Whether you've been married for years or this is your first Christmas as a legitimate couple, you feel the need to impress momma bear. His mom has a huge influence on him, whether he admits it or not, and her word could determine your fate. Maybe she already loves you and you want to keep it that way, or maybe you are her least favourite girlfriend of all and you are trying to change that. Get her gifts that speak to her, that show her you listen, that tell her you care about her past and the entire life of your hubby, and something that 'a woman in the family' would understand. Some examples can be cheap and thoughtful and others are expensive and intended to 'wow', both equally as impactful.
14 A workshop you can do together
Let her get to know you a little bit with a 1 on 1 'date' that is neither awkward nor boring. There are so many workshops available that will keep the two of you entertained and allow her to see that you are fun, creative, and kind hearted. Soap making, painting, cooking, or scrapbook making. Find her interests and get 2 tickets to a happy mother-in-law.
13 Pearl earrings and matching necklace
Splurge on something she will cherish forever. This is not a gift for the faint of heart or wallet, but if you think material belongings are the way to her heart than a perfectly paired pearl set aught to do it! There are so many kinds and colours and shapes and sizes, so maybe ask for some advice on her style if you don't know it. If you can't find out, stick to white pearl studs and a simple one strand necklace. A classic.
12 Brunch for the family with her own recipe
Maybe food is the way to her heart, just like your significant other. Invite the family over for brunch and sneakily get one of her prized recipes. She will love the fact that you put in that much effort and maybe see that you are worthy of her son. Make sure to say that yours will never be as good as hers but you hope you get the opportunity to come even half as close to perfecting it as she has.
11 Scrapbook of her and her children
This one will get her right in the feels. Collect old photos she may have stashed away, and call on your boyfriend/husband and his siblings to see if they have any kicking around from childhood. Put together a completely selfless photo album that is about their family and their family alone. Leave yourself out of it, at least until the very last page and only if you are married. This will show her you respect his roots and have no intention of taking over her spot in the family as his favourite woman.
10 A blanket you knitted after learning from her or Google
Is she one of those people that worries that the younger generations are losing interest and skills in the core 'household' tasks that used to be so important? Maybe take up a hobby like knitting and make her a blanket (or maybe just a scarf depending on time) and show her that you are a well rounded individual. Doing a hobby that is also important to her will allow you to ask her for questions and advice and give you something to bond over.
9 A box set of her favourite old movies converted to DVD
She probably has a bunch of old movies that she loved as a kid and has stored somewhere on VHS. It would be a very thoughtful gift to find out her favourite ones and find them on DVD, or get her VHS's converted (though the pre-made ones are probably better quality). Maybe make a movie night as part of the gift and surprise them with her favourite oldies and a popcorn maker!
8 Pajamas, slippers, a stress relief candle, and a sappy card
This is a gift that says "I understand how hard you work and you have done an amazing job raising the man that I love. Take a load off and relax, you deserve it!". It may seem cliche to give these gifts to a mom but with the right card to go along with the gesture it could really be what she needs to hear. Maybe pair it with a movie pass for 2 for your bf/hubby and his dad to head out for the night, letting her really enjoy some peace and quiet (and you too). It's like a gift for everyone!
7 A family road trip/vacation
Spend some time together as a family. Even if you are the bickering kind, creating memories (with you in them) is important for bonding. A quick trip to the mountains or beach, or a longer circle route hitting some fun stops that everyone has an interest in. Antiques, go-karts, farmers markets, cheap hotels - all make for a great weekend away with the family.
6 A DIY gift you put hours into
Even if you are not crafty it could be great to give it a try. Heck, even if you totally botch the whole thing and hand her a pile of popsicle sticks and stringy glue she may just admire the fact that you tried, or will love that you brought her a flashback of when her kids were in elementary school. There are great step-by-step guides on Pinterest that are worth looking into. But make sure to create something she will actually use!
5 A family photo session with grandparents included
Surprise them with a photo session that includes parents this year. They probably love to get your updates every year (assuming you've been together for a while) but would love it even more to be included. Even if it is a recent engagement and it's usually you, your boyfriend, and the dog - have a funny throw in where the parents get to join in with their pets! Laughs all around and perfect memories and Christmas cards.
4 A continual gift of flowers every month
The gift that keeps on giving. Don't tell her. Just surprise her. The 12 months of Christmas. Have it set up so that on the 1st of every month she receives a new flower (one that is seasonal to save you money) delivered to her doorstep. It will be a constant reminder that you are sweet and, even if you just set it all up in advance, she will feel like you are always thinking of her and putting in an effort - she may return the favour.
3 A phone case with an old picture of her family on it
These are so easy to make now. There are many websites that allow you to upload any picture and have it printed on a phone case. Find an awesome old photo from her childhood, or even when she was raising her son, and get it printed for a present. It will also be like the gift that keeps on giving and she will smile every time she looks at her phone - and you did that!
2 A Roomba
One less chore for her to do - especially if she is getting older. The Roomba is an adorable little vacuum helper that sweeps around the floor on a schedule of your choice. It will be like you are helping her with chores and you don't even need to be there. They can be quite costly but depending how much you need her affection it could be perfect.
1 A chef for a day
This is the best gift ever. For an entire day she gets a chef to make each meal - whatever she wants. It is a pampering, a load off, and a wonderful gesture all in one and is sure to score some brownie points. If you are selfish, make it for a day where you plan to have family dinner at their house! A mom can't resist a healthy, hearty meal for her family and will be thrilled she doesn't have to make it!