We’ve once again arrived at National Jigsaw Day in the UK, and my family, also once again, celebrated with Wentworth Wooden Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles. While I believe that every holiday deserves its due celebration, my Christmas celebrating seeps through the entirety of December and much of November as well. I blame my mother for always making the holiday season (Thanksgiving included) feel warm, homey, and festive.
What Are Wentworth Jigsaw Puzzles?
Wentworth Jigsaw Puzzles are laser-cut wooden jigsaw puzzles made in the UK. They’re high quality, packaged in fabric bags and sturdy boxes, and will last a lifetime. Each one has a number of specialized pieces shaped like everyday objects that somehow relate to the puzzle’s theme.
As with last year, there is a whole new set of Christmas/Holiday/Seasonal themed puzzles for this year that come in a variety of styles and number of pieces. There is likely to be something in the collection to appeal to anyone. But they also have their regular collection of non-holiday puzzles, so don’t forget to check those out too.
All of the regularly-sized puzzles we assembled had 250 pieces, and the two cracker puzzles had 30 and 40 pieces each. The difficulty for the 250 piece puzzles varied, though. With two or three people assembling together, one took us less than an hour, while another (the hardest one despite us having three people on that one) took probably two hours. Sometimes busy images make it easier, but sometimes not so much.Click to view slideshow.
Why Are Wentworth Jigsaw Puzzles Special?
I covered Wentworth puzzles last year as well, but this year the puzzles are even better in a few specific ways.
Though any set you receive will be fun and worth the money (despite most of these not being impulse buys), this year, the puzzles I received were thicker—4mm thick instead of 3mm—and the special, unusually shaped pieces were more interesting and even more varied. Each puzzle includes a generous portion of whimsy pieces—such as Christmas and other trees, themed items matching the puzzle theme, snowflakes, and more, with larger puzzles having different whimsy pieces than smaller ones—but even the “regular” pieces came in more shapes than I remember there being last year. Even when the pieces could just be the standard sort-of-rectangle shape, Wentworth seemed to go out of their way to make interesting shapes like triangles and wedges, long and thin pieces, and tricky “I’m totally not an edge piece” edge pieces. That added to the fun, difficulty, and mystery of these puzzles. My family tends to collect together the edge pieces first, building the frame and then filling in the middle. But we always ended up erring on the side of collecting too few or too many pieces for the edges, training us to doubt our judgment (in a fun way) for what pieces went where.
Having Fun With Puzzles
Because these puzzles have fun object shapes, I made a search-and-find puzzle for you to locate the special pieces in one of the puzzles they sent me. It’s probably my favorite of the group: January (Snowball Fight at the Castle Stenico). (And, if you like snowball fights in classic art, here’s a great article from The Public Domain Review.) Examine the completed puzzle above, and find these special whimsy pieces located within.
Then, when you think you’ve found them all, click here for the answer key.
Great for Gatherings
Whether you’re gathering for Thanksgiving or for one of the winter holidays, jigsaw puzzles are a fun, multi-generational activity that family and friends can do together. You can do them with music playing, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV, your 100th rewatch of the original Star Wars trilogy, or just great conversation (or all of the above!).
Wentworth’s much smaller cracker puzzles are great stocking stuffers, or quick builds for those with shorter attention spans. Of the two I tested out, I’d recommend the 40-piece snowglobe puzzle more, as the pieces are more distinct from each other. For being a 30-piece puzzle, the Christmas tree was a big challenge!
Where Can I Buy Them?
Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles are available on their website, and their selection is extensive. There are some Wentworth puzzle listings on Amazon as well, but it’s more hit or miss. Prices on the puzzles vary widely, depending on how many pieces are in the puzzle, and for the size of puzzle. There should be something to fit every budget, however. Consider one of these puzzles for your next festive gathering!
Note: I received samples for review purposes.
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