Whether celebrating Christmas, Winter Solstice, Human Light – or some other secular combination of festive traditions – here are 15 fun holiday gift ideas for the freethought family on your list!
Toys, Games, and Fun Stuff!
#15 - Magic Kit What better way to recognize illusions that to realize how they are created?
#14 - Ant Farm This will keep any family fascinated for weeks! And there’s nothing better to help cultivate an appreciation for nature and the wonder of life around us than to observe it up close.
#13 - Blocks, Bowls, Boxes & Balls This variety of open-ended toys are fantastic because they aren’t age specific and let a child’s imagination take the lead. Free play = free thinking!
#12 – Microscope Once we start a habit of examining things more closely – nothing can squelch that curiosity!
#11 – Secular Swag Find a truly unique and special gift on Etsy for both the bold & brash or the more subtle freethinker on your gift list.
# 10 - Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics by Dan Barker This gentle, illustrated story about kids investigating a “haunted house” is guaranteed to prompt some great discussions about science and critical thinking.
# 9 – Brick Books! This series of books is just fascinating. Somehow illustrations composed in LEGOS shed a different light on the stories presented in the texts. From Greek Myths to Fairy Tales to the Bible – once you get started reading these, it’s hard to put them down! (A note: despite the fact that LEGOs are featured in the pictures, these are not necessarily kids’ books. The texts are faithfully illustrated with the bricks – so I advise some parental discretion about which sections or stories are appropriate to share.)
# 8 - Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story A favorite in our house – this lovely book distills a tricky concept into its essence.
# 7 - Raising Freethinkers Sound advice, detailed resources, and great activities for parents trying to raise ethical, compassionate, and thoughtful children. A must-read!
#6 - Tim Minchin’s Storm Because everyone loves a graphic novel, and every freethinker I know has gone through a Tim Minchin binge at one point, Storm is the perfect gift!
We all know you can’t take it with you. And with many families wishing for an extinction level event for the masses of toys their kids accumulate, giving the gift of an incredible experience just might beat the appeal of another object. As one of our members says, a gift like this is “eco-friendly, supports these institutions, provides opportunities for family time, and doesn't add clutter to your house!” I’m sold!
#5 – Memberships & Annual Passes A tangible gift may go unused. Instead, try a pass to a museum, theme park, zoo, or state park. And if you ever get the chance, visit the National Museum of Play - it’s amazing!
#4 – Tickets Some of the best memories start with sitting in an audience with your family at the movies, a concert, sporting event, or symphony. I can’t tell you what I got for Christmas when I was 12, but I’ll never forget sitting transfixed watching The Phantom of the Opera with my aunt & uncle that year.
#3 – Coupons Giving the gift of your time is more precious than any object. Create your own coupons for experiences you’d like to do together – a trip to a favorite beach, a monthly meetup at a favorite dog park, or maybe lessons to create favorite family recipes together.
#2 – Gift of the Month Club Chocolate and Cheese and Ice Cream– oh my! Instead of having just one gift – they’ll get to try something new every month! There’s even a BACON of the month club….mmmmm…..
#1 – A Class There are so many fun options to choose from – music lessons, family yoga, or the newly popular PaintNite. A gift certificate to learn something new would be hugely appreciated!
Those are my top 15 - what great secular holiday gifts are on your list this year?
Corrina lives in Central New York with her husband, their two little girls, and piles of books that often threaten to take over unless tamed. She is an elementary school teacher and current president of the CNY Humanist Association.