Eight Holiday Gifts to Bring Families Together

by Julie Hill

Posted on December 19, 2011

a-letter-for-santa.jpgAre you looking for a family-oriented gift this year? These eight gifts are great to give your family members. The best part? You can enjoy them together. These eight ideas focus on bringing families together, you can learn something new about your heritage or discover a new interest to share.

1. Archives.com gift membership: $25-50.

Give the gift of family history without breaking the bank. Archives.com offers gift memberships for three, six, or twelve month subscriptions. Your loved ones will enjoy the opportunity to trace their ancestors and learn about their heritage, whether they are serious hobbyists or just beginners.

An Archives membership gives you access to over 1.6 billion historical records, easy-to-use family tree tools, along with expert tutorials to help you in the exciting project of tracing your family tree. Archives.com gift memberships now available at www.archives.com/shop.

2. Board Game: $15-40.

A tried and true gift for families, board games are fun that anyone can join. Whether you go with the latest deluxe special edition or a classic, you can inspire a family game night to gather everyone together.

3. Converter to put VHS tapes on DVDs: $40 and up.

Is a family you know still storing video memories on VHS tapes? Help them preserve their video stories in a more compact way that's compatible with modern technology. The Dazzle DVD Recorder is a bargain at $38-43 online, and includes easy-to-use video editing software, great for beginners with occasional transfer projects. For advanced video editing needs, you can get user-friendly, sophisticated options like the Sony DVDirect VRD-MC5 in the $200 range.

4. Craft kit: Varies, many $20-40.

The holiday season, when kids are out of school, is a great time to try a new craft together. Craft kits are a great way for families to enjoy a favorite past-time, or inspire a new interest, from making a gingerbread house to tie-dying t-shirts. If you have time, you can assemble your own special recipe kit to share your own tradition.

5. Digital Photo Frame: $50 and up.

While more expensive than a traditional picture frame, digital photo frames can display a rotating slate of images and switch to a different memory with the click of a remote. Many models can synch with a computer, giving you unlimited options to make decorating with photos a more dynamic experience. Some models even come with music.

6. Family portrait session: $60 and up, plus prints package.

Treat a family in your life like stars with a portrait session in a professional studio. Most studios have a variety of price points, so you can choose the gift certificate amount within your budget to cover the desired number of poses, outfit changes, and prints. For a twist, choose a studio that offers old-fashioned costumes and historical back-drops, to add some old-timey fun to the family photo album.

7. Heirloom photo album: $10-25 on Amazon.

Keep family memories to treasure forever in a gorgeous, acid-free photo album. Gilded? Silk? Leatherette? You don't need to break the bank to find a gorgeous photo album to protect precious images for generations. Throw in some scrapbooking supplies like stickers or colorful markers to get kids in on the memory-making.

8. Museum tickets or membership: Price varies by city and museum.

A family trip to the museum can be an excellent learning experience. But this outing can be expensive, especially for larger families. Give a day's worth of passes as a cultural treat, or look into a family membership. Some cities offer reciprocal memberships between multiple museums, a great way to explore your city and its history together.

No matter what you choose, these gifts are sure to bring a smile to the recipient's face. And they should bring a smile to your face, too, when you enjoy your present together and make memories to last a lifetime!

Photo Source: Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection, Letter for Santa Claus, ca. 1910 - 1915.

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