The Christmas Morning Sanity Basket

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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  1. says

    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.

    • says

      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!

  2. says

    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.

    • Penny says

      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.

  3. Jojo says

    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!

  4. says

    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.

    • Penny says

      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. :)

  5. 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!

    • Penny says

      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.

  6. Kindra says

    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.

  7. Nadia says

    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!

  8. Rose says

    I’ve been doing this for years too. I also put I. The basket a large manilia envelope to keep all the instructions and product info so they don’t get thrown out with all the wrapping paper.

  9. Connie says

    I love this idea and have started collecting items for my basket. I was also thinking some ziploc bags would be a great addition for holding small parts. We always have Monster High shoes, My Little Pony combs, etc. that we tend to misplace. Someone else mentioned a Sharpie, which would come in handy to label the bags. Thanks so much for this awesome idea!

  10. Alex says

    We also have a designated box or laundry basket for each person to put their stuff in as they open it that way stocking stuffers and small things like gift cards don’t get lost or mixed up :)

  11. says

    Oh wow! Great idea! Somehow, it never occurred to me to have any of those items ready ahead of time, but I KNOW I would be disappointed if I miss all the fun while running all over the house for things ;). Our kids are still young, so this is the first Christmas they are really understanding and excited. You have just given me the best preparation idea I’ve seen yet :). Thank you, thank you!!!

  12. says

    Ack…Fantastic idea!!! I’ll be putting mine together tonight. Thanks so much for sharing this idea. I’m going to share with Scratch Mommy readers later today. :)


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