And while it isn’t always easy to find the “perfect” gift for a loved one, I try to come up with something that I know they’ll use and which will dovetail with their passions.
Gifts for Skiing Families
It should go without saying that gear makes the perfect gift for any skier or rider. Skis, boots, more skis, different skis, new coat…you get it, I’m sure. Still here are a few ideas.
Baselayers: We love wool baselayers. Why? Because they don’t stink. We’ve found baselayers (and midlayers) from Icebreaker to be very comfortable and warm. And they come in kids’ sizes! If you don’t like wool, Columbia’s Omni-Heat baselayers are not only super cute and colorful, but super soft (and warm).
Beanies: Knit them yourself on a knitting loom (have your kids do it) for a handmade gift. Ski shops stock an endless rainbow of beanies in different styles. Can you have too many?
Glove Liners: Cheap, light and reusable, we love glove liners. While we sometimes still use disposable hand warmers, liners are often all we need.
Ski Boot Bags: Sick of schlepping your gear to the car, to the lodge, to the airport, through the airport? Two ski boot bags you should check out are the Transpack TRV Pro and the Skboot. Both bags will also hold your helmet, gloves and most everything else. Larger preteens and up will have no problem with the Transpack TRV Pro (which also comes in a junior size). If you don’t like to carry your gear on your back, the Skboot is a well-designed rolling bag.
Yodel: Is an iPhone application gear? I’m not sure, but for $.99 you can help keep you and your adventuring loved ones safe. A basic beacon, Yodel will notify family and friends if you fail to return on time, giving them your route information. The app also features a one-touch waypoint transmitter and an emergency SOS alert. I’ve tested it and while the GPS coordinates weren’t always perfect, they were close. This video does a great job of explaining the app.
I have one son who loves to make gifts and one who doesn’t, but will. No matter, I love the gifts they make, from boxes of cookies to works of art. If you’re feeling creative, personal trading cards for the skiers and riders in your family are fun to make. Cut cardstock or thin cardboard into 2.5 x 3.5 inch rectangles. Pore through old ski magazines looking for small photos and make a collage that says something about the recipient.
For the youngest skiers, Safely Ski From A to Z (click to read my review and enter a giveaway for this book. Winner will be chosen tomorrow), by Mary Stubbs Palmer is a good place to start. This good-natured, colorful book will teach your child the alphabet and a lot about skiing as you work together through the rhymes. Learning to Ski With Mr. Magee, by Chris Van Dusen is a picture book for kids up to 2nd grade and features a dog, a moose, lots of snow and, of course, Mr. Magee on skis.
Surprisingly there are a lot of ski mysteries out there. Geared toward women, and not too tense, are Wendy Clinch’s two Ski Diva Mysteries, Double Black and Fade To White. Author Ridley Pearson offers up an edgier and grittier series of mysteries featuring Sheriff Walt Fleming and set in Sun Valley, Idaho. Mystery at the Ski Jump by Carolyn Keene is a timeless Nancy Drew mystery. Other skiing fiction I’ve enjoyed include the comedy of manners, L’Affaire by Diane Johnson and Powder Dreams by David Ward-Nanney.
As for nonfiction, the choices are many ranging from regional guides to skiing history. I haven’t yet read White Planet: A Mad Dash Through Global Ski Culture by Leslie Anthony but the reviews I’ve read are excellent. Kim Kircher’s The Next 15 Minutes offers a look inside the world of ski patrolling and personal crisis. A large format book which we turn to again and again is Ski the 14ers by Chris Davenport. Finally, The Ski House Cookbook by Sarah Pinneo and Tina Anderson is one of my faves.
D-I-Y. There’s really no need to buy an “album” anymore. Choose some of your favorite songs for skiing and share them with your family and friends. They can either upload the music to their iPods or listen to it in the car on the way to the mountain.
Without a doubt, Attack of La Niña by Matchstick Productions is my favorite ski movie of the year. I watched La Niña with a 12-year old boy, a 15-year old boy and my dad. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. In my opinion, MSP rocks the best soundtrack in the business and has some of the best athletes. If you’ve got kids younger than 11 or 12 (or you’re looking for a G rating), go for anything by Warren Miller — the Real Warren Miller. Miller has not been involved with Warren Miller Entertainment since 2004. And while WME still makes a good film, you gotta get the real stuff.
Just for Fun (Giveaway)
Remember Swatch? Colorful, inexpensive, well-made watches? Now, think Modify. Modify watches start at $40 and are water-resistant, sturdy and stylish. What’s cool is that every watch face can be put into every strap, so they are also interchangeable. They’re cute, bright and fun and you can match them to your ski coat or your helmet. They also make great gifts. But don’t take my word for it. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a watch from Modify!
One winner will be chosen randomly on December 6, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. MST. Thank you to Modify Watches for donating this giveaway. Someday I hope to own one too! As always all opinions expressed in this post are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
Looking for more gift ideas?
Try these great outdoor family blogs! We are all posting our gift guides today. Enjoy!
Bring the Kids: Christmas Gift Ideas – The 5 Pieces of Gear We Take Everywhere
Cragmama: A Wishlist for Cragbabies
Mountain Mama Tales: Great Kids Gear (Adventuring For Christmas!)
Outside Mom: Gifts for Outdoor Families
Velomom: Family Holiday Gifts For Cyclists
The Modify Watch giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Bernice!
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