Keeping it simple this Christmas


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Is it, is it really?) Usually I am so stressed out with the 15 to-do lists I have going that I get to this time of the year and think “I have bitten off more than I can chew”.

So, inspired by this slightly tongue-in-cheek blog post about ideas to simplify Christmas, I decided to write my own thoughts about keeping it simple (and surviving!) during the silly season.


Make technology your friend:

Take advantage of online shopping and ‘click & collect’ if you can – this way, you can shop from home, get the catalogue specials and save time wandering around stores!

A couple of apps that have been recommended to me to help manage Christmas are:

  • Santa’s Bag – a shopping list manager with budget and security settings so there’s no peeking!
  • – an easy way to organise secret Santas/Kris Kringle gifts

Use time management techniques:

If you read my last blog post, you might have done some planning and have a whole lot of lists of things to get ready for Christmas. Pull them out and apply one of these four time management principles:

Delete: what is one thing that would be nice, but probably just isn’t that important? Get ready to cross some stuff off your list without feeling guilty! (I have a lot of baking that ends up on this list. It’s probably better for our health anyway!)

Delegate: how can you get others involved in the process? Can someone else make a salad, or organise drinks or write some Christmas cards for you?

Defer: does everything on your list absolutely have to be done before Christmas? I defer sorting out my kids school books until January and sometimes reschedule a catch-up with friends to New Years or Australia Day instead.

Do: no doubt your list is still huge. Grab some pages and number each with the weeks left before Christmas. Try to sort things into which week they’ll get done: it means you won’t be scrambling for time at the last minute!

Think about ways you can give:

Christmas is a great time of year to think about how we can give to others less fortunate than us. It’s a behaviour I like to model to my children and get them involved in.

There are so many options around: buying gifts from the catalogues of aid organisations (where they provide a chicken or water pump to a family); donating presents to wishing trees or charities; donating to or serving with a group that makes biscuits or hampers to give away. Think about how much we spend on our own celebrations and how you can share a small portion of that with others.


Do some ‘batching’:

Similar to baking batches of biscuits or Christmas cakes, what other jobs could benefit from ‘batching’ together? One year, I bought all of the children similar gifts so that I only had to make one decision for 16 children (I bought various versions of Usborne wipe-clean cards, another year I made all the children an I-Spy bag).

Most years I spend one evening wrapping all of the presents.  And I try to minimise the shopping trips by planning my lists and route around the shopping centre!



Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify. Henry David Thoreau

What details are taking up most of your time when it comes to Christmas? How can you simplify this – even just a smidge?

For me, food is a big deal, and so this year I’m going simple: lots of BBQs with a couple of tried-and-true salads, fresh fruit Pavlovas and a bottle of sparkling wine!


If you want to read even more about keeping it simple at Christmas, check out this list of resources from Becoming Minimalist. And if you need help getting on top of your Christmas planning, sign up for my free video series!

About The Author


Tanya lives in Canberra with her husband and two sons. She is passionate about helping women to live fulfilled, purposeful lives. She enjoys reading, cooking, craft and creating memorable moments for her family.

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