By Stephanie Wentworth (thehappeninghousewife.com)
This year has really seemed like THE year of technology. From the type of headphones we’re using, to the camera on our phones, we’ve started a revolution, a technological era. However, with so many new features in electronics – and even with social media networking – it’s so easy to neglect real, face to face interaction, including with our families. I made this short list to give everyone a simple guide to gifting with the true meaning of the holidays in mind: family.
1 BOARD GAMES We always love to sit around our fireplace playing a good, classic board game. Granted, our toddler doesn’t understand 95 percent of the directions and is really just watching us play, but it gives us a really good reason to sit down , turn the TV off, and just relax, laugh, and have fun together as a family! I love Clue and Monopoly because they can be ridiculously lengthy – or as short as you’d like! The directions are easy and there’s a lot of hand motions that my toddler can get involved with. Rolling the dice and moving our pieces are his favorite!
2 PICNIC SET This is probably my favorite gift on the list. A picnic kit is the perfect gift to give a family. We love ours, and it can be used in so many different ways! Family picnics can be on the beach, at a park, in your back yard, in your living room, you name it. There are so many memories to be made with this gift!
3 GIFT CARDS I specifically chose a Disney gift card for this guide because, well, I am probably a little biased. I love how a Disney gift card can be used for so many different memory making experiences that don’t even have to be at the parks. We have used ours to eat at the Disney Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, Disney Quest, and a number of other fun locations. This teeny tiny little piece of plastic gives the family you’re gifting so many options! Disney even has cool shower curtains like this one I saw of monsters inc. I can hardly wait to get it.
4 BOOKS Swing by your local book store and pick up a few of your favorite books, a book light, and a box of hot cocoa. Toss everything into a basket and you’ve got yourself the perfect “night in” gift for a family who just needs some down time.
5 SMORE’S KIT Who doesn’t love smore’s? This choice on my guide doesn’t really need too much of an explanation, but I do have to admit that this is one of our favorite family memories. It’s inexpensive, easy to gift, and can be given to anyone!
6 MATCHING PJ’S Every year I search high and low for matching pajamas for our family. It is a ton of fun for us to sit together as a family and watch The Santa Claus on Christmas Eve in our matching PJ’s. It can be pretty difficult to find perfectly matching pajamas for the entire family, but IzaPearl.com even makes a matching men’s set, which is what made theirs my fave!
7 TICKETS How awesome would it be to receive day passes to your local aquarium or zoo as a gift? This is such an easy gift and doesn’t require much wrapping! Don’t forget to ask for discounts or free admission for kids!
8 OUTDOOR GAMES I love a good game of corn hole, which has become a family tradition for my house on Thanksgiving. I found these custom corn hole boards on Etsy, but if you have a handyman in your family, you might convince him to build them for you!
9 FONDU KIT As a kid, I always loved it when my mom brought out our fondu set. We had so much fun cooking our own food, and because it takes longer than a microwave, we were forced to sit at the kitchen table and discuss our days, goals and activities!
10 FAMILY GROWTH CHART This is an item I still don’t have myself, but it’s on my list every year at Christmas. I love the idea of having a shared growth chart for everyone. These are great, and can move from house to house and eventually become a family heirloom. This chart from Mrs. Signs and Designs on Etsy is very affordable and can be customized with your family’s name.
Good luck with your gift giving this season and Happy Holidays from our families to yours!