Your Christmas Checklist To Keep You Organized and Stress Free

Now is the time to get your Christmas Checklist of To DO’s so you can countdown to the holiday and not be stressed.  But wait,  you’re still in Fall mode, brainstorming Halloween costumes.  How can you suddenly be thinking of what cookies to leave out for Santa. The final quarter of the month really is a whirlwind, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the demanding season.

Take the stress out with our ultimate Christmas Checklist– a guide of the essential tasks to prepare for the big day, and have organized them by when you should be getting everything done–starting right now.

Start Now – In The Fall – October/November!

Make and plan arrangements.

Do you know how you’ll be spending your Christmas? Will you be hosting the family, or traveling somewhere else? Get in touch with family and find our who you’ll be seeing and where. Once that’s settled, make any travel arrangements now, like transportation and (if applicable) lodging.

Get organized.

It’s a great idea to keep a calendar or any plans or responsibilities. Everyone knows that the holiday season is incredibly stressful, and it never feels like there’s enough time! Keep it updated as arrangements are made between you, your friends, work and family. Also, mark off tentative dates to complete the tasks you’ll find throughout this list!

Get baking now!
It sounds too early, I know–but you can actually bake cookies, bars and breads now to freeze for later–they’ll still be good, but make sure the cookies are icing-free. A free weekend before holiday madness ramps up is the perfect time to get baking out of the way. Make a little more than you need to, so you’ll have cookies to distribute between now and Christmas if you unexpectedly need to (say, for a kid’s school celebration).

Check out the stationary shop.

Get your cards in order. Who will you be sending them to? Do you have updated addresses? Figure this out now, and buy a set of cards sooner than later. It’s also a good idea to shop for wrapping paper and ribbon before all the good stuff is already taken. You don’t have to wrap ASAP or write cards now, but getting the supplies early means you’ll be ready when the time arises–and pulling off Christmas in style.

Make a gift list & budget.

We know that it’s a thing you tell yourself every year, that you won’t wait until the last minute to buy gifts. But really, don’t wait! Make a list right now, so you at least don’t have to stress. Now you’ll be free to buy gifts whenever you’re next out shopping, because you’ll already have things in mind. Setting a budget will further reduce stress and help you keep focus on gifts for loved ones.

Mid to Late November

Be a smart shopper.

Generally, it’s better not to wait to get shopping out of the way, but you may want to wait for sales to strike. If you’re brave, try making your bigger purchases on Black Friday. If you like shopping online or don’t want to deal with crowds, take care of your shopping on Cyber Monday–the Monday following Thanksgiving. It’s essential that you don’t dawdle when shopping online so you have time for the delivery and wrapping before the big day.

Wrap as you buy.

Don’t let it all pile up–just set aside some time at the end of the day to wrap anything that you bought that day. It really only takes a few minutes.

Take stock of decorations.

Around Thanksgiving is a great time to check your decorations for any that might be broken or need replacing.  Be sure to test all the lights well before worrying about setting up the tree.

Two to Three Weeks Before Christmas

Take stock of linens and accommodations.

If you have guests staying, assess how you’ll be accommodating them. Do you need any new blankets or other linens? Consider everything your guests might need, and make sure you have them. This is a good time to ensure what you need to impress and keep them comfy.

Check dishes, utensils and glassware.

Are you using the fine china? Make sure there’s enough dinnerware for everyone!

Get decorating!

This is undoubtedly the most fun way to prepare for Christmas: decorating! You’ll want to decorate the outdoors, the indoors and the tree–it might be a good idea to set aside a whole weekend for this. Of course, we have plenty of tips to help you transform your home into a winter Wonderland.

Mail cards and presents.

If you’re mailing anything, do so no later than two weeks before Christmas. You can imagine the high volume of deliveries that must be made before now and the big day.

Buy nonperishable ingredients.

Beat the rush by getting and herbs, spices or canned ingredients you need now. You should also make sure you have your turkey–or whatever your centerpiece entrée will be–now.

One Week Before

Deep clean the house.

Make sure everything is spotless before the guests arrive.

Get batteries.

You bought your child the electric toy he or she has been begging for–only to find that there are no batteries (or charger) included. Get batteries or adapters now to avoid disappointment later.

Days Before

Shop for the fresh stuff.

Get any remaining ingredients you’ll need–and flowers to decorate with!

Charge cameras.

Make sure and still or video cameras are charged up and ready to go ahead of time so you can save the memories! This is ideally done the night before Christmas.

That’s a wrap!

Finish any remaining wrapping or cooking. Once you have that done, mix yourself a drink–it’s time to relax!