Gifts for the Whole Family

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Find more about christmas gifts, inspired ideas

As our family moved all over North America with the Navy, we were blessed to make good friends who felt like family — so much so, we like to exchange gifts with them for the holidays. But as the group grew, it became difficult and expensive to find a special gift for each individual.

So several years ago, we decided to cut back on the clutter and expense — instead of getting a gift for each member of every family, we'd give one gift for the whole family.

Since we all enjoy family game nights, board games seemed like a natural choice. One board game from us to them, and one from them to us. Each year, we put a lot of thought into which game to buy, and this year, we even joined our families for a game night together.

Last Christmas, I extended this whole-family gift idea. We gave my sister's family a pizza-party-in-a-box — pizza stone, rotary cutter, pizza recipe book, and board game. I wrapped them all together in one big box, hoping it would be a gift that would keep on giving by helping them spend time together as a family throughout the year.

Here are some other ideas for themed gifts for the whole family to enjoy:

Murder Mystery Party

  • "How to Host a Murder" game
  • Crystal party platter for serving snacks
  • Costume starters, such as a wig, a pair of funky glasses, hats
  • Family Movie Night Basket

  • One family-friendly DVD (or a gift certificate to a movie rental store)
  • Fleece blanket
  • Gourmet popcorn
  • 6-pack of bottled root beer
  • Red Vine candy
  • Family Game Night Candyland Basket

  • Candyland board game
  • Gingerbread cookie cutters
  • Jar of gingerbread cookie mix
  • Tubes of decorator frosting
  • Package of gumdrops
  • "Bouquet" of lollipops

    Saturday Afternoon Football Game

  • Flag Football Kit
  • Plain T-shirts with iron-on logos printed on a home computer saying "Team [Family's Last Name]"
  • A Trip Down Memory Lane (Scrapbook Starter Kit)

  • Photo paper for the printer
  • Empty scrapbook
  • Assorted scrapbook papers, stickers, and doodads
  • Adhesive photo corners
  • Package of scissors and/or hole-punchers
  • What I like about these kinds of gifts is that, in a way, we're giving the busy families we love the gift of spending time with each other.

    Got a great idea for a fun gift for the whole family? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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