Should You Buy Gifts For Your Partner's Parents? Here's What To Consider Getting

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Being in a relationship over the holidays is wonderful. You have someone to do every clichéd winter activity with, from ice skating to Christmas movie marathons. Unfortunately, the holidays can also bring added stress. For some people, this time of year raises questions about the appropriate etiquette for gift-giving. Not only do you have to gauge what kind of gift you should give your SO, but you may have to think about their parents as well. When it comes to getting gifts for your partner's parents, you can't go wrong with something small and thoughtful. Whether you're meeting them briefly for the first time or spending the holidays at their home, you want to make a good impression.

The amount of money you should spend on the gift depends on what stage you are at in your relationship — both with your partner and with their parents. There are a few simple questions to consider to determine what kind of present you should pick. I know you're already the kind of girl your partner wants to take home to Mom, but sweetening the deal can't hurt.

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Do you plan to meet them over the holidays?

If you're not yet at the meet-the-parents stage of your relationship, then you don't need to worry about getting your partner's parents anything this time around. It's as simple as that.

Are you expecting to get a gift from them?

If you think you might receive a gift from your partner's parents, it's best to come prepared with something for them. You want to be able to reciprocate, and nothing is more awkward than being the only one who shows up empty handed. In the event that you're unsure, consider buying something small just in case. Whether or not they end up having a present for you, you'll give a thoughtful gift that shows your appreciation. A festive trinket dish or accent plate like this one won't break the bank, but it is a sweet gesture.

Have you met them before?

If you've never even met them, the same rules apply. Spending a ton of money on an extravagant gift for people you don't know could make your partner's parents feel uncomfortable. Keep it low key by showing you care without going overboard. Consider a coffee table book like this one, which is cute but not overly personal.

Is your relationship still new?

For a newer relationship, you definitely want to impress the parents. Choose a personal gift that shows you've been paying attention. You can spend a little bit more money if you'd like, but don't go crazy. For the family that loves hiking, is into travel, or just wants to bring the outdoors in, these unique candles are the way to go.

...Or have you been together for a while?

So you and your partner have been dating for a long time, and their parents are basically your second family. You want to get them a gift they'll use, and maybe even one that will remind them of you. If you feel comfortable, go for a personalized present they can display in their home. This cutting board can be customized with their names, and is both practical and super aesthetically pleasing — perfect for parents you know well.

Holiday gift giving can be tough, but shopping for your partner's parents doesn't have to stress you out. Think about how well you know each other, how comfortable you feel with them, and how much you think they will spend on you. No matter what physical present you get them, you've already given the best gift of all: making their son or daughter very happy.

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