Every year we hear about the waste at Christmas. The money that is spent on gifts that are unwanted or unused after the initial excitement. Or the hassle and panic of thinking up gift ideas for families and friends. I love buying presents for people that I’ve really thought about. But now most of the children in the family are older, money or vouchers work better, and we don’t do gifts for the brothers/sisters in law Instead I make each family Christmassy food treats, but maybe buying one family christmas gift to share is the way forward? Here’s a family gift guide that all the family will enjoy.
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Sometimes the best family time is about getting out and about, and often that doesn’t need a big holiday. A day out locally will do. In the UK especially, there’s choices galore for family memberships, enabling you to return to favourite places time and time again, or dip in and out when you’re visiting friends or on holiday and want to see the sights.
Just check the locations and whether there’s enough for toddlers, teens or whatever family make up there is, to be entertained.
National Trust – historic houses, estates, car parking at the coast, seasonal activities. There’s lots for all the family and most people have a couple of National Trust properties near them. Family passes are available for single or 2 parents and children, as well as single passes. Look out for special offers and gifts when purchasing. There’s also the equivalent in Scotland for those not in England/Wales.
English Heritage – castles and stately homes all over England. Look out for Historic Scotland, the equivalent north of the border.
Merlin passes – expensive, but look out for the sales if they fall at the right time of the year. These cover sea life centres and theme parks, plus Warwick Castle. Just make sure the recipient has plenty of choices near them (or are theme park aficionados).
Local annual passes – find a location they really love to visit and buy them an annual pass. Many places only need a day pass buying, then the family could upgrade to a free annual pass. So buy them day tickets, add a relevant gift for the kids (e.g a wildlife park or zoo, and add activity or sticker books and a soft toy, or adopt an animal) and if they upgrade their ticket when they go, they can return as often as they want for free.
Give an experience – depending on the age of the children, organise a family tasting day, city tour with meal voucher, scavenger tour with reward at the end, send them on an adventure day like karting, Go Ape or Segway. It can be an experience you create yourself for free, a treasure trail around their city (you can buy these for around £10), or a more expensive one.
Family gift hampers are great and can be personalised to the family or a theme:
- Food hampers – buy a ready made luxury one, or make your own buying a basket, hamper filling, cellophane and ribbon, and then the food and drink
- Movie hamper – ready for movie night. Couple of dvds or an online film subscription, popcorn, drinks, soundtracks
- Games night – couple of family board games, pack of cards, casino chips or something to bet with, family trophy
- Family Lego scape – get either one big set (because if you’re saving money buying for each, you can probable afford to get one bigger set especially if you look out for offers), or small sets suitable for each family member, that they can make and get slot together in a ‘family’ set.
Family time is precious and sometimes we need to make time. Hopefully this family gift guide will provide plenty of ideas, and create lots of family moments for the recipients.
Do you give or like to receive family gifts?
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