I love buying and giving gifts. It is honestly one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I’ve never read the book or taken the quiz, but I would guess it is my “love language.” Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been told I’m a fantastic gift giver. My friends are typically delighted when I remember that one item they saw earlier in the year or treat them to something they wouldn’t normally buy themselves.
Despite my gift-giving prowess, every year without fail, I have a minor freak-out while searching for presents for N’s parents. For some reason in the midst of shopping for my in-laws I begin to doubt my ability to chose a fabulous gift. It might be the restrictions: Since we don’t live in N’s home state (Missouri), the gifts have to be shipped or transported in luggage. Or perhaps it’s just the pressure of choosing gifts for people who you might be trying to impress. On top of that, my in-laws are also the kind of people who have everything that want or need. I guess, I’ll never know what makes me freak out!
Photo from Williams-Sonoma.
After a few years of searching, I finally have some general ideas that were (or could be for you) a smashing success! So I’m going to share them with you and hopefully spare others the in-law-gift-crisis this year!
- Family or Framed Photo. So many people don’t have an updated family photo with their children and spouses. Book a session with a photographer for a family photo, either including them or with just the kids and grandchildren depending on logistics. They will love having a more recent picture of their now-larger family! Then have it framed with a nice mat and all and present it to them after the new year. Extra points for booking the session earlier in the year. Can’t get the entire family together for the photo, but you went on big family trip this summer? Frame a photo from that. Bonus for this: It doesn’t even need to have people in it. Could be a beautiful shot of the beach to remind them of that trip. Have more recent professional photographs of your kids or just you and your husband? Use those. A framed photo from a meaningful event can be a great, easy gift.
- Digital Photo Frame. The latest in digital frames allows you to add new photos via Facebook which means you can add to the collection even when you aren’t there! Genius!
- Food! I have found that fabulous, indulgent food is always a hit. Send Williams-Sonoma croissants and a jar of Sarabeth’s preserves. Another big hit: Harry and David’s Fruit-of-the-Month Club. Sure, is it a smidge typical, but who doesn’t want fresh fruit delivered at the peak of ripeness to them monthly? Especially this fruit! You could also try another of their fruit and candy baskets. They are a gift that can be shared with the entire family.
- Tree or Flowering Bush. My favorites are hydrangeas, azaleas or hibiscus. A great gift for a family who loves spending time in their yard and/or gardening. Plus, when the plant blooms they will think of you! Try to choose a plant can be enjoyed indoors in the winter and then planted in the spring.
- A Wreath or Garland. So few people I know buy real trees anymore. However, you can still enjoy the smell of an evergreen with a beautiful wreath (shown above) on a front door or garland on a porch railing with a lot less work. I also love the wreaths made from magnolia leaves.
- Update Technology. A lot of our parents still have dvd and cd players. Upgrade their dvd player to a Bluray or cd changer to an iPod. Include some new Bluray discs or an iTunes gift card with the gift so they can start building up their collection. For those who aren’t tech-savvy, make sure someone who is can help them set-up the items.
This is by no means a complete list of gifts for in-laws – just a few ideas to help get your creative gift-giving juices flowing! Another helpful hint for choosing presents: just ask them! Sometimes you need a hint or two to get started. Let’s keep this list growing: What are you buying your in-laws (or parents) this year? What presents were well-received in the past?