Affordable Gifts for the Whole Family

A Membership to the Zoo or a Museum

Elephant. Visit Britain/Rod Edwards/Britain on View/Getty Images

Has your Christmas list gotten impossibly long? Make the shift from buying a gift for each person on your list to buying a gift for each family on your list, and you'll save a ton of money, shopping time and sanity.

One gift that's sure to excite: a family membership to the zoo or a local museum. It will provide a whole year of free entertainment for the family, and it won't add any clutter to their home – now, that's sure to make you popular with both the parents and the kids.

Tip: Choose a museum that belongs to the Association of Children's Museums or the Association of Science - Technology Centers, and the family will also get free or discounted admission to hundreds of other museums across the U.S. and abroad – perfect for when vacation time rolls around. Be sure to mention that benefit in the card, so they know about it, and take advantage of it.

A Family Portrait

Family Portrait
Family Portrait. Johner Images/Getty Images

Memories are priceless. Treat a family on your gift list to a free portrait sitting, and make sure those memories get captured.

It's all in the presentation: Select a nice picture frame and wrap it up along with the portrait certificate.

Movie Tickets

Movie Theater
Movie Theater. Image Source/DigitalVision/Getty Images

A day at the movies is always great fun. Pick up enough tickets for everyone in the family, and your shopping is done.

Tip: Most theaters discount tickets when they're purchased in bulk. Make this the gift for everyone on your list, and you'll save enough to treat yourself to a few movies. Sweet!

Cookie Baking Supplies

Baking Cookies
Baking Cookies. Hero Images/Getty Images

There's nothing like homemade cookies. Put together a basket with sugar, flour, sprinkles and everything else that's needed to make a batch of cookies, and you'll be treating a family to some ooey-gooey good times.

Be sure to tuck a cookie recipe in with the ingredients. If you have a personal favorite, that's a great one to include. Explain why it's your favorite in the card.

A Movie Night Basket

Family Movie Night
Family Movie Night. Blend Images/Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Family movie nights are a proven winner. Fill a basket with popcorn, candy, soda and a gift card for movie rentals, and you'll have a gift that's sure to get used right away.

A Restaurant Gift Certificate

Gift Card
Gift Card. Dream Pictures/VStock/Blend Images/Getty Images

Treat a family on your list to a meal at their favorite restaurant. Not sure what restaurant that is? Then, purchase a generic Visa or American Express gift card, and they'll be free to choose.

A Board Game

Board Game
Board Game. Tim Noack/timtrevlig/Moment/Getty Images

Family game nights are always a blast. Pick out a board game that looks fun, and wrap it up. These days, there are lots of interesting ones to choose from.

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