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Tricky Pickings: Buying the best gift for the Mother In Law

Time and again I hear worries from friends about what the best gift is to buy for their mother in law. And time and again I give my friends the same answer: Who is your mother in law? I don’t mean this in the usual sense. Usually I know their mother in law, or have at least met them. I think about it in the deeper sense: Who is your mother in law? What does she like? How does she spend her time? What makes her happy?

Buying presents for your mother in law to some people comes with bad emotions. First there is the confusion, then the dread, then the hopelessness. This should never be the case. However, to ease the hassle of picking a gift I have developed a small list of types of mothers in law with key ideas of things to buy for each.

What type of a person is she?

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The Spoiler - This type of mother in law loves to spoil her family and those around her. I should know, I have one as my own mother! In the case with these ladies, anything you give them they attempt to give it to their family. I have found that vouchers for their favourite store is a great option. Ensure to write in the card that you picked it especially for their favourite shop so she can spoil herself for once and not have to think about her family!

The Proud Grandma - These mothers in law love anything connected to their little ones. A scribble on a piece of paper from their 5 year old will be left hanging on the fridge for years to come and referred to as a piece of art! I have found that sentimental gifts are great for these women. Photographs of their loved ones in a pretty album is always a good choice.

The Housekeeper - Those who may at times seem a little home ridden, try something which is useful at home. A new pair of slippers or subscription to a lifestyle magazine is always fun. And the best bit, it’s just for them!

The Music Mad - For those mothers in law who live, dream and breathe music invest in a cd or old school vinyl if they still have a record player somewhere still in use. Or if not, why not try tickets for them and a loved one to go and see their favourite musical. It would be a night they would love and appreciate the kind thought from you.

Key tips before buying gifts

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The Busy Lady - The key when buying for this type of mother in law is to try something that will be useful that she may not have already. In the past I have bought pretty, decorative diaries as I know who needs their organisation on top form. And by buying one that exudes beauty, she will love using it!

The Trendy Dresser - For this type of mother in law you need to think like her. This about what she usually wears, or what items she has said she likes recently. Try not attempt to clothes shop for her as this can be quite personal and things usually need to be tried on before bought. However, in my past experience I have found buying luxurious silk scarves a great option for presents as they are easy to wear and it is one of those things that people often begrudge buying for themselves.

I have also found jewelry is a great option. Its not often you will find someone who doesn’t like jewelry and it too is one of those things that we don’t have on our usual shopping lists. This explains why over all the years buying jewelry as gifts has never and will never fall out of fashion. If we don’t buy it for ourselves, then someone has to buy it for us! This being the case, I have taken the liberty of finding the best jewelry gifts for those potentially tricky to buy for mothers in law.

Ideas for unique friendship gifts

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As easy as it is to say know your friend, sometimes you know your friend so well that you know that they don’t want and don’t really need anything. This is usually where all the problems begin: the stress, the hassle and the headaches of what to buy the person who doesn’t want and doesn’t need anything. Being one of those people myself, I can tell you the job at hand really isn’t easy. My friends joke with me that whenever they buy me a gift they know to put a gift receipt inside!

However, there are some fall back items that I would always love to receive from my friends and that I think make gorgeous, unique friendship gifts no matter who you are buying for.

Great gift options

For the Proud Grandma
For the mother in law who is family obsessed, nothing would be more appreciated than a necklace engraved with all of her grandchildrens names. The circle disk name necklaces which can be made with between 2 and 5 disks is ideal for her. Or if you would prefer the names all under one disk then why not try the name and birthstone disk necklace which can also hold up to 5 names and birthstones.

For the Housekeeper
This type of mother in law needs something that is easy to wear and never needs to come off. She never knows who’s going to knock on her door unannounced. For this reason, I find that earrings are great. Once they go in the never need to come out again, and can make your face sparkle even when your hair isn’t done! I am obsessed with the wing shaped stud earrings because they look so stunning and are so easy to wear!

For the Music Mad
For the mother in law whose passion is music, why not give them a present that helps them portray their enthusiasm for it. The musical treble clef necklace is so different and looks so beautiful on. And as it is close to their heart, the kind thought behind their gift would not go unnoticed.

For the Busy Lady
This type of mother in law needs something that can carry her from the office, to the shops, to picking up her grandkids from school, to lunch with the ladies. For this one try a three letter monogram bracelet. They are versatile and look effortless but classic. Once it goes on, she won’t want to take it off. perfect for the lady who is short on time.

For the Trendy Dresser
For the mother in law who knows what’s in style try something that is always à la mode. I personally love the range of hamsa necklaces. I would propose buying her the Hamsa name and birthstone necklace as this shows that thought and careful attention was put into her gift being that it is personal and custom made just for her.

Remember that whatever you choose to buy as a gift for your mother in law, it is important to buy presents connected to what she actually likes. Just think about what your mother in law would want when buying and you will be fine!

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