This post is heavily influenced by the number 10! In January next year (2018), I will have been blogging for 10 years. I can hardly believe that something I started as way to up skill myself when I was at home a lot with little ones, has turned into a small business for me and I am still going.
I will be taking a break over January, so in the lead up to Christmas, to say thanks so much to everyone reading PWK over the last 10 years, and I know some of you have been reading since the very beginning, I am going to do 10 weeks of giveaways! I will tie in a weekly giveaway with my Christmas planning series which kicks off today. (Keep scrolling down to find my Christmas planning guide and Christmas gift idea spreadsheet.)
I want to give readers a chance to win some wonderful prizes to say thanks, because if no one read the blog, then I couldn’t do what I do. I am always so appreciative that you take time out, with of all the info out there, to read PWK and never take it for-granted that your time is a most precious resource.
So today I am super excited to share with you, the first of 10 giveaways and a new brand I have come across in my chocolate travels The Chocolate Yogi.
On top of their chocolate being delicious, The Chocolate Yogi has a gorgeous background story, which you can read in full here. But the short version is Australians, Malindi and Ed, the founders of The Chocolate Yogi decided to start a vegan chocolate business, with literally no money in the bank. They managed to get family and friends involved and started their business with a one line vision statement of Making Chocolate That Changes the World.
The Chocolate Yogi is an ethical Australian, allergy friendly Chocolate Company and Social Enterprise. They have a range of products and when each is sold, a fixed amount per bar is given to non profit organisations who are helping to protect the world’s wildlife.
The kids and I taste tested some bars from the Oscar range of bars. They are ethical, organic, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, refined sugar free chocolate bars that your kids will love. In fact the Oscar bars are the first Australian made dairy free children’s bars on the market in Australia.
5c from each Oscar bar The Chocolate Yogi sell is donated directly to The Orangutan Project who are purchasing tracts of rainforest land in Sumatra and Borneo Indonesia, to help prevent the Orangutan from extinction.
My daughter liked the Oscar Whyte bar best.
While the 8 year old and myself loved them both, if we had to choose between the two, we would go with the Oscar Mlyk Bar.
The lovely team at Chocolate Yogi have a box of the new, limited edition Oscar Caramel Christmas Bars to give away to one lucky reader of PWK. The box contains 50x15g bars and is valued at $79.
Certified organic ingredients for the bars: Coconut Sugar, Raw Cacao Butter, Raw Cacao Paste, Coconut Flour, Desiccated Coconut, Lucuma Powder, Vanilla Bean Powder, Caramel Extract. Cacao solids 41% min.
I am using a new system to run the giveaways over the next few weeks. Not only does it make it easier for you to enter, but it also gives you the opportunity to earn additional entries when you share the giveaway with friends. If you are reading via email and cannot see the form below to enter, please click here to enter. Good luck!
How to use the Christmas planning checklist
- As an excel spreadsheet here – PWK Christmas 50+ things to do checklist
- A google drive sheet here – PWK Christmas preparation checklist
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 spreadsheet||How to start a Christmas planning spreadsheet|
|Choose a theme for Christmas||Christmas 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 budget||How 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 paper||Thrifty gift wrapping for Christmas
Free Christmas card and wrap freebies
|Buy or source sticky tape / ribbons / bows etc||Thrifty gift wrapping for Christmas|
|Set up a wrapping caddy||Creating a wrapping caddy|
|Create a Christmas present ideas list for family||Teenage 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 friends||As above!|
|Write Christmas cards|
|Schedule all Christmas festivities on/in your calendar|
|If hosting create a Christmas menu plan||Christmas menu plan ideas|
|Create a work plan for the month out to Christmas to create the menu plan||Christmas Day Preparation – What You Can Do Ahead and When|
|Undertake a wardrobe declutter and check that everyone has an appropriate outfit for Christmas||Tips for decluttering your home|
|Make or purchase small handmade treat for the kids' class gifts||Marshmallow Christmas trees
Candy cane freckles
Milky way sleighs
|Make or purchase teacher gifts||Christmas gifts for teachers
Easy DIY ideas
|Make or purchase neighbour gifts||Peppermint 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 kids||Simple Christmas Decorating Ideas You Can Do With The Kids|
|Make Christmas gifts for friends||As 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 shopping||11 Christmas gifts you can buy online for under $40 (incl postage)|
|Undertake retail shopping||11 secondhand, salvaged and upcycled stores in Melbourne
10 Practical Christmas Presents For Children
|Make a donation to your favourite charity||Donating at Christmas|
|Make a Christmas hamper||How to make your own Christmas hamper|
|Make or purchase Christmas crackers||Easy DIY Christmas crackers|
|Make or buy an advent calendar||35 DIY Advent Calendars to Make
30 DIY Christmas Advent Calendars
|Wrap presents||Christmas wrapping ideas|
|Send Christmas cards and overseas presents|
|Set up and decorate the Christmas tree||Martha Stewart Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
BHG how to decorate a Christmas tree
|Decorate the house with additional Christmas trimmings||Natural Christmas decorations|
|Make or buy a Christmas wreath||Homemade magazine wreath
Whimsical paper wreath
Pine cone wreath
|Set up Christmas lights||25 Gorgeous Ways to Use Christmas Lights
23 Unique Ways to Decorate With Christmas Lights
|Stock up pantry||Pantry staples list|
|Stock up the drinks cabinet|
|Make homemade Christmas food gifts||Almond butter
|See the Christmas lights in your area|
|Create a Christmas table setting plan||Affordable festive ideas for a lovely Christmas table
Christmas Centre Pieces – Easy DIY
|Create Christmas week work plan||Christmas Day Preparation – What You Can Do Ahead and When|
|Create Christmas day work plan||Christmas Day Preparation – What You Can Do Ahead and When|
|Make a Christmas playlist||50 best Christmas songs
Best Christmas Songs - 2015 ♥ Playlist (Youtube - over 60 mins)
|Make a gingerbread house||How to make your first gingerbread house|
|Watch a Christmas movie with the family||The 20 best Christmas movies for kids
Favourite Christmas Movies
|Read Christmas stories together as a family||Best Christmas books|
|Print out some Christmas printables for the kids||8 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 photo||Tips On Taking Photos For Christmas Cards|
|Make Christmas party treats||Christmas 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.
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!