Sometimes those closest to you are the hardest ones to find creative gifts for. The next challenge is finding presents that your kids won’t fight or be jealous over. And of course, you can’t forget your spouse. So many decisions! If you’re on a budget do you agree not to get each other anything? And if you do, should you get a little something just in case he gets something for you anyway? It’s enough to make you consider canceling Christmas all together.
In fact, MarketWatch reports: “According to the Survey of Affluence and Wealth from Time Inc. and YouGov, while per household spending on holiday gifts will likely rise by 10% this year, total spending on gifts will increase by only 8.7% — and that’s because roughly two million households have dropped out of holiday gift spending altogether. That means in 2014, nearly 9% of American families will not participate in holiday gift-giving.” If the concept of Christmas without presents is inconceivable to your children and a little disappointing for you, consider making it easier on your budget and your brain by getting one really amazing family gift that everyone will love. Round it out with a few small individual presents and you’re done! To get you inspired, here are 13 fabulous, creative gifts for the whole family.
1. Streaming Media
Google Chromecast ($35) is a device that plugs into your TV and allows you to view anything you watch on your tablet or Smartphone on your luxuriously larger TV screen. This includes Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and those endless vacation slideshows. The Amazon Fire Stick ($39) is a similar device that will go on sale January 15, 2015.
If you’re expecting snow this winter, L.L. Bean has a fantastic array of toboggans ranging from $139-$209. There’s no better way to bond as a family and really enjoy wintertime than a good old-fashioned family sledding adventure.
3. Game Systems
Today’s gaming systems are so much more than games. The Xbox One allow you to stream movies, music and sports. The Kinect controller responds to movement and voice so you can use it as a fitness tool or just get a workout playing your favorite games.
We’re not sure why, but there’s something fascinating about the idea of owning a drone and, believe it or not, Amazon has a Drone Store. Peruse their buying guides and see if there’s a recreational drone with your family’s name on it.
5. Zombie Survival Crate
If you love the Walking Dead, love Zombies or are simply a family of survivalists, the Zombie Survival Crate ($99.99) may be one of the most creative gifts you’ll find this Christmas.
6. Bathroom Fun
If your family spends a lot of time in the bathroom, Gifts for Men has some truly silly bath accessories. Does it take hours of negotiating to get your kids in the tub? The Runny Nose Shower Gel Dispenser ($7.50) is a bargain that will make bath time a whole new experience. If your little ones are afraid of the dark or if the adults in the family don’t have the best aim at night, the Glow in the Dark Toilet Seat ($65) will light your way.
7. Museum Membership
A museum membership is a wonderful gift that keeps on giving all year. Besides encouraging you all to visit more often, many memberships offer access to classes, lectures and other perks.
The CatGenie ($260-360) is a flushable, litter-free cat box. Before you go into shock at the thought of spending over $200 on a litter box, take a moment to think about the cost of litter and the hassle (and nagging) of refreshing the box. The CatGenie attaches to your toilet and has washable, reusable granules. You can set it to flush automatically or let your kitty activate it when needed. No dust, no mess and it’s watching your cat using his mini toilet is adorable.
An aquarium tops the list of soothing and educational creative gifts for the family. They come in every size and you can all have fun choosing fish and decorations. And when you need to take a few minutes to meditate at the end of the day, there’s nothing like watching fish go back and forth.
10. 3D Printer
3D printing is poised to revolutionize the way we buy and produce everything from makeup to food. Get in on the action with a Simple Maker’s Kit ($349) the Simple Metal ($599) is pricier but does a lot more.
A telescope is another great educational gift for the whole family. Learn about astronomy and do some stargazing together. But no spying on the neighbors!
12. Ski Vacation
A family ski vacation is one of the best creative gifts you can give. Skiing is the perfect group activity for family bonding and winter fun. There plenty of deals to be had in the new year, check out sites like Expedia or Learn to Ski & Snowboard for bargains and family packages.