Whole Family Gift Guide #4

Christmas gift ideas for families

Gifts for Families

We love to give (and get!) gifts for the whole family, rather than for each individual family member. Less shopping, less spending, less stuff? It’s a great way to keep things simple for the holidays. For more ideas on gifts for the whole family, check out Everything Christmas.

A listening gift

A listening gift? I bet you think I am going to say something about giving the gift of being a good listener. And you’re right, that would be a lovely gift! Especially if you throw in a bar of chocolate. But that isn’t what I am going to say.

I am going to say this: give the gift of something to listen to. Audiobooks, oh yes. On road trips and trips to the grocery store, audiobooks are our family’s favorite entertainment. At home on wet, chilly days, the kids can build a nest of pillows and spend an afternoon listening in.

Here are our ideas for great listening.

Audiobooks for families

Choose one of your own favorite stories, and share the read-aloud love.

Maybe Charlotte’s Web (read by the author!), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, My Father’s Dragon, or The Tale of Despereaux?

Or Harry Potter! We haven’t yet listened to the series on audiobook, but we’ve heard the reading is terrific.

Mythical adventures

For the family that loves history and mythology, try The Story of the World: Volume 1. Hours and hours of a story-based overview of ancient history! And it’s even more fun than it sounds. (For real, my kids love this and choose it to listen to on their own.) And if they love that, there are three more volumes available.

Barefoot Stories

Barefoot Books produces amazing audiobooks. Some of our whole-family favorites are the Barefoot Book of Knights, The Story Tree (folktales aimed at younger kids, but we all enjoy them), and Tales of Wisdom and Wonder.

We’ve got our eye on the Adventures of Odysseus and Achilles stories, too. And Stories From the Opera and the Barefoot Book of Stories from the Ballet? These look so cool!

Story subscriptions

There’s also Sparkle Stories, an audio story subscription service. We’ve listened to a couple of sample stories, and we think the gentle rhythm is just right for a quiet time activity. Subscribers have access to new stories weekly. (We think all kinds of subscriptions make excellent gifts!)

Radio Theater

Radio Theater is really fun. Instead of reading the text of the book, the story is dramatized for audio.

We’d love to try out classic stories like Anne of Green Gables, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or The Secret Garden.

And this version of The Hobbit (one of our favorite read-alouds!) looks fantastic.

You might try this Winnie-the-Pooh dramatization, too. You never outgrow the original Pooh stories. (We have long loved this older audio version, but it seems to be out of production now.)

Ideas for whole-family gifts

Any favorite audiobooks to recommend? We want to know! Tell me on Facebook or Twitter, won’t you?

For more gift ideas (along with crafts and books and advent and stories and more), see Everything Christmas.