First, the best gift anyone could give me as the mother of their boyfriend would be to treat my son with respect - and, dear Lord, may I have done my job right - I would hope he'd do the same with anyone he was dating.
Second, I would never expect to receive an expensive present. It truly would be the thought that would count the most so, in my eyes, you can't really go wrong getting something simple. Don't feel you have to spend a ton of money. Chances are you're young, still making your way in the world, and have a lot of future yet to pay for. I would hate to be the reason someone had less money for presents for their own parents or because they bought me something they had to struggle to make ends meet that month.
Assuming you're buying for both a husband and wife together, it's important to get something that both can use. You don't want to get some dish towels and the husband never uses them so has no recollection that you gave them anything at all. Instead, focus on generic presents that both can enjoy.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 gifts you could give to the parents of your boyfriend.
Gift Basket IdeasI know - gift basket...boring! But it's really not. Come on - chocolate covered pretzels. That's something I love but rarely think to buy for myself.
There are so many different kinds and very reasonably priced ones, too. Take a look at the Chocolate, Caramel and Crunch Grand Gift Basket. It's pretty, has great variety, and isn't very expensive at all (despite being called Grand). Click on the image to check the current price but it was pretty cheap when I looked last.
If you chose one that was readily available at the local grocery store and the parents knew that then it might not seem like you put a lot of thought into it but there are amazing collections you can buy that are theme related so you can get one that matches the hobbies and interests of the parents.
If they like to golf together, you can find one that's golf related or includes some golf tees. If they like to watch movies at home, you'll find there are several choices for movie themed baskets.
Now, if your boyfriend's parents have a common drink they both enjoy - wine, coffee, or tea - then your choice of baskets is easy like this coffee lover's basket with an assortment of flavors (butterscotch coffee!) and snacks.
(Click the baskets to check the current prices!)
Photo Frames - Filled or NotTake a digital photo frame and fill it with images of your boyfriend's family. You might have to get your boyfriend to help you get access to the family photos (get sneaky - it's Christmas!).
This frame holds music and videos as well as photos so you could even program in some Christmas music.
This is one of those ideas that might not work if the two of you haven't been dating for long but if you have been going out for awhile then I'm sure parents would love to be able to put up a photo of the two of you together. At the very least, a photo frame always comes in handy. In fact, if you've been dating a long while you could use a two photo frame and include a picture from your earlier days together and a more recent photo. If the gift is for Christmas you could both wear red shirts or some sort of holiday color scheme for the more recent photo. It could be a lot of fun to come up with ideas for each of the photos!
Restaurant Gift CertificateIf there's a special restaurant that your boyfriend's parents like to go to they'd certainly appreciate a gift certificate to help cover the cost of their next visit. If you don't know of one they like (sometimes our sons don't always keep up on that information...) then give a gift card to your favorite restaurant so they can try something new.
Car Wash Gift CardI hate to wash my car and I hate to see my husband have to wash his car. We've both worked long days, it might be too hot or too cold outside to deal with the whole mess, and as much as I like the look of my car when it's clean, it's just a hassle. Many of the large chain car washes offer gift cards and if you do one for each spouse then they can both get their cars taken care of rather than fight over whose car gets the benefit.
Matching His and Hers Winter Scarves
If your boyfriend's parents live where it gets cold in the winter, matching his and hers scarves would always be a welcome present. This scarf comes in a variety of colors so you wouldn't have to get the same color for both his mom and dad but they could at least have the same pattern.
These come in really cute gift bags, too - one a soft red/pink and the other in a nice silver/gray.
Being the girlfriend can be uncomfortable at times. You're getting to know new people and traditions and just because you love someone's son doesn't mean you're going to like their parents (although it's nice when that happens, too). A simple gesture, though, can make a world of difference. It's a nice sign of respect when you take the time to get something for them no matter how well or how little you know them. With Christmas coming up, I hope one of the ideas on this list gives you just the inspiration you need to choose a simple but well-meaning gift and feel confident that the intention with which it's given will be very much appreciated.