12 Days of Gift Guides: Gifts for Your Mother (Nature)

My mom could beat up your mom.

Photo: Troy Harrison/Moment/Getty Images // Art: Jack Koloskus
Jack Koloskus
#1 Mom
12 Days of Gift Guides

Nature. It’s a thing we can all agree exists. But did you ever stop and think to say thank you to nature for all that it’s given you? What if I told you that nature’s love language is gift giving? Yeah you thought you could just get away with quality time or words of affirmation. Well not this year, buddy — it’s time to break out the credit card (which is plastic, which is technically nature).

For the humble tree:

LSAT Prep Books 2021-2022 - LSAT Secrets Study Guide, Practice Test Questions

Hey, tree. Did you hear about that strapping young upstart of a tree down in Georgia that owns itself? And its son who also owns itself? That’s all pretty groovy, sovereignty and all that. Sure, from a legal standpoint it might not actually own itself on account of the fact that “Under common law, the person receiving the property in question must have the legal capacity to receive it” and people will probably try to argue that trees are incapable of the capacity to receive property. But you see, that’s where this LSAT book comes in. Tree, I want you to study up. If you apply yourself you could head off to the best law schools in the nation and come back to this podunk town and set things right. Create a better future for you and all the trees that come after you. I’m not trying to pressure you into a major you don’t like. I’m just saying I went to school for the arts and look what it’s gotten me. I love you tree, you’re the best son a man could ask for.

For the Spotted Lanternfly (terms apply; only applicable in the United States and elsewhere outside of native range):

Timberland Men’s 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot

To squish yourself with. I’m sorry, listen it’s not your fault. This is a cruel thing to put in a gift guide and I feel mean even doing it. It feels against the spirit of the holidays. But we all know that you are eyeing our various economically significant fruit trees. Don’t try to hide it. I promise I’m not just taking it out on you, my thing with invasive species applies across the board. I also hate Morning Glories and that Tree [that] Grows in Brooklyn.

For the bugs:


Let’s talk about bugs. Did you know you can buy live insects on the internet??? Technically these ladybugs would actually be used as a form of insecticide (they are predators of other insects) so whether this is “for the bugs” is up for debate. Maybe you can frame this as you are liberating them. But that’s not important, what’s important is that you can buy all sorts of live bugs on the internet and they are cheap! Some of these were even on sale for Black Friday (though there’s a note that the Green Lacewing Eggs were explicitly not eligible for Black Friday Promotion). I love online shopping.

For the spring:

Wild Blue Iris Seeds

There is no better flower on the whole planet than the iris. If you really want to fight me on it, let’s specify the Rocky Mountain Iris (go Broncos). I love irises more than any flower and when I die they had better be overflowing at my funeral (hint hint). But irises and many other beautiful early spring flowers have one complexity to them that my stupid little brain can never seem to get ahead of: you have to plant them in December, or maybe even November. Luckily for you this is a holiday gift guide, which takes place during December, so you could buy these now and only be one month late in ensuring yourself the most beautiful possible spring (ok, you might have to wait one additional year for the flowers to show up, but I promise it will be worth it).

For the rivers:

BalsaCircle 12-Inch x 10 Yards Silver Satin Put-up Fabric by The Bolt

When I was in high school in Denver, the artist duo Christo and Jeanne Claude came and gave a talk about their work and their attempts at creating their piece Over the River. You might know them as the artist duo who wrap things in fabric. True to form, they had intended to cover 42 miles of the Arkansas River in a “silvery luminous fabric.” The piece was essentially cleared by the state and local governments after environmental assessments were done, but it fell apart after protests over the potential environmental impact began in 2012 and the idea was eventually abandoned. I don’t know if it would have been a good idea or not, probably not, but what if the river wanted to get all dolled up in several miles of silvery luminous fabric for a change? Who are we to tell a river what it can and can’t wear?

For the waning east coast forests:

Hybrid Chestnut (Castanea Spp.) seeds

If we can get serious for a moment. I don’t want to steal Richard Powers’s bit here, but the chestnut trees of yore were really something. In theory. I don’t even know if I’ve ever seen an American Chestnut tree, let alone one a huge one that survived the blight. But I have seen redwoods and sequoias out west, and what if the east coast had trees that big? Well we did! And they made delicious food! You can buy some of these yourself and join the mission of places like the American Chestnut Foundation in trying to reintroduce the American chestnut to its native range. I’m not being funny here, you really should just do this.

For the fungi:

What are you supposed to get for the person who has it all? Fungi, please respond to my texts. I miss you.

Here at Gawker we’re running 12 Days of Gift Guides. Previously: Gifts for Chrissy Teigen Fans.