Tis the Season: A Christmas Top Ten List

Christmas Puzzle Week #1

Our theme on the blog this week is Christmas puzzles. Yup, it’s that time of year! There are so many great Christmas puzzles on the market, and a lot of new ones this year too.  This week I reviewed “Christmas Village” by Buffalo Games and “A Girl’s Stocking” by Sunsout. And now for my top picks in Christmas puzzles this year….

My criteria was: a) it can be any puzzle still in print, b) it must be available for US distribution at Puzzle Warehouse, c) I want to cover a range of piece count, brands, and art styles in my list, and d) even though it’s a “top ten” list I can have as many as I want! lol

Okay. Let’s get started.

21. “Christmas Eve in New York City” by Dominic Davison, Eurographics — 1000 pieces

If you like snowy landscapes, this lovely one from Dominic Davison may fit the bill. The soft colors are gorgeous  (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

christmas-even-nyc

20. “Homeward Bound” by Terry Redlin —  White Mountain, 1000 pieces

Another wonderful landscape artist is Terry Redlin. This peaceful snowy scene showing a family bringing home the tree on a sleigh is my favorite of his Christmas-themed puzzles. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

homeward-bound

19. “Cookie Cutouts” —  Springbok, 2000 pieces

This puzzle wins the “most challenging” spot on this list. It’s 2000 pieces and all those similar cookies arrayed around the image will be quite tricky to piece together! (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

cookie_cutouts_2000_piece_jigsaw_puzzle

18. “Holiday Candy” —  Cobble Hill, 500 pieces

Similar in theme to the puzzle above, but with a smaller piece count, and even more devious repeating pattern, this yummy-looking puzzle from Cobble Hill will be tricky! (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

holiday-candy-500

17. “Christmas Ornaments”, Eurographics – 1000 pieces

This is my favorite Christmas puzzle in the collage category. The wooden box gives it a rustic flair, and there are so many different objects and ornaments to piece together.  (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

euro-ornaments-1000

16. “Christmas Village” by Nicky Boehme, Buffalo Games — 750 pieces

This is a lovely Americana/nostalgia scene from Nicky Boehme.  I loved piecing it together thanks to the panoramic shape and the soft colors. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)  READ MY REVIEW HERE.

christmasvillage__70300-1473959327-1280-1280

15. “Getting Ready for Christmas” by Steve Crisp, Eurographics– 1000 pieces

This is a brand new image just released. I have done several ‘cut away house’ designs by Steve Crisp and enjoyed them. This one looks really fun with the pink/purple colors and lots of Christmas tropes.   (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

getting-ready-euro-1000

14. “Christmas Chaos” by Francois Ruyer — Piatnik, 1000 pieces

If you like cartoon puzzles, you probably already know about the brilliant Ruyer puzzles from Piatnik. They’ve released a number of them with Christmas themes. This is my favorite.  You can see more of Piatnik’s Ruyer Christmas puzzles here. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

christmas-chaos

13. “A Christmas Carol” by Bill Bell, Sunsout — 1000 pieces

Besides being a fan of jigsaw puzzles, I also like to read, so I’m fond of the few jigsaw puzzles I’ve found that have a literary theme. This one also has a cartoony style by the brilliant Bill Bell and tons of separate vignettes in a collage style. I love it! (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

a-christmas-carol-sunsout-12000

12. “Santa’s Big Night” by RJ McDonald, White Mountain — 1000 pieces

I love the two RJ McDonald Christmas collage puzzles from White Mountain. I particularly enjoy puzzles like this that have separate vignettes because it’s like putting together a collection of mini-puzzles. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)  Also see “Merry Christmas to All“, a similar collage by RJ McDonald.  READ MY REVIEW HERE.

929_santas_big_night_3d

11. “And to All A Good Night” by Springbok Puzzles, Springbok — 400 pieces

The advent calendar numbers at the bottom and top of this puzzle look like so much fun to assemble! This would be a terrific family puzzle to do in a short session, maybe while decorating the tree? (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

and-to-all-a-good-night-500-springbok

10. “Christmas Carolers” by Springbok Puzzles, Springbok — 1000 pieces

This is my favorite Springbok this year. I prefer painted scenes to photographed images and the brightly-colored houses and carolers look fun to assemble. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

 christmas-carolers

9. “Santa’s Ready”, Ravensburger — 1000 pieces

This is the limited edition Ravensburger available in the US this year. There are so many small details in this puzzle, from the miniature elves to all the litle toys. The green and red color scheme is fun and oh so Christmassy. Note: I’ve been unable to find the name of the artist. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

santas-ready

8. “Christmas Tree Farm” and “Snowman Celeration” Randy Wollenmann, Vermont Christmas Company — 1000 or 500 pieces

This year I discovered artist Randy Wollenmann. He has done quite a few puzzles with Vermont Christmas Company. I like his art style, which is painterly but has a bit of a cartoon puzzle feel too. One of my favorites is this pretty scene of a busy Christmas Tree farm. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

christmas-tree-farm-wollenmann-1000

If you prefer smaller piece counts, “Snowman Celebration”, below, is a similar puzzle in 500 pieces.

snowman-celebration-500

7. “A Girl’s Stocking” and “A Boy’s Stocking” by Liz Goodrick Dillon, Sunsout — 800 pieces each

I love these two stocking-shaped puzzles and the quiet, intimate scenes by the Christmas tree they depict. “A Girl’s Stocking” rated very highly in our recent review. If you want extra challenge, try mixing the two bags of puzzle pieces together! (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

READ OUR REVIEW HERE

97111agirlsstockingcatweb 97108aboysstockingcatweb

6. “Small Town Christmas” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games — 1000 pieces

For my money, this is still Buffalo’s best Christmas Wysocki. I love the quaint village, the interesting shape of the tree, and all the small objects throughout the image. Just a great classic Americana puzzle. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

small-town-christmas-buffalo

5. “Whistle Stop Christmas” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games — 500 pieces

If you’re looking for a smaller piece count, this Christmas Wysocki is brilliant. You can practically feel the crisp air in the setting and each character is delightful. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

whistel-stop-christmas-500-buffalo

4. “Christmas Fayre” by Tony Ryan, Gibsons — 1000 pieces

In the category of British Nostalgia, and from the wonderfully deluxe Gibsons puzzles, we have “Christmas Fayre”.  What a beautiful image this is, with the soft golden lights and all the activity at a Christmas market. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

christmas-fayre-gibson

3. “Christmas Cuckoo” by Randy Wollenmann (1000 pieces), Vermont Christmas Company

This is probably still my favorite Christmas puzzle from Vermont Christmas Company. I love the unusual concept and it was exceptionally fun to put together. (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.)

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

VCC-ChristmasClock-boxa

 

2. “Wasgij Christmas #12: The Big Turn On” by James Alexander, Jumbo — 1000 pieces

I really look forward to the Wasigj Christmas puzzles. In this puzzle you are not assembling the image below but a 180 degree camera turn — in other words, you assemble the scene the people are looking at. It’s a little more challenging than a regular puzzle and such a treat to see the final image (sort of like unwrapping a present).  (Click on the image below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.

Unknown

1. “Forest Christmas” by Laurie Cook, Sunsout — 1000 pieces

It’s tough to pick a number one. Comparing these puzzles is akin to comparing crisp, juicy apples versus plump and luscious oranges. They’re all good! But my personal favorite is “Forest Christmas”. Let me count the ways. First, it’s shaped like a Christmas tree. Second, I love the nature theme with the birds, fawn, and bunny. Third, those cute little bird houses look fun to assemble. And fourth, it looks challenging at 1000 pieces with all those green needles and red birds. I hope to review this puzzle later this year, so we’ll see how tough it is.

97120forestchristmascatweb

Did I miss your favorite Christmas puzzle, old or new? Please let us know in the comments section!

Jane

15 responses to Tis the Season: A Christmas Top Ten List

  1. Richard says:

    Jane,

    Many thanks for the Christmas list. It was nice to see that Charles Wysocki placed two in the top ten. I have both those puzzles in my ‘hold’ queue. I don’t assemble any Holiday puzzles until after Thanksgiving, which is almost here!

  2. jigsaw dave says:

    Santa’s ready is by Roy Trower who does a lot of Xmas puzzles for Ravensburger. Its a pity whistle stop christmas isn’t available in the UK.I would put it number 1. Great list.

  3. I love Wasgij and What If puzzles. I love the What If #9 – What If Santa and Rudolph Swapped Jobs, and hope to be able to assemble the Wasgij Christmas #12 this season. It’s in my ever growing stack of puzzles to be done. Great list!

  4. Suzanne says:

    Hello from Canada !

    Great choices ! Many of them were already in my own list of favorites !

    I will name a few other ones, who for me were « Love at fist sight » !!… I plan to have lots of fun assembling them during the Holidays…

    « Governor’s Party » from Buffalo Games. The artist is Chuck Pinson. It’s a painting drawn from the governor’s mansion of colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. The scene depicted is from the colonial era, costumes and all. Nostalgia puzzles rarely make reference to that era so that particular puzzle attrated me for that reason. And it’s even more interesting because the buildings reprented do exist in reality. The image is gorgeous with vibrant colors, even if it depicts a night scene.

    « Father Christmas » from Cobble Hill. The artist is Scott Gustafson. A gorgeous and very detailed image. « Santa » is inside his house, which looks magical with its wooden curved walls, and its great collection of ancient objects and toys drawn with incredible attention to detail. An image pretty different from the standard Chrismas puzzles who display lots of reds and greens ; instead we’re given a lot of warm browns and yellows punctuated with little touches of soft blues.

    « Purrfect Harmony » from Vermont Christmas Company. The artist is Randal Spangler. The image represents a chorus of cats in front of a little house. This puzzle is probably not a big challenge but it’s so damn CUTE and original!…I also love the colors : an harmony of blues, purples and pinks, which make for a different experience in a Christmas puzzle.

    Other two favorites are « Santas parade » from Pianik, and « Christmas Antics » , a cartoon from D-Toys. Both are funny and terribly cute !! Unfortunately, it seems that Puzzle Wharehouse doesn’t offer them.

    Finally, I love « The Chrismas Grotto » , a Gibsons puzzle by Marcello Corti, mentioned by Jane on this blog last July. I don’t see it on the Puzzle Wharehouse either though.

  5. Hi, Suzanne. Thanks for posting such a great list. Purrfect Harmony almost made my list, but I didn’t want to have too many from one company. I wanted to spread around the love. 🙂 I love “The Christmas Grotto” by Gibsons, but, unfortunately, we were not able to get them at Puzzle Warehouse in the US. However, we were able to get “Christmas Fayre”. We do carry D-Toys “Christmas Antics”. It’s out of stock right now, but we should get more in soon.

    Thanks for commenting and hope to see you again!

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Jane for replying. I totally understand your need to “spread around the love” and , of course, the need to restrain yourself… a little bit !

      Then that’s our role to “contribute” and add a couple of great choices to the list ha ha !!

      I discovered your blog just a few weeks ago and I find it very interesting ! I want to thank you especially for your detailed reviews of the different brands. I’m a new “puzzler” or, more precisely, I’m back at it after many years when I didn’t have much time… So your review was very helpful and has oriented my choices.

      Little note on “Christmas Antics”: I just purchased this D-toys puzzle in Canada. It didn’t have the “Wide Variety of Shapes” sticker but I decided to buy it anyway because I loved it so much and the image is so full of details I thought I could manage the problem of too many similar pieces. In opening the box, I had a pleasant surprise: the pieces DO PRESENT a good variety of shapes. The pieces are sturdy but not very thick though. I guess they are not as thick as the pieces of the puzzles who do have the “sticker” on the box ?…

      Well, I just wanted to tell you this, so people know that if they buy this puzzle when it’s available again and if the sticker isn’t there, maybe the pieces are not very thick but at least they vary in shape and it could still be pleasant to assembly the puzzle !

      • That’s interesting to hear about Christmas Antics, Suzanne. Thanks for letting us know.

    • Suzanne says:

      I do understand that it’s not possible for Puzzle Wharehouse to have them all. I do love “Christmas Fayre “; I plan to buy it next year if it’s still available.

      Happy Thanksgiving !

      • We get everything in stock that we possible can. But sometimes companies have limited licensing agreements for certain images and won’t ship to the US, or they simply sell out in their home country and can’t supply them. But I’m super happy with Puzzle Warehouse’s policy of trying to get everything!

  6. Cyn says:

    Jane -Just placed my first order with Puzzle Warehouse and four were puzzles from your recommend holiday list. Looking forward to your next list and wishing you Happy Holidays.

    • Hi, Cyn. Hope you took advantage of the Black Friday sale. I’m about to do some shopping myself. 🙂 Thank you for commenting and hope to see you around again.

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