From the December 2017 issue

Be a Holiday Rebel: Metro Parent’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Ho-hum 'hot' toys, quirkier finds, radical alternatives – or no presents at all? Scan our fun list of 17 options and see where you fall this holiday season.

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Why not ‘wreck’ the halls a bit? We’re shaking up our own traditional Holiday ‘It’ List and delivering your family alternative goodies in 2017, from out-of-the-gift-box surprises to a decor redo and punched-up playlist.

The Hot Toys

You won’t be a rebel if you score your kids a L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise, Hatchimals Surprise or the Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme … but you will be a hero.

Slow Your Roll

Cyril Sloth is total slacker cool. After all, this feathery fella just wants to chill on Dec. 25. Follow his lead and get napping. By Jellycat. 12 months-plus. About $31.

Off-the-Wall Legos

Buildr Tape, a peel-and-stick tape, gives Legos and similar blocks a new angle. Defying conventional 3D building constraints is pretty punky. 4-plus. $36.

Drip, Spatter, Pour

Jackson Pollock was a trailblazing impressionist painter. Kids harness their inner abstract artist with this kit by MoMA, NYC’s rad modern art museum. 6-plus. $25.

Old-School Selfie

A Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 yields just 10 Polaroids per roll of film – yes, film. Dare to ditch the digital and capture memories more thoughtfully. Don’t panic: It’s got a selfie mirror. About $70.

The Future is Female

Women have risen and spoken up this year. Join in with these hand-stamped metal necklaces by SimpleStamp on Etsy (PG-13+ sayings also available). $25-plus.

‘Rents Against Humanity

Finally: A Cards Against Humanity game for mom and dad. KinderPerfect nails it, from potty mouths to poopy diapers. Let it rip with the 400 pack. Adults. $24.95.

Chocolate Spaghetti

Spiced ham? How quaint. Molecule-R kits push the limits of science and food with techniques including foam, gel and bubble-encased flavors. Teens/adults. $49.95.

Nice Ink

Tatts are timeless subculture; nbd if they’re temporary. Better still, the Fairly Painless Tattoo Lounge for Charity lets kids share ’em for a cause. 8-plus. $22.99.

Get Some Class

Swimming, karate, soccer, hula dancing – they’re all parent-child classes offered by local parks and rec departments. Sign up for an affordable, active family bonding.

DIY by Mom and Dad

It’s sweet when kids make gifts. Why don’t you? Visit a pottery place and craft a bowl for their treasures. It’ll tickle them now, and it’s an incredible keepsake later.

I Owe You

A voucher booklet is a commitment from parents to kids – or vice versa. Make coupons “for” and “from” things (ex: 1 trip to the zoo, 1 grumpy/bad day pass).

Break Out

Plan an outing beyond your comfort zone. Sports nuts? Try opera. Couch bums? Trampoline place. Video games? Board game lounge. You may surprise yourself.

Lazy Monday

Embrace those visions of sugarplums just a little longer Christmas morning. Sleep in. Wake up and make breakfast together. Skip the hustle and bustle. Call it good.

Smart Moves

Education is one of the ultimate gifts. Start stocking up for your kids’ future college tabs by opening and contributing to an MET or MESP savings account.

Give to Others

Buy for those in need. Reputable charities like World Vision let you click to buy everything from livestock and medicine to birthday parties for kids worldwide.

Pull the Plug: No Gifts at All

Going for it? Talk to your kids first and get their feelings; chat with gift-giving friends/family too to share your reasons. Revel in being the ultimate holiday rebel.

Art by Jay Holladay

Update your holiday decor and your holiday playlist this year. Click the images below for more details.

 

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