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She may not be your mom, but mothers-in-law are a vital part to any family dynamic. Whether it's a special occasion or her birthday, a perfect present for your in-law is thoughtful and truly takes her personality into account.
Here are the best gifts for mothers-in-law.
Nixplay Seed Wi-Fi Photo Frame
Mothers-in-law will go gaga for this digital picture frame, especially if they have grandchildren. Not only can they upload their own favorite pics and proudly display the selection, but relatives and friends can also send pictures directly to the frame via a free app. They never know just what new pictures might pop up on a daily basis. It’s a fun way to keep in touch and give them a peek at the day-to-day lives of their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones.
Delezhen Personalized Family Tree Necklace
This personalized necklace is something your mother-in-law will cherish and can hold close to her heart. Each birthstone on the necklace represents children and/or grandchildren. The stones can also include a small gold leaf that can be left blank or engraved with an initial. Also, the actual chain itself ranges from 16, 18, or 20 inches and includes gold or silver. This is truly a necklace that can be customized from start to finish and hold great meaning to the recipient.
Lo & Sons The Catalina Deluxe
Whether she's a jetsetter or heads to the gym regularly, she’ll get a lot of use out of this Lo & Sons tote. It’s great for, well, pretty much anything. As a carry-on or weekend bag, it’s an ideal personal item that fits a lot of gear and there’s even a separate shoe compartment at the bottom. This can also be great for heading to the gym. The straps are adjustable and padded and there's a variety of fabrics and colors to choose from.
Prepdeck All-in-One Hub
If your mother-in-law likes to cook, there’s a chance she probably has a ton of kitchen appliances. But why not gift her an item that will make prepping meals easier and more organized? The Prepdeck station has containers that chefs can store chopped ingredients in, a storage drawer so scraps can be discarded easily, and a magnetic cutting board that comes in 8 different patterns. Also, the tool drawer contains necessary items like a zester, juicer, garlic crusher, and more.
The Jungalow Egret Savannah Garden Pot
A plant mom with a fun or quirky personality will love The Jungalow's planters. This option is actually two separate pieces, a base and bowl, that creates the perfect home for a plant. It even includes drainage. Choose the bird design or even the zebra or giraffe. Or why not all three?
VITRUVI Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser
In addition to candles, one of the easy ways to achieve a great smelling home is with an essential oil diffuser. Vitruvi's diffuser is the perfect combination of being functional, but also has a sleek design that looks great on a counter or coffee table. Just add a few drops of essential oil and the diffuser runs for up to eight hours.
GlobeIn Subscription Box
A recurring subscription box is like the gift that keeps on giving and GlobeIn's products also support artists. The curated boxes include three to five ethically-made goods from artisans around the globe. The recipient chooses the box's theme (sanctuary, ease, delight, etc.) and picks what items to keep, swap, or skip. This is a perfect way to support artists but also fill a home with unique finds.
For women who like nothing better than to curl up with a good book or reading in bed, Kindle Unlimited is a dream come true. It gives them access to more than 1 million books and audio books with just a few simple clicks. You provide the gift subscription, and all they need to do is download the free app on their electronic device or Kindle reader. Choose from a six, 12 or 24-month subscription. Once you purchase, a notice will be sent to the recipient on the day of your choice along with instructions on how to use it.
Parachute Classic Bathrobe
On a relaxing night or lazy weekend, there's nothing better than a plush robe. And because you adore your MIL, she deserves the best. Parachute's robe is made from 100 percent Turkish cotton, hits below the knees, and has a high shawl collar. She'll love this cozy robe that's easy to care for and works for all seasons.
Grit & Grace Decoupage Oyster Shell Dish: Tropical Collection
For a little something fun for her home or office, gift your mother-in-law one (or a few!) of these Grit & Grace decoupage dishes. The vibrant designs can range from leopard to hibiscus to a banana leaf. All of the designs on the oyster shells are limited edition so it’s like gifting your MIL something as special as she is. The dishes can be used for jewelry, little knick knacks, or just displayed as is.
Have you ever witnessed your mother-in-law reheating her coffee several times because it got cold as she was tending to other things? This Ember mug will absolutely change that for her. The mug and its accompanying charging coaster keeps coffee or tea at the perfect temperature. She can control the heat using the app so her hot beverage is just the right temperature, even an hour later. The cup can hold 10 ounces and remains cool to the touch.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
Your mother-in-law might not think she needs a voice-enabled assistant but once she (or you) sets up the Alexa-enabled Echo Dot, she won't know how she lived without it. Even the least tech-savvy person will find it easy to check the weather, listen to their favorite music, ask questions like "who was that actor in that movie?”, and much more. If she really digs this system you can continue to add on other smart-enabled devices that she can sync together like her television, light bulbs, and doorbell.
The Challah Box Subscription Box
If she loves to bake or just appreciates a great loaf, then the Challah Box is a fun, tasty gift. The kit includes five pre-measured ingredients to make a few loaves of bread all at once or freeze the dough for baking later. All she has to do is add eggs and water. Choose a one, three, or six month subscription.
Mark & Graham Personalized Wine Bottle
Mark & Graham makes great home items and travel gear and they also have personalized wine bottles. The bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon are etched and painted by hand. This is great for a birthday or other occasions and comes in 750ml, 1.5L, or 3L.
Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle & Free Hydration Tracker App
Before you roll your eyes at the thought of a boring water bottle as a gift, this one’s pretty different. Apple’s Hidrate Spark 3 is actually a smart water bottle that calculates hydration. A sensor on the inside can detect how much water a person has consumed, which can be recorded on the app and synced across Apple Health, the Apple Watch, and most other fitness apps. For the person who doesn’t consume enough H20, the bottle will emit a light glow, which signals it’s time to take a sip.
What to Look for When Buying a Mother-in-Law Gift
Pay attention to your mother-in-law’s style when selecting a gift. If she is traditional and buttoned up, stick with a classic gift. If she’s young at heart with boho style, show her you see her with something more eccentric.
No matter how small the gift, be sure it’s well made, beautifully packaged, and feels special. If your mother-in-law likes counting her pennies, offer her a well crafted leather change purse in her favorite color. Gift a flattering photograph of her and the grandchildren in a sterling silver frame. If she’s an avid reader, a cashmere throw for her reading chair would be a welcome gift.
If you really want to get in your mother-in-law’s good graces and let her know you’re thinking about her all year long, consider a subscription gift. Depending on her preferences, that might be a monthly flower delivery or tea selection. Or offer her a wifi photo frame that you can update regularly with new pictures of the grandkids.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams. She has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she writes commerce articles, including product suggestions and reviews, for other outlets as well as appearing on air for The Today Show, WEtv, and she was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City.
Can a son-in-law give a gift to a mother-in-law?
Of course! Mother-in-laws are people too, and generally appreciate thoughtful gifts from their son-in-laws. However, if your mother-in-law has any rules around holiday gift-giving, such as a belief that presents are for grandchildren only, this may signal that she doesn’t want to feel obligated to spend money on you, and would feel obligated to reciprocate if you give her a gift. In that case, defy her wishes with a small quality edible gift. Since your spouse knows her better than you do, you can always ask for help selecting a gift, or offer her a joint gift from the both of you.
What should you give your mother-in-law for Christmas?
The best gift for a mother-in-law is something she wouldn’t buy herself that feels like a treat. Just don’t make it so extravagant that she feels she can’t reciprocate, which may embarrass her. And unless you are 100 percent sure that you and your mother-in-law share the same sense of humor, don’t use Christmas as a time for a gag gift that might go over as an insult. Classic mother-in-law gifts include things like a box of fine chocolates, a cashmere sweater, or a pretty silk scarf.
What do you get your mother-in-law as a wedding gift?
It’s a nice gesture to start off your marriage by giving your mother-in-law a gift to acknowledge the beginning of a new chapter in all of your lives. If your mother-in-law lives far away and is jetting in for the wedding, a small gift will suffice. If she lives next door and has spent more time and effort planning your wedding than a wedding planner, a larger gift to show her you appreciate her efforts would be more appropriate. If there are two mother-in-laws in the picture, be sure to get them either the same thing or something of equal value so you don’t stoke any petty inter-family resentments before the honeymoon is over.