Wonderful Gifts for Entire Families

It seems that my husband and I struggle every year to come up with ideas for Christmas gifts that will be appreciated by their recipients and fit within our budget.

One way to give meaningful gifts while remaining in budget is to give gifts to family units. Here are over a dozen great family gift ideas.

Sometimes the best solution is to use some sort of alternative gift exchange. This year I’ve had another idea that I think is going to work out well: Instead of buying or making something for each individual on our list, we’re buying gifts for family units. This way we can choose meaningful gifts while remaining in budget. (The following includes affiliate links. Click here to read about what this means.)

Gift ideas for whole families


The families on our gift list already have plenty of “stuff.” However, sometimes they struggle to find quality time to spend together. One way to avoid adding to their stuff and to promote quality time is to give experiences as gifts. Every member of the family can take part in these and you can spend as much (e.g., an annual membership to the zoo) or as little (e.g., a gift card for a pizza parlor) as your budget allows. Here are some fun options.

  • Tickets or annual memberships to:
    • Museums
    • Zoos
    • Waterparks
    • Amusement parks
    • State fairs
    • National parks (via the America the Beautiful Pass, which covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges)
  • Gift cards for:
    • Pizza parlors
    • Ice cream shops
    • Bowling alleys
    • Paint your own pottery studios
    • Indoor/outdoor activity complexes

Food-themed gift sets

Everyone in my family loves to eat, so gifts that involve food are always appreciated. Traditional fruit baskets or meat and cheese baskets can get kind of boring, but I’ve come up with a few food-themed gift sets that are useful and fun.

Ice Cream Gift Set | One way to give meaningful gifts while remaining in budget is to give gifts to family units. Here are over a dozen great family gift ideas.

An ice cream gift set that includes an ice cream maker, recipe book, toppings and cones, etc.

S’mores Gift Set | One way to give meaningful gifts while remaining in budget is to give gifts to family units. Here are over a dozen great family gift ideas.

A s’more gift set that includes an indoor s’mores maker, crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, an idea book, etc.

Popcorn Gift Set | One way to give meaningful gifts while remaining in budget is to give gifts to family units. Here are over a dozen great family gift ideas.

A popcorn gift set that includes a popcorn popper, bowl, seasonings, etc.


Another great type of gift that helps families spend quality time together is games. With so many indoor and outdoor games to choose from, I’m able to find one that is suitable for each family on our list. If you choose to give a game, be sure to consider the age and abilities of the family members.

Indoor games

For families with younger children, you can choose classics such as Candy Land or Go Fish. However, there are also a lot of novel games available that are truly enjoyable for young and old family members alike. Examples include Lumpy Cubes, UNO MOO, and Fast Flip.

Games like Trivial Pursuit Family Edition, Jenga, and Pictionary are favorites in families with older children.

Outdoor games

Corn Hole or Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game are great ideas for families with young children. For families with older children, consider getting something like Washers, a Giant Toppling Tower, or a Kubb Set.

Gear for activities

Some of the families on our list have activities they enjoy taking part in together. We’ve considered giving them gear that they can use when engaging in these activities.

  • A tent, lanterns, cooking gear, etc. for the family that loves camping.
  • An atlas, travel games, and book on CD for the family who loves taking road trips.
  • A personalized steak branding iron, seasonings or rubs, a grilling cookbook, etc. for the family who loves to use the grill.


Many families on our list take a lot of photos with their phones, but rarely get these photos printed for use in frames or scrapbooks. A gift card for photo prints would help these families be able to print some of their pictures. If you have access to a family’s digital photos, then another option you could choose would be compiling them in a photobook for the family. If your budget allows, a really awesome photo-related gift would be purchasing the family a portrait session with a photographer! All of these gifts are great because they help the family preserve memories.

Additional ideas

Do you like the idea of giving gifts to family units? Why or why not? What additional ideas can you add to this list?

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Wrapping up the Holidays, Coffee and Conversation, and Tuesday Talk.













  1. These are great ideas! The giant toppling tower looks amazing-I’ve never heard of that, but I loved playing Jenga as a young girl, so I’m sure I’d love to play a bigger version of it! I also really like your idea of providing photos as a present-it’s so true, we often don’t take the time to actually print pictures and frame them or put them in albums!

    I’m really bad at giving gifts and figuring out ideas, so I really like the notion of providing a “family gift” (plus, it encourages family bonding). Thanks for these suggestions!

    • I’m glad you appreciate them, AnneMarie. We are using a few of them…I can’t say which in case family members are reading this ;-)…so we’ll soon see how well they are liked!
      Personally, I’m terrible about getting pictures printed. I made a photobook of pictures from Amaris’ first year when she turned one. A year has passed and I still haven’t arranged to get it printed. I really need to do that!

  2. My brother has 5 kids so we often buy them a family gift. One year we bought them an ice cream maker and put together a box of toppings, cones, etc. Another year we made up a whole gift basket of fun science experiments (they homeschool) complete with instruction manual, vinegar, baking soda, mentos, diet coke, and everything they needed for a good 10-15 experiments. This year we bought them a basketball hoop!

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