It won’t be long before the holiday season arrives. Are you ready?
Every holiday season, comes with more responsibilities and expectations. It should be full of merry and less to no stress. However, many (including myself) get stressed which can have a negative impact on our health, both mental and physical.
Every year, we swear everything will be fine this time around but it never is. Same thing again and again. Making 10 trips to the grocery store (including a last minute trip on Thanksgiving), buying gift items at the very last hour of Christmas Eve, and so forth. Sounds familiar?
Well things need to change to get your life back in order. Less holiday chaos and more holiday joy! Am I right?
This year, I decided to take action before things hectic by creating a holiday planner for myself and my HBH readers. Early planning is key to stay organized and on budget during the holidays so you can keep stress to a minimum. With that said, feel free to download the free Holiday Planner that’s available now for your use!
I would love it if you’d share this article with friends and loved ones who could use a little around the holidays. There are 21 pages total, from shopping lists to holiday menus, that will help you make the most of the holiday season.
In the meantime, check out this post on habits organized people do to avoid the holiday stress and chaos. Make sure to do these habits every year so you be well prepared to take on the holiday season.
1. Choose Your Priorities
During Christmas and Thanksgiving, activities for you are quite many. You definitely can’t tackle all of them even if you are willing. Make time to discuss with your family everyone’s top activities and leave out the rest. Alternatively, you can engage with your family and spread out the activities. Pick and choose wisely and write them down!
2. Fill Out Your Holiday Calendars
Work according to the plans you have for the season. Use the November and December calendars inside the Holiday Planner and fill in all of your important dates like birthdays, time you have booked in for travel, and holiday events and parties. Add everything in there so all the important stuff is laid out in front of you and can visually see it all. This will save you time and ensure these important items are a priority. When you plan out your days, you will transition smoothly from one activity to another, which will give you a more memorable holiday experience.
3. Look Over Your Holiday To-Do List
You should make a list of things you want or need to do. First, grab the To-Do List page in the planner. This page is designed to help you keep track of all the tasks you need to do for the next two months. Start with the month you are in right now and do a big ‘brain dump.’ Jot down all the things you need to do to help clear the clutter from your mind. Prioritize others by adding a star next to important tasks and check off once completed. It’s okay if you can’t do everything. Just go ahead and cross them off the list. The
4. Set Your Holiday Budget
Every year you vow to stay on budget with your holiday spending. But you always go a little over board, and un-necessarily so! So to help you stay on budget, I added a holiday budget tracker so you can track your spending. You can easily make a budget for gifts, food, travel, parties and other miscellaneous stuff. This will help you keep your spending in check and not haphazardly.
5. Plan Out Your Gift List
It can be stressful trying to find the perfect gift but the list of gifts you need to get is even scarier. Use the Gift Tracker printable to manage everyone you intend to buy or make gifts for. You’ll also be able to jot down your budget for each person so you don’t forget and accidentally overspend.
If you still have a few friends and/or family members you need to find or make gifts for, use the Gift Idea Brainstorm printable to jot down gift ideas. Take your list with you when shopping and write down any ideas you may have.
6. Create Your Shopping List
It’s quite convenient and time-saving to have a list of all the items you need to buy this holiday. The Holiday Planner has lists for Groceries, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and more. November is the month where you get a chance to take advantage of all the deals and steals on huge sale days like Black Friday.
With many special deals available, be careful with your purchase. You should only buy what’s on your lists. This will ensure you keep your spending in check and avoid impulse buying or merely-buying items because it’s on sale. So fill out the shopping lists ahead of time, and your shopping experience this time around will be free of hassles and stress, and you’ll also save quite a big deal of money.
7. Create Your Holiday Menus
Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas feast, get organized for great holiday meals with the Holiday Menu Planner. Having a menu planner makes it easy to plan and organize it all. As you make the menu, you should plan properly to ensure every meal on the menu can be prepared, and all the necessities are available.
Use it to plan your main entrees, side dishes, appetizers, desserts and more! You can also draft your grocery list and any holiday decor you need to make your home as festive as you like.
8. Tackle Your Holiday Cards Early
Cards are essential during Christmas and some even make it a holiday tradition. For some people (including myself), it’s quite tough to tackle and can get expensive. That’s why it’s important to stay organized when it comes to buying and mailing out Christmas Cards. Use the Christmas Card List printable in the Holiday Planner to keep track of it all.
Honestly, don’t feel pressure to send every single friend and family member a Christmas card. What I normally do each year is send to those who sent me a Christmas Card the year before. This helps me keep cost down.
The sooner you get them out, the better so it’s one less thing to worry about. However, if sending Christmas Cards are not a priority for you, then don’t bother with them.
9. Take Care of Yourself
With all the stress and chaos the holidays can bring, it’s important to remind yourself to take a breath. Whether you plan to spend time with family or be alone, it’s important to listen to your own needs.
Self care is always important, even more so during the holidays. Implementing self care rituals will help reduce stress, so you can truly enjoy the holiday season. I created a Holiday Self Care post with important tips to make self care a priority this holiday season. Be sure to read it when you have some time!
….and that’s it! I hope you take the time to download my free Holiday Planner below so you have a more organized and less stressful holiday.