Whether you love them like your own family or simply toler(h)ate them, figuring out what to buy your in-laws can sometimes be the biggest hurdle of the holidays. When I first started participating in Christmas with Bryan’s family, I had no idea where to even start with buying his parents gifts. Unlike my own parents, I couldn’t fall back on twenty plus years of trial and error—would I have to start all over again, moving through perfume sets and strangely themed ties until I could suss out what they really wanted? Thankfully, no, because I had Bryan’s years of experience in my corner. Turns out? My in-laws are the practical sort—they tend to ask for something specific, but if not we can usually suss out something that would make their lives easier.
So today, we have a gift guide for your in-laws, or perhaps your own parents. A little bit practical, a little bit fancy, and happily lacking in cartoon ties or scented bath soaps.
TOP PHOTO Because she always wants to know where you found your cool iPhone case, and you’re always waving your hand vaguely and saying, “Online?” Golden Bouquet Black iPhone Case ($36)
ONE For the practical, yet also sentimental, possibly the prettiest photo calendar on the internet. Pictures of their favorite people, year round. ($28.99)
TWO Bryan’s parents have a tablet that very rarely leaves the house. Still, I’d love to get them this fancy case for the times they do take it on the road. Gentleman’s iPad Case ($49)
THREE What about when you want your mother-in-law to think you’re tasteful and sweet, but are not ready to get too personal? Look no further than these throw pillows done right. We’re currently digging this vibrant pop of color, this exotic embellished print, or this strangely soothing modern pillow. In order: Sangria Pillow ($20), Peacock Silk Pillow Cover ($39), Reassurance Pillow ($20)
FOUR If you’re blessed to have the always-cooking in-laws, how about this baller meat thermometer? Precision Pro Commercial Thermometer ($99.95)
FIVE For Bryan’s mom, winter is puzzle season. This photo puzzle lets her get cozy with puzzles, while thinking fond family thoughts. ($24.99)
SIX When I came into the Bennett family, I was introduced to the L.L. Bean catalog, and to the only slippers I will ever buy for the rest of my life. You’re welcome. Wicked Good Moccasins ($69)
SEVEN If it’s getting down to the wire and I still don’t have a gift for parents, I look to stock their bar. For my dad, this means a good bottle of scotch, and maybe a set of sphere ice cube molds to use on fancier occasions. Sphere Ice Molds ($10.95)
EIGHT A good throw never goes amiss. These Solid Kantha Throws lend a pop of color for your mother-in-law who likes things bold, while these Gilded Cable Throws are cozy with a bow on it. ($99 and $89, respectively)
NINE For the artistic and whimsical mother-in-law, who you want to impress with your quirky taste: animals to dance in her books, or divide soul from jazz in her record collection ($24 each for three)