Believe it or not, my wife gets along very well with my mother. There is no mother-in-law/daughter-in-law rivalry. They talk to each other as much as I talk to mom. And gift-giving time has always been a warm gift of some significance. Although we are not materialistically oriented people, a meaningful gift has always brought them closer, especially around the holidays.
Is this the same relationship you have with your mother-in-law? If you are engaged, wouldn’t you like to make a good first impression on your future mother-in-law? This article will explore some gift-giving ideas now that that special season is coming. To alleviate the stress, here are some gifts to you from me for her. They are not very expensive in price, but valuable in what you could get in return.
Framed “Thank you” poem. If put in a really nice frame, every mother-in-law would appreciate a beautiful poem that says thank you for letting you into her family, and thank you for letting you be happily wed to her daughter. This could be a good first gift to her. The big key is the frame. Take a look at your mother-in-law’s house and see what kind of decorating she does. If she does dark wood, pick a dark frame. If she has a lot of mirrors up, pick a gold or silver frame, depending on the more prevalent color in the home. Don’t just buy one off the rack at the local superstore. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to match in the home! To find the poem, you can always scour the internet or buy a good thank you card at Hallmark. Make it personal and meaningful.
Gift certificate to favorite stores. The next time you go walking through the mall with your mother-in-law, take a look at what stores she peeks into. Stay away from any stores that deal with hair or working out or make up; you don’t want to send a mixed message no matter the intentions. But a nice gift certificate to a store that specializes in something collectible is a winner because a lot of responsible people find it hard to spend money on themselves for things they want. If your mother-in-law is the same way, she’ll enjoy a nice gift certificate to a specialty store.
Personalized collage of family photos. If you’ve been in family for a few years and you live a few hundred (or thousands for us military people) miles away, put together a collage of family photos of those special times you’ve had. If you have children, no mother-in-law can resist seeing more and more pictures of her grandkids smiling! The computer-age lends heavy to the easiness of the project. Just print and cut those pictures and put them in a large frame, at lest 1’x2′. Accompany the picture with a CD-ROM of those same pictures set to happy music. She’ll be crying because of you, but in a good way this time.
Spa basket. This is a tricky one, because the way a woman likes to smell is a very particular issue. Some prefer fruity, others prefer sweet. Whatever it is, it’s an easy find. Just ask to use the restroom and break the cardinal law of peeking into the medicine cabinet. Better yet, use the master bedroom’s bathroom and as you exit, take a glance at the perfumes on the dresser drawer top. You may have to enlist your wife to memorize names of those perfumes or you’ll look like a freak. Get a basket that has similar scents to it. Bed, Bath and Beyond often has pre-made spa baskets if you don’t have the time to put it together yourself.
These gifts should give you a head start on building that special relationship with your mother-in-law. Remember that the biggest gift you could ever give her is the security that you are taking care of her daughter and her grandchildren. If you show that you do that and take care of her too, it will be a gift to you for the rest of your life in ways you cannot imagine.