I know it’s still October, but the next few months are super busy for us, and before I can blink, it will be the week before Christmas and I won’t be ready!
This year I’ve promised myself that Christmas will be calm, not crazy, and I figure the best way to do that is to be organised, and to keep it simple.
I’m working on letting go of some of my crazy, over the top ideas, making sure we don’t take on too much, and remembering that everyone will enjoy the holidays so much more if we are stress free.
Simple Tips for a Calm Christmas.
Of course the earlier you start organising and shopping the better, but don’t give up if you didn’t start back in July (I always plan to but never do!), we can still get on top of things with some good planning.
- First things first – keep up with all your other systems and planning. You’ll be thankful for that menu plan and weekly to do list when things get crazy with all the extra Christmas stuff.
- Plan ahead – sit down with the calendar and mark down events, activities and expectations. You’ll be able to see any clashes or extra busy times and plan for them.
- Make a list of gift ideas and keep it with you! A simple way to do that is to use our free printable gift planner (see below) and take a photo of it with your phone, that way you’ll know what you have and haven’t bought and can grab that bargain for Aunty Ethel when you see it knowing you haven’t doubled up!
- Order online! I used to be hesitant about online shopping, but it is so easy, I can shop in my PJS at 3am, and I avoid the craziness of shopping at Christmas (and the insanity of finding a car park). Looking for e-stores where you can buy everything in one place with one delivery fee will save you time and money. My go to Aussie online site for kids Christmas gifts is Entropy, I use Booktopia for books, and even Big W’s online service is pretty good (these are not affiliate or paid links, just a few sites I’ve used and liked).
- Don’t scrimp on the sticky tape! Cheap sticky tape will drive you nuts when you are wrapping presents, it’s worth it to buy some decent tape and a tape dispenser, but you don’t need to go over the top with wrapping. Some fun paper and some curly ribbon will be appreciated as much as fancy wrapping that takes you hours, and don’t even bother with ribbon if you are wrapping for kids! One year we wrapped everything in brown paper and drew funny pictures on them with sharpies – easy and fun.
- Simplify the Christmas card thing – send a fabulously funny family email instead of posted cards, print a family info-graphic or newsletter at home to send instead of cards with individual messages, get the kids to draw/make the Christmas cards, and really scrutinize your list – if the Jones haven’t sent you a card in the last few years you are not obliged to send to them. Find out free printable Christmas card planner below to make keeping track even easier.
- The holidays is not the time to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys themselves – plan a menu you can make ahead, use pre-prepared items, ask people to pitch in and bring food, and keep it simple with items you know are easy and delicious so you can enjoy the day too.
- Keep the kids busy – Bored, whiny kids will do your head in when you are already stressed and busy, so take some time to plan some easy, independent activities for the kids to do. Put on a Christmas movies, or set them up with some Christmas play dough mats, or writing a letter to santa.
- Schedule some downtime – you can’t do everything, so decide which traditions are really important to you, and ditch the rest along with the guilt. And make sure you mark on the calendar time to simply relax with the family, and time to yourself – even if it is only a soak in the bath!.
Free Printable Christmas Planners
There are loads of fabulous free printable Christmas planners on the web, but I’m keeping it simple and just sharing four… A Christmas card planner, a Christmas gift planner, and Christmas shopping list, and a to do list.
Each of these printables is an A4 sized pdf file. If you are printing on US ‘letter sized’ paper be sure to select ‘fit’ or ‘shrink to fit’ from your printer options.
Please remember that the free printables at picklebums.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share, or link directly to these files.
How do you keep Christmas calm and simple?
I’d love to hear all your tips and tricks for an easy, not so crazy Christmas. Leave a comment below with your best ideas, or feel free to share a link to a tip, trick, printable or idea that you love.
If you are looking for more simple cleaning and organising ideas you can check out the Keep It Simple series where we share our best simple tips for everything from laundry, cleaning, meals, kids and parenting.
And you can find loads more free Christmas printables including wrapping paper, gift boxes, gift tags, and fun activities for kids here.