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Old 11-06-2006, 03:23 PM   #1
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Default Parent and In-Laws Christmas Gift Ideas

I need help!!! I am stuck!!!!

What on earth do you get for parents and in-laws for Christmas when they have everything. My M-I-L takes Christmas very seriously. I definately can't blow it for her sake (Christmas is going to be extra tough for her this year because my F-I-L passed away this past Feb. as a result of colon/liver cancer).

Tell me your ideas and what has worked for you in years past. I'm feeling rather desperate.

Thanks!!!!
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:31 PM   #2
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You may laugh at this response, but I really feel this way. I love to get things that are useful and/or consumable. My DH passed away and I am alone now. I have had to sell our family home and downsize drastically, so I don't like to get things that just sit and collect dust or crowd my space.

I tell my daughters to get me perfume, makeup, toiletries, food storage, stamps, etc. Last year they laughed when I requested a case of TP from Costco. I am a big Christmas gal like your MIL, but I find great joy in decorating, making treats, singing, listening to Christmas music. The gifts are nice when I can use them up and be done wioth them!

Just me, I guess.
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:34 PM   #3
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I made my MIL a photo box. With pictures of her son (my DH) as a baby and my son as a baby. I know she will love it.
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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I purchased the SU 6x6 calendars last year and made up two of them for my mother and MIL. They both loved them. For their birthdays I gave them the 6x6 binder and pages so at end of the year they can save the pages. For Mothers Day I made additional 6x6 pages and sent them in the clear pages. They have already submitted requests for calendars again this year.
 
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:12 PM   #5
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I get my parents gift certificates to the car wash and places where they like to eat. They already have way too much stuff and don't need anything. I do the same for my in laws too.They really enjoy the car wash certificates.
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:47 PM   #6
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I've made a memory calendar for my m-i-l with the dates marked for all the birthdays and anniversaries, I'm making one for my parents this year as they haven't a lot of room in the fifth wheel where they are for the winter in Arizona, and when our children were still home, one year we had family photos taken and exchanged them with both sides of the family. Those were big hits.
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:52 PM   #7
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We're doing a big photo shoot before Christmas of us (myself & siblings), + spouses, grandkids etc. We'll pick some and get them framed. Good for parents, grandparents etc.
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:01 PM   #8
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Argh! Where did my post go? I wrote that for a while I've been looking into sending fresh wreaths. To me, they're kind of a luxury item I haven't bought myself, but wouldn't mind receiving, you know?

I've seen that Costco, QVC, Lands End and L L Bean all carry pretty wreaths between $30 and $40 and they charge $3-7 shipping. Not too bad, considering the price of gas these days. I REALLY don't want to drive to the mall or Target this year with kids in tow trying to find "the perfect gift" for people, especially since I usually give up and buy everyone gift cards!
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:12 PM   #9
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What about a tribute album to her husband? Or would that be too sad? Here's an easy one that has all of the parts, you just mail it out to ten people and they mail you back the pages put together with their own pics and journaling - http://www.orientaltrading.com/appli...BUTE+SHAREBOOK

If you don't like it, it's inexpensive enough that you can change around the parts and add embellishments.

I bought one of these and 4 of the birthday books on OTC about a month back (bought the birthday ones to do for my mom's 60th) and they are super cheap and amazing quality. The books are a canvas-like material and MUCH sturdier and MUCH higher quality than I expected. I was really impressed.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:08 PM   #10
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I also go the gift certificate route. My in-laws (2 sets) don't go out much to restaurants, so this gives them the chance. I love the car wash idea. FIL is getting a bucket filled with fire starters this year. I like getting consumables as well as I won't splurge on the fancy stuff for myself, so I buy it for others too.
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:22 AM   #11
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From the recipients perspective - I, too enjoy Christmas and like to be remembered. The photo calendars are always welcome. So are consumables, and I really like the kind that last a while - flavored coffees, jams, home made soup mixes in a jar, for example. I would not be so big on something like a "fruit a month" . Or from stampers - (this would NOT work for me to get) - tiles, coasters, card packets, and I have seen some gorgeous pendants and bracelets. So much depends on circumstances. I have to admit I like "things" better than gift certificates!
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:32 AM   #12
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How about concert tickets? And I'm not sure how close you are with her, but what about scheduling an outing with her for manicures, etc? Or maybe taking a class together, something like floral arranging? Check out the local community college.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:35 AM   #13
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Don't laugh but this year my sister and I are putting together a big basket for our dad and his wife of marinades and bbq sauce and gift certificate for the butcher that he and his wife go to get their meats. My dad just loves this place and it can get kind of expensive when you get into the "good stuff" and honestly, they have EVERYTHING so one day I just thought this would be a good idea. The gift certificate stuck in the basket of marinades for their favorite meats. I know my dad is going to love it.

MIL, she loves to have her nails done so I am putting a basket together of nail polish and nice hand cream and a GC for a manicure. Hopefully she will like it, it is about the only thing I can guarantee that she WILL use.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodlicorice
Argh! Where did my post go? I wrote that for a while I've been looking into sending fresh wreaths. To me, they're kind of a luxury item I haven't bought myself, but wouldn't mind receiving, you know?

I've seen that Costco, QVC, Lands End and L L Bean all carry pretty wreaths between $30 and $40 and they charge $3-7 shipping. Not too bad, considering the price of gas these days. I REALLY don't want to drive to the mall or Target this year with kids in tow trying to find "the perfect gift" for people, especially since I usually give up and buy everyone gift cards!
Natalie
I have done fresh wreaths for all our family members for years and they love it and have come to expect them, too. I send them early and YES I love giving and receiving CONSUMABLE gifts - most of us could use a lot less clutter!
The photo ideas are good, too, I think. There are some gorgeous album in a box ideas in the gallery. Here is my favoriteshttp://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=8844
Last year I gave each of our moms a 6x6 ring binder with a few pages in them and a tag in the front to tell them about their KIT album - Keeping In Touch. Every month I mail them 2-6 pages with photos and journaling of what our kids are up to. They love them and my mom recently requested that I do a book every year for her.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:49 AM   #15
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Hmmm, well the link to Deb's gallery didn't work - let me try it again.
Here it is
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:55 AM   #16
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My Mom is really hard to buy for...she has everything. I've been making scrapbooks for her for a couple years. I even went and took her pictures from her albums and she didn't even notice. This year I'm doing a grandkids one for her and MIL.
HTH
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:32 AM   #17
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this year I am making my mom a recipe scrapbook.

for my mil, I am scrapping a big book of all 5 of her kids and all the grandkids

fil is getting a scrapbook of his time in service in the navy

My grandmother is getting a family portrait of our little branch, because it is absolutely the ONLY thing we can get her that she won't **tch that we spent our money. Everybody likes pictures, so when all else fails, we do family pictures, frame them up really nice and grandma and in-laws are happy
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:33 AM   #18
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I agree with several posts- My MIL who lost my FIL really wanted a pic of all her grandkids. (I live 8 hours away so we did it 2 days before christmas and gave her the proof sheet on christmas)

This year I'm making calendars
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tah Dah!
How about concert tickets? And I'm not sure how close you are with her, but what about scheduling an outing with her for manicures, etc? Or maybe taking a class together, something like floral arranging? Check out the local community college.
Love this idea. Each year we buy MIL tickets to a Broadway show and she takes one of her sisters. I think she really looks forward to it.

For my Mom, I have purchased certificates for a cooking class and spa gift certificates. I try to make some of these outings a "together" day.

With the recent passing on your FIL, I am sure she's love an outing with you.

BTW...I LOVE the idea of a floral arranging class! I will be CASEing that idea!!!
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:28 AM   #20
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I made a photo calendar for my MIL the Christmas before she died. She called me (she in CA, us in IN) crying. She loved it sooooooooooo much. It was the size you hang on the wall but she wouldn't. In fact, she wouldn't let anyone "touch" it. She had to show it to them. LOL She passed away the next Oct. so I was even happier that I had made it.

My DH & I are retired. I like getting gift certificates for restaurants, Michael's etc. This year we need a new toaster & DH wants a shredder. We usually just go buy them but I told him no, we can wait & told the kids to get them.

You can also make coupon books for them..........one could be for a car wash that your family does for them, planting flowers for them, a luncheon date with you during the year, etc. Give this with bubble bath, candles, etc.

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:25 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone. These are some good ideas. I should have mentioned that I did the scrapbook idea. I made her some Red Hat Society cards. She just does so much for us that I want to get her something nice. Hmmmmm.....still thinking.
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:31 PM   #22
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We are getting MIL a camera this year since her first granddaughter is going to be coming in Feb!
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