Football kicked off the holiday shopping season as usual this Thanksgiving with the Lions, Panthers and Bears all scoring victories going into Black Friday. Football and the holidays have become inseparable in America, with the traditional two NFL Thanksgiving games expanding to three in 2006. In fact, nearly twice as many Americans watched football than went shopping this Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation reports that 43.1 million shoppers descended on stores as compared to 84.3 million who caught this year’s games.
All of this means that combining football and holiday shopping is a natural way to find the perfect gift for the sports fans on your shopping list. Here are a few high-tech items that make great Christmas gifts for football fans:
4K TVs for Watching Games in High Resolution
One of the hottest-selling items on Cyber Monday was 4K Ultra HD TVs, according to digital provider Adobe. With four times the pixels and twice the resolution of standard high-definition TVs, 4K TVs bring the football viewing experience to new levels of lifelike clarity. A few years ago UHD TVs were luxury items that cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars; however, this year prices have fallen to record lows with quality TVs available for $550 to $800. The website 4k.com provides a review of some of today’s top affordable options as well as higher-end models that can bring football to your favorite fan’s living room.
Mobile Devices for Playing Fantasy Football
The iPad Mini and iPad Air 2 were also among Cyber Monday’s hottest items, according to Adobe. For football fans, iPads represent an opportunity to watch games and get updates even when they’re not at their TV set. For instance, with NFL Game Pass, they can use any connected device to watch replays of all 256 regular-season games on demand as well as tune into radio broadcasts and watch Super Bowls and other games from the 2009 to 2015 seasons.
Mobile devices also provide fans with a way to keep up with their fantasy football leagues. T-Mobile’s website provides a holiday gift quiz you can use to find a wide selection of mobile devices and accessories for playing fantasy football. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. TechRadar provides a rundown on the best mobile deals this shopping season, which includes the iPad Air 2 going for as low as $399 and Samsung Galaxy tablets selling for as little as $349.
Video Games and Consoles for Simulating Game Play
Video game consoles are also hot this year. Microsoft‘s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 came in high on Adobe’s list of Cyber Monday’s best-selling items. Both platforms support “Madden NFL 16,” which lets you bring your fantasy football picks to life with Draft Champions. “Madden 16” also gives you unprecedented new quarterback controls to let you control passing action along with letting you act as your team’s GM, watch highlight reels and build your ultimate team with history’s greatest players. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are currently going for about $300, with some Cyber Monday sales going even lower. Madden 16 was selling for as low as $47 on Cyber Monday.
Many little girls are just as interested in learning about — and playing — sports as their brothers are. So if you want to raise your little girl with a love for sports, you can play a big role in encouraging such a fondness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Get Playful at Home
There’s an entire philosophy of child-rearing called playful parenting, and the main point of it is to connect with your child while having fun. When you’re the parent of a son, this sometimes comes more easily. After all, it’s second nature to roughhouse with him or be more raucous and silly. Boys are seen as rough and tumble, with energy oozing from them at all times. So ideas for activities often include things like throwing a ball or playing your own version of water polo. But there’s no reason to count out the very same pastimes for your pint-sized princess. When given the chance, most girls will have a blast tossing a football with you or sharpening their ping-pong skills. Need extra ideas for play? Check out discount websites like Groupon to find affordable activities in your area, from miniature golf and rock climbing to bowling and beyond.
Consider Organized Sports
When you have a little girl, it’s often assumed that she’ll participate in dance classes or gymnastics. While these activities are great outlets for a young one, it’s important you don’t limit your daughter’s choices. She may never have asked if she could play basketball, but maybe that’s because she was never offered the option.
Whenever you and your spouse sit down to talk through decisions that impact your children, discuss the costs and logistics of all programs you’re considering. Once you’ve agreed upon which ones you can afford (and those that make sense as far as time commitments are concerned), have a chat with your young one. Tell her the five to 10 choices you would be happy to pay for (and drive her to and from), and ask her what interests her most. Be sure to include a varied list of activities, with organized sports in the mix. She may choose violin classes or a writing workshop, but she also may decide to try soccer. Giving her the ability to choose — and supporting her ultimate wishes — will make her feel empowered and will foster a potential love for that pursuit.
Take Her Out to the Ball Game
Sometimes there’s no better way to induce enthusiasm about sports than to take your daughter to a professional sports game. There’s something magical about stadiums, crowds, lights, food, camaraderie and competition that makes the whole experience larger than life to kids and adults alike. Now is the perfect time to catch an NFL game together, and down the road when other sports seasons pick up, you can make a date out of attending a basketball or baseball game. Make sure to get your tickets through a legitimate vendor, though, so you can be sure of authenticity. Then root, root, root for the home team! This type of activity will strengthen your bond and help your little one catch some of the excitement around professional sports.
As you aim to develop your daughter’s love of sports, make sure she’s getting plenty of exposure to all different types. Be playful at home, offer her the option to participate in organized athletics and take her to live events. She’s sure to catch at least a little bit of a sports fever and, if nothing else, you’ll have fun and make awesome new memories.