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Large Family Gift Guide

1. White Tube Socks in Bulk. Get 72 pairs of men’s, 72 pairs of women’s, and 72 pairs in various kid sizes. Repeat in March.

Last Christmas, we only had 8 kids.

2. Borax. In bulk. Add a hearty shake of Borax to your laundry and something is supposed to happen. As the mom of a large family, I dutifully do this because that’s what we do. We Borax stuff.

3. Do you know how hard it is to find a table that will comfortably accommodate a large family without dreaded shoulder rubbing? One kid spills milk and three plates full of chicken and rice are affected. Solution: Conference room table and chairs. Here’s a nice shiny example. Statistics show that families who eat together and give Power Point presentations together are healthier. Plus, it makes it easier to plot acquisitions, cookouts, and mergers. Imagine everyone sharing his or her favorite part of the day cushioned in luxurious swiveling leather. Stop spinning. Stop spinning. Stop. Spinning.

4. Chevy Express Passenger Van. Get a whopping 11/17 MPG! It comes in nine gorgeous colors, including Evangelical Church Van White, Prison-Based Highway Cleanup Crew Blue, Shadow Government Agency Black (with mandatory tinting), and Hotel Shuttle Red.

5. Playground, school-sized. For $8,600, you can send your kids outside for 15 minutes after a 10 minute lunch. Make sure you wear your whistle to reign in all hijinks and appease the lawyers. For funsies, I calculated shipping this item to my zipcode. It’s only $637. Imagine the hours and hours of fun the kids will have with those boxes, though. Like a playground! Oh, wait.

Bowls of bulbs

6. 24,000 piece jigsaw puzzle called Life, The Greatest Puzzle. Chuckle over the irony of the title as you gather all of your children and instruct them to find the four corner pieces. Spit out that seahorse eyeball, Teddy. Look at their little noggins bent over the multitude of pieces spread all over your conference room table. It’s $380 and 14 feet by 5 feet. You’ll have to eat on quilts spread on the living room floor. It’s a good thing you have Borox.

7. A front-loading coin operated commercial washing machine! This beauty has a 125 pound capacity. If that is hard to visualize, picture a 14-year-old boy. Too bad there isn’t a “HUMAN” setting, am I right? The advantage of being coin-operated is that if any Build-a-Bear clothes or clean clothes I KNOW THEY DIDN’T WEAR BECAUSE THEY’RE STILL FOLDED sneak into the hampers, I can charge the offending lazy child 25 cents. If you have an industrial washer, you need a commercial dryer. This is where this gift fails. You can wash 125 pounds of clothes but you may only dry 75 pounds at a time. Maybe it’s because 125 pounds of clothes weighs about 1300 pounds when it’s wet? Also, it would sound like a jet engine taking off in your laundry nook.

8. For winter fun, large families like hurling themselves down large snowy hills seated on wooden planks. It’s much cheaper than skis, lift tickets, and pricy snow gear for a bazillion people. Bean’s Extra-Long Toboggan and Cushion Set seats around seven people. You can place all your children in harm’s way at the very same time. They’ll love it. My favorite feature isn’t the handsome blonde wood or the kicky scroll in front. It’s the fact the cushion is green on one side and red on the other. Use green to indicate the hill is a gentle ride. Use red when it’s the equivalent of a black diamond ski slope. The red will hide the bloodstains. $209.

9. One thing I’m often asked is how I keep track of everyone’s schedules, school assignments, birthdays, and even names. (yes, I have been asked if I remember my own children’s names) We have a big white erase board I should use more, but don’t. Maybe because it is mounted in the basement stairwell and I avoid the basement? It’s where spiders poop. Also, it’s not as big as this 8′ X 4′ white erase board. It would be easy to fill it with scrawls regarding science projects and appointments. However, the untrained eye might see it and think you’re plotting world domination.

10. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this next gift guide suggestion, but you might have better luck with it. Water Balloon Factory! It touts it can help you make 100 water balloons in 10 minutes. Over the summer, my husband and I set out to make 200 water balloons so our kids could hurl them at each other in a battle that would last longer than 34 seconds. We used this water balloon contraption. After about 4 hours, we had 150. It works well once you perfect water pressure and technique. At around $8, it’s not a terrible investment.

11. Don’t forget mama! It’s very difficult to find mother’s jewelry if you have more than four children. And if you do manage to find mother’s jewelry that can represent more than four children, it’s a brooch. You don’t wear brooches. I don’t wear brooches. I might someday when I’m at that stage in life when I wear plastic rainbonnets and rouge, but I’m not there yet. I found a simple, lovely pendant at etsy that can help mama show off her brood up to 10 kiddos for $45. Additional stones are a mere $3.50. I’m dreaming of my ruby, garnet, ruby, blue topaz, pink tourmaline, sapphire, garnet, peridot, pink tourmaline neck candy. Seriously.

Hint hint hint.

7 comments to Large Family Gift Guide

  • Perfect! I have honestly thought many of these things would make excellent gifts. In fact, I told the kids that they should all ask Santa for a 15 passenger van. They didn’t buy it.

  • Laura

    I actually am curious what sort of vehicle you drive, because I’ve often said we stopped after our 2nd set of twins so I wouldn’t have to upgrade my Tahoe to the Sunday School Bus! Also, I find it hard to believe you remember all those names. I mean, I’m sure you REMEMBER them…. But I never can attach the right name to the right kid!

    • Gretchen

      We drive a Chevy Express passenger van! That’s how I know it would make a most excellent gift. Ours seats 12 but has room for another bench seat in the back. I love it and hate it. Parking is a nightmare, filling it with gas is depressing, but it’s sorta fun to drive.

      And yep, I know their names but I often have to scroll through 4 or 5 to get to the right kid.

  • Michelle

    I love my 15 passenger Express Gretchen. Might be the fact that I have been driving it for 10yrs or now that we don’t have 8 car/booster seats(only 4 boosters & 1 carseat). We do need something bigger since all the kids are getting bigger. I’m still waiting for my 2nd dishwasher and a kitchen that is bigger than a closet.

  • Melanie

    Great list!

  • Just having a little smile at this!!!

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