9 Gifts for the In-Laws, Neighbors, Bosses, and All Those Other Hard to Shop for Folks in Your Life
Buying gifts for your in-laws is hard. You’ve got to shop inside of that tiny sliver of acceptable gifts that aren’t too personal, or too young-ish, or too unnecessary. And after hours of digging through Amazon’s endless sub-categories, you’ll settle on a new toaster only to have them open it and immediately remind you that your brother-in-law, Stephen, got them a toaster just seven years ago—and it was super nice!
We’ve been there, and we feel you. So, this year, the Make Change team has curated nine in-law-approved gifts they’re sure to love (or at least sure to use). And you can feel good about your choices, too—every purchase either donates to a worthy charity, helps lift women out of poverty, or uses planet-friendly, sustainable materials. And that, my friends, is way better than that 7-year-old toaster from Stephen.
This wreath is made entirely from grown garlic, organic thyme and rosemary, and dried red chili peppers. Every wreath is handwoven and made to order in the U.S. After the holidays, your in-laws won’t need to throw this wreath in the trash—the herbs can be stored and used for months.
Bathrobes are an in-law staple, but these up the gift-giving game. Under the Canopy uses cruelty-free, ethically sourced organic cotton and OEKO-TEX-certified, environmentally friendly dyes. Plus, their workers receive fair wages and ethical treatment.
These rustic wood baskets are handcrafted out of discarded Chinese fir tree root balls. Available in two sizes, each basket is unique, with different variations in the wood, cracking, and undulations. They’re also food-safe, meaning your in-laws can store everything from crochet yarn to apples without worry.
Price: $79 to $95
Alter Eco chocolates and confections are made from farmer-owned co-ops growing sustainable cacao. This gift box includes a wide range of everything they offer—from bars to truffles to clusters—so you don’t have to guess what your in-laws might actually eat. And for every box sold, they’ll plant a tree in the ACOPAGRO Cooperative in Peru.
Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee consistently ranks in the top 5 percent of specialty coffees, and each bag is roasted to order. This affordable monthly or biweekly subscription includes a rotation of the company’s favorite brews. Purchases also help support the nonprofit side of Land of a Thousand Hills, which funds initiatives to build health facilities, support single-mother households, and provide clean water.
Price: $15 per month
Every candle at Prosperity Candle is hand-poured by a “woman artisan building a brighter future for herself.” The candles, which use high-quality environmentally friendly soy and essential oils, smell great and last around 20 hours. The company also sells gorgeous gift boxes. Our favorite, the Pioneer Valley Gift Box, was handcrafted by women refugees in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The set includes a range of culinary goods and their signature Tobacco Barn candle.
Price: Up to $80
Colorado-based Women’s Bean Project hires chronically unemployed women. Over the course of a six- to nine-month program, women receive a steady paycheck, support services, and job training. According to the company, 93 percent of the program’s graduates are still employed a year later. Beyond all things beans, the project also makes spice and baking mixes.
One Hope partners with a host of nonprofits, from animal rescues to medical charities, and a portion of every purchase goes toward those charitable efforts. This year, you can add a little holiday cheer of the liquid variety: this set includes a mini Christmas tree, complete with lights, ornaments, and topper. You can also pick the wine—and we won’t tell if you pick up another couple of bottles to get yourself through the holidays.
This set of mother-in-law-friendly stainless steel stirrers were handcrafted in Moradabad, India, through Noah’s Ark International Exports, which employs largely women artisans working out of their homes. Since 1986, Noah’s Ark has helped 20 artisan workshops become independent through their collaboration.