My partner is the 8th child of 9. He has 4 brothers and 4 sisters. He has 11 nieces and nephews between the ages of about 2 and 17. Christmas is terrifying but a lot of fun.
Before dating him it had been a very long time since I’d had to think about gifts for children. I guess I probably was a child the last time I had to think about it. However, with 11 children in the family I’ve now been given plenty of opportunities to think about it.
Lego is a firm favourite, as is anything artistic or messy. Teddies and soft toys are great for the very youngest whilst the older ones will want books, dvds, video games or vouchers for their tablets. Kids aren’t really very difficult to buy for – getting gifts for them is a lot of fun. Occasionally it requires a quick phone call to the parents to check that they’re ok with their little angel owning a spud gun, but usually these things work out fine.
I’ve also noticed that toy shops have improved since I was a kid. Maybe it’s just because I live in Glasgow now rather than Leeds but there’s a Hamley’s, a Lego Store, The Entertainer and a bunch of smaller more independent places with all kinds of amazing things. Usually a lot of stuff is branded to match the most recent kids movie so all you need to know is who the kid’s favourite character is and you can quickly find the perfect item.
My family is much smaller than his. I have one sister and, so far, no nieces and nephews. Christmases and birthdays are a lot calmer and smaller – although I’m sure when I was a child that me and my friends must have run riot. I think it probably meant a very different kind of childhood. More grown ups to look after you, more children to play with, more hand-me-downs to grow into. Not to mention all the old toys to find in the loft or the shed.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked my childhood. As a kid I’m not sure his childhood would have been great for me – I was pretty shy. I found his enormous family pretty intimidating at first but now I know them better and I’ve noticed that somehow, in the inevitable chaos, everyone always seems relaxed.
Originally posted here: http://unazukin210.tumblr.com/post/130337375640/big-families