10 weeks to go – your Christmas planning guide + The Chocolate Yogi Giveaway!

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.

The Chocolate Yogi Oscar IMG_4513

My daughter liked the Oscar Whyte bar best.

The Chocolate Yogi Oscar IMG_4512

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

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.

ActivtiyResources
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 listChristmas card list template
Make or buy Christmas cardsBest Christmas cards from around the web
Make or buy Christmas tagsHow to make your own gift tags
Free printable Christmas gift tags
Cheat's guide to DIY Christmas gift tags
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
Dukkah
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!

family-christmas-gift-ideas-640

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.

share

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!

share-with-others

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

Have you started planning for Christmas?