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Top 20 Christmas games for family & friends

Top 20 Christmas games for family & friends

For us, Christmas is all about spending time with the ones we love, and the highlight is gathering together round the dining table to eat and play games with family and friends.  Getting out the cards and board games and putting away the phones and iPads! 

This year we've chosen our top 20 games from our new gift collection including some firm favourites from last year like The Mind and Outfoxed and other brand new goodies such as the amazing Ishtar Gardens of Babylon and cool Kazoo Karaoke.

We've grouped our gift ideas into age ranges and interests to help you choose - but the one quality they all share is FUN!  And they're guaranteed to keep the winter blues away ...

Games for children aged 5-7 plus

Let's start with Outfoxed, a great family board game in which everyone aged 5+ can work together to stop the fox escaping with Mrs Plumpert's prized plum pie!  Then The Muddles is brilliant for boosting creativity as children mix two real life animal cards together to make their very own imaginary creatures.

And if you want an introductory card game for kids who also happen to love dinosaurs (and who doesn't?), you can't go wrong with Dino Dump.  Be warned that the loser gets stuck with a scratch-n-sniff dino poo sticker at the end … perfect party humour for younger (and not so young) kids.

Games for children aged 8-12 plus

Try more testing games such as The Mind, where team members have to work out how to communicate without words, and Qwantum, a fast-paced dice game which tests mental maths as well as strategic skills! 

Dragonwood, a legendary game "of dice and daring", is also great for strategy, and Anomia helps to improve speedy linguistic skills, having won a Mensa Select award.  If your family loves movies, Blockbuster's a great bet, with its buzzer round and twist on traditional charades. 

Children can also take the fun with them with our mini game travel kits.  Let them battle it out with their opponent to line their tiles up in Travel OK Play Duel (sounds easier than it really is!), and enjoy a choice of entertainment in a tin with True or False or Kazoo Karaoke.  Both provide perfect family fun after a lengthy Christmas lunch as there's no complicated rules involved!

Games for teenagers (and their adults)

Just over halfway through our Top 20 and we've hit the most difficult to please group!  We've searched hard to come up with some cracking suggestions to encourage them to join in with the festive fun.

Weird Things Human Search For will inspire them to complete some very surprising online search suggestions and Obama Llama 2 is an energetic rhyming game for up to 20 people - perfect for any lively party!  You can also choose mini versions of WTHSF and Obama Llama 2, which make ideal stocking fillers. 

Another quirky pocket sized party game is Mini Colourbrain, matching colours to questions, aimed at those who don't like "boring" quizzes.  For teens who'd prefer an imaginative and original strategy game, try Ishtar, where they'll become a gardener transforming a dry desert into the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

And for those aged 17+, who'd prefer an antidote to "too much" family cheer, the Bucket of Doom will defy them to dodge death in a range of bizarre situations with the help of some totally useless objects!

Themed party games

If you're looking for a gift for music lovers or pub quiz aficionados, or for friends who'd love to host a murder mystery evening or casino extravaganza, these final four games are our top picks: Music Night In; Host Your Own Pub Quiz; Murder Mystery At The Theatre; and Host Your Own Casino Night

Each lovely boxed set contains everything they'll need for the start of an unforgettable night in - and they can add any extras such as competitiveness, festive food and drink and optional dressing up!  These themed games are great fun and packed full of seasonal cheer - highly recommended. 

 

We hope you've enjoyed reading our Top 20 guide and it's given you some great Christmas shopping ideas.  Find them all in our Games & Toys Gift Collection along with a selection of high quality toys and personalised book and toy sets … guaranteed fun gifts for all your family and friends! 

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The joy of jigsaw puzzling

The joy of jigsaw puzzling

Do you know what Hugh Jackman, Bill Gates and the Queen have in common? They’re all fans of jigsaw puzzles! Jigsaws are some of our most popular creative gifts for family and friends and are great for your mental and physical health, too!  Here's our history of this special pastime plus great gift ideas for Christmas and birthdays.

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Happy Halloween ...

Happy Halloween ...

As we approach All Hallows Eve, when the worlds of the living and the dead are traditionally most closely connected, we take a peek (through our fingers) at the customs and beliefs that lurk in the shadow of our celebrations ... and seek out some stunning good luck charms and Halloween gifts for you, too!

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Animal magic and mystery

Animal magic and mystery

When choosing our crystal and glass animal gifts, we wanted to find out more about their magical and mysterious backgrounds - and here we share some of the fascinating facts we discovered about unicorns, seahorses, doves and bees!  As well as the lovely gifts featured, you'll find lots more sparkle in our Crystal and Spiritual Gifts Collection.

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Why we should care about what we wear

Why we should care about what we wear

Did you know that we buy more clothes per person in the UK than anywhere else in Europe?  Peach Perfect looks at the negative impact of fast fashion and why it's important to care about what we wear -  by choosing organic clothing and babywear and/or taking other sustainable steps to bring about change.

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Wedding gift ideas for the couple who have everything

Wedding gift ideas for the couple who have everything

Are you finding it difficult to choose a special wedding gift for the happy couple? Well, you're not alone as the traditional wedding present list of toasters and tasteful homeware becomes increasingly less relevant.  With many couples preferring to live together before tying the knot, who needs yet more household stuff? 

As well as getting married later in the UK (with the average age of women being 35 and men being nearly 38), there's also a growing trend for older people to remarry.  In the decade up to 2014, the number of 65+ couples getting married increased by nearly 50%.  And our congratulations go to American couple John and Phyllis Cook who've just got married aged 100 and 103!

So what do couples who appear to have everything actually want?  Some specifically ask for donations to their favourite charity or contributions to their honeymoon or other special event.  But there's so many options for choosing a more personalised present, whatever your budget - and here we look at a few fun, quirky and special gift solutions and ideas to help you decide.

1. Wedding memory box

After all the planning, the big day can come and go in a flash - so it's lovely to have reminders to look back at later, as well as the wedding album.  A personalised wedding memory box like this one below makes a thoughtful wedding gift and keepsake to be treasured.  And it's a practical choice as well as a stylish one!  

2.  Unique artwork 

Whether it's a piece of stained glass, a painting or sculpture, a unique handcrafted artwork provides that special touch.  You can also enjoy a great day out while doing your wedding shopping!  Check out your local area for arts events and festivals like this summer's Leamington's Art in the Park.  Visit Birmingham lists local arts events and Warwickshire Open Studios showcase local artists.  Or if you're suitably creative, why not craft your own work of art? 

3. Personalised book

                                               

If the bride and groom are both footie fans, a Personalised Football Club Newspaper Book is a quirky and unusual gift!  Or if they've got different tastes, why not also choose a personalised copy of Purple Ronnie's Little Poems for Friends, and give each one their own book to celebrate the big day?  They're guaranteed to make them smile and make memorable keepsakes, too. 

4. Memorable experience

Here's your chance to tailor make something special as a wedding gift.  What are the couple's special interests?  If they love being out and about and visiting places, consider getting National Trust or English Heritage membership … or RSC gift membership if they love the theatre.  Tennis or sailing, cookery or gardening courses, can also be great choices.  The only limit is your imagination - and budget (and you could always suggest sharing the cost with other close friends). 

 5. Wedding windchime

 Woodstock Irish Blessing wind chime with personalised wind catcher

If music is the food of love, as Shakespeare said, a traditional Woodstock Irish Blessing wind chime like the one above is a tuneful choice for a wedding gift. The ash wood windcatcher can be removed for you to add your own personalised message, making it an unusual and quite magical present.  Take a minute to listen to its lovely chime

What's your favourite wedding gift you've ever given - or received?  Is it on our list of suggestions? 

And if you're still seeking inspiration, you'll find lots more lovely gift ideas in our Weddings Collection.  We hope you enjoy the big day! 

 

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Five top tips for family fun this summer!

Five top tips for family fun this summer!

As the summer holidays draw near, it's time to face up to the annual challenge of keeping the kids entertained for six whole weeks.  We're here to help with five creative and budget friendly top tips for family activities … plus some great selections from our collections of toys, games and craft gifts for children!

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Why children need crafts

Why children need crafts

We look at why it's so important to encourage our children's natural creativity.  Taking part in craft activities helps to create new brain connections, learn new skills and interests, and improve mental health - plus it's great fun.  And you can browse our new Craft & Creative Collection for great gift ideas to inspire any child's imagination!

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Our five favourite gardens to visit this summer

Our five favourite gardens to visit this summer

Summer is on the way and it's the perfect time to celebrate our great British gardens!  With so many amazing gardens to choose from, we've recommended our five favourites to visit.  And check out our top pick of unusual gardening gifts and nature lovers' gifts (not forgetting gifts for gardeners who have everything ....).  ...

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Discover the secrets of our Vesica Piscis suncatcher ...

Discover the secrets of our Vesica Piscis suncatcher ...

We love this latest addition to our crystal suncatcher collection! And we're fascinated by the stories about its simple yet striking design and its surprisingly profound associations. Find out more about this perfect gift for lovers of nature, mythology, maths and geometry - and secrets too!     

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