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Celebrating a large family Christmas is a blend of chaos, entertainment, and love. But it can get expensive! Here’s how to keep it simple and affordable.

There’s something magical about Christmas morning.  But it’s even more magical when you have a large family to share it with. 

There’s always someone to share dreams and excited giggles with, and that just makes the anticipation even better!

Big families are full of at least a little chaos, so it’s only natural that Christmas would get extra crazy when you have a lot of children to shop for.  But it doesn’t have to get out of hand.

This year, we’re adopting a simple idea that won’t cost much, won’t take a lot of time, but will (ideally) change the feel of the way we celebrate the season. 

Learn the easy steps you can take to recreate this idea with your own family!

How To Celebrate Christmas With a Big Family

Step One: Draw Names

Drop the names of every family member who will participate into a hat.  Make sure no one draws their own name!  Try to keep it a secret if you can. 

(The under 5 crowd can play, too, even though they might not be very sly about it.)

Step Two: Lay Out the Rules

Use this season to encourage your kids to think of others.  Teaching acts of kindness should begin right in your own home!  And if your child has one person to bless for several weeks, they’ll naturally have to turn their thoughts to others.

How should this look in your home?  Your house, your rules!  But if you’d like some suggestions, try these:

  • Keep your name a secret for as long as you can!
  • Each day, do one small act of kindness for your special person.
  • Try to collect as many smiles from your secret person as you can!

You can decide whether to give gifts on Christmas day to your special person.  Read on for more ideas about gift giving!

Step Three:  Encourage Ideas for Acts of Kindness

Each day, show kindness to your family member.  It’s best to personalize it to things they would love the most. 

Do a hated chore or find their missing teddy bear.  But remember, try to keep it a secret!

Here are more ideas to get started:

  • Make their bed.
  • Do one of their chores before they get to it.
  • Save them a piece of candy you got at school and leave it on their pillow.
  • Leave a nice note where they’ll find it.
  • Draw them a funny comic strip.
  • Leave a joke or handmade card in their coat pocket.
  • Let them win an argument.
  • Clean up after them.
  • Make something for them (slime, a friendship bracelet, whatever you’re handy at)
  • Let them choose first.

Your kids will get a kick out of this kindness scavenger hunt!

large family ChristmasStep Four: Decide On The Right Gift

In the past, we’ve taken kids to the dollar store and let them shop for one another.  This can be fun, and it leaves you with lots of gifts to open. 

But most of those gifts are destined for the garbage can, the donation bag, or covered in dust bunnies in some corner of the house.

That’s why we’re going to focus on coming up with a meaningful gift instead.  Encourage your family to spend a little extra time thinking about a gift that would be special to someone else.

The goal isn’t to come up with the perfect gift for them.  Instead, we’re trying to encourage them to see the Christmas season as a time to give to others rather than writing an elaborate “gimme” list of ideas for themselves.

If you want to stick with handmade gifts, there are tons of ideas!  Try these easy DIY Christmas gifts. 

Or, ask your kids to search their rooms and give away a personal possession they know would be adored by the giftee.

Quick Ideas for Making This A Success

  • Encourage them!  “Wow!  I don’t know who left you that candy on your pillow, but wasn’t that such a special surprise?!”  (It’s far more important for the giver to “overhear” you saying this than the giftee.)
  • Get in on the action yourself.  This is the best way to lead by example.  And why not join in the fun?
  • Focus on the good feelings of giving acts of kindness rather than receiving whenever possible.

Make your large family Christmas feel extra special with this unique spin on an old tradition.

You’ll be surprised to find out how well the kids adopt this idea!

Another fun way to simplify your large family Christmas is trying out a new gift exchange theme.

Have you ever drawn names for Christmas?