Looking for Mother-In-Law gifts and have no great ideas? That’s how I feel every year. It’s hard to buy for someone who might be a little picky (or maybe a lot picky); I try very hard to find that perfect and uniquely special gift, sometimes with great success and other times not so much. I think a lot of you can probably relate.
Keep in mind that your mother-in-law is responsible for bringing your loving spouse into the world and that’s worth celebrating. Buying a thoughtful gift is a good way to honor her while expressing gratitude and appreciation.
How to Choose the Right Gift for a Picky Mother-In-Law
O.K. so we know you want to buy something just right. We all know that selecting a gift for a picky mother-in-law can be a bit challenging, but with some thought and consideration, you can find something that she’ll appreciate. Here are some tips and gift ideas:
Ask for Input
If possible, discreetly ask your spouse or other family members for suggestions or any hints your mother-in-law may have dropped about what she likes or needs.
Consider a custom gift. Personalized items show thought and effort, whether it’s a monogrammed tote bag, a custom-made piece of jewelry, or a photo book with family memories.
While some consider gift cards impersonal, they can be a great choice for a picky person because it allows them to choose something they truly want or need. Opt for a gift card to her favorite store, restaurant, or spa.
A subscription box tailored to her interests can be a delightful and ongoing gift. There are boxes for everything from gourmet food to books, skincare, wine, and gardening.
Luxury Spa or Beauty Products
High-quality skincare or beauty products from a reputable brand can be a luxurious gift. Look for items like a set of high-end skincare, a designer perfume, or a professional manicure/pedicure set.
Artisanal Food or Drink
Gourmet chocolates, fine wines, or specialty teas and coffees can make thoughtful gifts. Look for unique and high-quality options that she may not have tried before.
If she enjoys decorating her home, consider tasteful home decor items like a beautiful vase, elegant candle holders, or a stylish throw blanket.
Instead of physical gifts, consider gifting an experience such as tickets to a concert, theater show, spa day, cooking class, or a weekend getaway.
If she loves to read, a bestselling novel, a coffee table book related to her interests, or a book by her favorite author can be a great choice.
Remember that the thought and effort you put into selecting the gift matter just as much as the gift itself. It’s important to consider her tastes, interests, and preferences, even if she’s picky. If you’re still unsure, consider asking your spouse or another family member for advice, as they may have valuable insights into what would make a meaningful gift for her.
Best Mother-In-Law Gifts (Suggested By Our Readers)
Below is a selection of specific gift items at various price points that were successful for me. I hope they are helpful to you in your search for the “right” gift this year!
Thoughtful Mother-In-Law Gifts
Buying thoughtful Mother-In-Law gifts can serve as recognition of her importance in your spouse’s life and your family. Hopefully, these suggestions will give you some good ideas.
3 Wick Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Energizing Natural Soy Candle
Royal Craft Wood Luxury Bathtub Caddy Tray
This beautiful bamboo bathtub caddy tray is for the mother-in-law who is serious about her bath. Give her the gift of luxury and self-care! This one or two-person bath and bed tray holds everything anyone would want – wine, snack, phone, or book, she can use it to pamper herself any way she wants. Comes with a bonus-free soap holder.
Unique Mother-In-Law Gifts
Looking for something unique, different, and special for your Mother-In-Law? Here are some ideas you might not have considered.
Fresh-cut Paper Pop Up Cards, Tropical Bloom, 12-inch Life Sized Forever 3D Flower Bouquet
Make every occasion special with a delightful pop-up flower bouquet that unfolds in your hand. These large pop-up cards stand 12 inches tall on their own. A blank notecard is included for your custom gift message, along with an envelope ready to mail flat. Your mother-in-law will LOVE the whimsical design and vibrant colors in this high-quality pop-up card! A wonderful alternative to fresh flowers that last a whole lot longer!
A Stylish and Affordable Alexandrite Ring
If you are looking for an elegant way to show your appreciation for your mother-in-law, consider choosing an affordable alexandrite ring online. Alexandrite, a gem discovered in Russia in the 1830s, is a stone for luck, fortune, and prosperity. From an aesthetic viewpoint, this stone offers dramatic color changes and a wonderful inherent shine, which will make your gift stand out from the crowd!
Swarovski Crystal Authentic White Light Pierced Earrings
Does your mother-in-law like glitz? Check out this authentic Swarovski crystal while light-pierced earrings! Brilliant, dazzling, sparkly, and elegant, these beautiful earrings make a wonderful addition to any jewelry collection. This classic design goes well with a wide variety of outfits.
Harrison Convex Stainless Steel Insulated Wine Bottle Chiller
With double walls for insulation and sturdy stainless steel construction, this angled and contoured chiller fits standard wine and champagne bottles. Showcase a vintage bottle with museum-worthy panache with this gleaming wine or champagne bottle holder. This unique and modern gift is a great way to show a loved one your appreciation.
Best Mother-In-Law Ever Blanket
You might want to give this gift with a box of tissues! This super cozy and warm 100% Microfiber Polyester, 60×50 Inches is a great gift idea to show your Mother-In-Law you love and cherish her. Perfect for use inside or out, this blanket speaks volumes.
Fun Mother-In-Law Gifts
Does your Mother-In-Law like to play games? Consider buying her a lovely version of her favorite game, or introducing her to a new one. There are many from which to choose – here are just a few ideas to get you started.
American Mahjong Set – Black Paisley Soft Bag – 166 Ivory Colored Engraved Tiles, 4 All-in-One Rack/Pushers
Not all Mothers-in-Law play Mahjongg, but those that do generally are somewhat obsessed with it. Not only do they love the game, but often a group of players stay together for many years and become fast friends. The participants make it a priority to join the game weekly or monthly, however, it’s set up, and enjoy the camaraderie and competition. This beautiful, lightweight, and stylish soft-sided quilted case from Linda Li comes with convenient shoulder straps and a handy inside zippered pocket! What a special gift!
Sequence Premium Edition – Stunning Set with Giant Board
Does your mother-in-law enjoy playing games? Here’s one you may not know about that’s great for the whole family. It says age 7+, but often I end up playing with my 50+ friends! It’s a fun game that provides hours of fun with up to 12 players. Easy enough for kids, but challenging for adults. Play a card from your hand and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board. When you have five in a row, it’s a SEQUENCE! It sounds easier than it is…I love this game. This stunning oversized set includes a giant game board and 3 colors of chips.
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a well-loved game by families everywhere! Easy and fun to learn to play for four to ten players, there will be lots of laughter when you play this game! It is sure to be a hit at your next family game night.
Useful Mother-In-Law Gifts
Perhaps your Mother-In-Law is a very practical person? If that’s the case, buy her something she can use that she probably wouldn’t buy for herself.
SONORO KATE 100% Pure Egyptian Cotton Sheets Sets, Cooling Bed Sheets 600 Thread Count
Most of us don’t buy 100% pure Egyptian Cotton (all natural) sheets for ourselves, but they make a fabulous gift for a loved one! Your Mother-In-Law will enjoy sleeping in these luxurious, cozy, and soft sheets. We especially like that these sheets absorb heat, trap dust, and build static, unlike other types of sheets, so they keep you feeling cool and fresh. These sensitive skin sheets are of superior quality and the gift of a good night’s sleep will be greatly appreciated!
SFERRA Celine 100% Cotton Throw Blanket
The Kindle Paperwhite, now with a 6.8” display and thinner borders, has an adjustable warm light, up to 10 weeks of battery life, and 20% faster page turns. With a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display, this new Kindle reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight! Easy on the eyes, it stores thousands of titles. You can even pair it with an Audible subscription and Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen hands-free! A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours and it’s waterproof so you can take it with you to the beach or pool! (and no ads!) The Kindle Paperwhite is a perfect gift for the Mother-In-Law who loves to read!
Apple Watch Series 9 [GPS 41mm] Smartwatch with Pink Aluminum Case with Pink Sport Loop.
An Apple Watch is one of those items people don’t know they want until they try one! There are many from which to choose in different colors and with different functionality. This particular one has fitness Tracker, blood oxygen & ECG apps, and more! It’s carbon neutral and great way to stay connected on the go! You don’t need to purchase the most expensive model, and it’s probably best to start with one of the simpler versions. Many people will tell you they don’t want or need an Apple watch, then never take it off once they have one!
GoDonut Phone and Tablet Stand
The sleek and fun GoDonut phone and tablet stand is not the most personal gift, but it is one of my absolute favorite items to give as a gift! It’s truly universal as it’s compatible with 99% of mobile devices, even those not yet on the market! With flexible built-in grooves, it fits all your hand-held electronics from small phones to massive tablets. Not only does it hold them, but the grooves give you the option of placing your device 6 different ways to provide the best view possible no matter where you are or what you are doing! Lightweight and durable, it’s sturdy enough to support even large tablets and best of all, requires no assembly. Made in the USA.
Why is Choosing Mother-in-Law Gifts Stressful?
Buying a gift is a nice thing that shouldn’t cause you stress. But we all know that some people are more difficult than others and that buying a gift for a picky mother-in-law can be difficult for a variety of reasons.
Fear of Disapproval
Picky individuals have specific tastes and preferences, and there’s a fear that the gift might not align with those preferences. This fear of disapproval can lead to anxiety about whether the gift will be well-received.
Pressure to Please
There’s often a desire to make a good impression and build a positive relationship with your mother-in-law. The pressure to choose the perfect gift can be overwhelming, as it may be seen as a reflection of your effort and thoughtfulness.
Picky individuals may not openly share their preferences, making it challenging to determine what they would genuinely appreciate. Lack of information about their likes and dislikes can add to the stress.
Risk of Wasting Money
Selecting a gift for someone picky can sometimes result in spending a lot of money on something that might not be appreciated. The fear of wasting money can cause additional stress.
Comparisons to Others
There may be a fear of being compared to other family members or previous gift-givers who have managed to find the perfect gifts. This comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy.
Desire for Thoughtfulness
Many people want to give thoughtful and meaningful gifts that show they’ve put in time and effort to consider the recipient’s interests. Picky individuals can make this challenging, as their preferences might be specific and hard to guess.
The relationship between a daughter-in-law or son-in-law and their mother-in-law can be complex. Feelings of tension or insecurity in the relationship can magnify the stress of gift-giving.
The Bottom Line
Despite the stress, it’s important to remember that the act of giving a gift is a gesture of goodwill and love. While it can be challenging to find the perfect gift for a picky mother-in-law, your thoughtfulness and effort will likely be appreciated, even if the gift isn’t exactly what she expected. Communication with your spouse or other family members can help navigate this situation, as they may have insights into her preferences or can offer guidance on what she might like.