Is there anyone harder to buy for than your mother-in-law? Shopping for your husband's mom can turn the mall into nightmarish hellscape that fills you with a deep pit of fear and drenches your body in terrified perspiration. When your mother-in-law is a Judgy Judy, it's even worse. It feels like nothing you do is right, and any gift you give her will be scoffed at. No need to stress this year, though, because I've done the work for you and found some seriously impressive but affordable gifts for your judgmental mother-in-law, because you're sick and tired of side-eye over the Christmas ham.
Thankfully, we live in an era where no one needs to know what you paid for anything, and quality is always on the rise. It's not uncommon to find great stuff at retailers like Marshall's and Wayfair that are deeply discounted and still fantastic. And if your mother-in-law is sentimental, it makes things that much easier. Personalized gifts that hold meaning to her, or gifts that represent something nostalgic or historical can be deeply meaningful, and often, those aren't the most expensive gifts that you can buy.
However, if your mother-in-law is like some I know, complete with Amazon wish list and internet reminders, Godspeed. There just isn't much to be done in those instances. Let your partner take care of it. Otherwise, use the money you would on a gift for them and buy a few cocktails for yourself.
1. Sterling Silver Initial Necklace
A beautiful and reasonably-priced initial necklace in 100 percent sterling silver. Subtle and classic, this is perfect for everyday wear.
You could get your mother-in-law's initial, your partner's, your last and first initial, or one for each of your kids. The options are endless, and for 20 bucks and change? It's a great, inexpensive option.
2. CBD Cream
For the loved one that's always complaining about winter weather causing dry skin, CBD lotion contains powerful antioxidants to heal and soften skin — even in December.
Does your mother-in-law think she's super cool and up on all the trends? Get her this CBD lotion. Not only is it good for dry, cracked skin, but rumor has it that it relieves pain as well.
3. Korres Greek Beauty Sleep Set
This kit contains one Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil and one Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Facial. Korres is known for their powerhouse products, and this lightly-scented duo packs a powerful anti-aging punch.
Korres is a cult-classic beauty brand, and it's one of my favorites. Their creams and serums are magical, and since vitamin C is a potent antioxidant (key in anti-aging and healing, noted the journal Nutrients), this duo packs a punch.
4. Smartphone Printer
Print photos from a smartphone with this compact, easy-to-use portable photo printer (just put the film and phone in place, and print!). No batteries or cords required.
Does your mother-in-law take a ton of pictures with her phone and never print them out? This printer is perfect for her. Powered by bluetooth, this affordable picture printer makes getting those images on paper a snap. No need to rush to Walgreens, the printer is now at your fingertips.
5. Ashley Black FaceBlaster Kit
Ashley Black's FaceBlaster™ can increase local blood circulation to the face, improving skin's appearance, and can help to reduce inflammation and tension (fans also use it for areas like the neck, head, feet, hands, and knees). The gift set includes four bottles of Pre-Blast Cleanse, FaceBlaster™ Oil, Post-Blast Cleanse, and After Blaster Creme.
This FaceBlaster may look like a strange medieval torture device, but alas, it's a massage tool for your face... and people rave about it! This gift kit includes Ashley Black's must-have potions and lotions as well, so it's guaranteed to be a hit.
6. Wine Gift Set
This set has everything you need to open and preserve a bottle of wine, all in one place.
When in doubt, drink it out. Isn't that everyone's motto when it comes to their mothers-in-law? Of course it is. This bottle opener is too cool not to like, and it also comes with a bottle preserver and key to remove the foil. And if she hates it, at least it's at her house when you need to use it.
7. Greenlawn Cashmere Throw
This cashmere-acrylic throw has the softness of cashmere and the durability of acrylic. It's a big throw, too, at 50"-60." Buy it for a gift, or yourself, because this gorgeous blanket is too good a deal to pass up.
There are two kinds of people in this world: people who believe you can never have enough blankets, and monsters who hate good things. Unless you live in an equatorial region, you should be grateful for being gifted such a lovely cashmere throw blanket.
8. High-End Chocolates
If you've never had the pleasure of eating a JoMart Chocolate, you're missing out. Beloved for decades, the Brooklyn chocolate factory is the closest you'll ever get to visiting Willy Wonka's abode; luckily, you can order a box if you're nowhere in the vicinity... and you can personalize the contents based on individual preferences: assorted chocolate or assorted truffles; milk or dark chocolate.
This chocolate is the stuff that dreams are made of. I suggest buying one for your mother-in-law, and two for you. You deserve it for buying your partner's mother a gift, anyway.
9. Oversized Scarf
This oversized blanket scarf is a huge 30"-90" and comes in three colors: camel, mustard, and rose. It is perfectly cozy and perfectly chic for a day at the office or running errands.
Camel is the it color for mothers-in-law, and this oversized blanket scarf is perfect for warming up her cold, judgmental soul. Or at least her neck and shoulders.
10. Chic Candles
These candles are utterly chic and smell fantastic. At only $27, they're also a steal. This could be her main gift, or a stacked stocking stuffer.
Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding CBD are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.
This first-time mom wants to have a home birth, but is she ready? Watch how a doula supports a military mom who's determined to have a home birth in Episode One of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for the next three episodes, launching Mondays in December.