How to Plan a Simple Handmade Christmas

How to Plan a Simple Handmade Christmas

I’ve always loved Christmas, and once I had my son I went into overdrive, wanting to do all the things to make it magical for him. But I would end up being overwhelmed, and frustrated, especially when I didn;t have a full control to realise my vision.

So I took a moment to think about what my true intentions are for the season, and decided to simplify, and really focus on the things we found most meaningful.

Now I plan my Christmas based on those few things, and you can too!

Advent Calendars

We get these every year. I ditched the chocolate idea quickly, and started off making my own with things I thought my son would like. One year it was all dinosaur figurines. Another year a collection of small toys and trinkets. Eventually I started buying the manufactured ones in areas he was interested in like Star Wars and Marvel.

For the last two years my sister and I have sent each other handmade Advent Calendars. We collect small items we know the other would love, wrap and number them, and send them off by November 30th. (It’s very important to remember that these need to be ready to go for December 1st!).

My son and I also enjoy a tea Advent Calendar every year. We have a nice monet together in the evenings sipping our tea of the day.

Handmade Gifts

If you’re a crafter you probably love to give handmade gifts! I surely do. I always make some fairly big sewn, knitted or crocheted gifts, but also make small items as shown for Advent Calendars and stockings. I start my process by brainstorming the gifts I would like to make, and narrowing the list down based on complexity, time, and available materials. Once I have all my supplies I get going. I’ve already started making them this year! Jump start your process with this free worksheet.

Christmas Cards

Another thing I get started on early are my Christmas cards. I struggled for years to get cards sent out, I’d always start too late, and just give up. Now I have my system down! Here are five steps to get ready:

  1. Compile your address list and note how many cards you need.
  2. Decide if you’re making the cards or purchasing them.
  3. Gather supplies and purchase postage.
  4. Make cards. Or purchase/order.
  5. Stuff and send!

If you need some help you can sign up for my free class! The key is to remember to start early.


I keep our decor simple. A tree is a must of course, and I keep it understated with vignettes around the house. In 2020 I made a crochet garland using a pattern I found at Yarnspirations. This year I have making a new tree skirt on my list. That will probably be my biggest handmade decor project this year.

Gift Wrapping

My biggest tip for wrapping, especially if you have lots to wrap for different people, is to assign one pattern or colour of paper to each person, so that you can wrap everything without stopping, and then add the gift tags.

I like to make my own gift tags (although sometimes I use printables). last year I made them by writing out Holiday words with my brush pen, and cutting the sheet into tag shapes, then adding a decorative touch with the recipient’s initial.

And that’s the bulk of it! There’s also my menu and treat prep, but that’s a post for a different day.

I compiled my Holiday planning sheets into the Minimalist Christmas Planner, to help you plan Advent Calendars, Gifts, Cards, Decor, Gift Wrap and more like menus, memory projects, and family activities.

Want to plan Christmas with me? Sign up to learn when my class will be available.


Let’s plan on having a very Merry Christmas!

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