Oh geez, it’s the most nerve-racking time of the year again: the time when you have to focus all your time and energy on buying gifts for bosses, in-laws, or other Important People in Your Life That You Have No Choice But to Buy a Gift For—someone who’s a real adult and doesn’t function in the land between “I’m baby” and “yes, I pay taxes.” In some cases, that $30 bottle of wine you pick up on your way to the function will suffice, but for these recipients, you’ve got to go with something a little hypnotic so that you can sleep easy knowing that they have to like you now. This is a true gifting challenge, so we’ve done the hard work for you so you don’t waste another second agonizing. These are the best gifts for in-laws, bosses, and other adults for whom you definitely wanna stay on their good side.
Are you tired of their salty attitude? Be low-key passive-aggressive with these gourmet-infused salt samplers that come in flavors such as smoked bacon chipotle and garlic medley.
They love American Psycho
No one enjoys chapped hands, so hand cream is a surefire gift. L’Occitane is a French skincare staple that even Patrick Bateman owns. “It even has a watermark!”
An OG gift
Lighting a good old-fashioned candle is the aromatherapy everyone needs after a long day of hard labor. These mini tins from Apotheke come in luscious scents such as Blackberry Honey and Birchwood Apple.
The epitome of store-bought cookies
These holiday butter cookies may be just under $5, but they hit sooo good.
A little faux Vitamin C never hurt anybody, especially after they’ve all been forced to attend super-germy office parties/superspreader events.
They take their stress out on ya
Our in-laws give us a headache and we bet the feeling is mutual. Might as well acknowledge the vibes with a popular headache relief cap that provides 360-degree cooling compression. It just needs to be kept frozen for two hours between uses so that the soft gel inside can be revived.
They order too many egg breakfast sammies
A device that can cook eggies five ways? We’re buying one for ourselves (oh, wait we already did.) Hard boil, soft boil, poach, scramble, and make individual omelets within minutes.
They’re extremely dehydrated
Guzzling water should be on everyone’s to-do list and this TikTok-viral Stanley tumbler can keep ice cold overnight—even in warm temps.
They sit too much
Is there anything more stress-relieving than a device that vibrates your muscles? Not really, especially when said device has 20 intensity levels and six interchangeable massage heads. We’ve already deleted our masseuse’s number.
They haven’t had sugar in a month
Everyone deserves a sweet treat, even the person who assigned you five tasks to do by EOD on a Friday. The flameless heater makes enjoying marshmallow-chocolate goodness foolproof.
The toaster that lives in every Hamptons house
If you’re thinking about how a toaster can be fancy, you haven’t met the Breville ‘A Bit More’ Toaster. I first heard about this (in a convertible) in the Hamptons, from my friend’s fabulous mom, and this toaster is her magnum opus. She buys them for every family member, and they’re a huge hit because you always need your bagel toasted just “a bit more”—get it? And even with all its sleek looks and handy functions, it’s under $100—perfect for a family member expecting something nice this year.
Very chic olive oil
Named for and inspired by a pink mansion surrounded by lush, dense gardens in the hills of Los Angeles, Flamingo Estate has become a collective of over 75 farms. It also produces CSA boxes, bath and body products, pantry goods, and unique gifts like this cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, grown in California—perfect for dipping, cooking, and gifting.
A stunning modern menorah
Bring your bubbe into the 21st century with a super sleek rainbow lucite menorah. West Elm has a gorgine modern menorah that’s currently on sale for under $30 (which feels borderline illegal), so snatch one while they’re priced to sell.
Sassy glass ornaments
Each year, the bar for cheeky, niche ornaments gets higher and higher. I buy everyone an ornament that compliments their personality (mostly food-related) and use them in lieu of name tags on gifts. This little move goes over big; sometimes, people like them even more than their actual gift. There are so many good ones to choose from, but for starters, let’s go with the holy trinity: a martini and a shrimp cocktail. Amen.
Really interesting candles
Sure, a candle isn’t the most imaginative gift, but when it’s in the shape of a flame sculpture or a postmodern blob, it’s sure to be well-received.
Personalize their Old Fashioned
Nothing says “I belong to a country club” like monogrammed ice cubes. Seriously, Imagine bringing your guest a Negroni Sbagliato with your (or their) initials? Now that’s elite.
A gourmet charcuterie board
No one ever has opened up a giant basket of artisanal meats and cheeses and thought, Meh. This is why the Deluxe Cheese and Charcuterie Hamper from Williams Sonoma is the perfect gift for absolutely anyone (as long as they’re not vegan). Send them everything they need to entertain on Christmas Eve without lifting a finger.
An affordable bit of cashmere gear
If your mother-in-law isn’t hip to Quince’s high-quality basics and homewares, she’ll never know you scored this devilishly soft cashmere throw for less than $150. Best of all, she’ll be fawning all over you, because baby, that’s what cashmere is all about.
Good luck, my little suck-ups—hope you get that raise or a newly appointed status of “best son-in-law.”
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.
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