Gift Ideas for the In-laws


Christmas is just around the corner and that means time to buy presents.  The internet is full of gift ideas for husbands and wives, but what about gifts for the in-laws? If you are like me, you struggle to find good gifts for your in-laws.

My mother-in-law is hard to shop for. Very hard. I know everyone claims their mother-in-law is hard to shop for, but how many of your mother-in-laws have told you to return a gift because you need to save money? Yep. That has happened. It really made me understand why Trae had given up buying her presents by the time we had gotten married. My father-in-law isn’t much easier to buy for. He buys all his golf equipment and boating accessories from Craigslist or second-hand stores. He lives to find the best deal and his patchwork pontoon is proof of his deal-hunting abilities. So he doesn’t want us to buy anything that wouldn’t be considered a “steal of a deal.”

On top of that, they both say they have everything they need and don’t want any more clutter. As a result, I have had to get creative with Christmas gifts. My mother-in-law recently retired and my father-in-law will soon retire, and with the extra time on their hands, I have learned that gifts that involve an activity are the best ones. Some great gifts have been

  1. Tickets to local events
    photo from Girl Meets Broadway
    • A few Christmases ago, we got my in-laws tickets to Jeff Dunham, and they loved it. Trae’s father really loves Dunham’s bawdy humor, but he would have never spent the money on tickets. My in-laws spend most of their time taking care of Trae’s grandmother, so I like the idea of tickets because it forces them to take a night off.
    • Look at local theaters to see what shows they are putting on. Colleges also put on plays, and they tend to be great shows. Another bonus of local theaters is that the tickets are cheaper than the larger theaters and you are supporting the arts!
    • Also, be creative in your search for events. Don’t limit yourself to shows. A lot of times towns will host events that require tickets. For example, our town just had a macaroni and cheese cook-off, and that was a ticketed (and tasty) event. Check out a town’s official website to get an idea of what events are going on and to order tickets.
    • If you want to make the gift extra special, add a gift card to their favorite restaurant. (Or do a Groupon!
  2. A Groupon deal
    • Groupon is awesome! They have so many cool things to do from dance classes to restaurant deals. Even if your in-laws aren’t adventurous, you can still find a fun Groupon to give them. I like to pair the deals: one food and one activity.  Last Christmas we got Trae’s parents a deal to a pizza joint and paired it with a movie deal. They had a blast and said it reminded them of their younger, dating days. This year we are pairing a Groupon for wine tasting with some of Trae’s homebrew.
  3. Month Club Subscription                                                                                Clark+Griswold
    • I know that this idea probably invokes images of Clark Griswold losing his eggnog over the Jelly of the Month Club bonus. But times have changed. Month Club Subscriptions would even make Clark happy these days. You can get fancy flavored bacon delivered to your door once a month! When my father-in-law got his Keurig, we seriously almost signed him up for a coffee of the month club because he went on a coffee buying binge. Another perk of a subscription? Most likely can you find a Groupon for it!
  4. Food

    • Food is another great gift. I love giving Omaha Steak boxes; they are full steak, chicken, fish, and tasty sides. (I might be addicted to their stuffed potatoes.)  A lot of times I will buy fun food products and put them in a unique carrier. Small coolers and casserole carriers are good choices. I find that World Market and The Fresh Market have a lot of great products for a food-themed gift basket. I have also heard great things about Blue Apron, which is like the offspring of food and a month club subscription. Trae’s mother can get flustered in a kitchen while Trae’s dad likes to try out new recipes, so with the premeasured recipes from Blue Apron they can enjoy trying new things without the stress.

The added bonus? Most of these gifts can be purchased without ever leaving home! Happy shopping and good luck!

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