Holiday Planning Checklist 2017

Welcome to my Holiday Planning Checklist 2017.  Throughout November and December, I’m going to have several posts covering all the preparations needed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. This is the same process that I go through every year to get organized and go through the season being more prepared and less stressed.

Holiday Planning Checklist

I start in early November by spending about an hour to make a plan for the next two months for getting everything done. I try to keep the process simple, organized, and fun. I put everything in my planner and go through the plan, step by step, and one day at a time. 

The very first step is to make a master holiday plan. This is the master checklist that takes you all the way from November to New Year’s Day. Later, we’ll get into specific details for each step in the process. I’ll have several posts throughout the season with more tips to stay organized. So, put on some music, grab your calendar, and let’s get ready for a fantastic Holiday season!


Week 1: November 6-12 Planning Week

  • List ALL holiday to-dos and put each task in your calendar or planner on a specific day. Use this checklist as a guideline.
  • Put on your calendar all  holiday events that you already know about such as family get-togethers, work parties, and special events and Christmas programs to attend.
  • Write a master gift list. Set a budget for total gifts and a specific amount for each person.
  • Plan your Christmas shopping trips by setting a start date and a date you want to be finished. Then, plan one or two shopping days each week. Put these shopping days on your calendar. (I’ll have more on this later.)

Week 2: November 13-19

  • Start Christmas shopping.
  • Write menu and grocery list for Thanksgiving.

Week 3: November 20-26 Thanksgiving Week

  • Buy turkey and groceries for Thanksgiving.
  • Clean the house.
  • Prepare and cook some food items. 
  • Write a cooking timeline for Thanksgiving Day.
  • Get dining room table ready and add centerpiece or other table decorations.
  • Thanksgiving Day: Cook, Eat, Family Time
  • Plan Christmas shopping for Black Friday.
  • Christmas shop during Black Friday sales.
  • Put up Christmas tree and decorations.

Week 4: November 27-December 3

  • Continue Christmas shopping.
  • Plan and prepare for Christmas parties you’re hosting.

Week 5: December 4-10

  • Finish Christmas shopping.
  • Mail Christmas cards and gifts for out-of -town family and friends.
  • Write menus and grocery lists for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas baking.

Week 6: December 11-17

  • Buy stocking stuffers.
  • Make sure all Christmas shopping is done.
  • Wrap presents.
  • Make Christmas candies and cookies.

Week 7: December 18-24 Christmas Eve

  • Clean the house.
  • Buy all groceries for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the rest of the week.
  • Make special foods and snacks for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Christmas Eve: Enjoy time with family and friends.

Week 8: December 25-December 31 Christmas Day – New Year’s Eve

  • Christmas Day: Celebrate your favorite traditions with family and friends. 
  • The day after Christmas, take time to relax and spend time with family.
  • Make special plans for New Year’s Eve to go out or stay home with family or friends. 
  • Plan a special outfit if going out.
  • Plan special snacks and maybe a movie or game night if staying home.

January 1: New Year’s Day

  •  Put away tree and decorations.
  • Make goals and plans for the new year and write on your new blank calendar or planner. Be sure to write in all birthdays, anniversaries, and special events.



     This is my basic master checklist for the holiday season. Please remember to add in other things for your own individual plans, such as family, work, or neighborhood parties and get-togethers. Also, plan at least one or two nights a week for family nights at home. That’s a great time for getting everybody together and watching your favorite Christmas movies. 

     I hope this helps you get started on all your holiday planning. Be sure and come back for upcoming posts to help get through the season and enjoy every second of it! I’ll have more posts coming up for Christmas gift shopping strategies, Thanksgiving week, preparing for guests, decorating for Christmas, party planning,  cooking and baking, holiday fashion, sticking to a Christmas budget, and much more. Please leave comments below and let me know what areas you struggle with the most during this season. Then, I’ll cover it in my upcoming posts.

     Have a wonderful holiday season!


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