When the holiday season approaches, the pressure is on to make everyone in your family’s wishes come true. Giving gifts is a wonderful way to express your love, but it can also create chaos, clutter, and it can be extremely expensive when their wish lists start to add up. Today’s modern families are starting to lean toward gifts that are more practical, and one that the entire family can enjoy together. If you’re looking for a few practical family gift ideas this holiday season, read on to discover five options that will make your holiday and your year more meaningful.
1. Opt for a Family Vacation
Instead of a house full of toys, consider spending your money on a fun family vacation. You don’t have to take a luxury cruise to create memories that will last a lifetime. Even a simple camping trip during the spring or a visit to some National Parks will be a time that everyone enjoys. Look for discounts on family vacation packages to find great deals on things like airfare and hotel stays.
Talk to your kids and ask them if they have any places they’d love to visit. When you give the gift of a vacation as a family, you’re creating memories that everyone will cherish. You can purchase one big vacation to take the family on at a specific time or choose a few smaller “staycations” for a few weekend getaways. It’s not the cost of the vacation that will matter, but the actual experience that everyone will have together.
2. Give Memberships or Annual Passes
An annual pass or museum membership is a gift that keeps giving all year long. If you’re located near a museum or zoo, purchase a family pass so you can visit anytime you want. When it comes to practical family gift ideas, this is one of the most affordable options. Purchasing a yearly pass or membership usually pays for itself after just a few visits. Some ideas you can try include purchasing memberships to aquariums, history museums, or a pass to the closest National Park.
Each time you visit one of these locations, it’s a brand-new learning experience for the whole family. This gift is also extremely convenient since you can get away and enjoy a day out any time you want for “free” once you’ve purchased the pass or membership. Another perk to becoming a member is that you’ll receive discounts to the gift shop and receive exclusive invitations to special events.
3. Invest in A Learning Experience
Rather than spending your money on toys or electronics, consider investing in your family’s education in a fun and meaningful way. Enroll in some local classes that everyone can participate in like learning a new language or trying arts and crafts. Cooking classes are an excellent choice that will encourage your children to try their hand at making meals at home. When you cook together, you create a bonding experience, and it gives you the opportunity to pass some family recipes down.
Other examples of classes you can try include learning a new skill such as pottery, sewing, or painting. If you have older children, attending a yoga class together can also be a fun and exciting choice. Look for local classes in your area and enroll in one class. If the family enjoys the experience, you can continue to attend the classes all year round. If your child is interested in learning to sing or playing a musical instrument, find out how you can get them started. This gift can turn into a skill or a new talent that they can expand on throughout their lifetime.
4. Give the Gift of Home Remodeling
You might think that remodeling your home is something only you’d be interested in. However, if you happen to have a communal space, this is the perfect opportunity to transform it into a place the entire family will enjoy. If your home has an unfinished basement, let everyone know you’re planning to turn it into a fun family room. Ask your children to help with planning and design so they feel involved in the process. They can even participate in the finishing touches such as helping to paint the room when everything is completed.
Sit down and come up with a few ideas for a room in your home where you can enjoy playing games, watching TV, and just spending time together. This gift will be a permanent one that can easily be enjoyed for years to come. And, if you really want to give a gift for the holidays, wow the family by purchasing a fun item like a pool table, arcade game, or a new flat-screen TV to add to the finished family room.
5. Volunteer or Donate
One of the most practical family gift ideas you can choose is to volunteer of yourself, your time, or your money. Encourage the family to come together and donate some toys, clothing, and other household items to charitable organizations. You can also give of your time by helping serve food at a local soup kitchen or other charity. When you instill these values in your kids at an early age, they’ll be more prone to continue giving to others as they get older.
Donating and volunteering is also a great way to put things into perspective and to encourage a spirit of gratitude. You can also volunteer at local retirement communities or animal shelters. Let the family vote on a favorite organization to give to, or you can sponsor a child in need. Even something as simple as cleaning up trash in the neighborhood will foster a spirit of helping in your kids.
Try some of these practical family gift ideas this season and see how your family reacts. Instead of spending a ton of money on several material items, these suggestions will give you a more meaningful experience. From a special family vacation to remodeling your basement into a family room, these gifts offer something unique and special that everyone in your household will love.