Holiday Organizing Tips and Holiday Time Line

holiday organizing time line


During the holidays, we add on to our already full plate with an oversized portion of mashed potatoes and holiday responsibilities! We are adding more tasks and time commitments with the holiday season. To ease the stress, let’s take the time for planning and preparation. A time line helps us add in holiday activities while not overwhelming us. Follow these holiday organizing tips in a week by week time line to help you get organized for your best holiday yet.



Week 1

  • Assess your family budget for the holidays. Include actual costs from the previous year for cards, entertainment and gifts. Establish a budget that will work for your family.

Week 2

  • Take pictures for holiday cards. Compile holiday card list and purchase cards. Write holiday letter and purchase stamps from

Week 3

  • Compile your gift list. Set up family gift swaps and share names with those who are swapping. Make a list of what you have already purchased throughout the year and match that with gift recipients for the holiday.

Week 4

  • Celebrate Halloween and enjoy some pumpkin treats!


Week 1

  • Host a family meeting to talk about each person’s priorities for the holiday season. Write a list including one favorite activity of each family member for the holiday season. Be sure to include a volunteer activity to help others during the season.  Ask how everyone can work together decorating, writing cards, wrapping gifts or cooking throughout the holiday season. Post your helpers names and jobs on a chart in the kitchen to remind everyone.
  • Post a holiday calendar with dates of family activities and commitments during the holidays. Add to the calendar as new dates come in.
  • Create your holiday music play list on Pandora with help from your family.
  • Now’s the time to purchase air travel and make hotel reservations for holidays away from home.

Week 2

  • Write holiday card addresses, stuff and stamp envelopes so they are ready to mail on December 1.
  • Holiday shopping trip #1. Be sure to shop for items that need to be mailed.  Purchase gift wrap, paper goods, batteries and other supplies for the season.
  • Enjoy holiday marketplaces. Purchase stocking stuffers and hostess gifts.
  • Finalize Thanksgiving menu and share cooking with family members and friends.

Week 3

  • Thanksgiving preparations and Thanksgiving dinner. Your family can help prepare dinner together and enjoy that time too!  (Our family decorates the tree that day too!)

Week 4

  • Pull out your holiday decorations and begin decorating your home and office. Set a time for your family to decorate together with holiday music and festive simple snacks.
  • Bake and freeze breads and bar cookies for later to share at parties.
  • Set up your gift wrap station to wrap as you go.


Week 1

  • Holiday shopping trip #2. Online shopping can save time and money too. Be sure to stay true to your list and your budget.
  • Complete decorating your home and office. Purchase your live tree or visit a Christmas tree farm to cut down your tree.
  • Host a family meeting to keep on track with family fun and responsibilities.

Week 2

  • Holiday shopping trip #3. Make this final trip just in case your list was not complete.
  • Mail gift items by December 10. This way your gifts arrive early.
  • Happy Chanukah! Celebrate with friends sharing all faiths with some easy store bought desserts.

Week 3

  • Holiday gatherings are in full swing! Enjoy the festivities with friends and colleagues.
  • Finish your holiday baking.
  • Charge batteries for recorders and more.
  • Decide where you will be attending services Christmas Eve.
  • Finalize holiday plans. Set your menu and share responsibilities for family gatherings.


Wishing everyone a delightful and festive holiday season!

Join me on Pinterest and view my Happy Holidays board!

6 replies
  1. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I am sure you do! And something different works for everyone. Thanks for hosting our Blog Carnival to share all the ways we get organized for the holidays!

  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    Great idea here, Ellen…a holiday to do list with a time line! Some of these items are not going to make it on my list, but it’s useful to see the kinds of things you included.

    We’ve drastically simplified the holidays over the years, and now focus more on the being together than the whole gift exchanging part. It’s less stressful and much more fun.

  3. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Love your simplifying! For our family, the same is true. We focus on the time together, especially how we spend time spiritually. Thanks for sharing your family’s fun too!

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