How to Avoid the Christmas Rush- Create it Now!

Just thinking about the crowds during the holidays sends shivers down my spine. The crowds. The traffic.  The weather. More than anything, I want to avoid the Christmas rush!

Rather than have to wait in long lines or discover the item I want is sold out, I would rather stay home.  To me, there is nothing better than baking in the kitchen listening to Christmas carols.  My preference for the holidays is to wrap my gifts, rather than shop for them.

In order to do that and avoid the Christmas rush, I have to create my gifts ahead of time. That means getting started early. Often, during the quiet evening of Christmas Day, you will find me already creating something for the next year.

From January to October, I create. It may be weaving table runners or shawls. There may be knitting needles or crochet hook involved.  But there is always something that is in process.

turquoise notebook topped with pens in pink, purple, green, orange, and blue

Organize with a Notebook

Long before you begin working on your gifts, you need to make a list.  Who are you giving a gift to? It may be helpful to get a brand-new notebook. Label it ‘Christmas ________’, and fill in the year.

One the first page, make a list of everyone you know for whom you will be creating a gift. Leave a space beside their name to add which gift it will be.

On another page, design a budget. Begin with an overall amount, then narrow it down as much as possible for each gift.

Then use your Afternoon Tea to go through books, magazines or the notebook you keep of all the potential things you could create. 

Study each item and think about who might like that particular item. Sometimes, you can almost see the joy in someone’s face when they open their gift.  For others, it may take some time. Don’t worry if it takes a month or two to get each person matched with the perfect gift.

bottles of paint, painters tape, wooden board, paint brushes and other supplies for making a barn quilt

Gather your Supplies

As you determine which gift you will create, begin a list of the supplies you will need. Take few steps to gather them together.

Step One

Gather a few boxes. These can be shoe boxes, plastic bins, or even a grocery bag, if necessary. Label each one with the gift recipient’s name.  Store them in an easy to access place.

Step Two

Check your list against items you already have. Creating your own gifts can be a frugal way to stretch your Christmas budget. If you don’t have it, make a separate shopping list. When you are running errands, pick up an item or two from the list.  Check sales papers and watch for coupons. 

Click the Image to Start your Holiday Budget!

Step Three

As you find the main supplies, place the items in the box labeled for that person. If possible, place the book, magazine or pattern in the box as well. If one magazine has several gifts you want to create, make a note of which one on the list in the box.

Step Four

About that list… Some supplies, such as knitting needles, cross over from one project to another. Keep them in their usual place to make them easy to find. On the note in the box, write down the equipment you need. Double check your list to make sure you have everything.

Step Five

Store your boxes in an easy-to-access place. When you have some time to create, choose a box and get started. If you cannot finish the project in one sitting, place it back in the box when you finish for the day.  This way, everything you have stays together.

granny squares crocheted in green, purple, pink, blue, yellow and white yarn

Create It!

Often, the biggest problem with creating gifts is what to create? Here is a list of ideas to get you started.  These will either be links to a page I have created, or links to affiliates for supplies you might need.

To make it easy, links to my pages are in green. Links to affiliates are in red

Psalms 91 Throw – a simple throw made up of fabric squares sewn together, with a fleece backing.

Fun for the Kitchen – knitted dish cloths, crochet pot scrubbers and a dish drainer. Perfect for a gift basket!

Hats & Scarves – these are easy to do, whether your craft medium is knitting, crochet or weaving.

Barn Quilt – no sewing needed! Instead, you will be creating a painted replica of the historic pieces that decorate barns across America!

pink handwoven baby shawl with white ribbon roses

Handwoven Shawl –Weaving on a tri-loom isn’t as difficult as it sounds. If you are a beginner, you can start learning on a smaller loom.  These are perfect baby shawls. You can also make several panels, sew them together to make throws and baby blankets.

Long Tail Media has some great magazines for weaving, spinning and other fiber crafts.  I get so much inspiration from them! Thinking about starting smaller? Check out their Little Looms Magazine. Little looms can make some beautiful big projects!

Embroidered Dish Towels – they may seem old-fashioned, but I assure you they have not gone out of style. They are the perfect fun gift to create for any kitchen!

Wooden Spoon Butter – if you have someone who loves to cook on your list, this is a perfect gift to create to help them keep their wooden spoons in top working order!

Gift Baskets – A gift basket filled with items you create are the perfect gift solution. For someone who loves to cook, add knitted dishcloths, dish drainer two crochet pot scrubbers together. 

Tuck in a jar of Wooden Spoon butter and add a couple of embroidered dish towels. Tuck in some homemade spice blends, baking mixes and Vanilla Extract. Done!

Click the Image to Learn More!

Are you Inspired Yet?

Then get started!  Grab yourself some tea, a few cookies, and settle in to get your list started. Before you know it, you will have most-if not all-of the gifts on your Christmas list just waiting to be wrapped!

Need some inspiration? You can find all of these ideas and MORE in my e-book, Have a Merry, Simple Christmas. Order your copy and get ready to celebrate!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. The individual boxes for supplies for each person’s gift is brilliant! I’m definitely doing that! Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop, please come back again soon!

    1. I am so glad you liked the idea, Ann! Doing it that way really helps me to keep track of my projects. I love the Homestead Blog Hop, so thank you for letting me join!

    1. I’m glad you like them, Lisa! And thank YOU for hosting the Farm Fresh Tuesdays Hop!

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