Thursday, November 15, 2018

Girl Chat – Tips for Juggling the Holiday Season

We are almost in the thick of the holiday season and preparation has been underway over here for a few weeks already.  With so much going on this time of year, it’s easy to drop the ball on something so it’s important to stay organized!  Here are a few tips from me, the organizational queen (as I’ve deemed myself – hehe), to ensure that your holiday season runs smoothly.  Y'all know I love a good post about organizing!  

Keep One Calendar of Events

With school events, Christmas tree lightings, dinners, holiday plays and shows, parties, get-togethers, traditions, bucket list to-dos, and loads of other events to attend this time of year, it’s so important to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN.  I cannot tell you how many events end up overlapping for us this time of year so it’s of utmost importance to use the same calendar to write down all events so you don’t double-book.  Just the other day I went to write down a new event that we wanted to attend, but when I went to put it on my calendar I saw that we already had an event planned for that evening.  Now we just have to decide which one is more important and make a choice, but at least we didn’t commit to something only to realize we couldn’t attend.

Keep a Master To-Do List & Start Checking Things Off Early

I’m a MAJOR list girl so I have master lists for each month of the year (I’ll elaborate more on this when I do my planner/how I stay organized post soon).  My December list has every single thing on it that I could ever need to remember for the month of December including important to-dos, Christmas traditions, and Christmas bucket list items.  Some of the items on my list include:

-          Christmas shopping
-          Christmas tree lighting at B’s work
-          Christmas tree lighting downtown
-          Watch Christmas shows
-          Watch Christmas movies
-          Visit Santa
-          Drive around and look at Christmas lights
-          Plan annual girls’ Christmas Scarf Exchange
-          New Christmas PJs for kids
-          New ornaments for kids
-          Outfits for entire family for Christmas Eve mass
-          Plan Christmas breakfast menu
-          Christmas dishes I need to bring for family get-togethers

And the list goes on… and on and on and on.  :o) 

I pull this list out each year and transfer all of the events and to-dos to my planner which ensures that nothing is forgotten.  This also enables me to spread stuff out evenly throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas so that way we’re not trying to cram everything in at the last minute.  I love having this complete overview of the season and spreading everything out over the 6-8 weeks before Christmas significantly cuts down on stress. 

Make a Gift List and Check it Twice

I don’t know about you, but we have a ton of people who we buy gifts for every year… parents, siblings, the kids, the kids’ teachers, kids from our outreach program at church, etc.

Each year around September, I make a list of every single person for whom we have to shop.  I leave a few blank spaces in between each person’s name so I can write down gift ideas in pencil, and then when I actually purchase the gifts, I write them down in pen along with a running total in pencil of how much we’ve spent on each person.  Once I'm completely done shopping for someone I cross their name out in pink highlighter.  This method really comes in handy for the kids since we are buying stuff for them for several weeks leading up until Christmas.  This ensures that we don’t overspend and it also ensures that we spend around the same amount of money on each of them. 

I prefer to use the paper/pen/pencil method for my lists, but an Excel spreadsheet would be great for all of you e-list makers.  Either way, just be sure to keep track of everything!  Having a complete list of everything we’ve purchased also serves as a reminder of everything that I have hidden away.  If it’s all written down then Santa knows exactly what he needs to leave out on Christmas Eve and he doesn’t forget anything!  ;o)

Below is an example of my list from last year.  I blocked out how much we spent on each person because there's no need to put our business out there.  ;o)

Set Reminders

Now that you’re organized to the max with all of your lists, you just need to make sure that you stick to the plan!  You can be as organized as you possibly can and still forget something.  That’s why it’s important to set reminders!  When in doubt, put a reminder in your planner (or set an alarm on your phone) a couple of days before something important has to be done and then set one more reminder that day to ensure you don’t forget. 

Anybody else receive visits from that pesky little elf?!  Haha.


It's the most wonderful time of the year and it'll be over in the blink of an eye so enjoy it to the fullest!  If you find yourself getting too stressed just try to remember the real reason for the season.  :o) 

I have used this method for several years now and it really works for me.  How do you stay organized this time of year?

To link up – just grab our graphic, link upand let’s get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others in the link up for an extra bit of girl chat!

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*Linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.


  1. I am the same way with list. I make list for every freaking thing. If I don’t write it down it won’t happen!
    How to you plan your blog content??

  2. I also make a list of who I'm buying for and how much I've budgeted for them. Then I write down what I actually spent and bought for them. I keep this list in my purse (just on a sheet of paper!) in case I'm out somewhere and buy something. I love buying presents for others!!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  3. I love how neat you write. i'm jealous lol. I love how you do this stuff tho! perfect way to stay organized all year long!

  4. Great tips!! I agree, writing everything down is key!! I've almost already double booked things! I wish I had as neat of handwriting as you lol

  5. LOL at moving the elf. Glad I don't need to worry about that one, I'd for sure forget! Right now I have a list on notepad on my phone of the things I'm hoping to get my kids for Hanukkah and I put check marks in when I have the gift in my possession!

  6. I have used the app Santa's Bag for the last few years and it is a life saver! You put in recipients and a budget then go in and put ideas throughout the year. You can put gifts in for each recipient with a price, whether it was ordered or purchased, what store, where you hid it, etc. You also can archive each year!

  7. This is why I do not have the elf in our house! But love the list, we do this as well.

  8. I set an alarm in my phone to move the elf too. that is too funny. I am all about making the lists. I have way too many holiday lists going right now.

  9. "Move the friggin elf before bed," Bahahahahaha! I had to make a list within the lists of lists of ideas for the elf so that I wouldn't become frantic every night. Hahaha! Shoot, I should have shared that today. I'm determined to have it all together for Christmas this year, so thanks for sharing your Christmas organizational ways - lots of great ideas!!! I loved this!

  10. The friggin elf alarm is too funny. I like the master list idea- this would be really helpful if I could come up with something like this. -

    1. Girl, if I don't have it written down it doesn't get done! My short term memory is terrible!

  11. You know, I honestly have no idea how to set the alarm on my phone; but I definitely need it for that darn elf. Last year I had a real problem because now my boys are often staying up later than me!

    1. Ahhhh yeah I don't know what I would do if I went to bed before the kids. I would have to retire the elf before it got to that point. Haha.

  12. I love the idea of using one calendar to plan. Haha the elf alarm is such a good one! Sierra Beautifully Candid

  13. hahahaa re elf-- my kids are such snoopers they will read my phone though! And I thought I was a list person LOL. #listgoals

  14. The elf alarm is genius. I will be implementing that ASAP!

  15. Such a great idea to have a master list - I really need to get on that band seems like you are always talking about your master list and how helpful it is!! And yes, alarms for me are key - I always use them at work on emails, like if the next day is someone's birthday and I need to bring something in, I always have a reminder go off right before I leave work so I remember!


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