DISCLAIMER: No daughter-in-law was harmed when writing this blog post. Dedicated to all mother-in-laws of India.
Christmas gift ideas can make or break relationships
The first few years after marriage are exciting times indeed. You are probably on your best behaviour in your attempt to impress your husband and your in-laws. After the initial charm wears off, things can get pretty monotonous. Your resolve for good behaviour may be tested by useless Christmas gifts such as a toilet seat, used sweaters, fruit cakes that are three years old.
But fear not. If you have an Indian mother-in-law, we have come up with a definite list of gift ideas that will not only wow your mother-in-law but also help her uphold her fearsome reputation (well, mostly).
1. Immersion water heater
The immersion water heater is used to heat up water, be it in a bucket, tub and elsewhere. It is a very convenient tool since it is portable and can be carried just about anywhere. Just give this gift to your mother-in-law and watch what happens.
2. Subscription to all regional TV channels
Regional TV channels provide innovative ideas for mother-in-laws to plot the downfall of their daughter-in-laws and vice versa. The bonus benefit is that you will be able to temporarily get rid of your mother-in-law when the soaps are on.
Most of us in India use the inverter as a power backup. With the frequent power cuts in India, the inverter makes a perfect gift for the mother-in-law. Your mother-in-law can now make sure that the immersion water heater and the TV work when she wants. Someone said, “tools of torture are no good if they don’t have power!”
4. Chapati rolling pin
The chapati rolling pin is a versatile tool in the Indian kitchen. It traces its history way back to the times of the Ramayana. Kaikeyi, one of the wives of King Dasaratha, was jealous of Rama becoming the king and wanted to get him out of the picture for the sake of her son Bharata. It is rumoured that she threatened to beat King Dasaratha with a chapati pin if her wishes weren’t met! Mother-in-laws have since then used this versatile tool to make chapatis and also to beat the hell out of their daughter-in-laws.
5. Gas stove
The portable gas stove is a great invention. It traces its origins to the first ever chief engineer of the Indian Electricity Board. He realised that there is no hope in hell that he can deliver power to the far corners of this vast country. This realisation also made him wary of electric cookers and induction stoves. So he invented the gas stove. Little did he realise that his invention redefined the way mother-in-laws abused daughter-in-laws. Give this gift to remind your mother-in-law her cultural duties.
6. Weighing scale
The portable weighing scale can easily beat the chapati pin and the portable gas stove in terms of its versatility. Some of its uses include – measuring you mother-in-law’s weight, measuring your weight, and measuring the weight of gold jewellery you might have brought in as dowry. The key point to note here is the weighing scale when used in conjunction with the gas stove and the chapati pin can dramatically improve the effectiveness of the mother-in-law in enforcing age-old Indian traditions.
7. Knitting needles
What better way for your mother-in-law than to pass her free time by knitting a cap, sweater, or gloves for the new arrival to the family (a baby, of course!). We couldn’t resist the thought of having a dual use gift that can be used for knitting and accidentally poking each other.
8. Designer closets
9. Rocking chair
This is an innovate gift that can serve as a means for your mother-in-law to vent her anger. Based on a scientific study, it was found that rocking the chair at 100 rocks per minute calms frayed nerves. Your husband will also use it extensively as he can nod in agreement to your mother-in-law without spraining his neck.
10. Floor mats
These are time tested gifts and can create warmth in cold places (aka wherever your mother-in-law lives). In the event of unexpected gas leaks or explosions, leftover debris can be easily rolled into in the floor mats and disposed of overnight.
11. Paprika powder
Dried chilli powder will come in handy for making all the lip smacking dishes you were trained for by your mother. We recommend a sweeter version of the chilli powder that will help you in case your mother-in-law decides to mix it in your tea. Spanish paprika will definitely fit the bill.
12. Board game
Help your mother-in-law point out to all the good things in life that her darling son would have bought if only he had listened to her advice and married the daughter of the rich jeweller instead of you.
13. Season ticket for Tirupathi
This is probably the ultimate gift any God fearing Indian daughter-in-law can give to her god fearing mother-in-law. Puzzled? Well, when everybody is shouting “intolerance”, it’s time for Christians embrace Hindu Gods! The twin advantages of this gift are – 1. When you have a girl child, your mother-in-law can immediately dash off to Tirupathi to pray for a grandson the next year and 2. When she thinks you are wasting her son’s hard earned money, chanting “Govinda, Govinda” can acquire a whole new meaning. Are you a staunch Christian? You should consider a season pass to Bethlehem. That’s, at least, a week of alone time for you and your mother-in-law.
14. Fanny pack
As your mother-in-law becomes older, she will start developing the habit of hoarding eatables, sweets, and snacks that are usually forbidden for women of her age with a dozen medical complications. Do her a favour, send her to heaven faster by letting her hoard sweets and snacks in a stylish fanny pack.
15. Scented candles
No woman can resist the glow of scented candles that light up the rooms in the evenings/nights. You can do your mother-in-law a favour by accidentally toppling the candles on her feet, staging it like an accident. That would leave her bedridden for a few days at least.
16. Personalized pillow
A photo collage pillow that has been personalised will make the perfect gift for your mother-in-law. It has pictures of all the family members. She can use it either for sleeping or prop up her back while reclining in her favourite rocking chair. Which mother-in-law would not resist the thought of using the pillow to smother her daughter-in-law in her dreams?
A handbag is a must-have accessory for any woman. It is said that a woman’s wardrobe is incomplete without a handbag. It would be a good idea to gift your mother-in-law a handbag and watch the reaction on her face. Beware, your mother-in-law may be secretly harbouring thoughts of whacking you in the face with a completely loaded handbag!