I love Christmas time. I love our family traditions and love spending time with family. It can be easy for Christmas time to become a stressful time if we let it. The key for me is having a solid plan and keeping it simple. I have collated some popular Christmas planning posts as some inspiration to help you with your Christmas plan for 2018!
1. Setting a Christmas budget
With good intentions it can be easy to over spend at Christmas so I can highly recommend setting a budget and then tracking your expenditure. You can download a Christmas Budget template here.
2. Choosing a christmas theme
You can see my Christmas theme ideas for 2018 here. Choosing a theme for Christmas really helps make planning easier – it helps you make decisions on food, decorations, gifts, wrapping paper and tags etc.
3. Creating a family Christmas Card
Last year was the first year that I didn’t make a family Christmas Card. I loved doing this when the kids were younger and those who received the card would always tell me how much they loved seeing the change in the kids each year. If you would like to make a photo Christmas card this year check out these wonderful tips from photographer Lou Glendon here.
4. Making christmas tags
I have shared a few tutorials on how to make Christmas tags over the years:
Super easy homemade Christmas tags
Christmas tags using wrapping paper
Using old Christmas cards to make Christmas tags.
5. Christmas gift list
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!
6. Create a Christmas menu plans
Each year I collate Christmas menu plans to give ideas and inspiration for your Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinners. You can find last year’s Christmas Menu Plan post here which links to all previous Christmas menu plan ideas posts I have written as well. I will be publishing my ideas for 2018 in a few weeks.
7. Homemade food gift ideas
I love to make food gifts for friends and to have on hand at home in case I am in need of a gift. The ideas below can all be made well in advance. The raw treats can be stored in the fridge/freezer until you need them.
8. Christmas gift ideas kids can make
A couple of my kids have loved making easy home made gifts for friends or important adults in their lives. Here are some super easy tutorials:
Make your own candles – obviously with hot wax this is better with older kids and would need adult supervision.
9. Traveling for Christmas tips
Every second year we travel for Christmas. We have developed some tricks and tips to make these long car trips as enjoyable as possible:
Creating individual travel packs for kids (including free downloads)
Tips for helping kids with travel sickness
10 Great Children’s Audio Books For Long Car Trips
A Christmas planning checklist
The list above is a great place to start with key activities you can do to spread out the workload of Christmas preparations. Of course there are many more things you can do and I have 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.
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:
- 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 5-6 activities each week. 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.
Have you started planning for Christmas?
Top photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash