How to Get Ready for a Merry, Simple Christmas

When you think of having a Simple Christmas, do you hear the cheerful ringing of jingle bells, while spending time with your family?

In your mind’s eye, are you sitting in your favorite chair, drinking hot chocolate, eating homemade cookies, and enjoying the soft sounds of Christmas music while watching the lights twinkle on the tree?

Or are you hearing the deep toll of the bell, signaling time flying by?  Do you see yourself stuck in traffic, crushed by the crowds while frantically looking for that one perfect gift? Are you feeling like you are all tied up in wrapping paper and ribbon, as if you are some maniacal Christmas gift?

Maybe is it time to go back to having that Simple Christmas.  It really isn’t as difficult as it sounds.  All it is going to take is to rearrange your thoughts, get organized, and get ready ahead of time. 

By doing so, you can have the majority of the work completed, and can turn on the music and the lights, instead of racing around doing last minute things.

a christmas tree with a milk can for a stand

How is that Possible? 

I am prepared to help! For the month of October, I will be offering ideas to help you get ahead on Christmas.  From DIY directions for simple gifts, to food you can make ahead and creative gift-wrapping ideas.

To help you even more, today I am announcing the launch of my new e-book, Have a Merry, Simple Christmas!

have a merry, simple Christmas ebook cover

This is 90 pages of Tips, Hints, DIY and Recipes to help make your Christmas as simple as possible.  In addition, there are 15 printable lists you can add to your notebook.  If you need more than one, just copy or reprint as many as you need.  

For more ideas to make your Christmas Simple, try a few of these!

a notebook, hot chocolate and wrapped gift signifies a simple Christmas

Get your Simple Christmas Organized

Before you tackle any large project, you often set up a calendar, make lists, and just get organized.  This makes everything work together like a horse and an open sleigh. 

The best way to organize all your plans, shopping and DIY projects is to put everything in a notebook.  This will keep all of your notes, lists, receipts and DIY directions together in one place.

When the invitations for Christmas parties start coming in, choose the ones you want to attend and mark them on the calendar you have placed in the front of your notebook. Then jot down the date, time and other information on the printable designed just for that. 

have a merry, simple Christmas ebook banner

Gather the remaining invitations and RSVP that day, or no later than the next.  Then toss the invitation in the recycle bin. 

See?  It may have taken you all of five – maybe ten minutes to do this.  And it probably saved you an hour or more several weeks from now when you are scrambling to remember when the party is scheduled, and where that invitation is. 

In Have a Merry, Simple Christmas, you can learn about setting up your notebook, getting organized and so much more.  The printable lists in the e-book add yet another layer of organization to make your holiday planning easier. That means more time with hot chocolate and cookies later on! 

a Christmas turkey and trimmings for a simple Christmas

Meal Planning for a Simple Christmas

Planning meals for a normal week can be tough.  But having to add a second layer of holiday menus – with these needing to be a bit more festive – can get frustrating.

By keeping a meal plan for the week, you don’t have to worry about what you will prepare for your family each night.  If you take it a step further and start now by creating meals for the freezer, you have saved even more time for your holiday planning.

Take a weekend and plan out what you would like to serve for the holidays.  In most cases, casseroles, cookies, desserts and some breads can be made ahead of time and placed in the freezer.  Be sure to mark them clearly, and maybe add ‘Christmas Lunch’, or Christmas Buffet’ on the label.

Make up several batches of cookies. Make them into balls, and place in a container, then freeze.  During the holidays, all you have to do is remove the container from the freezer, get out your baking pans and heat the oven. 

By planning your meals ahead of time, you can easily prepare your family a hot, healthy meal, such as soups, stews or casseroles, and still have plenty of time to get to the Christmas play.

Need a list for this?  No problem.  There are a few lists in the book that have you covered.  You will also find ideas to host your own Christmas Buffet – complete with a few recipes!

quote - handmade gifts always come with strings attached: the strings of love, appreciation, thoughts and prayers

Make Your Own Simple Christmas Gifts

Working with your hands is often one of the most calming things you can do.  By creating your own Simple Christmas gifts, you can not only relax, but can also get quite a bit of your gifts made – without having to brave the crowds at the stores!

This month I will be sharing posts on a few simple ideas you can make or bake.  There are also several DIY crafts, gifts and recipes in Have a Merry, Simple Christmas

As an added bonus, some of these posts will have free downloads you can print and add to your new Merry Simple Christmas notebook. Check back and read more about how to have that Christmas you have always wanted!

If you don’t like to craft, or don’t have time, don’t worry!  Coming up soon is a post on Simple Gift Ideas that highlights gifts you can easily purchase.  To make your shopping even easier, you can click on the item and it will take you right to the online shop!

have a merry, simple Christmas ebook cover

Get your Copy of a Merry, Simple Christmas!

Are you ready to get organized and have that Simple Christmas you always dream about?  Then maybe it is time to treat yourself and get started.  Find more details of Have a Merry, Simple Christmas here, and grab your notebook and supplies.

Before you know it, you will be drinking hot chocolate, eating fresh baked cookies, and enjoying the beauty of a simple Christmas tree!

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…

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. Great tips here! I love shortcuts that make the actual holiday more pleasant. No one enjoys being around a stressed-out cook! Thank you for sharing at Embracing Home and Family!

      1. Julie, this is brilliant! My tendency is to practice avoidance in October when I should be planning.

        1. Thank you, Michele! I love using a notebook to get organized way ahead of time! I want to be visiting, laughing, talking, and celebrating, rather than rushing around at the last minute!

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