You may be thinking, “It’s November, why are we thinking of Christmas gifts already?” I think about Christmas gifts as early as October, because I have almost 30 people to buy for. Not only that, but once December hits, there’s Christmas tree shopping and Christmas light watching and company parties and so many events and family gatherings. It’s amazing how fast the time flies in December, and I’d rather spend time with my family making traditions on December weekends than going out with the crowds shopping.
So for those that like to be prepared like me, here’s a quick guide to Christmas board game gift guide! I won’t be doing necessary specific games, but I’ll be talking about some tips on choosing games and easiest way to shop!
1. Shop Online
I’m hearing you say “We must support our FLGS! Never buy on Amazon!” Okay, great. Say that to my 2 year old when I attempt to take him into 30 miles into Portland traffic to one of the only game stores in the area that has good kids and party games. Let’s be real here. I love supporting my FLGS, I do. But especially when it time is limited on something like Christmas shopping, I sometimes just have to order online. Also, many people have family far away, and shipping costs just aren’t feasible if you buy at game at your FLGS then have to ship it across the country. Also, half the time I go to an FLGS, even the big one in Portland, they don’t have what I’m looking for. Gas is expensive. My time is valuable. Thus, shopping online is sometimes the only thing I have time for.
2. Games and game accessories can make great stocking stuffers
Every year since my husband and I have been married, I’ve gotten him a game in his stocking. Especially with the rise of microgames, this becomes very easy to do. I highly suggest games like Brave Rats, Love Letter, Lost Legacy, Sushi Go, and oddball Aeronauts for stockings. Also, don’t discount dice sets or even gems or tokens if your family likes to design games. Think about how cool it would be to fill a stocking a game design kit!
3. Don’t buy games for people that dislike games
When I was younger, I had family buy me things like princess sets. I was the girl that loved TMNT and Power Rangers and hated pink (still do). Know your family and friends, and get them things they like and ask for. As much as we want some of our non-gamer family and friends to get into gaming, buying them a game at Christmas is not the way to do it. They didn’t ask for a game for Christmas, they didn’t want one. Instead, try and get them to play a game during Thanksgiving or Christmas. Just as I didn’t want a princess set for Christmas, they don’t want a game. Don’t force our hobby on others by buying them stuff they don’t want.
4. Buy games to play with family during holiday family gatherings.
Light games can be great for kids as well as casual gamers. Start a family tradition of getting a game for the family that most everyone can play. Every year, my aunt would always send my family a game for us to play on Christmas Eve. I loved this tradition. If you want people to join the hobby, playing Twilight Imperium off in a corner on Christmas Eve away from most of the family is not the way to do it. Buy Rhino Hero or Dixit or Great Dalmuti. Games can bring people together and into the hobby by making it a tradition. This is how I became a gamer, by playing family friendly games on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
5. Don’t stray too much from the list
It’s possible you see a list from a family or friend and roll your eyes because maybe they put Monopoly or some other “lame” game on their list. If it’s on their list, buy it! Don’t say “well I think your list stinks, so I bought these games instead.” A better way would be to invite them to some game nights and introduce them to some modern games. Maybe they’ll end up liking some newer games, maybe not. Especially when it comes to kids, buy them what they ask. Our jobs as gamers in our family shouldn’t be to purge all “bad” games from people’s minds, but to support them in their love for games, even if it’s games you don’t like.
Let’s make gaming a family or friends tradition. Let’s support people in the games or hobbies they like. And most of all, have fun gaming!