I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the best things about the holidays is selecting gifts for my family that I know will bring a smile to their faces on Christmas morning. But being the daughter-aunt-sister-sister-in-law that always picks the perfect gifts is getting increasingly difficult as the years go by. My parents don’t need anything, and when they want something they just go and buy it. My nieces and nephews are at the age where anything “cool” on their list is likely something Auntie hasn’t heard of. And my brother and sister-in-law, well all they want is to take their four kids to Disneyland, and that’s entirely out of the question. So after a considerable amount of thought, here’s what I chose for them this year – five fantastic gifts that are sure to get anyone excited on Christmas morning.
The Parents – Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18MP DSLR Camera
In the New Year, my parents are celebrating a milestone anniversary with a trip to Italy. They also have four grandchildren they adore, and live in a stunningly beautiful part of BC.
For them, under the tree this year will be the Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18MP DSLR Camera! I chose this camera for a number of reasons: First, it’s nice and compact, yet exceptionally powerful and versatile, making it the ideal transition from a basic point and shoot camera. Second, it comes equipped with a long list of features that are all very easy to use, so it’s not too overwhelming for DSLR rookies.
Third, you don’t have to be a professional to ensure your photos are getting the right balance or light, contrast, tone, and framing. Instead, through its multitude of automatic settings, it does a lot of the work for you if you want it to. It also has a 18.0MP CMOS sensor with DIGI!C image processing and its full HD video capabilities mean those special moments will all be captured with exceptionally quality.
Lastly, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i features a 3-inch variable angle touchscreen LCD screen, which in my humble opinion is its crowning glory. The display itself is very bright and allows you to adjust your shooting settings with the touch of a finger. But more than that, it features a flip out screen, and as an owner of a Canon camera with a flip out, or “variable angle” screen, I can say with full certainty that it’s the bee’s knees.
Even if you only use the feature occasionally, it’s ideal for those times when you want or need to take self-portraits. There’s nothing worse that travelling alone or with someone else and constantly asking strangers to take your photo. With this screen, you can take the all-important “selfie” and actually see what you are shooting and frame the photo appropriately.
For more info about the features of the Canon EOS T5i, click here.
The Nephews – Xbox One Gaming Console
For my brother’s two boys, my parents and I went in together to get them the new Xbox One 500GB gaming console. They’ve talked about little else for the past few months, so we decided that as the Auntie and Grandparents, we would be the ones to bend to their pleas.
Said to be an “all-in-one entertainment system,” the Xbox One is much more than just a gaming console. It’s a hub through which the boys will be able to play their favourite games, watch their favourite TV shows and movies, listen to music, surf the Internet, call other relatives on Skype, and even connect with other gamers from the other side of the globe. That’s right, with Xbox One, the boys can take advantage of “one of the world’s largest cloud infrastructures dedicated to multiplayer games” and play with millions of players around the world.
They’ll also be able to upload their favourite gaming moments to all their gaming friends, and even broadcast their gameplay live – I can see this being a big attraction to the boys who are very close in age, and as such, extremely competitive. Add to all this a cutting edge design and an ideal balance of power and performance, I’m pretty sure I’ll be receiving the “Best Auntie Ever” award this year.
The Neices – KidKraft Sparkle Mansion Dollhouse
My brother’s two girls are a little younger than the boys and much more interested in dolls, puppies, pink, and sparkles, so when I stumbled across the KidKraft Sparkle Mansion Dollhouse, it was a no brainer – it’s pink and has “sparkle” in the name!
Standing at 53.3” high (a little under 4 and a half feet), this glamorous dollhouse is easily big enough for the two girls to play with at the same time. It’s also jam packed with a ton of creative features and fun details, including a very modern curved roof, a cute little balcony on the third level, artwork fit for any little girl, and a fabulous gliding elevator to take dolls from first floor to the second separate backyard area – an area complete with a swimming pool and a BBQ. Plus it comes with 30 pieces of detailed doll furntiture. I can’t wait to see their faces on Christmas morning!
The Brother and Sister-in-Law – Headphones
Both my brother and sister-in-law are in need of new headphones. For my brother, he needs a pair that will effectively cancel out noise when he is working from home in the evenings. With four kids, you can imagine that peace and quiet in their home is a rarity.
For him, I chose the Monster DNA On-Ear Sound Isolating Headphones. These over-the-ear headphones feature advanced noise isolation to cut out background disruptions and ambient sound, while also delivering super-clear audio so he can listen to tunes and work in some semblance of peace. They also come with the really cool Apple ControlTalk cable, which allows users to control their headphones with their compatible Apple devices, of which I know my brother has many.
My sister-in-law on the other hand relishes the noise that comes with her four kids, but does like peace and quiet when she escapes her hectic life for her daily run or workout at the gym.
For her, I selected the Monster iSport Intensity In-Ear Sound Isolating Headphones. I actually have these in-ear headphones myself and absolutely love them. They come with varying sizes of eartips and sportsclips, so you can customize them to fit your own ears, and let me tell you, once you find the right combination, there is little you can do to shake those bad boys out no matter how sweaty or rigorous your workout. The eartips are also sound isolating, which means that all the extra background noise that comes with working out at a gym is limited. However, they aren’t noise cancelling so when my sister-in-law goes for a jog, she’ll be able to hear what’s happening on the street around her.
There you have it—five fantastic gifts that I know will bring big smiles to the faces of my loved ones this Christmas morning. And guess what? I bet they’d bring smiles to the faces of your family members as well! Merry Ho-Ho all!