It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but I’ve yet to meet a person who says it’s the easiest time of the year. Actually, let me rephrase that: I’ve yet to meet a mom who says that. It usually falls on us to secretly don our Santa hats late at night—and before the kids wake up and between naps and during work breaks—so we can pull off some serious holiday magic.
Of course, this year is set to be even more challenging because of the pandemic, in a whole slew of ways we never imagined. Not only won’t we be celebrating the same way, but we also won’t even be shopping the same way, since we won’t want to spend hours in stores searching for just the right thing.
Well, let me make that part of your holiday prep a whole lot easier. The first thing you need is a direction, and you don’t have to overthink it: This is the year for homebody gifts. Let’s face it—we’re all likely going to be hunkered down for a good part of the winter, and we need to keep the kids (and ourselves) entertained somehow. Second, stay home! There’s no need to go to an actual store since all of these items can be bought online and delivered right to your doorstep. See? Easy!
For all the gamers out there, I’ve got the perfect thing: Two Sonic Double Pack bundles, which bring together some of SEGA’s ultimate, fan-favorite titles for the Nintendo Switch. They’re just $39.99 each, and you get two games for the price of one. The Team Sonic Racing and Sonic Mania double pack delivers adrenaline-pumping races and speedy side-scrolling gameplay with familiar faces from the Sonic universe. And the Sonic Forces and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD double pack lets players step into Sonic’s shoes and become a hero in a world ridden with evil while racing through challenges in 10 party games as the fastest, most maneuverable monkey around. They’re rated E for everyone, and you can find them at Amazon, Target, Game Stop and other retailers. You should also definitely check out Sega.com for more options.
If someone on your list loves anime, head to Funimation for limited-edition collectibles, merchandise, and video titles from all the biggest anime series like Dragon Ball, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and more. Some particularly fun picks: the My Hero Academia eight-pack tree ornament set, the All Might XL FigPin, and Funimation’s limited-edition 25th Anniversary Chrome Funko POP! Collection that features five of the most popular characters in anime (like All Might from My Hero Academia, Natsu from Fairy Tail, and Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul). And that’s just the beginning—on the site, you’ll find 600 new products and 200 items on sale. (Pro tip: Check back throughout the holiday season for additional sales.) For unlimited anime, you can also sign up for a subscription streaming service.
For non-gaming picks, think toys, board games, home decor, books, kitchen tools, exercise equipment, and loungewear. On the kid front, my two are currently obsessed with old-school games like Jumanji and Clue, as well as jigsaw puzzles and a snap-circuit kit. They provide hours of entertainment and education of the best kind (i.e., they don’t even realize they’re learning while they’re doing it). If you have a dino-obsessed kid, check out these dinosaur toys, books, and experiences that will seem tailor-made for them. And, of course, if you don’t have a Nintendo Switch to pair with those games I mentioned above, now’s the time!
And for moms-to-be, try this: a nice set of pajamas and a pair of fuzzy slippers. This was one of my very favorite gifts while I was pregnant with my son. My sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas that year, a month before my due date. I lived in those items for the next few months, and I didn’t feel like as much of a mess as I would have without them. I still have those fuzzy slippers and adore them! While you’re at it, pick up my book for expectant moms: 107 Things I Wish I Had Known with My First Baby.
But overall, remember this: No matter what your budget, you can make this holiday season great. After all, what your kids really want for Christmas is you. Bake cookies, make gingerbread houses and salt-dough ornaments, watch silly or sentimental holiday movies, drive around to look at gorgeous holiday-light displays, make gifts for family members near and far, and play with all of the great presents you’ve picked up—just do it together. We certainly wouldn’t have chosen this situation to be in right now, but we can make the most out of it and make it truly special for our kids in all sorts of different but equally magical ways.