Our Blog : Family gifts

It's That Time of Year Again!


The Turkey has been cooked, and the leftovers enjoyed (or, if your house is anything like mine, the leftovers are still being enjoyed), and now it is time to unabashedly start getting ready for Christmas. It's time to pull out the ladder, get the lights down from the attic and up on the house. And while I have been trying to chip away at my Christmas list slowly for a while now, its time to kick it into high gear!

 

Celebrating The Twelve Days of Christmas is an important part of my family's holiday season. That means picking out fun little trinkets and goodies throughout the year to fill the boxes for our family members to open from December 26 through January 6. To give you a jump-start on shopping for The Twelve Days of Christmas this week I am going to share with you some of the toys and trinkets that we have given to our family (and received ourselves) over the past couple of years. Today I will share with you some of the goodies that have been found inside the male family member's boxes. Later this week I will share some of the goodies that the ladies have gotten. None of the things on this list are very masculine, so most of these ideas could go for either gender and any age.

  • Wall Walker

These are fun little toys. They are a bit sticky, but harmless. You throw them against a wall or window and they walk their way down. Fun for adults and kids.

  • Cube Robot

These are fun toys to position and play with. They start out as a cube and then transform into a robot. We have two - the smallest one which will fit in a Twelve Days box, and the next size up. Both robots like to hang out in various places around our house. One is hanging out on our wine rack right now.

  • Pencil sharpener/eraser - for the artist or doodler in your life, a fun pencil sharpener and eraser combo makes a good Twelve Days gift. There are lots of cute shapes out there now.
  • Puzzles - these are a yearly occurence in our Twelve Days box. From small jig-saw puzzles to brain-teaser puzzles, they are always a crowd pleaser.
  • Robot pinball

I put one of these in one of my husband's boxes last year. They are a bit hard to play with adult sized fingers, but still fun. And cheap.

  • Chapstick - my father-in-law loves chapstick, as do I. There are so many varieties out there today - from your standard Chapstick brand to Burts Bees to all kinds of other brands with a wide variet of flavors from sweet to minty.
  • Cork animal

 

These are fun little gifts - especially if you know someone who enjoys wine. Most of us have a couple corks lurking around in a drawer somewhere, so why not dress them up? These "Corkers" come in lots of different sets.

  • Metal bookmark - the kind you can clip on the top or side of a page
  • mini 8-ball - you remember the Magic 8-Ball, right? Well in some party stores and toy stores they sell miniature versions for party-favor bags.
  • geode - I loved geodes when I was a kid. In some toy stores you can find geodes now where you can crack your own. It just looks like a rock from the outside, but if you split it open with a hammer you might find a beautiful geode inside!
  • nose flute

 

These are fun for kids of all ages. You stick it in your nose and hum, and somewhat like a kazoo it makes noise.

  • chocolate elves - lots of candy stores sell fun little chocolates in all sorts of shapes this time of year. Cost Plus World Market is a good place to look.
  • movie ticket gift cards - we don't go to the movies very often, but at Costco you can usually get movie ticket gift cards that cut the cost down by a couple dollars per ticket, so they make a nice gift for a night out after the holidays are over.
  • Fishing IOU - my husband made a little gift-certificate for his dad that was an I.O.U. for a fishing trip. There are lots of fun things you can make an I.O.U. for - a massage, homemade dinner, free babysitting, etc.
  • Finger monsters

I remember these from when I was a kid, maybe you do too?

  • Light keychain - I like to have a little light on my keychain, for when it is dark and I need to see something (whether it be the keyhole on the front door or to find something in my purse). A little light keychain makes a great Twelve Days gift.
  • Wine aerator - there are quite a few wine-related things that will fit in a Twelve Days Box.
  • Gift cards 
  • Gift subscriptions - you can make your own little coupon to put in a Twelve Days box for any kind of non-tangible gift.
  • Small toys - yo-yos, silly putty, etc.
  • Ornaments
  • Keychains

The list goes on and on. Get creative!

 

 


12 Days Until Christmas - Special Goodies for Christmas Eve


Gift idea: Christmas Eve goodies 

Makes a good gift for: Families with toddlers or young kids

Here at Twelve Days we are hoping to share our family tradition with the world. Another time for traditions is Christmas Eve – the night before Christmas. There is no shortage of children’s books illustrating the beloved story The Night Before Christmas or any other Christmas story. Below I have found a couple of fun pieces that could become part of any family’s Christmas Eve tradition for years to come.

Night Before Christmas Tea Towel - for when you are baking Santa's cookies, perhaps? 
Night Before Christmas Dish Towel -Smithsonian Store - $14.99 

Night Before Christmas Pillow - for reading a couple great Christmas stories before bedtime:
Night Before Christmas Pillow - Smithsonian Store - $165.00 

Cookies for Santa Plate
Cookies for Santa Plate Smithsonian Store - $24.99 

The Greatest Gift – the book that It’s A Wonderful Life was based on 
The Greatest Gift - Smithsonian Store - $55.00

13 Days Until Christmas - A Different Kind of Christmas Sweets


Gift idea: Fire pit and/or s’mores kit 

Makes a good gift for: Families, someone with a sweet tooth

For a lot of people, s’mores around a fire outdoors is a camping memory. But s’mores do not have to be limited to the wilderness. Anyone can make s’mores at home – in the microwave, as I have been known to do, or in the backyard. 

I think that an amazing gift for a family of people would be an outdoor fire pit, the ingredients to make s’mores, and if you really want to include the whole shebang – some skewers, wood and matches.

Here are some nice fire pits:


Halo Fire Pit - $87.59

And if you don’t want to just head to the grocery store to put together a couple bars of chocolate, a bag of marshmallows and a box of graham crackers, you could order one of these s’mores kits:

Hershey’s S'mores Kit- $15.95 

Recchiuti Chocolate S'mores Kit - $23.00 




14 Days Until Christmas - Fun Family Craft Kits


Two More Weeks Until Christmas!

Gift Idea: Arts and Crafts Kits

Makes a good gift for: Families, kids

When its raining or cold outside, I always love to do something crafty around the house. Always have, always will. And when the kids are home for Christmas, doing something creative together can be a great way to spend the blustery winter days. Here are some cute craft kits I have found that will bring a smile and some creative entertainment to the kids on your Christmas-list:


Encourage creativity and family unity with an imaginative kit that lets kids create their own wooden family from seven dolls, 3 pieces of fabric, 3 pieces of felt, craft glue, yarn in 4 colors, and 12 colored pencils:


This kit contains everything they need to create their own, one-of-a-kind snow globe. They'll start with brightly colored polymer clay, and with adult supervision bake it into permanent form. Then they'll follow the simple instructions to insert their sculpture into the clear plastic ball, and add water and glitter. As a final personal touch, they can decorate the cardboard base in any way they can imagine.


Set comes with everything needed--from glitter to glue--and easy-to-follow instructions to build your very own kaleidoscope. Includes cardboard tube, plastic mirror pieces, assorted beads and rhinestones, adhesive paper, foil confetti, craft glue and instructions.


This mini wood version can be built in around an hour or two and can shoot a ball over 15 feet! Adjustable pads on the crossbar allow you to change the trajectory angle. The rope, strung through the middle gives great power to the swing arm.

Catapult Kit - $28.00


15 Days Until Christmas - Brew Your Own Rootbeer


Gift idea: Root Beer Kit 

Makes a good gift for: Families with kids, or kids at heart!

It seems like home-brewing has become a very popular trend. For a more family-friendly tilt to the brew your own trend, a root beer brewing kit would be a great gift that a family could do and enjoy together.

Mr. Rootbeer Root Beer Kit- $26.95 

Brew it Yourself Root Beer - $14.95

16 Days Until Christmas - Puzzles to Keep the Kids Busy


Gift idea: Puzzles

Makes a good gift for: Families, kids

Christmas time means the kids are home from school, and probably need something to do. So why not find a unique puzzle – either in subject or shape, and keep some kids entertained!

Twelve Days of Christmas Puzzle

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Puzzle - $49.99



3-D Globe Puzzle

Puzzle Ball - The Globe - Uncommon Goods - $40.00


17 Days Until Christmas - Warm Up with some Cocoa


Gift idea: Hot Cocoa Set

Makes a good gift for: Families, anyone, foodies

Christmas time is the time for hot drinks, and what hot drink is more classic than hot chocolate? There are a lot gourmet hot chocolates on the market these days, and a lot of fancy marshmallows and peppermint sticks to dip in your hot chocolate. If you have the time and inclination, you could certainly head out to a nice grocery store (I am thinking Whole Foods or something along those lines) and pick up the makings of your own set: fancy hot chocolate mix, fluffy marshmallows, peppermint sticks, maybe some nice cookies or candies, and then of course, a nice mug (perhaps a Christmas-themed mug, or an initial mug, like one of these.

If you don’t have the desire or time to search out all the bits and pieces of a set, you should check these sets out: 

Hot Chocolate Gift Set - $40.00

Or, if you can think of lots of people on your gift-list who might enjoy some hot-sweet cocoa, or you are planning on having a holiday party and need some favors, you should check out this deal on Etsy where you can get 10 hot-cocoa “cones” for $32.50:





18 Days Until Christmas - Fun Family Games


This Week's Gift Theme: Gifts for Families

Gift idea: Family Friendly Games 


Makes a good gift for: Families, adults and kids alike 

I like to pass along the gift of games that I enjoy playing. Cranium is a great game for groups of all ages. I have played it with kids and with groups of all adults, and it never fails to result in a good time. 
Cranium - $29.99

Another fun idea is a set of Table Topics cards, which range in topics from kid-friendly, to questions for couples and grandparents: 


For an adults-only gift, Cards Against Humanity is a hilarious game that is great for parties. You can buy the card game for someone online as a gift, or you can print the cards out from the website for free and cut out the cards. This game is similar to Apples to Apples which is another great game that can be educational for kids, and just down right funny for adults to play together. Apples to Apples also has an adult version, but I have never played it. 

I came across this game on one of my favorite shopping sites, uncommongoods.com, and this looks like a really awesome game that kids and adults alike could enjoy: http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/spectrix-game


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