Shopping·14 min read

Foolproof Gifts for In-Laws, Grandparents and Other Relatives

Gifts for relatives
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Food52, Uncommon Goods
October 21, 2022

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Fact: Family get-togethers over the holidays aren’t always smooth sailing. So we’re nipping one major anxiety source in the bud and helping you find the best presents for all your relatives — including your cool Gen Z cousin, your hard-to-please in-laws, your beloved grandparents, and more. From the practical (new AirPods or a cozy robe) to the more whimsical (a bespoke pet portrait they’ll show all their friends), we rounded up our go-to gifts that send the message, “I’m so happy to spend the holidays with you”...even if you’re really thinking, “How did I get stuck celebrating with these people again?”Want more holiday gifting ideas? Check out The Shoppes at Skimm Ave. for our recs for everyone on your list.

Matcha machine
Cuzen Matcha

A fancy new kitchen gadget if they love matcha…

If you know your aunt and uncle love to experiment with different coffee-shop beverages, here’s a new gizmo they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves: a sleek machine that grinds and stirs fresh matcha anytime they want. Sip, sip hooray. ($299, Cuzen Matcha)

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Parachute robe

A cozy robe for winter nights…

Wanna send a subtle message to your fam that they need to chill out? Bring some relaxing spa vibes to their home with this 100% Turkish cotton robe. It’s machine washable and has two slouchy front pockets for ease. Get it in classic white, or pick from five other color options. (Psst: Size up if you think they’d prefer a more relaxed fit.) They didn’t choose the robe life, it chose them, ya know? ($109, Parachute)

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Apple gift cards

The gift card that will unlock juuuust what they want…

Small package. Big reward. With Apple Gift Card, your giftee can choose from devices like Apple Watch, accessories like AirPods, games from the App Store, books and audiobooks, fitness and wellness subscriptions, and so. much. more. Seriously. The options are (almost) endless. (From $10, Apple)*

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Grandpa shirt

A simple shirt that says it all…

Whether he’s a new grandpa or a seasoned one, show your appreciation with a tee he’ll be proud to wear everywhere. Available in 11 colors and in sizes S–4X, this shirt should work with just about any outfit. ($14.41+, eBollo via Etsy)

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Monogram custom cutting board

A custom cutting board to add to their collection…

If they’re celebrating an engagement or new home, this personalized cutting board (with tons of design options) is a thoughtful way to help commemorate the milestone. But it also works if they just love cooking (hi, we’re looking at you, Grandma). One heartfelt thank you note, coming right up. ($17.97+, EngraveMyMemories via Etsy)

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Family game night set
Uncommon Goods

A family game night set that’s bound to bring in the laughs…

First you carb load with the accompanying snacks (it comes with popcorn on the cob and an ice cream topping set that includes hot fudge and mocha sauces). Then you’re ready for some friendly competition. If you scoop up the set for ages 14+ you’ll get a lighthearted deck of questions to poll the group with, and if you opt for the one that’s ages 3+, you’ll get a silly, monster-themed version of bingo. And for more great holiday gifts from Uncommon Goods, shop here. ($62, Uncommon Goods)

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Woman wearing onesie covered in snow flakes
Old Navy

A fleecy onesie that’s bound to start a family trend…

Aka you just might want one for yourself. And then everyone else too. Good news: This one-piece wonder comes in sizes for the whole fam. Furry friends included. With tons of prints and patterns to help you all celebrate in (totally coordinated) style. Not matching PJs this holiday season? Couldn’t be us. ($44.99, Old Navy)*

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Our Place flip platter
Our Place

A platter they’ll flip over (literally)…

Help them avoid huge kitchen cleanups with this platter designed specifically for recipes involving a flip — from tahdig to tarte tatin. It’s from the same company behind the uber-popular Always Pan and Perfect Pot, so if you’re feeling really generous, go for the matching set. ($50, Our Place)

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Via Maris hanukkiah
Via Maris

A steel hanukkiah that’ll become a future family heirloom…

This stunner comes in five different colors, and has removable cups so it’ll be easy to keep clean and holiday-ready year after year after year. Light it up. ($165, Via Maris)

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Customized family mug
Uncommon Goods

A customized mug for every family member…

The great thing about these adorable mugs (which you can personalize with an illustration of anyone on your list) is that you can just keep adding and adding to your collection. Welcome new family members with a mug of their own or give each household on your list its own little mug family. Cheers. ($32, Uncommon Goods)

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Caraway baking set

An 11-piece ceramic-coated baking set…

Get them going in their kitchen with everything they need to start baking up a storm. The set comes with baking sheets, cake pans, a muffin tin, a loaf pan…and so much more, including two storage organizers that fit the whole set. 11/11 recommend. ($395, Caraway)

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Grandparents welcome mat

A welcome mat for the most devoted grandparents around…

Show Grandma or Grandpa you appreciate all the time they spend with your kids (and forgive them for the steady diet of lollipops and ice cream) with this funny mat they’ll love showing guests. It’s handmade, comes in a variety of sizes, and has a sturdy PVC vinyl backing too. Awww. And for more great holiday gifts from Etsy, shop here. ($13.80+, HamlinRowShop via Etsy)

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Bread baking book

A creative guide to sweet and savory baked goods…

If their pandemic sourdough obsession turned out not to be just a phase, help them keep nailing even more baking recipes — from multigrain baguettes to cornmeal whoopie pies — with this new cookbook from the head baker at Publican Quality Bread in Chicago. ($42.44, Amazon)

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Shower kit

An eco-friendly shower kit full of everything they need…

Help them kick their plastic habit with this seven-piece “total care bundle” that includes shampoo, conditioner, and body care bars. The paraben-free, cruelty-free soaps come in scents like coffee clementine and rosemary apple cider, and can last as long as six months each. ($63.80, Parrotfish)

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Electric kettle

A quick-heating electric kettle that looks great in any kitchen…

Aesthetically pleasing? Yes. Super-functional? Also yes. This stainless steel kettle is designed for pour-over coffee and tea — but will come in handy anytime they need boiling water. Even if they’re just using it to make instant ramen, its sophisticated profile will add pizzazz to any kitchen. ($165+, Amazon)

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Cool mom sweatshirt

A sweatshirt that’ll make any mom smile…

Deep down, she knows she’s cool…but it can’t hurt to give her a reminder. Here’s one she can wear all year long, so everyone else knows, too. Choose from nine colors and sizes up to 2XL. ($23.98+, DesignsByArtworks via Etsy)

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Custom pet portrait

A portrait of their best furry friend…

If they really love their dog (or cat, or bird…), you know what to do. All you need is a photo and their pet’s name, and you can customize a cool-looking portrait they’ll swoon over. Totally paw-some. Psst…use code THESKIMM15 at checkout for 15% off sitewide. ($65+, West & Willow)

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Apple AirPods

Brand-new AirPods…

Even if they already have a pair, they may be due for an upgrade. The newest AirPods Pro have more advanced noise cancellation and touch control, plus better battery life, so they’re bound to make everything from working out to WFH more seamless. ($249, Apple)

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Saje diffuser

A diffuser to help usher in the chill vibes…

This pretty, unobtrusive ceramic diffuser will fit in with just about any decor scheme. Add a few essential oil blends to your present so they can get it up and running right away  — perhaps “Stress Release” or “Deep Breath” if you think this holiday gathering might be a doozy. Keep calm and carry on, right? ($98, Saje)

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Nut butters pack

A four-pack of delicious, handmade nut butters that’ll upgrade snacktime…

You can’t go wrong with food-related gifts. Plus, everyone knows it tastes best straight out of the jar. Choose from three different nut butter variety packs, with flavors like Chai Spice Peanut & Almond Butter with Sea Salt or Toasted Coconut Almond Butter with Sea Salt. Best of all, they’re handmade to order. Yum. ($36+/4 pack, Food52)

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Personalized crayon sets

A personalized crayon set for the kiddos in the family…

If you have lots of nephews and nieces or cousins to buy for and not a ton of time, here’s the perfect solution. These adorable personalized crayon sets make it easy to give something special — sans all the drama or fussiness that can come with customized presents. Grab a stack of coloring books, and you’ve got entertainment to last through all the long holiday dinners. ($5, KagesKrayons via Etsy)

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Wire family tree
Uncommon Goods

A family tree they’ll display with pride…

Your fam’s resident ancestry geek will totally get a kick out of this handmade wire sculpture. Send in two to 12 names of people in your family, and artist Lisa Gibson will shape each name from copper wire and hang them from the tree. It comes in a maple wood frame, all ready to be admired. ($100+, Uncommon Goods)

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Snack board
Uncommon Goods

A snack board for people who hate sharing…

Your favorite movie- or sports-obsessed relatives will love this sleek board that gives two people separate spots for all their snacks. So they can fill one half with chocolates and sweets, and save the other side for savory chips and dips. It comes in maple or cherrywood, and you can choose to add some personalization elements if you really want to make it clear whose side is whose. Win. ($85+, Uncommon Goods)

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Anthony Bourdain book

A must-have book for anyone who loves to globe-trot…  

Even the most well-traveled can take a tip or two from the GOAT. Anthony Bourdain’s posthumous release chronicles his many travels and offers tips about what to eat, where to stay, and what to avoid when hitting the road. It also includes essays from friends and family members, which will help your giftee get a deeper look at the man behind the screen. Bon voyage. ($19.99, Amazon)

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*This denotes a sponsored section.

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