Yesterday I did something crazy. I gave my husband his birthday gift one week early. I know, I know…it’s against the rules, but I did. But, you know what? I don’t regret it in the least. Why? Because a small and simple gift brought stress relief to our family’s day. Sure, the gift was for my husband, but it was a family-centered gift. It was a gift that he could share with the family and enjoy making memories. When I saw how that simple gift created family connections, smiles and giggles, I just KNEW I had to get out a family-centered gift guide for Christmas!
If you’re like our family, we budget everything. We have a food fund, a clothing fund, a housing fun, a utilities fund, a home-schooling fund and the list goes on. We ensure that our monthly necessities are taken care of first, and then if there is any extra — well, we normally spend that on an unexpected need — and rarely a want. Most of the time you won’t catch us lugging home a new pool, ping-pong table or other fun find because it’s simply not in our budget. But, when birthdays and Christmas rolls around, you may just see a few new bikes in our yard.
Christmas is the time when you can buy gifts and not feel guilty. In fact, people give you gift cards and you are expected to buy something fun or frivolous. May I encourage you today to consider investing in items that will help your family connect? Think beyond those new, over-priced earrings or cell phone with all the bell and whistles. Instead, think of an item that could help create lasting memories with your kids. No matter how many times Elmo tells your child he loves them, they need to hear it and see it from you. These gifts are fun ways to show your kids you love and enjoy them —- all the while unwinding in a pile of giggles!
Ready to grab some family-centered gifts?
Family-centered Holiday Gift Guide
- Dart Board. I gave my husband a dart board for his birthday and it was a hit! He loved it because it was simple, didn’t take long to play and was something to relieve stress. My older kids enjoyed watching their dad and also got involved trying to hit the bullseye. As with any sharp objects, keep the darts our of reach of young children and ensure adult supervision with older kids.
- Roller-blades. Last year we got three kids their own pair of roller blades. One year later, the are still skating together, laughing and have lots of competitive races. In fact, tonight we are planning on some family contests since my son’s skates fit my husband and me. I see three more pairs of roller-blades in our future so all the kids can have their own pair!
- Family tent. Camping is definitely on our to-do list next year! Even if you can’t get out to a special spot to camp, you can always camp in your backyard — really! Picking out a family tent for the family can be on your “to-do” list this Christmas season. Get everyone’s opinions and then go pick out the perfect tent that fits your family’s needs!
- Badminton set. I completely forgot how fun this game is until I moved to Southeast Asia. Everyone here plays this. You’ll see adults with sports clothes on playing it every night in the streets. I love it because anyone can play, it requires little time to set up and take down and it’s a super-cheap investment. We often have family tournaments of badminton in our front yard!
- Ping Pong table. I cannot begin to explain to you the fun memories that lie in your future if you put a ping-pong table on your Christmas gift list. I have so many fun memories when my family would play ping-pong in our basement. Sure, your kids can go play outside by themselves for hours, but playing gets super-fun when mom and dad get involved. My two brothers and I would play with my mom and dad for long periods of time — it was addicting! But, you get what you pay for with ping-pong tables. You buy the cheap ones, they fall apart. Invest in a trusted brand!
- Horseshoes set. I think a lot of us forget about this fun past time. Horseshoes sets are a great investment for the holidays because it takes little time to assemble and can be played quickly or you can have tournaments. It’s the simple things in life that make the best memories!
- Rook. What?! You’ve never hear of Rook? I hope most of you have. It’s a game that goes WAY back for me. I love it because you can split up in teams or just play individual players. It’s a lot to learn in the beginning, but one you get the hang of it, it gets really fun. My oldest three kids now how to play because it is a family tradition I had to pass on. If you’re a game fan, you should definitely check out Rook this holiday season!
- K’nex Building Set. Things get get pretty serious when you have a family K’nex building contest going on! You can have competititions for most creative or most complex. Don’t watch the clock, as your family may be up in the wee hours creating an amusement park or dinosaur!
- Snap Circuits. These are super-fun to encourage your kids to build and build. Families can have fun together making door bells, alarms and and lots of blinking, noisy inventions! The materials are child-friendly. Snap Circuits are the perfect gift for your family if you love to learn and create things together — like home-school families!
- Fire Pit. You don’t have to go to the mountains to enjoy the great outdoors. Fire Pits are a great way for your family to enjoy camp fires every week. Just check out the reviews and see how the families are raving about this Christmas gift. Get ready to roast some marshmallows!
What family gifts have brought your family a little bit closer? Are you glad you made that purchase? Would you do it again? I Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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