Christmas Puzzles Roundup 2018

Tis the season for a roundup of the best Christmas puzzles this year. This list includes US puzzles, UK, and European puzzles. These are my top picks, but your mileage may vary. And now… presented in alphabetical order… the best of Christmas 2018! BUFFALO GAMES “Governor’s Party” by Chuck Pinson, 1000 pieces (Available at Puzzle Warehouse) “Christmas Toyshop”  – 2000 pieces (Coming soon to Puzzle Warehouse) A similar image has been around before, but not at the 2000 piece size.Read more

Top Ten: A Randy Wollenmann Christmas!

If you’re like me, you’re hip deep in horror movies and pumpkin spice lattes right about now. You can check out my post on the top fall and Halloween puzzles here. However, it’s NEVER too early to think about Christmas puzzles. In fact, one of my favorite times to do them, besides December of course, is in the summer. So in a way, this post is late. 🙂 Browsing the new puzzles recently, I saw a bunch of fantastic ChristmasRead more

Ravensburger Limited Edition Christmas Puzzle 2018

Look what’s been announced!  Ravensburger’s Limited Edition Christmas puzzle for 2018 is here, and it’s gorgeous. Here’s the blurb from their website: Taking children to visit Santa is a great moment, creating new memories, rekindling old ones and reminding us of the excitement and magic of the festive season. This wonderfully detailed and colourful puzzle captures that special time. A kindly and realistic Santa listens as a youngster whispers details of his very special Christmas wish. Mum, Dad and siblingRead more

Top Ten Merry & Bright: Christmas Puzzles 2017

It’s December 17th. Have you been holidaying yet? I have been knee deep in holiday movies, Christmas card and gift prepping, decorating, and snow shoveling here in Pennsylvania. So it definitely feels like Christmas. I had fun putting together my top picks of the Christmas puzzles available this year. The top ten list (which is 14 items long!) includes puzzles available at Puzzle Warehouse. At the end of the post I’ll go over some of the awesome European Christmas puzzlesRead more

POTM Review: “Santa’s Big Night” by RJ McDonald, White Mountain 9/10

Publisher: White Mountain (US), published 2013) Title:  “Santa’s Big Night” by RJ McDonald, 1000 pieces pieces Finished size: 24″ x 30″ (1000 pieces) OUR RATING: 9/10 Puzzle of the Month: December 2017 This fun Christmas puzzle is the Puzzle Warehouse “PUZZLE OF THE MONTH” for December 2017. So if you are in the POTM club (click here to check it out), you will be getting this selection with no effort required on your part. For those who want to order the puzzle, you canRead more

Review: “And To All A Good Night” by Dan Morris Designs, Springbok – 9/10

Publisher: Springbok (US), published date 2016 Title:  “And To All A Good Night” by Dan Morris Designs, 400 pieces  Finished size: 20.5″ x 27″ OUR RATING: 9/10 Family Puzzle I really loved this image when it was introduced last fall. I love Christmas puzzles and liked the advent calendar numbers at top and bottom and the folk scene in the center. I was a little disappointed it wasn’t in 1000 pieces. But this size is nice for a single evening, especially inRead more

Review: “Christmas Fayre” by Tony Ryan, Gibsons – 9.25/10

“Christmas Fayre” is a beautiful holiday puzzle from Gibsons set in a traditional English village Christmas market. The puzzle is easy-to-moderate in difficulty. The night-time colors are rich with purples, oranges, and reds. The artwork is a hand-painted scene with a good amount of detail. There’s some repeating greenery and red and white stripes throughout the image that make assembly slightly more challenging–in a good way. I enjoyed seeing all the characters as I put the puzzle together, young couples and families out enjoying the market. There’s lots of Christmassy details like wreaths, trees, advent candles, roasted chestnuts. The Gibsons quality is exceptional with thick pieces and a waxy finish that feels good to the touch. Recommended!Read more

Review: “Small Town Christmas” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games – 9.5/10

“Small Town Christmas” is a gorgeous Americana Christmas puzzle from artist Charles Wysocki and Buffalo Games. It’s a good moderate challenge that took me three sessions to complete. No one area is difficult, but there’s a lot of detail throughout. The palette of bright colors against the snow and blue sky is very cheerful. I particularly liked the red ribbon around the tree, the fir tree lit with candles, and the birdhouses in the sky. There’s so much fun detail to examine in this image as you assemble the puzzle. The Buffalo Games quality is very good with grid cut pieces and a nice box that comes with a poster. Recommended to all fans of Christmas puzzles.Read more

Review: “Whistle Stop Christmas” by Charles Wysocki — Buffalo Games 9.25/10

“Whistle Stop Christmas” is a sweet holiday puzzle from artist Charles Wysocki and Buffalo Games. It’s an easy puzzle to assemble with 500 pieces and strong color and detail that makes it clear where each piece goes. I love the theme of people arriving home for Christmas. As you assemble the puzzle, you’ll smile at the happiness on all the individual faces. The unique costumes and expressions are delightful. I partricularly liked the orange sky on the horizon, the red train station with all the windows, bows, and detailing, and the wintery “white Christmas” snow. The Buffalo Games quality is very good with grid cut pieces and a nice box that comes with a poster. Recommended to all fans of Christmas puzzles.Read more

Review: “Father’s Christmas Train” by Susan Brabeau, Sunsout – 8.25/10

“Father’s Christmas Train” is a cute Americana painting by Susan Brabeau that’s been made into a 500 piece puzzle by Sunsout. At the heart of the painting is a dad having a grand time playing with trains while his disinterested son reads a book. The cozy living room is decorated for Christmas and there’s a definite nostalgia vibe to the image. The Sunsout quality is very good, with sturdy pieces and a fun random piece cut. I like that you can move around a set of joined pieces without them falling apart. This is an easy puzzle that you can do in a single setting and would be good for kids and seniors. Recommended.Read more

Review: “Christmas Chaos” by Francois Ruyer, Piatnik – 9/10

“Christmas Chaos” by Francois Ruyer is a fun but moderately challenging Christmas cartoon puzzle. The artwork is beautifully executed with tons of color and detail. The repeating elements of similar-looking elves and gift boxes scattered throughout the image are tricky, but there are some anchoring elements such as the windows, fireplace, toys, and Christmas tree, which help fill in much of the design. I found myself referring to the box lid often to figure out which piece of elf went where. The Piatnik quality is very good with thick, sturdy pieces, a grid cut, a fairly tight fit, and a nice matte finish. If you like a little more challenge, Christmas puzzles, or cartoon puzzles, this is highly recommended.Read more

Tis the Season: A Christmas Top Ten List

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!
Okay. Let’s get started.Read more