30 answers

Looking for Idea for a Meaningful Gift for Mother-in-law

I'm stumped. I need some ideas for something to get my mother-in-law for Christmas. She has been there for us in so many ways, providing a shoulder to lean on emotionally as well as financially, and she babysits our daughter during the day while I work and refuses to take payments from us. I am so thankful to have her in my life, and I know my daughter loves her very much. I want to get her something very special for her first Christmas as a nana. It doesn't need to cost much; she's very sentimental and would appreciate anything we give her, but I want to make sure it's as special as she is. My daughter is 8 months old, so craft ideas might be a little harder this year. ;) Any ideas?

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Wow, everyone! Thanks so much for the responses! I love the handprint/footprint idea as well as the ones involving a massage and the personalized necklace. Now I need to decide on those! Thanks so much again!

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What about a heartfelt letter or note telling her exactly why you love her and everything she does for you and how much shes appreciated. Its something I think anyone would value very much, and also something she can keep and pull out and look at over the years.

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When my son was in preschool they made handprint wreaths for us. We then made them for everyone else the next year. You get a piece of felt, about 8x10" and print her hands with green acrylic paint in the shape of a wreath, just keep re-painting and re-printing until you get all the way around. You can make red holly berries with her finger prints. Then you string a pretty ribbon on the top, across the bottom and you can even run it through the bottom of the wreath or make one out of the ribbon so it co-ordinates. Don't forget your daughter's nane and the date on the back. It may be a little time consuming, probably best when she's really happy after a nap or snack (or both), but something your can use every year. Enjoy your first magical Christmas with your little one!

1 mom found this helpful

A lot of people have suggested hand/footprint crafts, which I agree makes a great gift. You can get frames that hold a picture on one side and plaster for the handprint on the other. I did that with my son when he was 6 months old, so it can definitely be done with younger kids. One hint - if you look for a dog paw print frame, they are exactly the same thing as the child handprint ones but about half he price.

I also have 2 other ideas. First, if you have a good picture of your daughter and mother-in-law, you could have a sketch or drawing done of the picture. There are places on line that do that and the prices didn't seem too bad to me (and I'm pretty frugal right now).

Also, I got my mom a grandmother journal. It asks specific questions about what she was like growing up, what her parents were like, what kind of jobs she's had, etc. It's a gift for her because it gives her an opportunity to tell her story, but it's also a gift for your daughter because she'll have something special from her grandmother when it's done.

By the way, it's very nice that you have such a supportive mother-in-law. So many people complain about in-laws, it's nice to hear something positive.

I have a daycare and just purchased a pack of 12 craft kit especially for grandparents since a child that attends my daycare are being raised by their grandparents. Depending on where you live you are welcome to have one for free if you are willing to pick it up. We live in Kentwood. It's one where you use the child's hand print.

When my first child was almost a year, we made wooden plaques. I bought a piece of wood from the craft store, painted it, let it dry, and then painted my daughters hands, one at a time and pressed onto the plaque. If you use the washable paint, it can be done! (We practiced a couple of times first) After it dried, I used decoupage glue to put on a picture of her (a color photocopy worked well) and used a paint pen to add her name and the year. They turned out really well, and were appreciated by the family. Don't forget to make one for you, too!

One year I made my mother-in-law a sweat shirt/tshirt that had my kids foot and handprints on it in washable paint. The kids turn 12 and 10 this year and she still wears it. I still wear mine as well. They are only that little for so long. I know there is a paint your own pottery place on 4th street in Royal Oak that you could do your daughter's foot prints on maybe a platter? She could see the gift or use it as well.

You are so incredibly lucky! My MIL is the devil. I am also thinking that the handprint/footprint thing is a good idea. Maybe get some different colored finger paints and make impressions of your daughter's hand and footprints and put them in a nice frame that will go in your MIL's house. You could write your daughter's name and 'Christmas 2008' in the bottom corner. I think it's cute to have childrens' artwork framed and displayed. It's totally one-of-a-kind! Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Hi D.,

I didn't read many of the other suggestions, so sorry if this is a repeat.

how about a Willow Tree figurine? Hallmark sells them, and they have lots of sweet, sentimental ones. I just got my MIL (who also helps us take care of our 2 boys!) "Quietly" - a woman with two small boys. I know there is another one with a woman holding a baby.

Enjoy the holidays with your family :)


My mom always does something special for us for Christmas from our daughters to us. For as long as I can remember it has been a craft type item. One thing that is the most precious to us is their hand prints, and it's something she has done since they were babies. Depending on how in depth or messy you want to get there are a lot of options out there. You could keep it as simple as a piece of thing card board or card stock with a painted hand print on it with string on it to use as an ornament. Or one that stays up all year long in our house is a plaster oval with their hand prints in it, I believe she got the kit at a craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. On the back side of ours is a snowmen that the girls painted (or you can paint for your daughter), we leave the hand print side out. Another option would be to see if you could find a Grandma's first Christmas ornament, or anything that says Grandma.

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