Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas for the Son-in-Law

By Alisha Whitman , last updated October 26, 2011

Struggling to find the perfect gift to give your son-in-law this Christmas? You aren't alone. In-law relationships can be wonderful, but they are more often a little tricky, especially at first, when everybody is getting used to everybody else. Son-in-laws are easier to buy for than daughter-in-laws as they're less likely to read the wrong thing into your gift, or even to expect much but that doesn't mean they don't deserve a little thought put into their presents. See this gift-giving season as a chance to get to know your son-in-law better and help him see that you think of him as one of the family.

If your daughter and son-in-law are young and just starting out, you have the benefit of knowing that there are lots of things they need. You probably even know what they already got for the wedding. Try to think of things they might need and that he'll appreciate at the same time. Think about what you know about him from the time spent planning the wedding. Was he eagerly involved? Did he have strong opinions when they went to register about how to set up their home? Then you might be okay to give him something for the house. Does he have an office? A recreational room that could use some masculine artwork or fun "toys?" Does he like to try his hand in the kitchen? On the other hand, if he avoided giving his opinion whenever possible during wedding planning and showed he didn't care much about picking out things for their house, it's probably better to look at some of his hobbies.

What does he like to do in his free time? Is he a big sports fan? Does he have a favorite team? If the newlyweds can't afford cable and so miss all the big games, consider giving him a "cable fund" for Christmas or tickets for some big games. What about paraphernalia from his team? Or maybe he'd like to build up a stash of sports equipment, which is particularly relevant if they have small children that he's eager to have share his passion. Does he need a stash of beverages for the next big game? A pass to a local gym could be taken the wrong way, but a gift card to sports goods store like Dick's might be a good idea if you are unsure of what he would actually use.

Another idea is to think of something that your family is really into, and get him something that will include him in the fun, especially if he's new to it. For example, if you are big campers and he's never slept under the stars, maybe getting him some of his own gear like a backpack would be a way to tell him he's now one of the gang. If you're still drawing a blank, enlist your daughter's help. She should know him best. Most likely, the fact that you spent the time looking for the perfect gift at all will come to him as a pleasant surprise.

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