Family Holiday Gifts: Ideas for One Gift Everyone in the Family Can Enjoy

badminton set - family holiday gifts

“Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words.”

– Harlan Miller

One way to buy less stuff (and often, spend less) is to buy family holiday gifts, that is, one gift per family, that all ages can enjoy. Ideas include:

  • Colored pencils with an assortment of coloring books for the appropriate age groups – in case you don’t know, adult coloring books are a thing.
  • Movie tickets.
  • Season pass to sporting events, ski lift, etc.
  • Video game console.
  • Tickets to a local event like Cirque du Soleil or Disney on Ice.
  • Movie night basket: a DVD, microwave popcorn and some candy.
  • Family membership to a museum, aquarium, zoo, pool, etc.
  • An outdoor game like badminton or bocce ball.
  • Tickets for a day at an amusement park, water park, zoo, aquarium, museum, etc.
  • A coffee, tea and hot cocoa basket.
  • Camping supplies.
  • BBQ grill.
  • Special edibles, like homemade cookies.
  • Restaurant gift certificate.
  • Basket of foods from around the world.
  • A charitable donation the kids will appreciate too. Organizations that help children or animals tend to be popular with kids.

What family holiday gifts have you received that the whole family has enjoyed?

7 thoughts on “Family Holiday Gifts: Ideas for One Gift Everyone in the Family Can Enjoy

  1. Christy, these are great ideas. That is with the exception of the game consoles. I never took to them and don’t like seeing how many hours kids sit with them ignoring everything and everyone while they play.

    Experience gifts are fun my kids loved the year we had tickets to a concert or the year they saw the Harlem globetrotters, but the best was the year we went to see Lord of the Dance.

    • I’m not into video games myself, but I’ve learned that in some families, people play video games together, or the kids have friends over to visit and they play together. Whenever we have a board game event, the kids always want to bring video game consoles and argue that they’re just as social as a board game because multiple people are in fact playing together and interacting in real life.

      Even playing online games on his computer, in his room alone, my kid is talking constantly to other people – several kids from our neighborhood and others from across the world. For many years, he was close friends with a kid in England he met video-gaming.

      So while video games certainly can be solitary pursuits, they aren’t always. Since the gifts in this post were intended to be for the whole family, I was picturing a family where the parents also enjoy gaming.

      • Christy, I didn’t mean to imply they couldn’t be interactive it’s just my first impression that it’s more common for them to be solitary activities. My son also played video games on his computer when we lived in Arizona with a friend still in Pennsylvania. They would get on their cell phones and play while they talked. But what I see more is the game consoles taking the place of the “babysitter television”.

        Anyway, I do hope you didn’t take offense to my comment as it wasn’t meant as a criticism.

        Have a lovely Christmas.

        • Of course I didn’t take offense – I hope I didn’t sound as though I did. If so, I’m sorry. I was just explaining why I included them.

          When drafting the post, I actually considered not listing the console, but then decided that the fact that I personally don’t like video games wasn’t a good reason to leave them off the list, since a console might be a perfect gift for a particular family.

          I suppose video games can be a babysitter in the case of many younger children, but I was hoping this would be a gift only to a family where the parents could be expected to play too, or at least the siblings would play together.

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.