Christmas planning + shareable family gift idea spreadsheet

Today kicks off the start to my annual 10 week Christmas planning series. Last year I created a master list of activities that can be completed in the lead up to Christmas. It has over 50 activities listed. You may not need or want to do all of these but it will provide inspiration and motivation to get you organised for Christmas 2016.

How to use the Christmas planning checklist

PWK Christmas 50+ things to do checklist.xlsx
You can see the Christmas planning checklist in the table below. I have also uploaded a spreadsheet that you can freely download in two formats:

The spread sheet contains some extra columns for dates and notes. You can either use it directly on the computer or print it out depending on your personal preference. If you are using the Google sheet version, click on ‘File’, then ‘make a copy’ to have your own version you can edit.

If you plan to undertake for example 50 of these activities, try allocating 5 activities to each of the next 10 weeks. That way you are not left with 30 things to do in the final week before Christmas. When choosing tasks for the week, make it a combination of big and small tasks. Again this will help you spread the work load more evenly.

Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks either. If you are using the Google sheet version, you can share the checklist with your significant other, allocate due dates to tasks they can complete.

And while this list may seen long, it contains many simple and fun things to do as part of your Christmas festivities. The plan shouldn’t take away the fun of Christmas, but enhance your time as it reduces stress through smoothing out the work load.

Create a Christmas planning spreadsheetHow to start a Christmas planning spreadsheet
Choose a theme for ChristmasChristmas theme ideas
Conduct Christmas supplies audit (wrapping, presents stashed away etc). Make sure you know what you have before you start buying anything.
Update or create Christmas budgetHow to set a Christmas budget
33 parent tips for saving at Christmas
Update or create Christmas card list
Upcycled Christmas gift tags
Buy or source Christmas wrapping paperThrifty gift wrapping for Christmas
Free Christmas card and wrap freebies
Buy or source sticky tape / ribbons / bows etcThrifty gift wrapping for Christmas
Set up a wrapping caddyCreating a wrapping caddy
Create a Christmas present ideas list for familyTeenage Christmas Gift Ideas For Less Than $35
Christmas Gift Ideas For Under $30

Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids For Under $30
Create a Christmas present ideas list for friendsAs above!
Write Christmas cards
Schedule all Christmas festivities on/in your calendar
If hosting create a Christmas menu planChristmas menu plan ideas
Create a work plan for the month out to Christmas to create the menu planChristmas Day Preparation – What You Can Do Ahead and When
Undertake a wardrobe declutter and check that everyone has an appropriate outfit for ChristmasTips for decluttering your home
Make or purchase small handmade treat for the kids' class giftsMarshmallow Christmas trees
Christmas popcorn
Candy cane freckles
Milky way sleighs
Make or purchase teacher giftsChristmas gifts for teachers
Easy DIY ideas
Make or purchase neighbour giftsPeppermint bath salts
Essential oil roll on
DIY herb planter box
How to make your own candles
Make your own coasters
Make handmade Christmas decorations with the kidsSimple Christmas Decorating Ideas You Can Do With The Kids
Make Christmas gifts for friendsAs per neighbours:
Peppermint bath salts
Essential oil roll on
DIY herb planter box
How to make your own candles
Make your own coasters
Undertake online Christmas shopping11 Christmas gifts you can buy online for under $40 (incl postage)
Undertake retail shopping11 secondhand, salvaged and upcycled stores in Melbourne
10 Practical Christmas Presents For Children
Make a donation to your favourite charityDonating at Christmas
Make a Christmas hamperHow to make your own Christmas hamper
Make or purchase Christmas crackersEasy DIY Christmas crackers
Make or buy an advent calendar35 DIY Advent Calendars to Make
30 DIY Christmas Advent Calendars
Wrap presentsChristmas wrapping ideas
Send Christmas cards and overseas presents
Set up and decorate the Christmas treeMartha Stewart Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
BHG how to decorate a Christmas tree
Decorate the house with additional Christmas trimmingsNatural Christmas decorations
Make or buy a Christmas wreathHomemade magazine wreath
Whimsical paper wreath
Pine cone wreath
Set up Christmas lights25 Gorgeous Ways to Use Christmas Lights
23 Unique Ways to Decorate With Christmas Lights
Stock up pantryPantry staples list
Stock up the drinks cabinet
Make homemade Christmas food giftsAlmond butter
Tea gift
See the Christmas lights in your area
Create a Christmas table setting planAffordable festive ideas for a lovely Christmas table
Christmas Centre Pieces – Easy DIY
Create Christmas week work planChristmas Day Preparation – What You Can Do Ahead and When
Create Christmas day work planChristmas Day Preparation – What You Can Do Ahead and When
Make a Christmas playlist50 best Christmas songs
Best Christmas Songs - 2015 ♥ Playlist (Youtube - over 60 mins)
Make a gingerbread houseHow to make your first gingerbread house
Watch a Christmas movie with the familyThe 20 best Christmas movies for kids
Favourite Christmas Movies
Read Christmas stories together as a familyBest Christmas books
Print out some Christmas printables for the kids8 Free Christmas Printables
Volunteer time at a charity
Declutter the kids toys (make room for the new ones and give unwanted to charity)Tips for decluttering your home
Undertake a family clean of the house
Take a famiy Christmas photoTips On Taking Photos For Christmas Cards
Make Christmas party treatsChristmas Treats To Make With Kids
13 sweet treat recipes (without the cane sugar)
Take the kids to visit Santa
Attend a Christmas vigil
Put the stockings out for Santa
Leave Santa a drink and snack and something for the reindeers
Enjoy your family Christmas traditions

A Christmas gift idea spreadsheet

For many years my sisters and I would ask each other – what shall we get the kids for Christmas? It was randomly done and some years there would be double ups of gifts or one child would get t-shirts from all three aunties, because mum (me!) had said t-shirts to each aunty.

So we decided to create a shared spreadsheet where we could share gift ideas for our kids. There is absolutely no obligation to buy from the list, they are just ideas. Sometimes I buy from the list, sometimes I don’t. It is super handy though when I have no idea to buy a niece or nephew! When we buy from the list we simply cross out what we have bought as soon as we have bought it, so others know not to purchase it.

It is also super helpful when you have something in mind, like a t-shirt for example as the spreadsheet lets you know the right size for each child. We also have kids with birthdays in Nov, Dec and Jan so it is useful for gift ideas for birthdays too!


I have created a template for you to use if you think this is something that will suit your family. As with the master checklist the spread sheet contains some extra columns for notes etc. To be able to enter into the spreadsheet you will need to click on ‘File’, then ‘make a copy’ to have your own version you can edit.

Click here to download your Christmas gift idea spreadsheet.

To then share this spreadsheet with your broader family, click on the share button in the top right hand corner.


It will then bring up a pop up box for you to enter the email addresses of the people you wish to share the document with. Enter them and click done!


Then your family members can view and edit the document on any device – so even on their phone when they are out shopping!

And in terms of actual gift ideas – I will share a number of gift idea post over the coming weeks. If you have a particular age or person in mind, let me know and I will try and add them into the posts!

Have you started planning for Christmas?