This holiday season, you could, of course, play Santa and load up on toys and gadgets for every family member of every family you love, spending hours figuring out who’d like what best. Or, you can keep it simple and opt for family gifts — presents that the whole family will like. After an exhaustive nonscientific analysis, we’ve determined that choosing the best family gifts saves you roughly 93 hours’ worth of stress — and makes everyone happy. These are the best gifts for the whole family.
The Best Family Gifts
You pick a letter that means something to you. And then, this 12 inch tall metal letter doubles as a wine cork holder. It's a great showpiece, and a fun way to keep your corks.
Pick a favorite photo, and get a hand-drawn illustration you can hang on the wall. You submit photos of all the family in the clothes you want them to drawn in; the photos can be separate ones, if you don't have a decent one of the whole crew together. And the artwork is drawn by hand, using a digital pen which hooks up to the computer. The final product is seven inches wide by five inches long.
The family that masks together ... enough said. This set includes four understated cotton twill and bull denim masks, with adjustable elastic ear loop straps, pull through loops to tighten, and an adjustable nose wire. They're neutral and comfortable.
If hand-drawn portraits aren't your thing, here's a digital photo frame that will be. It seamlessly lets you upload, crop and showcase your pictures and 15 second video clips from your phone to the frame via the app. If you link your photo albums, they'll automatically sync with the frame, too. The frame lets you set up photo 'playlists' and doesn't skimp on the quality: It's 1920x1080p full HD with IPS anti-glare and TruArt technology.
One of the most fiery hot sauces you can buy, Truff uses red chili peppers infused with black truffle oil from Northern Italy and organic agave nectar from Jalisco, Mexico. This particular set includes three standouts: Hotter Truff (less sweet), White Truff(white truffle), and Black Truff (black truffle).
The vintage rock ’n roll aesthetic of this Bluetooth speaker sets it apart from the competition, but it’s not just a pretty face. Not even close. Its 20+ hours of battery life, immersive sound, and water-resistant design are sought-after portable speaker features. It proves that a best-in-class speaker doesn't have to cost you a car payment.
For anyone who loves to customize shirts, towels, blankets, or toys, here's a compact way to put your stamp on pretty anything you want. It has three heat settings for iron-on and infusible ink projects. It's basically next-level crafting.
Brightland makes some of the tastiest olive oils and balsamic vinegars on the market today. This set includes four of its standouts, all from California. You get a raw champagne white vinegar and a raw double-fermented balsamic vinegar, as well as two glorious olive oils. Bon appetit.
One of the coolest gift ideas we've encountered: You connect the triangular color-changing LED panels together and mount them with the included adhesive pads. And the module recognizes the music you're playing and changes color in time to the rhythm. Plus you can use voice-control with it.
The standard answer kids give you when asked anything is 'fine.' So get a real conversation started with these clever cards. Is it more fun to be a parent or a child? Is it harder for you to eat healthy or get exercise? The 135 cards will upgrade your dinner table talk with minimal effort.
Looking like a cross between Olaf and Santa, this robot helps keep families connected. You press a button and record a message, which is then sent to your spouse or kids via audio file or text. He can even welcome family members home with a personalized greeting.
Your movie night just got an upgrade. A major upgrade. You can download and stream YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other channels straight to the mini projector. You can use this thing to watch films, of course, but also to stream online classes. Ideal for low-light environments, this Nebula project a highly-detailed 720p, 200-ANSI-lumen image that 100 inches in size. The audio is powerful, and the image so crisp that you can watch stuff outdoors.
There's no such thing as going wrong when you give someone gourmet candy. And this velvet-lined trunk is crammed with nine different kinds of goodness. Among the sweet: Champagne bears, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, and robin's egg caramels. Hungry yet?
This eight-player croquet set is basically a work of art on its own. Made in Ohio by Amish craftsmen, this beautiful croquet set lets eight players work off some of that Christmas dinner. The nine 5/32 inch vinyl-coated metal wickets are solid, the balls won't break, and the 31 inch mallet is great for people of differing heights.
If you've got Disney lovers in your family, you need this ultra-portable projector, which is the size of your hand. This brilliant little movie projector lets you download and stream up to five hours' worth of entertainment without a WiFi connection. And it comes pre-loaded with e-books and shows for kids.
When you're done watching movies, blow off some steam with this bumper soccer ball set. Get thyself into these inflatable soccer balls, and bounce, flip, roll over, and bump your way to world domination.
Pay tribute to your family's hometown with these gorgeous pillows, which feature famous skylines. Whether you choose Seattle, Dallas, New York, London, or another locale, these intricate and beautiful (and hardy) pillows are a personal twist on an otherwise generic gift. Especially since pretty much no one is traveling anywhere this year.
We're not fans of appliances as gifts, but an ice cream maker? That's something your whole family will love. Not only does this two-quart, heavy-duty ice cream maker look festive, but it churns out dessert in 25 minutes.
The Best Personalized Family Gifts
The grill fiend will appreciate this custom-made branding iron, which features three letters and can be used on steaks, sandwiches, or anything else that's hot. Each letter is 1.25 inches tall, and a three letter iron is 2.75 inches wide.
When is a light not a light? When it spells out your family's name. This industrial-looking light looks way more expensive than it is. It's great for a playroom, but just as cool for parties, or even as an accent light.
Are these hokey? Sure. But they're also pretty damn nice and funny as hell. You submit a photo of your favorite pet, and you get a pillow handmade in Brooklyn that pays tribute to the glories of Fido.
Handmade in Ohio, this cherry wood cutting board features your family's unique equation. In circles or hearts, up to four names add up to a a message or a family name. And then, throw some charcuterie on it and have a feast.
The Yankees or the Mets? Both, with this personalized map of ballparks. Families can add pictures as they visit each of the 30 professional ballparks on the map — a great memento for sports-fan families. Especially since watching live sports in person is but a distant memory right now.
Hokey? Sure. But will you treasure it? Of course. You choose a design, submit your family's names, and wind up with an 18-by-12-inch canvas wall hanging that's professionally stretched on a wooden frame.
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