Let me clarify. When you have a large family you by nature have a lot of "stuff".
Just think about this simply, if each of us has a pair of gym shoes, a pair of dress shoes for church and a pair of boots that alone equals 42 shoes (which can usually be found on my front porch).
I save my children's clothes to pass from child to child so that means that since I have a 10 y/o son and 4 and 1 year old sons I have 6 years worth of boy clothes saved in totes in my attic, you feeling me here?
My girls love knick knacks but since all of my children share rooms the space for keepsakes is very limited and often winds up looking cluttered.
I like to think that I have collected family over the years where most others collect keepsakes, I have living breathing ones (and all their stuff to boot).
So what does this all mean? I asked a few other of my friends with large families what their favorite all time gifts have been and I am here to share with you in case you have a big family in your life.
1. The gift of memories.
My parents for a number of years have given us a "family" gift. It has varied between a side of beef for the freezer, an overnight getaway at a waterpark hotel (our all time favorite!), and a few others. What this does is allow us to have something to look forward to. It also allows us to make memories as a family, a priceless gift. We have cherished this for so many years.
2. Dinner out Gift Cards
What large family doesn't love to take a night off of cooking and cleaning up to go out to eat? I can't think of one but due to the expense of it all it doesn't happen very often. This doesn't even need to be an expensive option, just gift cards for pizza are a blessing.
3. Family Movie Night
This is also a favorite. We have received a box full of movie candy, popcorn and a new movie to watch together, making memories again.
4. Music Lessons
A friend of mine says for years grandparents have opted to help pay for music lessons for her children and she is so thankful for that as she likely would not have been able to do so otherwise.
5. Zoo passes
Another friend mentioned her favorite was a year her family was given zoo passes for the season. If you have a large family then just one day at a zoo about equals a year's pass price, though many passes are only good for a family of 4 so it gets tricky.
Yes, you read that right. My in laws for years have shown up at random times throughout the year with grocery bags full of fresh fruit. When I asked about it one time my father in law said that his grandparents used to do that for his family when he was growing up (he was one of 8) and he always remembered relishing in the fruit which was so often devoured within a day or so.
7. Grocery Gift Cards
Every large family has a grocery budget, sometimes they don't always get what they desire, they get what is practical, a small gift card can often be used on something that is not a necessity but more of a luxury at the grocery.
8. Membership to Costco or Sams Club
Most large families do already shop in bulk but if not this is a fantastic option. Or a gift card to one of these locations.
A paid for photo shoot or a way to use photos they already have. This can be in the form of a gift card. If you are giving to a family who loves pictures ask if they make photo books, if so then Shutterfly and Snapfish are great options. Also gift certificates for canvas photo wraps or other photo gifts are fantastic too.
10. Household Goods
I don't know any large family that doesn't struggle with glasses, mugs and yes even plates getting broken. Just think how many hands handle those items in and out of the dishwasher and they sometimes get dropped (okay lots of times). Other items are bath towels and hand towels, these usually get worn out much faster in large families. I was so excited last year to recieve new monogrammed bathroom hand towels that were crisp and stain free!
11. Educational materials
If they are a homeschooling family ask if there are any materials or educational games they would like the kids to have, or if not then ask if there are any lessons or extra curriculars that the kids like.
If you are planning to give a large gift ask if there is a piece of furniture that needs replacing. Maybe the family is in need of a new coffee table, couch, lamps, etc. Usually in a large family there is always something that needs to be replaced.
13. Stationary & Stamps
So when there are a lot of people in the family there are a lot of thank you notes to be written, for birthdays, holidays, etc. There are also lots of friends and family who have birthdays too. A supply of various cards to send and stamps are a fantastic idea as well.
Hope this has been helpful for the big family in your life! Thanks to my friends who all contributed to this list!