So I asked my coterie of friends for ideas on gifts to give a daughter-in-law. They didn't disappoint. And I added a few of my own.
How about a hand-written letter extolling her virtues -- with back-up examples from things she has done admirably in past encounters with her children, friends, family or co-workers? Kinda like a what-I-admire-most-about-you note.
An invitation to engage you if you unintentionally hurt her feelings -- and perhaps including a few conversation openers she could readily employ to jumpstart the discussion.
A collection of memorabilia from your son's growing up years -- videos, pictures, awards, art work or trophies, letter sweaters or stories or recollection of his triumphs and struggles -- that memorably impressed you and that you would like to share with her.
A collection of family recipes for comfort food your son enjoyed while growing up.
Something handmade. Tailored to her. One friend knitted a linen cowl because her daughter-in-law is a vegan. Word of caution: Check first. One year I knitted a bright pink hat for my daughter-in-law, not realizing her entire closet was filled with neutrals. Oops!
If that's too daunting, here's some tried and true mainstay ideas sure to please:
A date night package -- baby sitting, dinner certificate, movie or show tickets for her and your son.
A gift from her favorite line of clothing, purse designer or shoe manufacturer.
A gift certificate to her favorite place to shop, grab coffee or lunch with her friends.
A donation in her name to a organization she supports.
An activity you could do together -- like tea for two or painting with a twist -- IF you are sure she enjoys your company!
A care package -- a collection of gift cards wrapped around self-care: manicure, pedicure, massage and/or facial. Provide kid-sitting too.
If she enjoys burning candles, spritzing herself with perfume or smoothing on hand cream -- buy it for her, but buy a more luxurious brand than she normally purchases. (I love this idea.)
Especially if she's a plus size or heftier than you are, shop for No Size accessories -- a clutch, a beach bag, a scarf, a necklace.
Bookends. Designed to hold a collection of her most treasured volumes. (This is so sweet.)
A gift certificate anywhere you know she likes to shop -- example Lush.com and Gilt.com.
A subscription to O -- Oprah's magazine -- it's like looking at the wide world through binoculars - focusing on the small stuff while expanding your horizons.
Can't ever go wrong with an array of personalized note cards, tablets or stationary.
One friend relates that she spends her money on the grandkids and trust that warms the heart of her daughter-in-law.
Treat her to a customized foundation formula for her neck and face. Lancome does one for about $80 bucks.
Thanks to:Courtney R., Rosanne C., Lynn M., Kathryn K., Eddie L., Marilyn B., Pamela B., Tracey Y., Leah H., Bette S., Amanda F., Francine W., Heather K., Amy fW., Ellen F., Hope B., Judy V., Lori L., Peggy F.
Beginning in January, keep your antenna up for any ideas for next year's gift finding and you won't have to panic last minute again.
Need a speaker you can feel confident in booking? I'm your girl! I speak on self-care - using your talents and resources to be the best you can be. Contact me at email@example.com or visit my website for more details: www.irisruthpastor.com