The Christmas Morning Sanity Basket

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With young children in our home, Christmas morning is very much a “last one to the tree is a rotten egg” kind of deal. The last thing I want to do is put the excitement on hold while I find the camera or when we need scissors to open a package. So, a few years ago, I planned ahead and the Under the Christmas Tree Basket has been a part of our Christmas tradition ever since.

Christmas Morning SANITY Basket - Fabulous idea for keeping everything together and under the tree. Check the comments for more ideas!

Find a medium-sized basket. I picked a Christmas-y one up at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off.

Next, on Christmas Eve, fill up your basket with all the items you might need on Christmas day:

  • Screwdrivers (phillips and flat)
  • Scissors
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Box cutter
  • Scotch tape
  • Extra bows
  • Camera
  • Video camera
  • Batteries (various sizes)
  • Garbage bags (Thanks to Jayme!)
  • Wire cutters (Thanks to Jayme!)

Finally, tuck the basket away under the tree. (NOTE: Please keep all sharp objects away from small children.)

things you need on Christmas morning

The funny thing is that no matter what I have in the basket, we always need something odd that I didn’t put in it. However, I definitely spend less time running around on Christmas morning and get to sit and enjoy the chaos.

What do you keep handy for Christmas morning?

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Let's Get Organized!


  1. Great list! We do something similar but add wire cutters & extra garbage bags to the basket. :)

  2. Dee Johnson says:

    I pinned it! I don’t know why I never thought to do this before. Thanks!

  3. What a great idea! I’ve actually started filling and lining up lidded cups for each child in the fridge on Christmas Eve so that I don’t have to stop taking pictures or helping with packages to fix drinks for everyone 15 minutes into the morning.

    • I LOVE this idea. I am going to do this! Thanks, Jamie.

    • Similar to the sippy cup idea, when Santa fills our stockings he put a few juice boxes and breakfast bars on top. It allows me to be present in the room and not busy in the kitchen while the kids are having fun, and it makes sure the kids eat something in the morning so they don’t end up having a low blood sugar meltdown after all the boxes are unwrapped!

  4. I usually make sure I have my camera and extra batteries ready because my camera eats batteries for lunch. But I love the idea of this basket. One thing that we always do here is cut open all the tape on the outside packaging of a toy, cut most of the infuriating wires and strings holding a toy in the packaging, and if possible (and needed) put batteries in it BEFORE wrapping the gift.

    • That is SUPER smart, Laura. I’ve never thought about doing that before. Now I am going to comb through our stuff and see what I can do.

  5. What a SUPER great idea! I have never heard this one and it makes so much sense!

    I saw you at the What Works Wednesday link up!

  6. Smart. I love this idea!

  7. I love this! I do have an add though. How about a large open ended box already giftwrapped so your photos don’t haveva trashbag in the center ofvtje room? All ripped off wrapping paper goes in the box!

  8. What an amazing idea! With a 2 and 3 year old this year, the basket would be awesome!! :)

  9. Non-sugary snacks to help keep everyone from getting grumpy later on from the sugar crash from their stockings. We usually have sausage balls or some other finger food on hand.

    • We put granola bars and raisins in the stockings, but having something available for the early morning nibbles is a great idea. I might not recommend putting food under your Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, especially if you have pets, but having something prepared in the refrigerator. :)

  10. Lisha Driver says:

    I love the Under The Tree Basket idea. Very smart! I usually have a garbage bag handy but that’s it. We always end up looking for tools we need. Thanks for the great idea!

  11. What a great idea! I’m listing items to hubby right now. LOL
    Merry Christmas!

  12. thank you for this list, also black sharpie case you need to write names, now we know who is whos for certain items.

  13. What are the extra bows for?

    • LOL. Those were some renegade that we could not get to stick to their presents so I tossed them in there, deciding to just stick them at the last minute, and didn’t remove them before the picture.

  14. Love this! Also, add a hand-crank can opener for those plastic packages (think bundle of batteries). The can opener will open the package without hurting your hand trying to cut the plastic. :-) Merry Christmas!

  15. Last year, my daughter was 3 and I took a lot of things out of the box, put it in batteries, etc. and then put it in a gift bag. No waiting forever just to get the toy out of the blasted box. Also eliminated some of the clutter. For a 3-yr-old who was not patient, it was perfect.

  16. How about a bag for keeping bows in to reuse again? A note pad for noting who sent what so you can encourage kids to send thank you notes. And a lint roller to pick up all that GLITTER!

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