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Gift for Mother-in-Law Who Has Everything!

I am trying to figure out what to get my Mother-in-law for Christmas. She has EVERYTHING you can think of. Some people have told me to give her a gift card... but it feels weird to give someone money who already has money.
I have heard from family that if you buy her a gift, and she doesn't like it.. she will just throw it in the trash!! What should I do?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I like to bake things, or give a bottle of her favorite Liquor(my mother in law drinks Jack Daniels by the gallon)
Christmas ornaments are also nice cause they don't come out but once a year and every time you pull one out you think of the person who gave it to you.

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Does she like sweets? One year I made cherry cheesecake bars for family that I didn't know what to give to. They were a hit! Now starting at Thanksgiving I start getting requests for these little treats. They are not hard to make and I've been told they are better than any store bought gift. If you need recipes for these or any kind of cookie or cake try allrecipes.com that's where I get all my recipes and I haven't gotten a bad one yet. Good luck!

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I'm going through the same thing. This is my first Christmas being married so I don't know much about my in-laws yet. My mother-in-law and father-in-law are well off and buy things they want ahead of time. So I really had to think hard on what to get them. Think about things she uses a lot. I finally decided on something from Bed bath & beyond that allows you to recharge several cell phones and other electronics all while being a storage for remote and keys etc. They seem to have everything else but they do use a lot of electronics. I also added a really nice defuser because I noticed that she uses those a lot in her bathrooms and living room. Remember back to the last time you were at her house and what were the small things that you noticed. Does she wear a lot of jewelry, is she an outdoorsy person, does she use things to make the house smell good or is she into cooking. Another thing I'm using as a gift is homemade preserves, fudge and a sweet trail mix - all of them I'm making. It's a little cheaper but it's things that I think will be appreciated and used/eaten. I think you'll do fine. Good Luck!

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More Answers

I like to bake things, or give a bottle of her favorite Liquor(my mother in law drinks Jack Daniels by the gallon)
Christmas ornaments are also nice cause they don't come out but once a year and every time you pull one out you think of the person who gave it to you.

2 moms found this helpful

Do something personalized. You can get a blanket, or bag or something embroidered with her monogram on it. Also, if you go to any of the picture websites, you can make things out of your kiddos pictures such as calendars, mouse pads, and a photo book are just some examples. I made my MIL a calendar one year with the grand kids pics on it and she loved it. Some of the sites are below


I am personally a fan of kodak but I'm sure the others are just as good.

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I was watching Oprah the other day and it was all about how gifts from the heart are always the most treasured ones. We tend to forget this during Christmas time and get caught up in a retail nightmare.
The Oprah show was about being thrifty during the holidays, so if you don't have a lot of money to spend check out her ideas http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20081118_tows_holi...

If you don't mind spending a little moola here are some ideas.

Make a photo book on snapfish.com or mypublisher.com. You can create a storybook with pictures of your kids hanging out with your MIL.

Put your kids pictures on a beautiful piece of jewelry from:


I got one of these as a birthday gift and it is my most treasured piece of jewelry.

Snapfish.com and Kodak.com also have other great photo gift ideas that would please ANYONE!!

Happy Holidays!

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Wow, you've gotten a lot of responses! I noticed a lot of people mentioning photos and photobooks. I agree! My MIL loved the book I gave her last year. I made it on the Heritage Makers website. This year I am making a personalized DECK OF CARDS through Heritage Makers. It is so cool! You can make face cards, old maid, memory, rook, uno or whatever you want with your photos!
The website is www.CreateHeritage.com. Be sure to browse through the Template Gallery for pre-designed (and editable) projects. So easy!
Have fun!

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Does she like sweets? One year I made cherry cheesecake bars for family that I didn't know what to give to. They were a hit! Now starting at Thanksgiving I start getting requests for these little treats. They are not hard to make and I've been told they are better than any store bought gift. If you need recipes for these or any kind of cookie or cake try allrecipes.com that's where I get all my recipes and I haven't gotten a bad one yet. Good luck!

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A locket. Picture of each kid on each side... or you & her son on one side, kids on the other. If cost is a concern, a silver one shouldn't be that expensive.

Honestly, though... You need to detach from what she does with it after the fact. That's not your concern. You are giving her a gift from the heart, that you picked out for her. If you were giving her a gift that was initially given to you or something that you bought without her in mind, that's different. Miss Manners would say that she needs to "Live with the gift and learn to love it if it's engraved, monogrammed, specially made or specially ordered." And Miss Manners would also say that you should not expect her to be 'burdened by the gift' or be forced to use something that may not suit her.

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I agree that framed photos or other photo gifts are always appreciated. Someone gave me a set of photo coasters (with photos already in them) that I loved.

You could also set up one of those digital keychains with photos of your kids.

Another thing that I like to do is get a really nice tin and fill it up with home-made cookies. If you can get your kids to do artwork to help decorate, that would be even better!

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Everyone that replied had my thoughts too. Best wishes and Merry Christmas!

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OH I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! My Mil has everything, is wealthy and gives the most thoughtful gifts.

So now we do the advent conspiracy and make donations in her honor. You can check it out at www.adventconspiracy.org

Otherwise we do spa passes or tickets to the theater.

Merry Christmas

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If she "has everything" and throws away anything she doesn't like, don't take the gamble on wasteing your money. Make a donation in her name to a charity, her favorite, if she has one. Write her a loving note and tell her what you've done. She will also receive a notice from the charity that they've received the donation in her honor from you. You could also donate a book in her name to either a school, church or the local library. Check with the parks department and ask if you can plant a tree someplace with a marker for her name. If you have a lot of money to spend, you could purchase a bench at a park and put a placque on it. Is she a member of a church? Maybe you could buy some bibles or something needed there.

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Some people have already suggested something that the kids made: go to one of those "paint the pottery" places and have them make a Christmas plate for cookies or something like that... my VERY hard to buy for mother got one of those from my brother's daughter and she said "WOW, I love it".

Beyond something that the kids made, I would suggest something that matches something that she already has -- a scarf to match her favorite sweater, a gravy boat to match her place settings, Christmas salad plates to match her china, etc.

Or if you want to be snarky... give her a Miss Manner's book with the bookmark placed in a page about giving and graciously recieving gifts!

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm going through the same thing. This is my first Christmas being married so I don't know much about my in-laws yet. My mother-in-law and father-in-law are well off and buy things they want ahead of time. So I really had to think hard on what to get them. Think about things she uses a lot. I finally decided on something from Bed bath & beyond that allows you to recharge several cell phones and other electronics all while being a storage for remote and keys etc. They seem to have everything else but they do use a lot of electronics. I also added a really nice defuser because I noticed that she uses those a lot in her bathrooms and living room. Remember back to the last time you were at her house and what were the small things that you noticed. Does she wear a lot of jewelry, is she an outdoorsy person, does she use things to make the house smell good or is she into cooking. Another thing I'm using as a gift is homemade preserves, fudge and a sweet trail mix - all of them I'm making. It's a little cheaper but it's things that I think will be appreciated and used/eaten. I think you'll do fine. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I got both my mum and my mother-in-law a photo canvas. They were beautiful. I got a really cute photo of my daughter and went into the place and they told me what they could do. I did this about 2 years ago so don't recall how long it took to do - I seem to recall about 3 weeks. the quality is very good and it looked superb. I am going to get on of my son at about the same age so that gets another gift out of the way (oh they loved it by the way). And I'm going to get one done of all of us in a couple of years.
Or of this is too expensive you can go to Wal-Mart (I'm sure they do this at other places) and they do miniature photo canvases. Very cute it doesn't take too long. for about $12

Hope this helps (I have the same problem but I am blessed to have a great Mother-In-Law - couldn't have wished for a better person) And I am also lucky that she doesn't really care about the gift but what it means. Some people are just lucky that way.

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I agree with most of the other responses....there's also the giving tree - you could pick out a gift from it and give in her name. My deceased MIL would have been offended at this, but my Mom and Dad are THRILLED that we get a family from the Women's Center (Montgomery County) and instead of getting everyone gifts, we support an abused women and her kids. We're all so blessed but there are women who've had to pick up and leave everything to get away from an abusive relationship. They need so much and appreciate it. Just a thought.....good luck.

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Go to snapfish.com, load your family pictures on it and make her a calendar next year with the family pics! On special days like birthdays and anniversarys you can actually insert pictures and type in a text. I did it for the first time this year and was amazed at the quality when I got it back! Everyone can use a calendar and she definitly won't throw it away if it's covered in pics of her grandbabies! It's only about twenty bucks to make and you get it in about 7-10 days!

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two ideas:
if she is grandma, a mommy pot. It is a small pot for the flowers (aka weeds) that children pick. 5 bucks and adorable. email me if you are interested and I can help you find the lady who makes them. Mommy Pots by Gail/New York- it will bring you to the Chamber of Commerce website I think and her link is there, she owns a Llama farm too.

A Tiddy Bear. I saw these on Ellen. I am giving them to the bus driver (special ed bus). It is a bear, like a beanie baby that keep the seat belt in place and from rubbing you. I saw them on Ellen. Do a seach for Tiddy Bear and you will find them. I will warn you it took me forever to get mine.

If I get a gift I don't like, which is rare as I am too emotional, I may donate it or regift. I would never throw it away.

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What we did this year for the inlaws- the girls and I (ages 5,4,3) made soaps and candles (feel free to PM me for directions.) We made two candles and two soaps for each couple, INCLUDING my MIL and FIL. Then we gave them (my MIL and FIL) two tickets to the zoo and told them we want to spend time with them so we can schedule a time to get together and meet at the zoo (they live north of Houston and we live south.) They loved the idea.

I think homeade (but nice, not cheesy) gifts and offer to spend time with the person are the best things!

Oh, I also took the girls to the park and took a bunch of pictures. Then I went through and picked one pic of each of them and cropped it as needed and printed them in Sepia on the Kodak machine. I got a brown accordion fold picture 'frame' and inserted the pictures. She can keep it folded and in her purse or unfolded on the shelf or someplace she can see it.

S. (PS- she lives in an RV and travels so buying her STUFF doesn't work anyway!)

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I also have a MIL who seems to have everything. This year my SIL and I are going in together to get her a Grandmother's bracelet that has all of the Grandchildren's birthstones on it. It is something nice and sentimental. Surely she wouldn't dare throw it away!!! Anyway, that is an idea to ponder. Good luck!

Take her out for brunch on any Sunday that she might want to go or to dinner to her favorite restaurant or maybe even a big arrangement of flowers delivered to her at her home with a beautiful card. How about a treat to the hair salon or have a manicure or a pedicure? good luck!


I send my parents a storybook each year and they love it! My website is www.MyPhotobookStory.com and I am a consultant with Heritage Makers.

The templates are 100% customizable and it's all online - no downloading to your computer!

Watch this 5min video to give you an idea of what we are about! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irdqtq7mF6Y

For more information, please contact me at ____@____.com.

Since you have such a large family, maybe you could go have a professional picture of the entire family and give it to her in a frame.

Like others said, some other photo idea would be nice too. We did the photo calendar from Shutterfly.com. I love it! The paper quality is wonderful and unlike many other places, you can put up to 9 photos on a page! Delivery time was about a week.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Christmas tree ornaments that are photos of your kids. Nice sterling silver ones or crafty home-made, or whatever you can find in-between! Nobody would toss photos of their grandkids!

Gift certificate for a massage, manicure, facial, or spa day. Also anything about her grand kids would be nice. You could get her jewerly with there birth stones. You could also tell her that if she didnt like it YOU will return it for her and get her a gift certificate. Explaining that it wont hurt your feelings at all. You could always do a scrap book of all the grand kids including the ones that arent yours. Best of luck and Merry Christmas.

Give her a homemade:
Like hand prints of your children with tyhier names and birthdates in caligraphy, and then double mat it.
1 - it looks awesome
2 - it's inexpensive to put together (so if she does throw it out, not much is lost)
3 - it's a gift from the heart, not a commercialized money suck (and it's personalized from her grandkids- so if she does throw it iout she comes off like a witch. Obviously she is going to keep it)

good luck!

Hi M.,
One year I gave my MIL flower bulbs for Christmas. I had to plant them for her but they were a nice surprise when they came up. If she is in an apt/other, plant them in a pot. Plant a collection of different bulbs to flower at different times during the spring. Check what bulbs do best in Her area, not yours. HTH C.

Give her a nice portrate of all her grandchildren in a nice frame, that she can hang on the wall. Please not in seasonal attire.

I have a MIL just like you. Mine lives in Austin so we have given her a gift cards to "Esthers Follies" Gift Cards to the Driskill, The Alamo Drafthouse.

We have had each child make her a stepping stone for her garden using a kit from Michaels. We even had the kids pick out items to put on the stone along with their hand prints.

Maybe you could have a friend who is good at taking photos go and take a portrait of MIL with all of her grandkids?

Take the kids to a paint place and let them do hand prints on a plate and then buy a stand to set it on. I don't know where you live, but The Glazery in Missouri City has pretty big plates for about $20. They are painted and then glazed, we have done that for my mom a couple of times and she loves that.

Hi M.,
I love the ideas you got about giving to a charity in your MIL's name.. but here's another idea too.. you could give her an experience. Is there something she's always wanted to do but never has? Or something she's done but wants to do again? One idea that comes to mind (although its pricey) is take a hot air balloon ride..you'd have to talk to her to find out what she's always wanted to do.
Another type of experience would be going to the spa. Or hiring a chef to prepare a meal in her home..
hope that helps!


Get her a diital picture frame and put family photos on it or a simple pretty frame with a picture of your kids or your family. Just an idea, have a great holiday season and enjoy those kiddos!!


Hi M.,
Get her somethinging and have it engraved,, nice keyring jewlery stores have them,,they can also help you find something else she might like and can't return
Good Luck L.

You don't say how old your kids are, but you could have them make something. If you have money, you can go to a place and it will come out very nicely - like a pottery place. One year, I had my kids place their hands in paint and place them on a nice white ceramic plate (that I got at the Dollar Store) and then spray coated them for protection. It doesn't stand up to washing so you can't use it for food, but it makes a nice display. Each kid did a different color. Then I, with a paint pen, wrote around the edge the year and greeting I wanted. You can do this to mugs too, but limited space. Last year, we went to a craft store and bought a bunch of beads/shells and bells and made really pretty windchimes with their initial hanging from the middle. You can always ask her what she'd like too! She might give you some ideas. A day at the spa. A massage gift card. Free house cleaning. Handyman services. Car wash. Try to think of something she may not buy for herself, but would like. A weekend in Fredericksburg. All the things I can't afford. Ha.

I would suggest flowers or a plant. Most women love to get flowers - and since they don't last forever, it won't become a dust collector for someone who has everything she needs.
Good luck!

My mother-in-law is the same. The best gift I ever gave her that to this day she still has sitting out on her coffee table is a scrapbook I made of my daughter.

If you have the time, a small scrapbook with your favorite photos of the kids growing up should do the trick.

I have two suggestions. You could give her the gift of improved health with an air purifier or water purifier from Nikken. To find out more about how Nikken products can improve your family's health, please visit my website at www.nikken.com/brendaramsey.

My second suggestion is this. The one thing every grandma is sure to love is her grandkids. Find a nice frame, that fits in with your M-I-L's decor scheme. Take a great photo of your kids, or the whole family, and put it in the frame, and you have a gift that is sure to make her smile every time she looks at it.

Merry Christmas!

Does she like to entertain? Try fun and different food items. A basket with things she could pull out and serve at a party or eat any time have worked great for my MIL. We go and get specialty items and send them. Since she isn't in Texas we mostly send stuff from here.

We send soup mixes, salsa's and dipping sauces in all kinds of flavors. With HEB and Central Market you can find lots of fun stuff. This was a hit the last two years, so we are going to do it again! She always has people over and she just pulls a jar out!

What about a gift certificate to a local spa or for a mani pedi day for the two of you. Spending time together can be great. Maybe start the day out with having her over for brunch with you and the kids, some play time with them and then bring them to a baby sitter so you and her can have some bonding time at the beauty shop. As the mother of grown boys, I know that sometimes I feel left out of the fun stuff that the moms do with their daughters.

Ask her, you may be surprised!!

I am sure she already has one, but just in case, what about a digital photo frame? If she already has one from someone else, it would still be okay because this one can be solely for pics of your kids.

Hi M.-- The woman who has everything--has a soft spot for a few things--trust me. Ask her questions in conversation about music, where she get her nails done or pedicure. A gift certificate there might just what the Dr. ordered. My Sister has it all and if not then she buys it--she loves Rascal Flats and said to me on several occasions---"the kids know how much I love Rascal Flats and yet no ones give me there CD--but they say we do not know what to give you"--go searching and God bless you.

Marry Christmas--K.

Lovely photo of her grandchildren.

I buy my in-laws the Swarovski crystal snowflake. There is a different one every year and each one has the year on it, they are beautiful! They love them and I can get them one every year; they like high end collectibles. They sell them at Costco and Ross-Simons.com


Hi M., I have had this problem with both my Mom and my mother in law for several years. They both have lots of things. However, I have spoken to them and they both love photo albums, or gifts involving photos of family members including grandkids. There are electronic photo frames where you can load pics and smaller versions for the wallet. My Mom and moter in law prefer small albums of regular photos that they can carry in their purses to show off to friends. Ofoto , or Shutterfly have great sites where you can build the albums online. If ypu like to make your own, WAl-Mart, or Hobby Lobby have all kinds of things to make albums. I hope this helps. JudyK. :)

Because our parents also have everything, and I hate the idea of giving them something just because, this is my solution;
I take annual pictures of our girls and insert them into Christmas ornament frames - Michaels has very nice metal ones for under $10.00. It's easiest if the pictures are wallet-size (Walgreens kiosk can help you with this). I also do this for the godparents and have been told it's fun to unpack these mementos year after year and look forward to the new.
I quickly scrolled through your other replies and notice a few suggestions about a digital frame. One word about those; they do tend to be energy hogs. It's like running a tv all the time. Some companies have banned their employees from using them because of the high costs involved. Just an fyi.
Happy holidays.

The gift my husband came up with for my parents one year was a hand sketched picture of me and my three syblings. We selected a picture from our earlier years in front of an old barn. Our personalities were captured in this picture and was a great work of art for the family room. We had it framed with the original picture inside the frame. Priceless.....

Best of luck....

Framed photos of your family or your kids. That's what I give to my father-in-law every year. He sounds like he has the same attitude about gifts that your MIL has.

How about a photo (cute pose, out of the ordinary background) of her son with the kiddos? Don't go professional, just find something a little "different", and then look at Hobby Lobby for a nice frame. Since money isn't the standard I would go for a tug on the old heart strings! It might work!

Hi Meagan,
I would try giving her a photo of your family in a nice picture frame. I don't think that she would throw it away.
Good luck.

i get my MIL either a gift certificate to a restaurant that she likes, or things that she likes and would buy anyway, like a basket of different kinds of teas. (that is her drink of choice). also anything surrounding grandchildren - a calendar with pictures of my baby, digital frames that i put the pics on first, etc. good luck!!


I would give your MIL a handcrafted (computer generated is OK) "certificate" for 'your time.' Create an attractive gift certificate that she can redeem for some amount, say 16 (24 or 32...) hours, of YOUR UNRESTRICTED TIME during the next year. The total time can be used all at once or broken into units, no smaller than 2 hours at a time, and can be used to have you accompany her shopping, go to lunch, see a movie, sit around and talk, visit with her friends, etc. This gift time can be used for ANY activity of her choosing (unless you know of some activity in which, for moral or religious reasons, you simply could NOT participate; in which case you should preclude those specifically). Basically you are making a commitment to share yourself in a way that has the potential to deepen your relationship with your MIL.

By spending time with her in activities of her choosing you will (1) be learning more about your MIL's likes and dislikes; this could come in handy in the years ahead when you may want to return to giving her an actual gift; then you will have an idea of what might please her. (2) More importantly, it is a unique gift that ONLY you can give. The gift of your time is something she cannot requisition on her own, no matter how much money she has.

BTW, if it were me, I would eagerly anticipate the opportunity to spend time with her in hopes of "lovingly" helping her see a better use for unwanted gifts than trashing them. Perhaps she has not considered making donations to a Battered Women's' Shelter or some other charity that could distribute these under-appreciated gifts to people who would be grateful to have any gift at all and are less discriminating in tastes/acceptance. Who knows, you MIGHT be giving your MIL the greatest gift of all time: an understanding that it is the sentiment signified by the gift and not the gift itself that is to be valued.

Best regards on the gift you choose. You are very sweet to want to please your MIL.


James 1:17 - "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

Give her a photo album of the family (grandkids). Try and find pictures of your family from different times in the past year. Then every year you know what you will give (an updated photo album from the year. Find pictures of birthdays, vacations, outing at the park, etc. Best of luck, I have the same issue.

how about making her a small scrapbook with pictures of your kids? I can't imagine a grandma who wouldn't treasure that gift =) If you don't feel up to creating a gift, maybe a digital photo frame, already loaded with pictures of your family?
On another note, if she has a favorite sweet treat, make her a big batch and get a decorative tin to package it in!

There's always the same ideas: books/music that she likes, a massage/manicure/pedicure or that perfect sweater. I purchased a family plate from Hallmark - they may still have them. It's very thoughtful with words circling expressing shared love, family & faith. Purchase a plate that you can paint on and have your kids, your husband and your yourself paint their handprints all intermingled with each other with a card. "You are the giver of my husband and thereto my children and my family. Here are our hands that reach out to you with all the respect, devotion and love that we have. You are treasured "her name". Date it. And/or a special luncheon date for her and your husband. You could take her out for a special lunch. Spend the time having her talk about her childhood, her hopes and dreams. Lavish on her your appreciation for the love and care she gives to you and your family. A special date night card from your husband to give to her. Have him pick her up and take her out to a nice restaurant and talk about old times and his LOVE for her.

Something homemade from your kids. What grandma would throw a gift from her grandkids?
Find out her hobbies or favorite restaurant and make a "homemade certificate" that guarantees one free evening with grandma or something creative like that. My parents like homemade stuff because it comes from the heart.

A gift certificate for a day of pampering at a spa is always nice. Or make her your own gift certificate that says she is invited to dinner every Monday evening for a month or so (or what night works best for you)to have dinner with her family. Sometimes the best gift to give someone with "everything" is the gift of time.

As far as if she throw a gift in the trash, that is not your issue. It is hers. As long as a gift is given in the spirit of love, that is all that counts.

Family photos, kid photos framed - video of family - bracelet with grandkids names - see www.mommybracelets.com.

Have a family portrait done (Walmart is inexpensive, but great quality!), frame it in a pretty frame that will compliment her home (Check out Ross, or Walmart- they both have beautiful frames for little cash), put it in a shirt box between layers of beautiful tissue paper, wrap it with pretty paper, and put a big beautiful bow on it. She will love it and cherish it forever. Or get her a charm bracelet with charms for each of her grandchildren on it. These are the two gifts from me that my mother-in-law loved the most.

How about writing a "certificate" good for one complimentary dinner at her choice of restaurants, or movie or perhaps theatre tickets. Try & find out what she likes then surprise her w/it. I'm sure you'll be eating dinner there but you could mention, if you feel like you can, say something like "we didn't know what to get you so we decided to treat you to an evening out". Good luck!

I can tell you I have had the same trouble with both my inlaws and my own parents. They have everything and don't need anything. So we have made it a tradition to make something on shutterfly.com or snapfish.com, like a picture calendar or a little book full of pictures of the grandkids, or even a scrapbook of their early days. Something that means something...I think gifts should be meaningful and this always hits the heart strings! It's not super expensive either and their reaction always shows how much it means (a few tears here and there).
Hope this helps.

I sell Southern Living at HOME. we sell magazines at a discounted price. You can get a one years subscription for $9.95 to Southern Living amgazine and many others, Health, Cooking Light , Southern Accents, Sunset, Coastal Living.

Another great gift is to purcahse animals from Hifer international for the needy. I purchased a pig for $120.00 and some chickens for $40.00. They have all type of price point sna dyour donations help others to get back on there feet, and that's what Christmas is all about. You can donate in her name

Speaking as a mother-in-law, one of the thing's that I love to have is new pictures of the grand children and to be able to have some special time with them. May be she would like to come over and help make Christmas cookies, go out to lunch, go to her favorite book store, pick our some fabric for a new dress that you can make or have made just for her. Be sure and get a special piece of jewelry to go with the dress. Hire maid service for the day. A day at the spa. Flowers once a month for a year. New hair do All these are things that she might like and will not do for herself. Good luck.

It's sometimes challenging to find just the right gift for certain people. I'm that way about my Mom and MIL. I'm not really a fan of GC's. A few examples of the gifts that I have given to my MIL and Mom (both over 70) over the years include: Decanter Labels engraved with her favorite spirits (cannot be bought off the shelf), photo book with all of Mom's friends and family giving well wishes or stories with their picture, High Thread Count Sheets (something they had never experienced before), photo book of a memorable vacation, first facials and massages, taking them to the theater. You have received a lot of good ideas from other readers too! You should be in really good graces this Christmas Season! God Bless!

A really nice frame with an 8x10 picture of you and your family is always nice, or a spa package everyone likes pampering.
Hope it helps

Have your children make her something. I took my son (4 at the time) to the local pottery/clay works place where he was able to paint a piece of pottery for my mom, and this is one item she proudly displays. Most craft stores will have classes to choose from or if you have an idea of what to make they will have the supplies.

I have been there too! How about tickets to a show or concert?

How about a gift certificate to her favorite beauty shop/spa for a day of pampering? (i.e., massage, manicure, pedicure) My kids got me this for Mother's Day one year, and I LOVED it! It was a day devoted entirely to me, making me feel very appreciated and loved.

I don't know how your mother-in-law feels about portraits, but we are giving all of our family a framed family portrait for Christmas. It's the easiest gift to give and the family loves it when we do that!

How old are your kids? Can you do something homemade like a placemat using your children's art work? That would be something from the heart and would find a good use for any art projects!

If you'd rather go the purchased gift route, what about a salon or spa day? What woman can turn that down?!

I did not have time to read all of the responses so I am not sure if you have already gotten this suggestion, if so I am sorry....Photos. Make an updated grandma's brag book with snap shots or portraits or a mixture of both. You could also frame a couple of nice photos of the children or of your family...We just gave my MIL a scrapbook I made her for her birthday, she loved it and even cried, couldn't wait to show it off...Best wishes

Hi M.,

Last year, my sister-in-law and I worked together to make our mother-in-law a photo calendar, where each month had a variety of photos of the four granddaughters. My MIL absolutely LOVED it and have told us this year in very plain English that she would like to have another one (she is actually going to receive two, one for each set of grandkids). It was easy to do via the www.kodakgallery.com website. You can also make these on any of the other photo websites like Snapfish.com.

They are REAL easy to make and I know she wouldn't throw her grandkids pictures in the trash. You say that she has everything...well, I would disagree with you on this since no one ever has everything. In her case, the one thing that she doesn't have is probably being able to see your kids (her grandkids) every day of the year. With the photo calendar, she will be able to look at them each day of the year as she looks at the calendar, and be reminded that the calendar was made for her with lots of love.

Have a wonderful Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Smiles and Blessings always,

Try the following website http://Lasermadeframes.giftworksplus.com
They sell beautiful oak, hand-etched, laser engraved photo mattes in hundreds of styles and designs. I got my mother (who also has everything) one for Mother's Day last year. I had them engrave "GRANDKIDS" at the top and then put a spot for each grandchild with their name. I had my brother and sisters provide the pictures of their kids and put it all together. I also bought one for my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary with their names along with all of their kids names as well. My husband said to let her pick the pictures she wanted, so I gave it to her with no photos. Both gifts were very unique and they loved them. I hope this helps you out. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I could not find the website information.

We did a flowers of the month thing through a website like 1-800-FLOWERS. We couldn't afford the whole year, so we did 6 months. Once a month a new flower arrangement was delivered to my MIL. I think that was one of her favorite gifts ever. She loves fresh flowers and has more than enough money to get them herself, but it seemed to be extra special to her that someone else would think to have them sent to her.

My suggestion would be instead of buying her something/anything because it is what you are suppose to do . . . go to your local craft store and find some sort of Christmas Craft Kit that your kids can help you make.

Might not be the "best gift from you" but if she realizes the time and care that went into it (added to the fact that it was your idea), then I bet she would appreciate if far more than some sweater or Christmas trinket from the store.

Give it a try, if you hear it ends in the trash then you will know to stick with a gift card next year.

What about a picture of your family in a nice frame.. or if you have a digital camera.. a Digital frame with lots of shots of you all and the children.

Does she have a digital picture frame? If you get a digital picture frame, I would suggest preloading it with pictures of your family so she can plug it in on Christmas and see all the pictures. We got one for my parents last year (ie, a couple who have everything) and my parents loved it. We loaded the frame with pictures of all their kids, grandkids, brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, etc. and the preloaded pictures really make the gift.


Try making her a gift basket of things she likes, coffee's, hot cocoa, tea's, juice, candy, popcorn, chips, trailmix, fruit, & maybe a DVD, CD or a book that you think she might enjoy?
Maybe a basket with stuff from Bath and Body works, candles, a bath robe, bath towels, a CD with relaxation music?

God Bless,

Okay - I don't know what your budget is, so here are a couple of different ideas. On the cheaper end, I have seen some really cute flip photo albums that look like alligator on the outside - almost like a small evening purse, but they hold photos inside. Very chic around $20.00. Try Donna's Delights on Grant Road. Next - jewelry is always a possibility. James Avery has some great silver jewelry that is always classic and never goes out of style. And on the higher end I'd suggest a Coach scarf. She can tie it to a purse or wear it to dress up any outfit. They're lovely - and something most women don't buy for themselves for would love to have. You have to go to the Coach store in the mall, or try the outlet off 290. Happy shopping! - S.

my initial thought was to say "don't give her anything" because that is certainly not what christmas is about, but...i know better.

one thing you could do is give her a gift that keeps on giving - www.kiva.com offers "loans" to indigent people around the world trying to make a difference in their lives, i.e. a young mother in africa needs to borrow $250 to buy equipment & supplies to have a "food cart" for her neighborhood (if you go to the website you will understand better). You give a portion-or all of it if you can afford to-and people all around the world loan money to her too and then she gets the money which goes so much further than here in the USA. After a while your "loan" will be repaid-perhaps a dollar or two at a time. it helps the person make a living in their part of the world, better themselves and be able to repay. it's a way to improve our world at large and hopefully restore peace and sanity...

anyway, try something like this or maybe she has a special love for animals donate to your local humane society in her name-most charities will send a thank you card with the details and you could wrap that up with a story about why this was a great idea for the woman that has everything.

if she's not about charity and she's not happy with most of her gifts, i don't know if i have any good ideas. good luck - C. s.

Perhaps you can got to Snapfish.com and make her an album or collage of photos of your kids and family. I am not into Scrap-booking but these make it really easy. you just upload your photos and they have templates, backgrounds, borders etc to choose from. It comes as a really nice bound book. I think she would love it. There is no way she would throw away memories.

I totally understand. My mother-in-law whom I love dearly is a challenge to buy for. I've given various things, but many times they aren't used and I've wasted money. Gave a massage coupon that I'd purchased for $60 from a reputable therapist and it was never used. $60 down the drain, pampering types of products, nope... unused. We've run out of types of jewelry to buy her. She has enjoyed tickets to a show for her and my father-in-law, she also loves pictures of the grandkids (found a neat customized frame with their names wood burned into this year) Hand made christmas ornament (though her tree is pretty full.) Good luck. I'm going to check our the other responses you get for ideas for next year.

Buy her something you think she will enjoy or even better involve the kids and make her something. It really isn't the cost but the thought that counts.

If you have a chocolate candy that you can make and it's really good then do that. If not then a box of Godivas are in order. They are excellent and if she doesn't eat them someone will.
Good Luck

Does she like spas? That is always a good gift too.

I found a neat little gift idea at a specialty shop here in Midland, TX (Ivy Cottage)...it's a purse Key hook. It's like a piece of jewelry and they have all types related to the unique tastes of the recipient and you put your keys on it and it hangs on the edge of your purse. Any woman who has had to dig in the black hole for keys from time to time will enjoy it. It's something different and thoughtful and I've given several to people who are in the "have everything category" and they all were most grateful and I see them in use so it made me feel good that they do really use them.

I am in the EXACT same situation with my FIL. He is requesting gift cards so that he can buy a camera. I have no problem giving a gift card to a teenager who needs money but to give money to an adult who has more money that one can imagine...well, I just feel uneasy about that. To me, it feels impersonal and solicitous. What about taking a beautiful photo of your family (or just the children) and giving that to her?? Or be really sneeky and find out what she really loves...something that she can't just buy for herself. Thoughtfulness is the key. You can even create a book for her through Snapfish...just send in photos and you can send in any copy that you want...they will bind it BEAUTIFULLY and it won't even be that expensive. I doubt that she will throw away this gift. :) Good luck, D.

How about a gift certificate for a massage or salon treatment, Who doesn't like to be pampered? sometimes even people with money won't spoil themselves with a massage of facial, or even a pedicure if she has never had one! If money is tight , you can get it at a beauty school, they charge a lot less, as their students need the experience, and it is all suppervised by the teachers! Good luck!

I sell for a catalog company that has very cute and inexpensive monogrammed and personalized items for women, beautiful fabrics and lots of embroidery fonts and colors to choose from. We are priced much lower than any of the specialty monogram shops in the area.

I can send you a FREE catalog...just email me your address!


Have a great day!

PS.....another idea.... I know that since my husband & I got married his mom doesn't really get to spend time alone with her son anymore ......maybe you get find something for the 2 of them to do together. Also what about a season membership to a local community theater? My MIL has given me that for the past few years and I love it.

This is an issue we've had too. I try to give them something they could use. They are crazy about their dog so I got their groomer to give me a coupon for a free groom. Flowers every month for a year; Car detailing; yardwork. Things like that. You really have to think outside the box with some things!

Along the same lines, I was tired of grandparents always giving the kids toys that would break or only be played with for a few days so I asked that they give the kids things I couldn't......music lessons, dance lessons, sports training. That made such a difference for my kids and often provided something that I couldn't.

How about a photo album or IBook from your family's events from last year?

What about making a donation to a charity in her name? Most charities will allow you to do this and will send a card to her acknowledging the gift.

Good Luck,

Whoa! Somehow I think I just saw that you got 87 responses! I bet someone has already made these suggestions:
A beautifully framed picture of your family
A book

Also, perhaps the two of you could go shopping together. Sometimes you will find out something that the other wants when you are together.

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