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10 Amazing Gifts That You Can Bring To Your Families’ Christmas Parties!

10 Amazing Gifts That You Can Bring To Your Families’ Christmas Parties!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a… OH NO! You forgot to get Uncle Daryl’s gift for the family Christmas party!

As the holidays are approaching, it is time to begin brainstorming all of the possible gift ideas to bring to the family Christmas party. Let’s face it – although they are delicious, the family might be a little bored of Santa-shaped cookies. It is time to step it up a notch. This is the year to knock your family’s socks off with some unique & amazing Christmas gifts! Thankfully, we were able to create a list of ten incredible gift ideas that will ignite a great deal of inspiration in this year’s festivities.

1. iPad Foosball Table

iPad Foosball

    Photo Courtesy of: Uncommon Goods

    This first gift idea is one for the whole family, and would make a great additional gift to anyone receiving an iPad for Christmas. Simply placing an iPad in the tray and turn it into a miniature, virtual foosball table. This can make for some great competitions during the downtime of the party.

    Place to get it: Uncommon Goods

    2. Personalized Photo Book

    Soft Cover Photo Book

      Photo Courtesy of Artifact Uprising

      A photo book can always serve as a unique and fantastic gift. Providing an opportunity to showcase your family’s most-cherished memories into a neat little book. Photo books can be a great gift for anyone in the family, but I’d argue that Grandma will enjoy them the most.

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      Place to get it: Artifact Uprising

      3. 3D Printing Pen

      3D printing Pen

        Photo Courtesy of: Hammacher

        For all of the tech-lovers in the family, a 3D Printing Pen is an extremely unique gift that will be sure to turn heads at the Christmas party. These pens allows the family artist to create three-dimensional plastic drawings – they can even use it to create napkin holders for next year’s party!

        Place to get it: Hammacher

         4. Matching Dog/Human Bow Tie

        Dog and Owner matching Bow Tie

          Photo Courtesy of: Wool & Water

          The only thing cuter than a dog is a dog in bow tie. If you’re anything like myself, your family’s little furry friends are quite spoiled during the holiday season. An adorable (slightly ridiculous) bow tie can make for a great stocking stuffer for Fido. You can even get a matching bow tie for yourself!

          Place to get it: Butch Basix

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          5. Pinpointing Metal Detector

          Metal Detector

            Photo Courtesy of: MetalDetector.com

            For the adventurer in the family, a metal detector can be a unique gift that keeps on giving (literally). Back in my day, nothing was better than returning from a family camping trip with a pocket full of shiny, new metal objects that were uncovered throughout the campsite. All thanks to a metal detector.

            Place to get it: MetalDetector.com

            6. Selfie Stick

            selfie stick

              Photo Courtesy of: Nicolas Mirguet

              Oh, the selfie stick. Perhaps one of the smartest inventions of our generation. These can be used virtually everywhere. On vacation? Take a selfie. At the dinner table? Take a selfie. The opportunities are endless with this gift. Who knows, maybe your selfies will end up in next year’s family photo book.

              Place to get it: Kirklands

               7. Ollie

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              OLLIE

                Photo Courtesy of: My Trendy Phone

                Ollie is a remote control device that performs rolls, flips, and various tricks – all through a smartphone app. Such a toy could be the perfect gift for the racing fan in the family. These things takes on all types of terrain. I know I would have loved this thing when I was growing up!

                Place to get it: Sphero

                8. Polaroid Camera

                Polaroid Camera

                  Photo Courtesy of: Stephane Venne

                  The technology of the mid 1900’s seem to be coming back with a bang, and with it comes Polaroid cameras. After all, nothing is more satisfying than capturing a photograph, and watching it print and develop right before your eyes. A Polaroid camera would make a great gift for the photographer in your family – if you’re feeling extra generous, I have one on my gift list this year!

                  Place to get it: Skymall

                  9. Tracking Tiles

                  tile

                    Photo Courtesy of: Tile

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                    Every family has the family airhead. Constantly misplacing their keys, wallet, phone, or car. Thankfully Tracking Tiles are available as gifts this year. Attaching a tile to any item will allow it to be found in a matter of seconds. Someone let me know when they invent a time machine so I can go back and put one of these on that car key I lost last year.

                    Place to get it: Tile

                    10. Cuddle Clone

                    Cuddle Clone

                      Photo Courtesy of: This is Why I’m Broke

                      This is the perfect gift for the animal lover in the family. A Cuddle Clone is a personalized stuffed animal, made to replicate your pet (can also serve as a loophole for pesky “no pets” housing restrictions). These furry creations can double as a gift for your pet as well – everyone needs a companion!

                      Place to get it: Cuddle Clones

                      Featured photo credit: Dr. Wendy Longo via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                      Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                      One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                      When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                      So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                      Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                      This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                      Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                      When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                      Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                      One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                      Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                      An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                      When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                      Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                      Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                      We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                      By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                      Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                      While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                      I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                      You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                      Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                      When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                      Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                      Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                      Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                      One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                      Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                      Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                      This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                      While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                      Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                      Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                      This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                      For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                      Con #4: Unique Distractions

                      Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                      For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                      To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                      We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                      More About Working From Home

                      Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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