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14 spot-on gifts for in-laws

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, in-laws can be a particularly tricky category. Maybe they live far away, or you’re not up on their current hobbies or sizes — or perhaps there’s a whiff of tension in the relationship (or so the stereotype goes).

Or maybe there’s nothing but love and devotion and that’s why you want the gift to be just right.

Either way, have no fear! These presents at a range of price points make great gifts for in-laws of all types, whether you’re looking for something truly meaningful or simply innocuous.

Gentleman's Box, $25

For the distinguished father-in-law or brother-in-law — or even one who could use a little help in that regard — try the gift of a Gentleman’s Box, with all sorts of masculine goodies at a budget-friendly price point. The November box, for instance, included a passport case, luggage tag, shave cream, and a subscription to GQ.

Dogeared jewelry, $48 to $58

Dogeared offers sweet, on-trend sterling silver and gold-dipped necklaces, packaged conveniently on cards that already spell out the intended recipient: “sister-in-law” or “mother-in-law.” These make equally great gifts for in-laws we hold close as for ones we may not know as well.

Dollar Shave Club membership, $3 and up

You might know about Dollar Shave Club from its cheeky (and hilarious) viral ads. Give a practical and budget-friendly gift for an in-law on your list with a yearlong subscription to the service… the gift that keeps on giving! Toss in the rich new Pillowy Shave Lather, which launches in December, to give him something tangible to open at a holiday gathering.

TCM Wine Club, $79.99

Turner Classic Movies recently announced the TCM Wine Club, a service meant to help people discover wines through the lens — ahem, so to speak — of movies. New members will get 15 bottles including the first-ever release of Café Zoetrope, a custom-crafted red from the Francis Ford Coppola Winery — right to their door.

Customized wood handle stamp, $35

Perfect for a season filled with holiday cards and messages, give the gift of a high-quality personalized stamp, made of hard maple wood. Customize the piece with your in-laws’ return address for a highly personal — and useful — gift.

Best Friends gift for animals, any amount

For the in-law who loves animals — or the one whose sweater size has you totally stumped — give a gift that gives back. Look through the Best Friends gift catalogue and donate directly to animals in honor of your relative. Donate in any amount: $35 buys a new warm bed for an animal, and $50 buys a welcome basket to give an adopted animal a fresh start at life. Gift item: check. Serious warmth and fuzziness: double check!

Personalized Tabasco gallon, $52.75

If your in-laws are known for their spicy food, give them a gift that’s both practical… and a bit saucy. (See what we just did there?) Tabasco will personalize a gallon jug with your in-law’s name — and ensure they’ll never run out of the spicy stuff when you visit!

Acacia wood divided bowl, $29

This serving bowl is as easy on the eyes as it is good for karma. Hand-carved in the Philippines, it’s one of many eco-friendly jewelry, gifts, and home accents offered by Acacia Creations, whose mission to improve lives around the world in a sustainable way… and that’s a way more holiday-appropriate message to communicate than a generic mall gift can.

Picnic backpack, $78

A great gift for in-laws who love the outdoors — or live in temperate climes — this backpack has everything they need for a picnic for two: It includes a corkscrew, hardwood cutting board, cheese knife, wood salt and pepper shakers, wine glasses, and more.

Recently gift subscription, $26.97 and up

Do you have the in-laws who take more photos of your kids than even you do? Give them a gift that allows them to get regular hard-copy printouts of their faves rendered like a slick magazine. Recently delivers 100 recent photos each month, bound in a lovely presentation.

Whistle GPS pet tracker, $79.95

Here’s one to give the in-law who’s also a serious pet parent: Whistle has just released a new GPS pet tracker that attaches to the collar and syncs to your in-law’s phone so that they can always locate their lost animal, or stay in touch when they’re away.

Pure & Co weekend tunic, $124

Give your mother-in-law a gift that will feel like a hug from you all season long. All Pure & Co garments are fair trade, and handmade by a co-op team of women in Thailand at the company’s eco-friendly facility where employees get benefits like meals, housing, transportation, and scholarships — so you can feel good while your mother-in-law looks good.

Savino wine preservation system, $29.95 or $59.95

Are your in-laws wine lovers? Allow them to preserve the remainder of each open bottle with a useful and attractive Savino wine preservation system. The device keeps out oxygen to keep the wine lasting longer, and doubles as an attractive serving carafe for holiday entertaining season.

Formaggio Kitchen cheese of the month club membership, $225 and up

Each month, Formaggio Kitchen Cheese cheesemongers will hand select three seasonal varieties and get them out to your in-laws, along with a cheese knife and a handcrafted tasting journal. Choose three or six months, or a year for your generous gift — which also might as well be a gift for yourself if you frequently visit!

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of the lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

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