Gift Exchange Ideas for Large Families

Two sets of grandparents, three aunties, five uncles, three cousins (soon to be four), and four fur cousins. Now think Christmas presents. Sound familiar to your family, or does it just sound overwhelming?

That’s just us thinking about the rest of our family. Imagine them having to factor in us as a family of six! My kids make up 66% of all the grandkids and 50% of the cousins on just my side of the family.

{Photo Credit: Whims and Joy}

Gift giving can be challenging. Making sure we fit everyone’s budget and make it fair. I sometimes feel guilty that our siblings have to find gifts for our four kiddos. Over the years, we’ve been able to figure out a good way to make sure everyone has something to open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with both sides of our families. We’ve shifted as we add more nieces and nephews to the mix, but every year we make sure it’s fun and our kids get some kind of involvement as well.


We make sure we stick to a budget. My husband and I discuss how much we plan for the kids and the rest of the family and make sure we divide it evenly. We also give a budget to our boys. For the past few years, we’ve put all our family members into a hat and they have chosen the people they get to shop for and we go to their favorite store Five Below to let them choose the gifts (read the post here). 

Make it a game

One year, my siblings and I decided we’d choose one person to buy a gift for. I handled the picking organization, and we set a limit for everyone. We also agreed to all pitch in to get a larger gift for our parents. The kiddos still got their gifts from aunties and uncles, but it made it easier not to worry about each sibling.

We’ve also done mystery gifts. Each person bought five small gifts, and we all took turns picking out a gift until all the gifts were gone.

Shop year round for deals

Sometimes the perfect gift is spotted months in advance and I can’t pass up a good deal! I’m all for buying things early if I can and stashing it away until it’s time to wrap them up for the kiddos and family!

Focus on the kids

The past couple of years, we’ve decided to just focus on the kids. No need to get gifts for the adults in the family. It’s so much more fun to watch them tear the wrapping paper and hearing the sounds of excitement as they see what they get. 

These are just a few ways we’ve done to help manage gifting for our large family in the past years. As the years go on, we will continue to shift as our family grows and grows. I’m excited to see how our families continue to celebrate as my newer nephews and nieces get older, and we get to continue to see the joy this holiday brings for younger kids. As my three older ones become teenagers, I also envision that they will be more involved in the gift-giving instead of the gift-getting.

This time of year can be fun but also overwhelming with a large family. I think we’ve got our routine down, but one thing I will always try to remember is to make it fun and make it memorable. Stressing will take all the fun out of it, and I’m determined never to let it get to that point!

Remember to be safe, have fun, and be merry this holiday season!

Aimee is considered first generation, born and raised right in Minnesota made possible by her parents who are Vietnamese refugees. She is married to her husband Paul and they have four handsome boys - Davis (2010), twin boys, Miles and Quincy (2012), and Jones (2019). Aimee works as a Relationship Manager for her day job, has a love for delicious food, and is always ready for the next adventure with her little family. Follow Aimee and her family through Instagram Pinterest Facebook


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