The next challenge set for me is by Rachel, who has this Christmas shopping conundrum:
“I have a friend with three kids aged 3-10, and rather than getting them each a present, I want to get one nice thing all three of them can enjoy. Any ideas?”
Actually, yes! I’ve got lots of friends like that, and am always hunting for something that’s fun, looks well-thought out, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. So, here are my top five ‘family present’ suggestions…
Charades for kids, £7.29 www.amazon.co.uk
A fun game for big and little kids alike, the cards have different levels of difficulty, so that the whole family can play along. It comes in a post-friendly sized box, too.
Multi colour photo frame clock, £29.99 www.tch.net
Every member of the family – including pets – can display one or two photos in this clever clock. The one I gave to a friend last year has pride of place above her living room fireplace (hopefully because she actually likes it, not because she feels she ought to!)
Doodle Tablecloth, £34.95 www.dotmaison.com
Okay, so it’s not exactly a bargain, but how cool is this? A tablecloth you can draw on time and time again, and the ink washes out like magic. Write people’s names instead of place settings, give kids free rein, or get seasonal with drawings at Easter, on birthdays or at Christmas. Brilliant.
How to make paper planes, £9.59 www.amazon.co.uk
Who doesn’t like making paper aeroplanes? This book is one of the best out there, and includes 50 sheets of origami paper to practice with. It’s easy to post, too.
Bingo game crackers, now £7.50 (was £15) Marks and Spencer www.marksandspencer.com
Every year, my family posts our French friends a pack of fun crackers (apparently they don’t ‘do’ crackers in France), and the one year we forgot, we got a letter asking where they were! It’s a fun, inexpensive family present that’s light to post, and this pack includes a bingo game everyone can play after lunch on Christmas day.