Gift for a wonderful MIL?

budge1March 7, 2007

I'm so sorry to be someone who just shows up when I need help, but ... I need help.

I have a really amazing MIL who babysits for me 1 or 2 days a week, always remembers my bday (with something absolutely perfect and special) always makes time for us and puts up with my chronic memory problems and general scatterbrainedness. It is her bday this coming week and I can not come up with anything.

She is the typical "has everything she could possibly need" person that is so difficult to buy for. I know it is hard to suggest gifts for someone you don't know but I'm hoping someone has one of those brilliant suggestions that will solve my problem.

Just to give a little background she has her Master's in English Lit., loves to travel to exotic locales and isn't really into jewellery and such.

Ideas big or small are welcome. Throw them at me - please!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
halfdecaf

Does she like music/theater/concerts, etc.? My family has recently taken to buying each other tickets for Xmas, b-days, etc., and we love it. We've found that - more than some additional "stuff" for our houses - we enjoy the gift of an evening at the theater, the symphony, a weekend music festival or a band we like. But that could just be us... :) Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spacific

How about treating her to a day spa?
Maybe a set of travel books relating to an upcoming trip?
Maybe a great coffee table book reminding her of a recent trip?
Maybe a dinner out in an ethnic restaurant relating to a recent trip?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cat_mom

A day spa gift would be great if she enjoys that type of thing (I do!)--massage, facial, mani and pedi; a day of pampering.

Throw a wine-tasting dinner for her at home or in a special restaurant. Or a chef's table dinner at a really nice restaurant where she and guests can watch the chef(s) prepare the meal , or even just a tasting menu dinner at someplace decadent and extravagent.

A family portrait of the grandkids?

Does Cirque du Soleil come to your area at all? If so, and you really want to splurge, find out if they have any VIP/Tapis Rouge tickets. Premium seats and parking area, souvenir program, limited drinks and hors d'oeuvres before the show, and dessert during intermission in a special VIP tent.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maddiemom6

Don't think I saw this... and it's a bit odd.. if she is big into reading you might think about getting her an OTT light.. it is a real boon to aging eyes!! I can't sew at night without mine.

maddie

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjerin

Just curious; what's an OTT light?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
budge1

I just googled OTT light - it looks like a special type of full spectrum - I think I need that!

Well, thanks for all the great ideas. I'm looking into concerts, etc that may be playing in our area.

We did the spa day gift last year and it was successful, just wanted to do something else this year.

The meal idea is something I would love to get, but she and my FIL are always going out to dinner. They are in the enviable position of being able to buy themselves pretty much anything they want, which is why the gift giving is so hard. We usually try to do the personal thing like pictures of the kids or one year we went in with my SIL to get her an ipod with all her fav's already downloaded on it.

I think the ticket idea might work. I'm also looking at those special mesh coats that block UV rays because she is allergic to sunlight and gets a bad reaction. Anyone use these?

Thanks again for the great ideas.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pecanpie

We do a calendar every year for the grandparents (and us!) Twelve pictures of the kids, plus one for the cover.

A printing shop should be able to do an order within 24 hours for less than $20 per calendar.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
budge1

Oh, that's a good one pecanpie. I'm going to call around.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
halfdecaf

Second on that calendar idea. We do multiple ones for relatives (and us) every Xmas. But the nice thing is that you can start them any month of the year that you want. FWIW, we've used both the Apple service (we have a Mac) and Snapfish.com. The former puts out a great product - exceptionally high quality photos and nice packaging. The latter is less expensive (by a few bucks), with good photo quality, and comes delivered in shrink wrap...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
uxorial

If she often travels on the same airline, you might consider getting her a membership to that airline's boardroom/club. You really need to travel often to make it worthwhile, though, as the memberships typically cost a few hundred dollars.

I've never bought UV-protective clothing, but I recently bought a few items that are insect repellent. If she likes to travel to tropical locations where there are a lot of bugs, that might be a good idea. The items I bought are Buzz-off brand. There may be others. I found good prices at exofficio.

Seeing as they eat out a lot, how about getting a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant?

Here is a link that might be useful: Ex Officio

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
organic_donna

The one thing that I would love as a gift is a series of massages. I found a massage school that gives student massages for $28.00. I've been meaning to book one but always put it off. There isn't anyone that couldn't use a massage. Find a school in your area and book her once a week for a month.
Donna

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 8:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
adichristi

What about this.

Here is a link that might be useful: GRANDMOTHER REMEMBERS

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 9:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
budge1

What a beautiful idea adichristi. I'll have to sock these ideas away for next year.

We went with the calendar and sun screen shirt (which was also really gorgeous). I think she liked both alot. My oldest DD (7yrs) also made an invitation on the computer for grandma to come to a private piano recital just for her.

I find this whole bday thing a little difficult because I come from a family of low key bday celebrations. My own mom generally remembers my bday only every other year and usually gets me something silly or used from Sally Ann. My DH's family are of the serious bday ilk. Where if you forget someone's bday you are in big doo doo.

We had a party on the weekend to celebrate MIL's bday but her real bday is today. Of course I spoke to her on the phone 2x and didn't remember to say anything. I did remember eventually, but this is the sort of thing that serious bday celebrators frown upon. Luckily, they forgive me my faults easily.

Anyways, thanks again for all the ideas. I think I will use a few of them for friends and send a few hints to DH that a day at the spa would be great.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
talley_sue_nyc

what a great MIL!

Are you sure there isn't something she could *use*, even if it's not a need? Keep your eyes open this year.

I have trouble buying for my MIL, because she has very simple tastes, buys anything she REALLY wants (which is little), and has everythign she needs.

But I noticed at Christmas that, when she hosts the big family meal, she runs out of room on the buffet. I decided she could really use one of the double- or triple-deck serving stands. sorta like this one, only not as big, and MUCH more expensive (now I'm wishing I'd bought this one; I wonder if I can find the receipt to take it back?)

Anyway, keep your eyes open, and anything you notice while you're over at her house, or with her ("gee, she could really use a new pot holder, hers are getting worn"; or "a gadget like this would sure make life easier for her"), go get it that week, and stash it.

Or, for folks like her who are hard to buy for, dedicating the last pages of your address book (or the Q's, LOL!) for ideas is a good idea, too.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kailuamom

I have wondered about the calendars - I will do them next year!

Since she is so special - start looking this year. I have done really well with finding a special photo, perhaps of your DH with his mom, get it restored, enlarged and framed. I did a great one for my grandmother and grandfather for their 50th anniversary. I found a shot of them kissing on a rock in their dating years, had it restored and enlarged then framed it with the invite to their anniversary party. It was great! I also did that for mothers day for my MIL - there was this really cute candid shot of DH kissing his mom on our wedding day - I had it framed and sent it to her.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help design custom sink--mitigating risk
I posted here about the possibility of a marble sink...
crl_
The Kitchen Designer Landscape
There seems to be a few scenarios out there. Some I...
denizenx
Karran quartz sink?
I really like the look and supposed durability of the...
oasisowner
School me on galley kitchen layout!
So I've tried to start learning from the experts here...
red_argyle
How best to trick this space out as a pantry?
Hi all. I currently have a roomy walk-in pantry (4'...
jenmendel23
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™