How’s all that holiday shopping shaping up? We’re guessing there are a few people who’ve got you stumped, and they happen to be your boo’s parents… and maybe step-parents too if you’ve got a super modern family like I do. I pride myself on being an excellent daughter-in-law to all five of my in-laws (do the math and call me later) and there’s no better time to flex your sought-after in-law skills like the holidays. Now, I’m past the point of winning brownie points mostly because I’ve known all of them for over a decade and really do consider them my parents, but I’m here to offer you some sage advice on the gifting front.
There are three key factors to crafting a successful holiday gift for your in-laws. You don’t need to hit all three at once, but it’s important to consider these factors when weighing your options.
1. MAKE IT PERSONAL: This is where family photos and monogrammed anything reigns king. We happen to live in a pretty awesome time where you can order a personalized version of almost anything. You can even customize a wine bottle, label and all! ;)
2. MAKE IT YOURSELF: For the parent who doesn’t need a darn thing, make them something yourself… and you’ll surely see a tear drop.
3. MAKE IT A LITTLE BIT TECHIE: Use your gift to bring them into 2015, or at least 2005. Giving them a techie gift (and promising to teach them how to use it and be available for tech support later on) is always a great option.
Now that you’ve got the rules, let’s move on to some gift ideas. We’ve teamed up with Vintage Wine Estates to curate a list of nine perfect holiday gifts for winning brownie points with your in-laws.
1. A Personalized Bottle of Wine: Naturally, our list starts with wine. Our partners at Windsor Vineyards make it easy for you to make a custom wine label for as many bottles as you like. You can use one of their festive designs, upload photos to your labels or even design your own label from scratch. It’s a great option for the holidays, but we also recommend bookmarking this for birthdays, anniversaries and engagements. If you’re on the East Coast, the order deadline for delivery by 12/24 is THIS Friday 12/11! If you’re kicking it in California, you’ve got until 12/18. Get those orders in!
2. Nest Learning Thermostat ($247): Our homes are getting smarter, and this is largely due to the plethora of smart home technology popping up each day. It’s pretty, it’s smart, and it’s eco-friendly (which in turn, makes it wallet-friendly). Once installed, the device learns your temperature preferences over the course of a week and then will auto-adjust given your habits. You can also control it through your smartphone so that you can do things like turn off the A/C while you’re on vacation. And, apparently it’s as easy to install as a light fixture. How awesome is that? We recommend pairing installation with this gift.
3. Pendleton Acadia National Park Blanket ($248): In my eyes, a Pendleton blanket is a work of art. It is most definitely worthy of those amazing humans that made your favorite person in the world.
4. Really Fancy Headphones ($150): With this one, we actually recommend buying a few different options and letting the recipient take ‘em for a test drive before committing. In my experience, everyone’s heads and ears are different and experience headphones differently. Just make sure to save your receipts so you can return the rejects after. If you feel like extra credit, couple this gift with a playlist made just for them.
5. A Photo Book ($18 and up): Guess what the only thing in-laws like more than your visits with their son or daughter? Photos of their son or daughter! And even better, photos of their grandkids. If you made a book for them every single holiday, it would seriously never get old.
6. Kitchen & Vine Wine Club Subscription ($150 and up): Perfect for wine novices and pro winos alike, this thoughtfully curated wine subscription makes for a really awesome monthly experience. Each month, they receive two bottles of West Coast wines along with tons of info about where each wine came from, the history of the type of wine and food pairing suggestions.
7. Netflix Subscription: They’ve had a fancier TV than you for a while now, but still don’t understand the art of watching television without television. We give them exactly three weeks before they’re completely addicted to House of Cards.
8. Wood-Burnt Serving Board Made By YOU: What’s that we said about making it yourself? Our Wood-Burnt Serving Board kit comes with a burning tool, alphabet bits and a serving board. Make the board for your in-laws and make a few monogrammed serving tools to match!
9. Crosley Cruiser Portable Turntable ($78): The modern record player is here, and it lets you play from your smartphone as well as from an old school LP. It’s a great gift for parents who got rid of their record player decades ago but still yearn for that tough-to-replicate sound of turntable. Add a few records (both throwbacks and a few new ones for educational reasons) and you’ll be best kid-in-law in a matter of minutes.
Bonus! A Grandchild: Kidding, or are we? ;)
This post is a collaboration with Vintage Wine Estates.