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Your Ultimate December Holiday Season Survival Guide: 5 Must-Have Items to Stock Up on Now

5 Things To Stock Up On In The Month of December To Make The Holiday Season More Joyful (And Less Stressful)

It’s the most wonderful (and sometimes stressful) time of the year… especially as a parent!

While the holiday season is meant to be magical, it can quickly become the thing that you dread the most when you’re not prepared. 

But let’s be honest: no parent has it all figured out. 

We’re constantly learning new things in every season of raising kiddos, but I believe that collectively we DO already know a lot and can use past experiences to our advantage.

For example, who has ever been hit with that 9 pm, “Mom I need to wear a green shirt tomorrow” during the month of December from one of your kids who has a holiday play at school that they swear they told you about?!


It’s in these moments that you may start to loathe the holiday season, but moments like these can actually set you up for success next time. 

In this blog post, I’m sharing a list of things to consider stocking up on as a parent in the month of December to save you some distress… and yes, these have all been compiled based on personal experience!

As a mom of 2 boys (ages 8 and 13), I’ve had my fair share of “OH MY GOSH” moments during the holidays, which is why I’m committed to helping you avoid some of those and instead soak in the season with joy.

5 Things To Stock Up On as a Parent In The Month of December

1.Batteries 🔋

Sounds quite random, huh? It might feel strange to stock up on, but you won’t be thinking that come Christmas morning when your child opens that brand new gift from Santa that boldly states, “batteries not included.”

There’s nothing worse than scrambling to find fresh batteries and then settling for taking them out of the remote. 

So, let’s save yourself from sanity by stocking up on batteries during the month of December because I can assure you that you WILL need them. 


If you want to take this step further, I recommend creating an opening gift kit to keep handy on Christmas morning that includes the batteries, small screwdriver, garbage bag, scissors, and other must-have items that you’ll need easy access to on the best morning ever.

2. Solid Red, Green, or White Shirts 🎄

Remember that scenario I described above? This is how we avoid that!

It almost never fails that your child’s school will send home a note or email saying they must wear some sort of holiday or festive shirt. 

When this happens, you might find yourself at Walmart or Target at 10pm on a Monday night searching for your child’s size… just to find that they’re all sold out. 

The BEST thing you can do for yourself is grab a few solid festive color shirts at the beginning of the season (around Thanksgiving) to keep on hand in case your child’s school hits you with this surprise.  


Purchase a solid color (short or long sleeve) that can be worn again.

3. Gift Cards ☕️

Teacher gifts? Neighborhood gift swap? Unexpected guests at your holiday party? No problem!

I personally love to keep a stash of local coffee shop gift cards on hand (for $10 or less) to use when I’m in a crunch for gift giving. 

While you likely plan for the most important people on your list, it never fails that some people don’t cross your mind… until you have that “uh oh” moment. 

In this moment, you can pull a gift card from your stash and you’re good to go! 

And no, gifting a last-minute gift card doesn’t have to scream “last minute.” Use ribbons, bows, or bags that you already have on hand to make the presentation thoughtful, and no one will ever know. 😉

4. Cookie or Muffin Mix 🍪

Bake sales and school holiday parties have really good intentions… but again, when you’re faced with something last minute, it can cause you to resent the sentiment.

An easy way to avoid buying the last of the grocery store cookies on a random weekday night (that will probably end up getting tossed) is to stock up on a few different cookie or muffin mixes or pre-made dough so you’re always prepared if your child says they need to bring something to school. 

Now is not the time to pretend you’re Martha Stewart! Baking from scratch isn’t necessary.


Don’t want to bake at all? Order from a local bakery and ask if they deliver.

OR ask if you can donate paper products like plates, napkins, and utensils. Those things are often forgotten and are equally appreciated!

5. Easy Meal Ingredients 🍕

Lastly, now is the time of year to ensure your pantry, fridge, and freezer are stocked with easy meal ingredients.

Since December often comes with many festive activities and events, the last thing you want is to spend most of your time in the kitchen worried about what everyone will have for dinner.

Instead, make a list of your family’s favorites, plan your meal ahead of time, and most importantly, make it EASY on you!

I’m talking about homemade taco meat packed with veggies or frozen cauliflower, frozen homemade chicken nuggets (or purchasing pre-made frozen organic ones!), homemade soup or stew, mac and cheese, and even applesauce.

There’s a time and place for elaborate family meals, but in my opinion, December isn’t one of those times!

Overall, you don’t have to buy into the myth that the holiday season is stressful, and that’s just how it must be. YOU have the power to change that; it starts with some preparation.

So, make your list of must-haves, commit to one big trip to your store of choice, and knock out most of your needs in one place. 

Sure, there will likely still be some last-minute things that come up, but being proactive can help you truly enjoy this season like it’s meant to be enjoyed!

I’m curious – what’s on your list of must-haves to stock up on for the month of December to make your life easier?

Connect with me on Instagram and let me know – I’m all about parents helping parents. 🥰



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