Post # 1
1. J and I have been friends since high school, so I’ve met his parents… but ages ago.
2. We just became a couple this summer, and since I live outside the States, I haven’t (re)met his parents yet. He’ll be meeting mine (without me) at Christmas. I’ll be (re)meeting his in mid January.
3. We’re not engaged yet, as in, no ring on the finger, but are planning on getting engaged sometime in January or February while I’m in the States visiting him this winter.
So… do I get them something for Christmas? What do you think the likelihood is that they’ll get me something? My options are a) buy something online and have it shipped to them or b) have J pick something up, wrap it, give it to them and then pay him later. Both seem … lame.
Also… any suggestions? Even J thinks they’re hard to shop for. I know very little about them except that they’re conservative, relatively boring white people (much like my own parents).
Post # 3
I would say get something small. My now FIL’s got me a small gift basket with lotion etc when my FI and I had just started dating. I think at that point we had only met once for like all of 5 minutes.
I would say something maybe a bit more personal than a gift card. Maybe just a nice bag of coffee or tea? Maybe a candle or something? Bottle of Wine in a cute bag?
Post # 4
When I first read the post I thought you said you would be going there for Christmas. Sorry, I reread it and saw that he would be meeting your family in December and you would not be meeting his until January.
I don’t think I would get them a gift for Christmas if you haven’t met them. But I would bring something when I met them in January. Even flowers would make a very nice gesture.
If you want to get them something you could always send a holiday flower arrangement to the home so it’s not that personal but gives a nice touch.
Congrats on the upcoming engagement!
Post # 5
Hmmm this is a tough one. I would say that you certainly do not HAVE to get them something because you won’t be seeing them near Christmas and they know that you won’t be seeing your bf right before Christmas either, so it would be pretty obvious he’s just putting your name on something.
But, if you wanted to send something I’d go with food. Harry and David’s Moose Munch, a bottle of wine, etc.
Post # 6
My FIL’s are hard to shop for so I usually do a gift basket. Last year I did a coffee gift basket with different coffees and 2 mugs, year before I did a local food basket that had homemade maple syrup, locally made pancake and muffin mix. This year…back to the coffee basket.
Post # 7
I agree with CorgiTales. Bring them a small something when you “re-meet” them in Jan. It does not need to be bing, a bottle of wine would be just fine.
Post # 8
I would wrap and take SOMETHING (even if it’s a nice coffee or something from starbucks or a gift card to Borders or B&N) when you meet them in January. Wrap it in Christmas paper and explain that you thought it would mean more coming from you than being shipped. Or maybe buy them a little special something from where you are currently (in China) and bring it back with you – I would think that’d mean a lot to his parents, having something from overseas that you thought beforehand to bring back for them. Just a thought.
Post # 9
@Bella Luna – Yeah, I thought about getting them something from here in China, but when J came to visit this summer we had a really hard time figuring out anything for HIM to bring home to them – finally decided on tea (which we both kind of doubted they would actually use, since Chinese tea is loose, and they drink liptons in the little mesh bags, haha). I’m not sure I could find anything else that they’d like. :/
They don’t drink, think gift cards are impersonal/tacky, don’t eat sweets, are super practical… I’m serious guys, we both come from super boring families. Sigh.
J’s reaction? “Why on earth would you get my parents something for Christmas?! I’m not getting your parents anything!”
I was like, “umm… maybe you should?” haha… we’ll talk about that one later, after I figure out what he should get them.
Post # 10
What about a basket with some cheeses and crackers?
lol…yeah, at some point you should exchange christmas gifts with your so’s parents. Soon, you can just get them a gift from the two of you =]
We got my mom and his mom a digital photo frame
do they like to cook? what about some chinese seasonings? Mmmmm you can just get me some, lol
Post # 11
If i remember right, the first Christmas I had with my FILs, i brought them a poinsetta plant and a bottle of wine. They actually surprised me with a Christmas present- a feather pillow and pillow covers. Errrmmm….it really threw me off. Heh. I would say bring them flowers when you meet them! Does his father smoke? Maybe a good cigar? If you look you might even be able to find cuban cigars in China (since they’re trade partners). Or a small gift basket of food with the flowers might be nice too.
Post # 12
Last holiday season, before I had ever met my FILs, I wanted to send them something nice, not too personal, but something that was uniquely Texan. I ended up sending them a couple of fruitcakes from the famous Collins Street Bakery in Corsicana. I knew FI would be spending the holidays there so he could enjoy it as well. It was a hit with the whole family–more of a family gift than a gift just to the parents, so not too personal, you know?
(I know, fruitcake, yuck! But they like it and it’s pretty commonly eaten there, and these are supposed to be really good fruitcakes. Who knew there was such a thing?)
This year, I am sending each of his parents a small gift, along with a photobook with lots of pictures of FI and a few of us together. I’m also sending fruitcake again as a family gift.
I do think something unique from China would be a nice gift, I think the tea is a lovely idea. Maybe a different variety this time? Perhaps with one of those neat little Chinese teapots, and a strainer for the loose leaves? What about some kind of regional specialty alcohol? (But maybe they don’t drink, either.) Fruit or preserves of some kind (if allowed by Customs?) It’s so hard when you know little to nothing about them and their tastes, I know. Good luck with whatever you decide!
Post # 13
Soo…. the only gift idea I came up with that J thought they might like was one I was joking about!!! Mail order steak. Because it’s practical.
I am NOT sending my FILs mail order steak before I ever meet them (esp. since I don’t even eat steak).
Post # 14
I think a floral arrangement would be just enough – personal but not too personal, pretty and appropriate without being all “hi-I’m-trying-to-impress-you-please-take-this-as-a-token-of-my-esteem”.
And hey, if they like it it can become a signature gift in the years to come! A couple years down the road wouldn’t you love to over-hear your FMIL say, “Oh, she’s such a lovely girl… She always sends the most beautiful arrangements to us for the holidays. She’s so thoughtful!”