A night away

Give Mom a staycation at a local bed and breakfast or boutique hotel. Include cash for room service and strict orders to watch plenty of trashy TV while ordering desserts and wine.

17. A subscription box

Subscription boxes are a gift that keeps on giving. Tailor your gift to her interests. Subscription boxes are super popular right now, so you can find anything from food-related subscriptions to subscriptions for geeky moms who want the hottest new T-shirt.

18. An escape

Give her a way to briefly escape from stress by putting together a book tote with a few juicy novels, some yummy snacks and a comfortable pair of slippers that are perfect for curling up on the sofa. A few minutes spent lost in a good book go a long way toward relieving stress.

More holiday gift ideas

Toddler gifts that don't make any noise at all
Therapeutic gifts for kids with special needs
12 Holiday gifts that won't make teens roll their eyes

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