Christmas gifts the whole family can enjoy
By Daniel Gladys
When it comes to Christmas, it shouldn't matter who has been bad or good, every member of your family deserves the perfect gift. But what if those gifts could be a single item that everyone in your family will love and enjoy together? Sure, it seems like a tricky proposition, but this is a Christmas miracle you can make happen. Here's a collection of gifts everyone will love.
It's a great time to relax with a new TV
It's the holidays, which means time to put your feet up and binge. If you're savvy, why not budget for the ultimate new TV - it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Hot tip: when it comes to streaming, not all so-called smart TVs have the highest IQs. While most of the big-name TV brands produce great smart TVs, there are some key features to look out for. Keep an eye out for Instant On, fast app launch, a Netflix button on the remote, TV Resume, a high-res interface and the ability to support the latest version of your favourite streaming apps.
Get the house an AI housemate with Google Home or Echo by Amazon
AI is making our lives so much easier and Google Home and Echo (by Amazon) are both at the top of the list when it comes to AI-controlled smart speakers. In case you don't know, they're both slick interfaces that blend seamlessly with your home's décor and let you interact with services and apps through their AI assistants - Google Assistant and Alexa respectively. Using the power of your voice, you can do everything from control the music in your house, adjust playback of videos (including your streaming service of choice) display photos on your connected smart TV, manage calendars and task lists, and so much more.
New services are added all the time and it has something for everyone. Awesome for families, both AI assistance feature voice recognition, which senses who's speaking and customises media access to suit - great for keeping the kids' and adult stuff separate.
A gift that will make a splash
A pool might be a hard gift to keep secret, let alone fit under the Christmas tree, so plan ahead, announce it early and have the grand opening on Christmas Day. If you're on a budget, don't want to dig-up your backyard, or not quite ready to turn your home into a tropical resort, there are always temporary, above-ground options that vary from kiddie pool-sized to surprisingly massive.
For a family of foodies
Known as the world's smallest, smartest kitchen, the do-it-all Thermomix is a truly unique way of cooking. Its fans border on obsessive - and with good reason. It's compact, hands-free and great for all skill levels - and it really does do almost everything.
A Thermomix is great for newbie cooks - it will perfectly introduce your fam to the basics. And if you've got a squad of devoted foodies, the Thermomix can whip up some amazing dishes.
Pro tip: with its powerful blending and chopping capabilities, cooking with a Thermomix is a great way to smuggle more healthy veggies into everyone's diet.
A new console for a new year?
Are those tired old board games offering up more bored games than bonding moments? How about a gaming console that brings everyone together?
Now, not all consoles are created equal and different brands have their own unique benefits, but one built for young families has to be the Nintendo Switch. It has cool activity packs, it doubles as a portable or stationary console, and it includes parental controls to manage how much time everyone spends on it.
For teenagers, or serious-gaming mums and dads, it has to be a the latest and greatest of the big two: the Sony PS4 or the Xbox One. But rather than leaving it to chance, try to find out whether your fam's team Sony or Microsoft first.