Get your mother-in-law the perfect gift!
Jokes about mothers-in-law have long been a popular theme in comedy and it is said that there have been such jokes since Roman times!
The reason for all the humor is the belief that the average mother-in-law does not think that her son-in-law is worthy of her daughter. This sentiment is found in many countries around the world and there are plenty of jokes and cartoons in various languages, all based on this myth and Juvenal once proclaimed- “One cannot be happy whilst one’s mother-in-law is still alive!”
In the jokes and cartoons, mothers-in-law are portrayed as being unattractive and overbearing and the relationship with their son-in-law is both complicated and precarious. Amusingly, most mothers-in-law take the jokes in their stride as they feel that they are far-fetched and do not believe that they apply to them anyway!
There are some fun gifts to be found for your mother-in-law during your European holiday.
Straight to the point!
If you feel that there is no need to be subtle with your mother-in-law, one of the colorful handmade witch puppets from Prague will definitely not beat around the bush whilst a piece of Icelandic jewelry made from cooled volcanic rock, might just get her thinking whether there is a secret message!
Getting the message across…
Many would say that their mother-in-law is always stirring up trouble for them so a wooden spoon from Romania will be the perfect gift, although it has to be said that nowadays, they are decorative rather than practical and are beautifully hand-carved.
Wartime memorabilia is becoming valuable and much sought after and you might just find a gas mask for your mother-in-law during your travels through Russia. If she enjoys eating chocolates, there are certainly appropriate ones to be found in the Netherlands …. containing bugs! Having said that, if she is a smart mother-in-law (and they often are) she will just remind you that the red color in lipsticks is often made from insects! In Finland, another foodie treat for her is tar syrup – ‘terva’ which tastes of pine sap and has a strong smokey flavor.
A troll could make an unusual gift and in Scandinavian folklore, these creatures lived in rocks and forests. ‘Troll’ comes from the old Norse word for ‘demon’ or ‘fiend’. If you have taken her daughter for a romantic sojourn in Paris, you will find the perfect gift for your mother-in-law in Marché aux Puces – the largest antique market in the world – where treasures include African fertility statues and all types of taxidermy!
Keeping M-i-L out of trouble!
If you just want to keep her occupied, a Rubik’s Cube from Hungary could do the trick or a can of fresh air brought back from Paris or Barcelona. If you are traveling through southwest France, a box of Agen prunes could do the trick in more ways than one! In Greece, the bright blue colored ‘evil eye’ helps to ward off misfortune and could be a good thing to hang near to your Mother-in-Law
And if you do love her after all…
There are some lovely gifts to buy for her during your travels and these include Belgian lace, Swiss chocolates, Italian leather or a Spain hand-held fan. Your mother-in-law will definitely appreciate any of these gifts, but the truth is they might not be so much fun to give!
If on the other hand, you enjoy getting a risqué gift you might well plan a holiday to Vietnam to buy some snake wine, the United States for a scorpion lollipop, Jamaica for a voodoo doll or Africa for some elephant dung!
Romania – treat her to a căciulă which is a black sheepskin hat
Southern France – a jar of prunes….to keep her going(!)
Turkey – An evil eye – to ward off bad luck and evil.
Moscow (Russia) – a shapka ushanka -which is a traditional fur hat with ear flaps.
Russia – Valenki boots made from felted sheep’s wool that will keep feet warm, at temperatures of -30ºC
Czech Republic (Prague) – handmade witch puppet – no explanation needed!
France – Provençe – all older people including M-i-Ls like lavender
Hungary – a Rubik’s cube will keep your M-i-L out of mischief for hours!
Iceland – a piece of jewelry made from cooled volcanic rock – a hidden message?
Lithuania – decorated paper clippings – just because!