holiday family gift ideas

Gifts to Bring Your Family Closer

You know that spending time together as a family is one of the most important things you can do. But in modern families, this can be pretty challenging as we deal with so much going on and with so many distractions. A main one being technology. Research shows that technology is substantially interfering with relationships1,2. Between parents and kids. Between siblings. Between the parents themselves. Not only are we missing out on special moments, feelings of resentment bubble up toward the people we love the most. And that’s not anything any of us want to experience.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t buy your kids or your spouse tech-related gifts this season. That’s a bit unrealistic. However, you can balance it if you also make the commitment to focus on getting your relationships back and making them stronger with gifts that can bring your family closer together. By doing so, you’re sending a message that this matters. That it is something that is important. This is why I’ve put together this special selection for you. These are great gifts with outstanding reviews that will bring your family closer together. Gifts that will help you bond. Get to know each other more deeply. Express your love.


TABLETOPICS Family: Questions to Start Great Conversations

Amazon Description: One of the most important things we can do with our children is connect over a family meal. This fun mix of age appropriate questions range from silly to thought-provoking and encourage up-building conversation between parents and kids. It’s perfect for mealtime or bedtime, use it every day! You’ll learn something new about your kids and even yourself. With questions specially designed to engage kids in the art of conversation. Recommended for all ages. 


Totika Self Esteem Game – A Game of Fun, Skill and Communication

From Amazon Description: Totika, a Maori word meaning \”well balanced\”, is a wood block stacking game unlike any other. Our original version of Totika includes the Self Esteem question card deck, which challenges players to talk about how to set and achieve goals, identify role models, develop coping and critical thinking skills, and strive for self improvement and success. While trying to keep the stack from falling over, players draw cards and answer questions to promote personal growth, self-esteem and life skills. Recommended for 8 & Up.


Totem – The Feel Good Game – A Truly Unique, Fun and Only Positive Self-Discovery Game

From Amazon Description: Totem is absolutely unique. It’s THE feel good game perfect for a team building activity, with family or friends. Discover your strengths and qualities through other people’s eyes. Imagine others telling you, in turn, what they appreciate most about you. This is what this game does as you experience the construction of a personal Totem reflecting the best of your personality. The Totem is built using an ANIMAL card, associated with one of your strengths, and a QUALITY card, which describes a quality you have. Both cards are chosen and then explained by the other players. Recommended for 8 & Up.

Better Me – Game of Growth: Self Improvement, Relationships & Positive Thinking

Amazon Description: Better Me is a cooperative new approach to relationships and personal development. Using the principles of positive psychology, the game challenges players to take real world action to improve themselves and their life. It also strengthens relationships by helping people connect in a meaningful way. Recommended for 12 & up.



1McDaniel, B. T., & Coyne, S. M. (2016). “Technoference”: The interference of technology in couple relationships and implications for women’s personal and relational well-being. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(1), 85-98.

2Radesky, J. S., Kistin, C., Eisenberg, S., Gross, J., Block, G., Zuckerman, B., & Silverstein, M. (2016). Parent perspectives on their mobile technology use: The excitement and exhaustion of parenting while connected. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(9), 694-701.


Happy Holidays!

Dr. Lilla Dale McManis

President & Founder~ Parent in the Know

Article date: December 2, 2017

*Parent in the Know is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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