When mom becomes an empty nester, a thoughtful child will adjust Christmas gift-giving strategies accordingly.
After all, she probably doesn't want any more clutter and her taste in outings will have altered from the days of all-family-friendly-all-the-time.
Improve her taste in wine
Now that the kids are out of the house, help mom find a truly enjoyable hobby by gifting her tuition for a wine appreciation class like the American Wine School's Wine Tasting 101 classes. This is a better option than a wine-of-the-month club for an empty nester because it's sociable and it won't leave behind unliked bottles to clutter her cupboard. To find a class at a restaurant, school, winery or elsewhere in her area, try LocalWineEvents.com. And be sure to scan the Wall Street Journal's guide to getting the most from a wine class so mom can make the most of the experience.
Sponsor lots of nights at the movies
No matter what generation your mom is part of, chances are she thinks seeing movies in the theater is a luxury. Treat her to several with a gift card to a local theater you know she enjoys. Add enough to the total for concessions and make sure she's a member of any applicable rewards clubs so you both get top value for the gift.
Or, give MoviePass a whirl. This newfangled movie subscription service reduced its prices substantially in August 2017 and is accepted at more than 4,000 theaters. In just a few steps (an iPhone or an Android phone is required), mom can see a new movie every day for a monthly fee of around $10. Check in often to make sure the deal hasn't changed, though. MoviePass doesn't require any contracts, but some consumers have waited weeks for their card and industry experts question whether the enterprise can stay afloat charging such low prices.
Take a tiny home vacation
Any vacation is a great gift idea, but a tiny home rental is particularly appropriate if mom is considering downsizing. Tiny ranch and beach rentals are always a possibility, but rentals in suburbia or even your own home town (for a sort of "staycation") are also great options. Check out Tiny House Listings to start.
Display her memories while you stay in touch
If your empty nester mom is also the queen of social media, or wants you to stay in better touch, or adores nostalgia, consider a digital photo frame. One top-rated Amazon choice is the Nixplay Original 12-Inch WiFi Cloud Digital Photo Frame. It allows you to place the frame in mom's home and email or send photos using the Nixplay Mobile App for iPhone & Android. Presto! Photos from past and present are playing at her breakfast table.
Bring a book club within reach
Perhaps mom envisioned her empty nest years as the time when she would catch up on her reading? Put that pleasure within reach by helping her find a local book club and then purchasing the first season's worth of reading material for her. Want to be her favorite child? Consider joining yourself.
Open the doors to museums across the nation with one membership
If mom has more free time now, a museum or botanical garden membership is always a great gift. Make it even more thoughtful by choosing a membership to an institution that is part of the North American Reciprocal Museum Association. That way, mom gets free admission to her museum and 944 other member institutions, including botanical gardens, children's museums, science and technology centers and more.