You may not know as much about your in-laws as you know about your own family. But even if you aren't aware of all their interests, you can still find great presents for Christmas, their birthdays, or other holidays. These tips can help you find the perfect gift and preserve family harmony.
Gift baskets: You don't need to know much about your in-laws to know that they'll probably like a basket full of gourmet goodies. You've probably shared at least a few meals with them, so think about what food they liked. Choose a food gift basket with a theme that you know they'd appreciate, whether it's salty or sweet, healthy or indulgent.
Family-themed art pieces: They're your family now, and you can show your appreciation for them with a piece of art that celebrates that. Look for inspirational art featuring quotes about the meaning of family. This will let your in-laws know you're grateful for your relationship with them and that you're glad to be a part of their family, too.
Photo gifts: If you have children, then your in-laws are sure to appreciate frames and photo albums with photos of them. If you choose a frame, make sure you know it will coordinate with their home decor. If you aren't sure about their style, then an album is a safe choice. Then you can fill it with recent photos taken just for the gift, or you can gather old favorites.
Luxe gifts: While you shouldn't have to buy your in-laws' approval, it can't hurt to spoil them a little bit. Luxurious gifts -- an elegant cocktail set, a cashmere scarf, a designer wallet, high-thread-count sheets, or a fine watch, for example -- would show that you know they appreciate quality.
Gifts that will improve their visit: If your in-laws live out-of-town, and they're coming to visit you for the holidays, give them gifts that will help them enjoy their stay. If you live near the beach, wrap up a nice beach towel with a new pair of sunglasses. If your home is in the mountains, give a knit hat and scarf or even a set of snowshoes that will let them explore your neck of the woods.
Gift cards: If none of these ideas has inspired you, don't dismay. A gift card is always a good gift. If you're mailing the gift, you can easily add it to a card with a thoughtful note. If you're giving it in person, wrap it in a small box or include a bouquet of flowers, and the presentation will give the gift more meaning.
Published April 30, 2010
Updated December 1, 2014