Scrambling for some last minute gifts? It’s easy to get super stressed, especially if your in-laws haven’t yet been crossed off your holiday shopping list.
If your in-laws already like you, choosing a gift may not be so difficult, but if your relationship is rocky and your mother-in-law can’t stand you, it can be a real challenge!
Whatever your budget or your in-laws’ preferences, you can choose thoughtful, useful gifts that will be enjoyed and appreciated (even if you aren’t). And for more suggestions, be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide – it’s packed with great ideas!
The Lazy Solution
Gift cards allow your in-laws to choose their own gift, and they may keep you out of trouble. Avoid giving a generic gift card to a major retailer or discount store unless you know that it is actually needed and will be appreciated. Instead, select a gift card to a favorite restaurant or a hobby store. Gift cards are also available to cover the cost of activities, ranging from golf to plays and movies.
Consider planning and paying for an outing with your in-laws, especially if you’re newly married and working to get to know each other better. A spa day with your mother-in-law or a meal together can help the family bond. If you’re not sure where the in-laws like to eat or what they like to do, make your husband ask or choose. They are, after all, his parents.
Gadget Gifts for the Tech-Savvy and Not-So-Savvy
Even the in-laws may enjoy new technology, whether they’re on top of the trends or not. Consider a digital photo frame pre-loaded with photos of grandchildren and pets, or be sneaky and load photos of their most recent vacation. Be sure to offer up new photos for their frame whenever you are able.
Another safe choice for those who may not be super tech-savvy is a cool accessory. Find out what gadgets they already have – cell phone, e-reader, laptop – and then find a case or cover that matches their personality. (For help, check out What’s Your Tech Persona?) And remember, if you know they have a mobile device or e-reader, it’s hard to go wrong with something like an iTunes gift card or e-magazine subscriptions, particularly if they like to travel.
They Can’t Complain
Homemade gifts remain a favorite for family, ranging from a favorite holiday cookie to aprons printed with the children’s handprints. Make the gift meaningful if you go this route. Allow children to make gifts using their photos or drawings. Transfer paper and online print-on-demand services allow you to create tote bags, shirts and other items featuring grandchildren or even a favorite childhood photo of your in-laws’ children. Collect photos from when your spouse and his brothers or sisters were young and put them into an album or in a convenient digital format for a sentimental gift. Even the pickiest mother-in-law can’t complain about a photo of her son.