Whether you’re giving a gift to grandchildren, nieces and nephews, neighbors, or friends, you can save money, time, and mental energy by choosing a FAMILY gift instead of gifts for each individual person in the family.
Plus, gifts that are great for the whole family can be a ton of fun and really build family unity. In a world where it’s easy for family members to bury themselves in their electronic devices, receiving a gift that strengthens the family will be a blessing that goes far beyond the Christmas season.
Yesterday in Frugal Festivities Day #5, I shared some fun and frugal family gift basket ideas that you can put together yourself. While they are super fun and guaranteed to be a hit, sometimes there just isn’t time or energy for putting them all together.
Today’s gift ideas are also great for families, but they will be less work for you to put together because you can just purchase them. Don’t worry, they’re still frugal purchases that will fit in most budgets. If you have Amazon Prime (if not, you can grab a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial), you don’t even have to factor in the shipping cost and have the gift sent right to the recipient.
We’re on Day #6 of our Frugal Festivities: 25 Days of Christmas Cheer on a Budget. If you’ve missed any of the other days, you can see them all here.
Don’t forget that in January, to start the new year off right, I’m hosting the Frugal Fresh Start Challenge! Every weekday in January we’ll be tackling a new way to be more frugal. Learning to be frugal and manage your money will help you no matter what your financial goals are. When you sign up for the challenge you’ll get the workbook emailed to you for free!
Okay, let’s talk about some great gifts that build family unity that you can just buy. Easy peasy. No creativity or DIY involved.
If you would rather watch/listen to today’s Frugal Festivities episode, you can watch it below, otherwise keep scrolling down for today’s frugal Christmas ideas!
Great Family Gifts that Build Unity
Our family loves games, but with kids of all ages and personalities, sometimes it’s hard to find ones that everyone can enjoy and that don’t end with someone crying. This is why we love cooperative games! With cooperative games, we’re all on the same team. We either win or lose together!
Forbidden Island— This is the first cooperative family game we tried! It was a hit with ages 7 and up. The box says 10 and up, but when younger kids are playing with adults they do just fine, which is one of the great things about cooperative games! It’s for 2-4 players and takes less an hour to play. Forbidden Island teaches strategic thinking, cooperation, and problem solving. There are other games in this series like Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky, as well as expansion packs. We haven’t played them all yet, but they also get great reviews from families.
Pandemic— Panademic is also a cooperative game but is more complicated and involved than Forbidden Island. Game play is a little longer as well. It’s also recommended for ages 10+ but younger kids can pick it up since it’s a cooperative rather than competitive.
Castle Panic— We got this one for one of our sons on his 8th birthday. It’s another cooperative game, but it can also be played solo. You can have 1-6 players, which is nice for us because we have 5 people old enough to play games like this. While it is a cooperative game where everyone wins or loses together, there is an element of competition between players as well.
Cahoots— Cahoots is a cooperative card game that our kids will be receiving this year (shhh… don’t tell them) It’s recommended age 10+, for 2-4 players, plays in roughly 20 minutes, which I love because it’s not a huge time commitment like sitting down to play Monopoly or Risk. After reading the reviews, I’m sure it will be a fun one for our family.
Twister— Twister is an oldie but goodie. It’s not a cooperative game, but it’s a fun one for all ages. Our kids love it when the parents get involved in this one.
Parachute— Last year my parents got our family a big parachute (you know like you used in PE in elementary school). They included a book and DVD with hundreds of games you can play with it. You can get different sizes of parachutes and parachutes with different numbers of handles depending on how many people will likely be participating. Ours is 12 feet across and has 12 handles, which works great for our family.
If your family is past the stage of having kids crying when they don’t win and can handle some friendly family competition, some of our favorite games to play together when we want a strategy game are:
And when we’re in the mood for a word game (which is often), we love:
Save on Shipping
It’s easy to forget to factor in the shipping costs when you set your Christmas budget. I love that with Amazon Prime I don’t have to worry about shipping (or standing in line at the post office during the busy holiday rush). If you don’t already have Prime, now would be the perfect time for a 30-day free trial to get your Christmas gifts shipped free!
So what do I do about wrapping? I don’t pay extra for Amazon to wrap it (I’m way too frugal for that). When I enter the shipping name on Amazon I add “DON’T OPEN ‘TIL CHRISTMAS” to the recipient’s name. So it looks like this:
Jones Family– DON’T OPEN ‘TIL CHRISTMAS
City, State, Zip
If it’s to the family of one of my siblings, I’ll ask them to wrap it and stick it under the tree so it looks a little more festive.
When my parents (who live far from us) order from Amazon for us at Christmas time, I always wrap the gifts and put them under the tree. Not a big inconvenience at all and it saves TONS of money on shipping.
I have found some great games, even some brand new, unopened games at thrift stores over the years. It does take some luck and/or perserverance to find specific games you’re looking for, but if you know what you’re looking for and take a quick stroll past the game aisle every time you go into the thrift store, you might be able to tuck away some treasures for future Christmases or birthdays.
I hope some of these ideas work for you as you look for for great family gifts that will build unity and encourage quality family time together. Please share your family’s favorites in the comments to give us even more ideas!
Don’t forget to sign up for January’s Frugal Fresh Start Challenge so we can rock the new year together! See you tomorrow!
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