This mom arrived later in your life. She might be fantastic. Or she might be nothing to complain about. Maybe she's a bit of a challenge. Perhaps she's a downright pain. Either way, finding a gift for your mother-in-law can prove complicated. If the relationship is new, you may want to impress her. You may not know her as well as other family members. You may have some miffs to mend, like that time you dried your hands on her bathroom towels that are strictly for decoration.
TEA GIFT BASKET
If someone doesn't enjoy receiving a tea set for a gift, they don't understand the meaning of life. A good cup of tea is everything. A cute basket filled with mismatched teacups and saucers, a teapot and cozy, shiny teaspoons, loose-leaf tea and chocolates makes for an elegant, unassuming gift for your mother-in-law. You can mix and match contents however you please. $10-$60 • Brambleberry Cottage & Tea Shoppe • 206 E. Pacific
GRANDKID'S WATERCOLOR PAINTING
It's a universal truth that grandmas absolutely love any gifts made by their grandkids. So if you have reproduced, let your kid(s) do the work on this one. Your mother-in-law won't be able to resist the cuteness of something hand-painted by the little one. Is that a lion? Or a flower vase? Or a spaceship? Who cares? It's adorable. And possibly a deep commentary on postmodernity. To make it extra special and differentiated from all the brought-home-from-school drawings she already has, get paint and watercolor-specific paper from Spokane Art Supply and have it professionally framed. Framing starts at $50, but you're christening that sucker as a real piece of art. $60 and up • Spokane Art Supply • 1303 N. Monroe
DRYE GOODS SCARF
If you want your mother-in-law to think you have good taste, this silk scarf is a perfect pick. Local artist and designer Nan Drye makes these scarves by eco-printing. She uses plant matter and steam to print the shapes and stain the colors onto the fabrics, creating sustainable, stylish pieces. $29-$85 • Pottery Place Plus • 203 N. Washington ♦