Family Gift Guide 2010

There are moments when it’s most appropriate (and simple) to give a single but thoughtful gift to the family rather than to each individual member. Perhaps the gift is from one family to another, or it’s to say thank you for watching your home/pets/lawn/shoveling/getting the mail while you were away during the year or simply because you are being hosted.

Whatever the reason, we hope that the following will get you started on thinking up some great family-centric gift ideas.

DNA Ancestry Portraits – Get your genetic lineage is encoded to create a one-of-a-kind canvas art piece. The “portrait” is in fact a personal scannable code that allows you to trace your maternal lineage by scanning it with a smartphone. See how DNA 11 goes about it in this short video clip. Visit the DNA gallery and order here.
Twelve Days of Christmas – These heirloom gift boxes are a fantastic way to introduce a new (but by “new”, we actually really mean “ancient”) tradition into your existing holiday traditions. And what a great way to prolong the festivities too as the first of the Twelve Days actually begins on December 26 and the twelfth day is on January 6 (otherwise called the Three Kings’ Day or Epiphany). Read more about this wonderful concept and order here.
SodaStream – I bought this for the family last December and it’s still a hit. And since most of my kids’ friends didn’t know about this, I thought it was worth a mention. Sodastream is simply a machine that carbonates water to which you can add any flavor you want. While kids will love the access to potentially healthy sodas (you decide what goes in them), adults will love the convenience (no lugging bottles and cans), the green factor (no empties) and the cost savings. Available on Amazon,  through the Sodastream website or through a variety of retailers.
MonkeyBed’s Urban Blanket Bag –  This bag, besides having the ability to carry a whole picnic, can also transform into a 4 person blanket with water-resistant backing. It crosses over perfectly for the family that enjoys picnics/activities in the park, the beach, camping, etc… See the video here. Available directly on MonkeyBed.com
Year-Round Sled – Whether it is winter or summer, all you need is a hill and this year-round sled for guaranteed family fun. During the summer, two plastic ice molds attach to the bottom of the sled making it a more comfortable ride than summer ice blocking (If you have never tried it you simply ride on a block of ice down a hill in the summer). In the winter remove the molds for the perfect snow covered downhill ride. Buy here.
Babycakes Cupcake Maker from Cambria Cove -  Awwww. The BabyCakes is completely adorable and promises to be the new favorite kitchen appliance. Or, could the new favorite be the Hot Chocolate Maker from Bialetti, which would be a great complement to the just mentioned Year-Round Sled or the Snowman Paint Set below. Hummmm.
Family Time Dinner Games – This is a fun little something to bring to the hostess with kids aged 5 to 12. These dinner games promote family togetherness through a game that encourages kids to open up and share their experiences. Available on Amazon.
Snowman Paint Set – It’s winter, it’s cold… Might as well make it fun and goofy with a family outdoor activity with, for example, this snowman paint kit! Available at Hammacher Schlemmer.
IndieFlix offers a Film Festival in a Box game with film choices appropriate for family members ages 7+. A DVD containing 4 short independent movies are watched and then voted upon in a pretend film festival held in your home. Except that the points really count for independent film makers. Read more about what we wrote about IndieFlix here and see the various themed films boxes here.
Popcorn Starter Kit – Here’s a classic, sure to be appreciated-by-the-whole-family gift idea (oh and, ahem, a great companion to IndieFlix suggestion above). This kit include a popper and three varieties of gourmet NATURAL (not GMO) popcorn. As you may know, microwaved popcorn is not a recommended snack (read more) so this alternative popper with quality popcorn may be a more precious gift than you knew. Buy Boulder Popcorn on Foodzie.
Dessert of the Month Club – There is probably not a single family that this would not please. But if you happen to know of one, let this be inspiration of other gift-of-the-month ideas, such as cheese, fruit, nuts, etc… For a dessert club? We would probably go with the Wisconsin Made gift club. Anything foodie from Wisconsin gets our vote.
Wits and Wager Board Game - This is the most awarded family game ehhh-ver! It is part trivia game, part betting game and 100% fun. For ages 10 and up. Buy it Amazon for approx. $24.00.

Need more inspiration still? Here are ALL our Gift Guides. Or, go directly to the Jewelry-is-always-the-perfect-gift Guide, the Hostess Gift Guide, the Lil’ Kids Gift Guide, the Teens Gift Guide, the Eco & Fair Trade Gift Guide and the Men’s Gift Guide. And, that’s for just for starters….

One Response to Family Gift Guide 2010

  1. JackPCS says:

    Some terrific suggestions here. One classic for-the-whole-family gift that’s sometimes forgotten is the game of chess. esides its being a fantastic way to exercise the problem-solving and planning sides of the brain, it’s one of the few arenas in which parents and children can play together and be truly evenly matched. And a nicely crafted set is a beautiful object of desig for your home. Wood, alabaster, marble sets — even the elaborate themed chess sets available –- can be the perfect incentive to take up the game, either after a lifetime or for the first time.

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