Gift Ideas for Your Mother-In-Law


Every year, Christmas rolls around, and every year, I dread having to find the perfect Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. For one, my mother-in-law has the means to buy herself anything she wants. And two, it’s my mother-in-law. If it’s not something she likes, I know the whispers will begin. Maybe not to my face, but to anyone else who will listen.

While it really should be my husband’s responsibility to find a gift for his own mother, let’s keep it real–once you get married, the gift-giving responsibilities fall on the wife. And even if your husband gets her a gift that she doesn’t like, the mother-in-law will blame you for not chaperoning. Please, that’s just how mother-in-laws are. Let’s be honest.

With three presents a year (Christmas, Birthday, and Mothers Day 2013), I quickly run out of ideas. Here is a list of gift ideas that have worked for my mother-in-law.

Photo in a Nice Frame

I know you may be thinking this is so lame, but there is an emphasis on the nice frame part. For my first Christmas as a married woman, my husband and I took a family photo (with our dog), and presented it to my mother-in-law in a large hang-on-the-wall-in-your-house frame (not cheap plastic you put in your office cube). She absolutely loved it and, to date, it’s still one of the best gifts we’ve given her. Personalized, Thoughtful and Inexpensive–the three key items needed for a great gift.

Schedule a Family Photo

To go with the thoughtful and personalized motif, a family photo is another great gift idea. Family photos are one of those things that mothers always want but that always fall on the back burner because of scheduling conflicts and just the hassle of setting it up. For a combined birthday/mother’s day gift, I contacted all immediate family members on my husband’s side and worked to set a date for a family photo. I even contacted my father-in-law and made sure the date worked with their schedule.

This would have been my number one gift-giving idea, except my mother-in-law couldn’t get a hair appointment to get her roots done before the scheduled date, and that turned into a fiasco. Just more proof that you can never truly please your mother-in-law

Photo Album of Grandchildren

We don’t have kids yet, but when we do, I definitely plan on gifting a photo album filled with pictures of their grandchildren.

High-end house items

My mother-in-law takes a lot of pride in her house. I got her some fancy schmancy linen spray and linen laundry soap from a fancy schmancy store that makes your linens smell amazing. It was definitely one of those not-as-personal gifts, but it was one I knew she would enjoy because of her attention to detail.

Personalized kitchen gadgets

My mother-in-law is definitely the baker in our family. A personalized pie tin, or serving dish, or cheese platter, or appetizer set is always a great gift.

Remember the key to making your mother-in-law happy is always getting gifts that show you put some thought into them. Keeping her happy will save you from ripping your hair out. Or is that just me?