According to the movies, family get togethers involve matching jumpers, coordinated table settings and 'spirited' conversations about world politics. In reality, they look more like flying Monopoly pieces, dodging your annoying aunt's highly private questions and your dad snoring after eating too much.
Whatever your family get together looks like, come armed with the perfect gift. We've got a great selection of family gift ideas, including for parents and kids. Oh, and make sure their four-legged fav doesn't miss out with our gifts for dogs. Now that's sorted, it's time to figure out how to dodge your weird uncle's over-friendliness. Good luck with that.
Throw Throw Burrito
All good family get togethers involve at least one thing being thrown, right? (Or is that just my family?) For a legitimate excuse to chuck things at each other, look no further than Throw Throw Burrito from Exploding Kittens. It's basically dodgeball, just with cards and small foam burritos instead of balls. The idea is to collect matching cards faster than your other family members, while dodging soft burrito projectiles. Fun, fast-paced and hilarious, even grandma will enjoy a round or two of this. Just mind her false teeth.
Gingerbread Biscuits Baking Kit
Fill their home with the festive scent of freshly made gingerbread, even if it's not Christmas time. If their baking skills don't quite extend to building a gingerbread house, this Gingerbread Biscuits Baking Kit by Aussie company Bakers Box is the next best thing. It contains everything they need to bake and decorate up to 34 biscuits. Think ingredients (locally sourced where possible), piping bag, piping tip, cookie cutters and even twine to hang up and show off their biccies.
For wholesome family entertainment we reckon you can't go past the Doodle Crate from KiwiCo. This monthly subscription box is suitable for ages 14+ and is basically an art studio in a box. They can spend hours of quality time together crafting things like a felt succulent garden, fake leather portfolio and soap. All tools and materials are included, as well as illustrated instructions. You can't put a price on those kinds of memories. (Well, you can. A box starts at $23 a month.)
Millennials vs Boomers Trivia Game
It's time to settle this once and for all: who's better - millennials or boomers? Although the answer is clearly Gen Z, the family will enjoy scrapping it out with this Millennials vs Boomers Trivia Game. 200 cards pit the older generation against the younger one, with head scratchers about pop culture for the boomers ('what's a meme?') and life in the 60s through to the 80s for the millennials ('what did people listen to before CDs?'). Hours of after-dinner entertainment guaranteed - fingers crossed you'll still be talking to each other by the end of it.
Capture your family in all their glory with a Family Portrait by Paint My Family. There's no cringey studio session in sight. Simply upload your favourite family photo, choose your size and background colour and add your family name if you want. Then sit back and let Paint My Family do all the hard work, turning your photo into a unique piece of customised art. These portraits make one of the best family gifts in Australia - especially as they're proudly Aussie owned and operated, with all printing and production done right here.
The Flintstones PJ Set
Look the part of the ideal wholesome family with matching jammies. Channel one of the best families out there, the Flintstones, with these PJ Sets from Peter Alexander. Whether snuggling up on the sofa for family movie night or a photoshoot for next year's Christmas card, they'll love these comfy and breathable 100% cotton PJs. Available in men's, women's and kid's, the whole family is covered - including the dog. There's a matching bandana for them too.
Snack Heroes Popcorn Maker
Gifts for the whole family to enjoy don't get much better than this - the Snack Heroes Popcorn Maker from Sunbeam. Elevate movie night with the addition of hot, fresh popcorn. This popcorn maker whips up a whopping (popping) 12 cups at one go for truly family-sized snacking. It even has a butter melting tray that quickly makes your favourite topping. No oil necessary, it's a guilt-free family treat (butter dependent).
Capsule Portable Projector
Bring the movie theatre to their home with this Capsule Portable Projector by NEBULA. The size of a can, it plays content from their favourite streaming app, turning a plain wall into the latest blockbuster showing or yoga studio. An in-built 360 degree speaker and the ability to connect bluetooth speakers ensures full sound coverage. With up to 4 hours of battery life, it'll last for the entirety of a Marvel movie. Thanks to its small size, they can even take it with them for an outdoor movie experience.
Instax Mini 11 Camera
Make sure they never miss a photographic moment with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera. This cute camera is so easy to use with an automatic flash and settings that even great aunt Mabel can give it a go. This isn't the polaroid camera they remember though - it's got a selfie mode and can even connect to your smartphone and print off your photos from there. After taking a snap, they just need to wait around 90 seconds to have it in all its full colour glory in their hands.
Hero9 Action Video Camera
Outdoorsy families will appreciate the GoPro Hero9 Action Video Camera. Whether they're sharing a wave, hitting the slopes or hanging off rocks together, this waterproof and tough tiny video camera will record and photograph it all. They can keep you up to date with all their adventures with the webcam and live streaming modes. Plus, the timer function makes taking family snaps a breeze. It's even got 2 screens (front and back) for those all-important selfies. The only problem will be making sure you're never around for those post-trip slideshows.
KRYPT Gold Spiral 631-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
This wouldn't be a guide to the ultimate family gift ideas without at least 1 puzzle. This just isn't any old puzzle though. This is a fiendishly difficult Ravensburger KRYPT Gold Spiral 631-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle. There are 631 identically coloured puzzle pieces, leaving your family to figure out (and squabble over) which piece goes where, based on the pattern. The only puzzle brand we have in our home, Ravensburger puzzles are durable (no peeling images here) and the pieces fit together really well. So at least you know it'll be quality, long-lasting entertainment.
Portable Bag Toss Game
Get them outside playing together somewhat nicely with the BANGGG Portable Bag Toss Game. This classic family game will see them attempting to chuck a small beanbag through a small hole. Sounds easy, but it's annoyingly hard. For no arguments over how far you're throwing, there's a distance cord. Portable and lightweight, all the pieces pack into each other so they can easily take it wherever they go.
The Smart Waffle
Help them start a morning ritual they'll actually stick to with this Breville The Smart Waffle. This handy piece of kitchen kit whips up 4 large fluffy waffles at once, including Belgian, classic, chocolate and buttermilk. It's so clever they can even add their own custom settings for waffles exactly how they want them, including 12 different browning settings. The bright LED display counts the time remaining and they'll love the 'no mess' moat to keep the batter in their waffle, not on the benchtop.
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
If long family games seem risky, treat them to Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza instead. This incredibly rapid, quick draw card game is quick to learn and simple to play yet surprisingly great fun for all the family. Sure, knowing how to do impressions of narwhals and gorillas is helpful but they'll soon pick it up. They'll be hand slapping and shouting in no time.
Chocolate Introductory Package
Treat them to some serious chocolate indulgence with Haigh's Chocolates' Introductory Package. The oldest family-owned chocolate maker in Australia, Haigh's only use ethically and sustainably farmed UTZ certified cocoa beans. So, not only does their chocolate taste delicious, but it's good for people and the planet. This package includes some of Haigh's most popular products, like milk chocolate peppermint frogs, dark orange chocs and peppermint truffle bars. Once you've ordered it, there's just time to set up the sweepstake as to whether it'll last longer than a week.