Gift Guide for Father-in-law

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9 Ideas for Stealthy Shopping for a Father-in-Law

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a set of in-laws to shop for. Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for, and now with a father-in-law, you have two dads on your shopping list. Not to mention, there are many times when you need a present for your father-in-law (from Christmas to his birthday). While it's easy to find cliche gifts for dads, we're guessing that your father-in-law is not your average bear. Here's how to navigate the shopping process so he feels treated extra special.

1

Press Rewind

Clue into what gifts your father-in-law will love by finding out what he used to love doing in the olden days. Was he the guy who loved playing darts at a dive bar? Does he have a collection of old records? Tap into a past interest to surprise him with a gift that’s on the mark.


2

Expert Dad

It’s time to find a gift for your father-in-law on his birthday. Ask around the family to find out this: if they had to go to your father-in-law as the expert on something, what would it be? (Movies? Classic Rock bands? The perfect way to cook bacon?) Then hone in on that topic to find your gift.


3

Work Attire

Find out what your father-in-law wears to work (ask your mother-in-law.) He can always use reinforcements, but stick to accessories that don’t require sizing (like a simple shoe horn for dress shoes.)


4

R&R Time

Poke around your father-in-law’s Facebook or ask around the family to find out what he does to relax — and then riff on gift ideas to get him in the chill zone.  


5

Favorite Foods

Would your father-in-law prefer steak over veggies? Plain or everything with hot sauce? Consider his food palette to lead you to gifts for a father-in-law who has everything.  If you’re feeling clueless, ask the partner who’s dined with him for decades.


6

Project House

Is there a house project that he’s put on the back burner? Snoop for clues by asking him about the house and what he’s hoping to get done this year. Then you can think on project supplies he’ll need or even consider a group gift to deliver the whole enchilada  — like a backyard fire pit.


7

Catalog Snoop

Next time you’re there, check out the catalog stash at your in-laws. That will hint into his style and where he likes to shop.


8

First Impressions

Think about how you’re greeted at your father-in-law’s place. With an offer for a cocktail that he’s mixing up? Or is he MIA in the garage working with a jigsaw. You’ve got your gift leads for the entertainer or handyman.


9

Sibling Support

Before searching gifts for your father-in-law for Christmas, feel out what your sister-in-law or brother-in-law have already given him (which also prevents dupes!). You can ask about how he liked their gifts to get a sense of whether he prefers sentimental or practical gifts.