When I was growing up we often received a family gift from Santa. It was always something we would enjoy together, and we would often put it to use Christmas afternoon.
The gift was given as part of our pickle tradition (yep, you read that correctly), and that’s the tradition we plan to continue with our family. Our kids aren’t old enough yet, though, so we’ll have to work our way up to it. This year I don’t know that we will buy a family gift for ourselves, but we have requested a membership to the zoo.
Memberships ~ This is a great one to get for another family you love. Memberships might be for zoos, state parks, museums, pools, or amusement parks. You could also purchase tickets for a sporting event or a show (or season tickets, if you’re made of money). Our local orchestra does family concerts, pops concerts, and classical concerts. There are many other arts organizations in the area, as well, including more than one venue for musical theatre.
Board Games ~ This is a big one in our family. We love to play games. We all have our favorite type, of course. Personally, I LOVE trivia games. I don’t particularly care whether I know the answer, I just find trivia fun. There are many different types of games – trivia, strategy, chance, word games. Pretty much anything you might enjoy. There’s even a game called Pass the Pigs, which is ridiculous and pointless, and that’s its charm.
(We just tried this version of Trivial Pursuit, and it’s nice if you don’t have a long time to play, or you have players slightly uncomfortable with trivia games You can earn a pie piece every play, and can even ask another player to help you answer the question.)
Movies ~ Some families have regular movie nights. We didn’t watch a ton of films together, but we had a few things we always loved. We watched several documentaries and war films, and a few years our family gift was a Veggie Tales video. (What? You don’t think those things go together?) When we kids were all older we loved the Lord of the Rings films. We also watched Masterpiece Mystery and British comedies on PBS as a family (Vicar and As Time Goes By are my favorites…but don’t buy them for me, ’cause we already own them). Anyway, the point is each family has their own culture, and it can be fun to find something unique to them.
Books ~ I’m pretty sure everyone knows how good reading aloud is for the developing brain. It’s also great for family bonding. I always enjoyed hearing Winnie-the-Pooh and The Tales of Beatrix Potter as a kid. Any good story can be read aloud, so this is another area where the family culture is important. What type of stories are your recipients most likely to prefer? Do you know of something new you can introduce them to?
Support Their Hobbies ~ Andy and I both enjoy cooking. That means our kids are going to grow up learning cooking is an enjoyable activity to prioritize. For us, something that supports that activity would be a good gift. Perhaps you have friends who particularly enjoy exercising together, or who like to make music or art as a family. Many families have a “thing” you can thoughtfully encourage through a gift.
What is your favorite family gift you’ve ever given or received?