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What To Buy The Mother-In-Law For Christmas/Birthday

Updated on October 14, 2012
When all you can think of is a rolling pin...
When all you can think of is a rolling pin...

Mother-in-laws come in different shapes, sizes and categories.

Some are scary, some are hairy... some are just plain odd.

But when it's Christmas or birthday time, we still feel compelled to buy them some sort of gift. A token if you will, to say "thank you for bringing my soul-mate into this world".

This article covers most avenues you'll need to explore when buying a gift for your mother-in-law.

Type 1: The 'Motherly' in-law

Some of you are lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who's actually like a mother.

You know the kind.

The kind who treats you as though you are her own flesh and blood.

This kind of mother-in-law deserves some real thought going into her present - the kind you'd put into buying your own mother a present.

If you're REALLY stuck though, a novelty mug would probably suffice... after all, if she's the motherly kind she'll also be the kind who feels it's the thought that counts.

The 'Funny' in-law

Some of you may have the kind of relationship with your mother-in-law that allows you to throw light-hearted insults and well-placed stereotypical remarks at one another.

If you have a mother-in-law who has a cracking sense of humour and doesn't take herself and her role in your life completely seriously, then something lightly comical like The Complete Book of Mother-In-Laws could be just the trick.

The 'Run-for-cover' in-law

Some people have mother-in-laws they know well and can easily buy gifts for. Others have a good relationship with theirs and it really doesn't matter if they get the gift wrong.

For some however...

The 'run-for-cover' in-law is the dreaded angry witch of a woman who has never quite seemed to come to terms with the fact that her offspring ended up with the likes of you.


It doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, what you do for a living... nothing will please this kind of mother-in-law, because in her eyes there is nothing good enough for the fruit of her loins.

That's why you have to buy her birthday or Christmas present carefully. Here are a few options:

  1. Convince her you're good enough by buying vastly expensive and overbearing gifts. Diamonds, gold, adornments... you might be broke for the month immediately after Christmas, but you'll show her you're providing well for her pride and joy (or at least that's the idea... don't count on it)
  2. Buy her away from you by purchasing a ticket out of the country! A trip to France, Hawaii, Greece... anywhere that isn't where you are. She might even think you're being nice...
  3. Buy her nothing and instead spend the cash on installing a barbed wire fence around your house so that even though she'll come to hate you more, you won't have to face her!

What NOT to get your mother-in-law for Christmas or her birthday

Here are just 2 rules to follow as best practice when buying a gift for your mother-in-law

  1. Nothing 'practical'. Although men like tools and hardware, women don't like rolling pins and kitchen utensils. They quite often consider it an offensive gift, telling them to 'know their place' as a woman. You might get away with it with your own mother, but not the in-law.
  2. No hair curlers. Women love doing their hair, but very few use hair curlers any more. OK, you might see the typical 'mother-in-law' image as being the ratty old lady with curlers in her hair and lipstick on her chin... in fact, you may even HAVE one of those... but don't draw attention to it.

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      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      Hm. Does Amazon.com sell barbed wire? I could hook you up with some sweet commissions...

      But, the reality is that my mother-in-law is a fairly decent human being mostly sometimes.

      Yes. A mug...

      Sir John, you have my votes and share! Aloha =)