To You and Your Kin: Gifts the Whole Family Can Enjoy
I’ve never done this type of holiday gift guide, but it seemed to work this year with some of the ideas I’m seeing. Namely, it’s a gift guide for families. These days I’ve noticed a lot of my friend and family circles are uh, expanding rapidly. What you call family is no longer limited to parents and siblings; it’s your sibling’s partners and their kids, your spouse’s family, and all those friends of yours that are having kids as well. Often the children will be the lucky ones to claim the spoils, but I say there’s no reason why you have to overlook the adults. This year, consider shopping for gift ideas that’ll be appreciated by many members of the household. It’s a great way to save money, stress, and time – no more hunting for four separate gifts per household. A lot of these also double as fun host gifts if you’re getting the kids together around the holidays. So here it is – my family friendly gift guide!
Petcube Play – $199 USD @ Best Buy or Petcube.com
Just about any family I know with a pet will be quick to tell you that Fluffy or Fido is just as much a member of the family as the kids (or grandma). Petcube feels your fur baby love. The brand lets you connect with your pet even when you’re not home, with a few different products. The original Petcube Camera lets you check out what your cat does when it’s home alone, while Petcube Bites is actually an interactive treat dispenser. The newest product is Petcube Play, which is a camera, but also lets you launch a laser beam for some instant fun, plus talk to and see your pet no matter where you are. It’s honestly the cutest idea for families, as anyone can check in on your beloved pooch or kitty, even when you’re off on a family road trip! Finally, the kids will have an excuse to be on their phones that you can approve of.
JaCaRou Puzzles – $15 – $24
A family-friendly gift doesn’t have to be super pricey to be super entertaining. Canadian artist Anie Maltais is the designer behind this new (but long-stewing) puzzle brand out of Quebec. A lifelong puzzler, Anie experimented with creating her own puzzle via a DIY puzzle brand, and friends suggested she start selling her creations elsewhere. This inspired her to start drawing her own puzzles from scratch, with fun, whimsical designs loaded with colour and visual textures. Today, the brand has grown to feature nearly two dozen different pictures and puzzles with as few as 100 pieces (for kids as young as 4) up to 1,000 (for a family fun night when it’s too wintry out to do anything else). They’re also sold at a few gift shops in Quebec and New Brunswick, or you can buy directly from the JaCaRou website.
Cranium Dark – $26.99 @ Amazon, Toys “R” Us, Walmart, and Superstore
It’s been awhile since Cranium has released a new version of the classic brain-bending, family-friendly game. The latest iteration is a quick and dirty version of all the things you loved about the original that can be learned in seconds and played as quickly as you like. The gist of the game is simple: you pick a black card that depicts an action, and show it to the group. Sample actions include commands such as ‘Like a Used Car Salesman’ or ‘Sculpt Like the Clay is Hot’ or ‘Like You’re Jumping on a Pogo Stick’. Then pick up a white card from the second deck and you’ve got until the timer runs out to get someone you’re playing with to guess what you’re depicting. If anyone guesses it, you both score a point, and the first person (or group) to 10 (or whatever score you set) wins. It’s so simple, yet can lead to side-splitting results. Anyone want to try out depicting a zombie milking a cow? Then this game is for you.
The Forest Feast for Kids – $23.95 @ Amazon.ca
I have featured The Forest Feast on here before because, quite simply, it is one of my favourite cookbooks ever and I was delighted to see the sequel released this holiday season. However, I also realized there is a kids’ edition of the book, which makes total sense – Erin Gleeson’s recipes are generally no longer than a handful of steps, require minimal ingredients, and many of which are no-cook. In this volume, Gleeson takes the most kid-friendly recipes from her first book and repackages them alongside 20 more kid faves. With ideas for feeding kids at their own fetes and handy tips and tricks to teach children the basics of the kitchen, the gift of cooking – and cooking together – is one of the sweetest I can think of.
Raine & Humble Holiday Polar Bear Pillow – $39.95 USD @ French Studio Imports (Or in-person at Bacci’s)
I love the idea of outfitting a family room for the holidays – and you can do just that with a cute pillow that suits the season and still has plenty of playful feeling for the kids to enjoy. Raine & Humble’s entire holiday line is filled with amazing kid-friendly decor gifts, but the pillow caught my eye because A) It reminded me that Canada has the polar bear capital of the world, and B) That neutral white tone means it’ll go with any decor. You can also add to the fun with a polar bear-bedecked sac to stash everything from library books to gym clothes to yes, presents.
AncestryDNA Kit – $129
Is your family like mine? Our lineage is something several members of my family has really looked into – my mom has met up with a distant cousin in England, my Uncle has compiled all sorts of historical documents and photos to share with our extended brood. Now we can step things up a bit by adding some actual DNA into the mix. AncestryDNA’s kits are so simple. All you do is supply a saliva sample, and they’ll provide a breakdown of your ethnicity, including where your ancestors came from including 26 different worldwide populations. And if other people have taken the test and have similar DNA to you, the service can match you up to track down relatives you may never have known you had. This is an amazing idea for those hard to shop for people that insist they don’t want gifts, but may indeed enjoy the gift of knowledge. And it’s particularly astute as a gift for the whole family to enjoy the results of!
Green & Black’s Organic Classic Chocolate Collection – $10.99 @ Whole Foods, Sobey’s, Metro, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws
I am all about Fair Trade chocolate this year, and I was delighted to see this collection of imported chocolates from the UK. Every family loves to share sweet treats, but this is one you can feel good about. First of all, you can teach your kids about Fair Trade and why it’s particularly important to buy (as per, children themselves are impacted when you buy non-Fair Trade). Second, trying a range of chocolates will actually enrichen your taste buds, according to some scientists and dietitians. With 12 mini-bars to sample from classic milk chocolate to unique flavours like ginger or butterscotch, there’s sure to be a flavour fave for everyone.
Anne of Green Gables 30th Anniversary Edition – $29.99 USD @ Sullivan Entertainment
Did you know they’re remaking Anne of Green Gables for Netflix? Indeed they are – but Canadians will forever have their hearts swept away by the 1985 movie adaptation starring Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie. Believe it or not, it’s been 30 years old since that incarnation of Anne was forever cemented in our collective Canadian consciousness, and now you can nab the movie on a special Blu-Ray edition. The cool part is the film has been digitally remastered for Blu-Ray, presenting you sharper, clearer colour than ever before. It’s a wonderful gift the whole family can enjoy, whether they’re Anne newbies or longtime fans. Puffed sleeves and raspberry cordial anyone?
As members of my extended blog family, I am delighted to have gathered up some of these gift ideas into one amazing prize package valued at over $270 for a lucky winner to take home and share with their family. If you win, you’ll receive:
- A 200-piece JaCaRou puzzle
- Cranium Dark
- Raine & Humble Holiday Polar Bear Pillow
- AncestryDNA Kit
- Anne of Green Gables 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray
If you’d like to win this prize package of family gift ideas, here’s how to enter:
) First and foremost! You must be a Canadian Gift Guide subscriber to enter this giveaway. Just find the ‘Gift of Gab’ box on the righthand side of this page and either hit ‘Follow’ or enter your email address. Once you’ve done that, leave me a comment by November 28, 2016, telling me what your favourite host gift idea is in this post.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around November 28, 2016 to select the winner(s), who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
Like JaCaRou Puzzles on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall, telling them which puzzle you love the best. Link back to your Facebook comment in a separate post below.
Follow @HasbroNews on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway, tagging them + me (@cdngiftguide) and linking back to this post. Be sure to leave a separate comment below that links to your Tweet!
Follow French Studio Imports on Instagram, and either Regram one of their photos, or share your favourite Raine + Humble holiday item on Instagram, tagging them + mentioning me (@cdngiftguide) in your description. Post a link to your Instagram photo in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
Follow @AncestryCA on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway, tagging them + me (@cdngiftguide) and linking back to this post. Be sure to leave a separate comment below that links to your Tweet!
Like Sullivan Entertainment on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall about your favourite Anne of Green Gables memory. Link back to your Facebook comment in a separate post below.
BTDubs: You can check out all active giveaways by visiting the Winners Circle section of my site!