Great Gifts from Aunts and Uncles

November 23, 2013    |    By +
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You want to be the favorite one, right? You want to be the cool aunt or uncle, and not get lumped in with the old biddies or bor-ing! adults. Well, part of being an awesome uncle or aunt means giving great gifts. It can be tricky to figure out just what that means, though, because you might not live close to your niece or nephew, and even if you do, unless you spend a lot of time with them, it’s hard to remember which toys and what clothing they already own. So if you need some ideas, look no further! We have five ways you can score in the gift-giving department, and earn that Cool Aunt or Cool Uncle designation you are after.

Number 5: Ask your niece’s and nephew’s parents for ideas. Now these ideas may be rather tame, even lame, so the key is to take their ideas and run with it in a more interesting direction. “He needs new snowpants,” for example, can turn into an idea for a snowball maker/snow castle construction set, like this one by L.L. Bean ($29.95).


Number 4: Think about what your niece or nephew is into — sports, books, video games, science, dance, etc. — and find a gift that complements that interest.


The Discovery Kids 2-in-1 microscope is perfect for budding scientists.


Number 3: Broaden their horizons. Parents are often strapped for time, so be the one to take the kids to their first movie, musical, museum, or sporting event.

Number 2: But don’t broaden their horizons too much without permission! If you’re thinking of giving your niece her first musical instrument or something similarly loud, check with her folks before buying her a (possibly headache-inducing) tuba or karaoke machine.



“It’s 6 a.m.? And your point is?”


Number 1: The best way to be a cool aunt? Give a gift that you can enjoy together. Click on the slideshows that we’ve put together for you on Great Gifts from Aunts and Great Gifts from Uncles, all are designed to be experienced together and to create lasting memories!


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.