Christmas is a magical time of year, but it can also be incredibly stressful. It’s never too early to start planning for Christmas. Preparing early can help you enjoy the festive season without all the last-minute chaos. In this monthly checklist, we’ll go through tasks you can do each month to help you get ready for Christmas. From buying gifts and organizing Christmas décor to having a whole schedule of activities when those pesky elves show up, we’ve got you covered for a stress-free holiday season. Say goodbye to last-minute chaos and hello to a serene holiday season!

Don’t forget to bookmark this page, so you can easily return each month and stay on track with our Christmas checklist, ensuring a smooth and memorable holiday experience.

Stress-Free Christmas Planning: Your Ultimate Monthly Checklist

January – Pack Up and Reflect

  • Make a Christmas Decor Wish List

Before you start packing up, make a wish list for the Christmas decor you want for next year. This will come in handy in the spring and summer when you take advantage of off-season sales or vintage Christmas hunting.

PRO TIP– take a photo of the area your wish list item will go in and save it to a “Christmas Room Decor” album on your phone/computer. This will help when you know if it will jive with your current Christmas decor.

  • Pack Up Christmas Decor

For me, January is the most saddest time of the year. But putting Christmas decorations away each January is what makes it so special when they come back out the next Christmas.

To make next year’s setup even smoother, organize and store your Christmas decor by room. This approach will make the process of unpacking and decorating an absolute breeze when the holiday season comes around again.

Before packing away your festive decor in their storage bins, take a moment to gently clean each item with a microfiber cloth, ensuring any residual dust or dirt is removed. This simple step will keep your decorations in tip-top shape, ready to bring joy once more when the holiday season returns.

  • Make a “Decor To Be Repaired” bin

While you are packing up your Christmas decorations, set aside any Christmas decorations that suffered breakage or damage during the holiday season in a designated “To Be Repaired” container.

Make a list of what item was broken, what room it goes in, and what needs to be fixed. We will tackle these fixes in the Spring.

  • Make a “Decor to Sell or Donate” bin

While packing up your Christmas decorations, transfer any items you’re prepared to part with into a designated “Donate” or “Sell” bin.

Before donating or selling, ensure your decoration isn’t a valuable vintage Christmas collectible. Refer to this blog post to help you determine if your vintage Christmas item is worth money.

Gather the “Donate” Christmas decorations and transport them to friends, family, or a donation center.

Finally, list the “Sell” items on your preferred marketplace to find them a new home and earn a little cash.

  • Reflect on Christmas

Take some time to reflect on this past Christmas: Think about what worked and what didn’t. Make a list of things you’d like to change or improve to make the upcoming Christmas better. Identify the things you did that saved you time, energy, and reduced stress. What enjoyable experiences would you like to turn into annual traditions? Which situations caused you stress, and how can you sidestep them in the future?

February – Gifts Lists and Budgets

  • Start a Christmas Gift List

Start a Christmas Gift List for those you plan to buy gifts for. Keep track of items they express interest in or wish they owned. Update and maintain this list year-round, and as you purchase items, cross them off while tracking the amount spent. By keeping the list as a note or a Google Sheet on your phone, you can effortlessly share it with others who may also be planning for Christmas shopping.

  • Create a Christmas Budget

Decide on a budget for gifts and Christmas decorations. Monitor your spending as you progress through the year to ensure you stay within your established limits.

March – Decor Repair and Inspiration

  • Repair Broken Christmas Items

It’s time to pull out those broken Christmas decorations that you separated while storing your decorations in January. You should have a list of what was broken and how to fix it.

Once you’ve completed the repairs, pack the items into the storage bins designated for each room where they’ll be displayed.

  • Christmas Decor Inspiration

Head over to Pinterest for a dose of inspiration to help plan your Christmas Decor. I like to organize my Christmas Decor inspiration by themes. Feel free to explore my Pinterest page for theme suggestions such as “Peaceful Winter,” “Boho Christmas,” and “Woodland Christmas.” Get inspired and start daydreaming about your home decor this Christmas.

April – Village Design and Treasure Hunt

  • Plan Your Christmas Village Display

If you’ve got a Christmas Village, spring is an awesome time to start brainstorming ideas for your layout. Have you thought about what changes you want to make to your next display? Maybe there are some new buildings or fun accessories you’d like to add? Let’s get creative and make your village absolutely amazing!

  • Buy New Christmas Village Pieces

If you’re planning to expand or re-imagine your Christmas Village, spring and summer are the perfect seasons to grab new pieces! Demand is usually lower during these months, which means prices tend to be more budget-friendly. So, let’s seize the opportunity and find those fantastic additions for your village!

  • Hunt for Vintage Christmas Collectables

If you collect vintage Christmas decorations, Spring and Summer are great times to buy. Demand is low which means you can find great deals.

For our best tips on where to buy vintage Christmas decor, check my blog post, The 7 Best Places to Find Vintage Christmas Decorations.

May – Planning Parties and Christmas Cards

  • Start Planning Your Christmas Party

Gathering with friends and family is what the Holiday season is all about. If you plan to host a Christmas party this year, now is the time to start planning. Head to Pinterest or grab a notebook and start brainstorming ideas for 1-Your Party theme 2-Menu 3-Activities 4-Christmas Music Play List and 5-Guest List.

To stay on track, make two lists:

1) a TO-DO list of tasks you will need to take care of for the shindig. Refer to the list often to be sure you are on track and checking things off the list.

2) a TO-BUY list of items you will need to buy to host this amazing celebration.

  • Organize your Christmas Card List

Create a spreadsheet with all the names and addresses of the people/families you would like to send Christmas Cards.

Keep the spreadsheet up to date with any changes in addresses or names.

If you already have a list, use this time to update, add or remove any people/families to the Christmas Card list.

June – Half Way There Check

  • Review your progress

Review your gift list, evaluate your budget, and check in on your party preparations to gauge your progress.

  • Catch Up on Missed Tasks

This is a great month to get caught up on any missed or incomplete tasks. Make any necessary adjustments to stay on track for a stress-free Christmas.

July – Summer Sales and Planning Ahead

  • Shop Decor @ Christmas in July Sales

There are so many great sales in July for Christmas decorations. Stores are trying to clear out last year’s Christmas stock and this means great savings for you.

  • Start Planning Christmas Dinner

Who’s hosting Christmas Dinner, who is on the guest list and what will everyone bring? Get these decisions out of the way before the holiday crunch starts.

There’s no such thing as being too early when it comes to planning the delicious dishes for your Christmas dinner. Explore Pinterest and begin adding recipes you’d like to try to your Christmas Dinner board. You can even give some of these recipes a test run before the holiday feast.

  • Make a Christmas Music Playlist

If you’re hosting a Christmas party and have brainstormed ideas for the theme, putting together your Christmas music playlist is an excellent way to complete an early task on your Party To-Do list. Compile a playlist using Apple Music, Amazon Music, or your personal collection to create the perfect party vibe.

Don’t miss this blog post featuring a playlist of the Top 10 R&B Christmas Songs you’ll want on repeat this holiday season.

  • Get an Early Start on buying Christmas Gifts

July offers an abundance of fantastic sales as stores attempt to clear out inventory and make room for new toys, gifts, and gadgets, resulting in some incredible discounts. Target, for example, hosts remarkable clearance sales in July. Start purchasing gifts for those on your list, as shopping early enables you to benefit from sales while avoiding the stress of last-minute shopping. For more information on July sales, check out this insightful blog post by The Krazy Coupon Lady.

August – Declutter and Deep Clean

  • Declutter and Organize

The Christmas season comes with a lot of stuff – decorations, gifts, wrapping supplies, and all the things you need to host get-togethers. Sometimes, all that extra stuff can feel a bit overwhelming and even stress you out. Set yourself up for a more relaxed holiday by decluttering and organizing before the season kicks off.

Go through each room and spot any items that you could donate or organize to create a more tidy and peaceful space. Don’t forget to declutter and organize your closets, pantry, and cabinets to make room for holiday essentials and gifts. Trust me, it’ll make a huge difference during the holiday season!

  • Deep Clean

A sparkling clean home adds an extra layer of joy and comfort during the holiday season. Get a head start on preparing for Christmas with some deep cleaning. Give your carpets and upholstery a thorough cleaning to freshen up your living spaces. Clean those often-neglected areas like baseboards, ceiling fans, and light fixtures. Wash Curtains, comforters, and blankets. Dust high, low, under, and behind things. By sprucing up your home in advance, you’ll be able to focus on the fun and festivities when Christmas rolls around!

September – Early Shopping and Gift Making

  • Create a Christmas Activity Bucket List

The excitement of Christmas and the whole holiday season starts to build in September. It’s the perfect time to create a Bucket List of fun activities you’d like to do during the holiday season. Think about things like ice skating, whipping up some cookies, crafting a gingerbread house, taking a trip to a tree farm, or even throwing a Christmas bash. It’s all about making the most of the season and creating unforgettable memories!

  • Start Making DIY gifts

Starting your crafting early means you’ll have plenty of time to create thoughtful, unique presents for your loved ones. Spend some time browsing Pinterest, YouTube, or your favorite crafting blogs for inspiration. Once you’ve chosen your projects, gather all the supplies you’ll need, and set aside dedicated time for crafting. Not only will you be super prepared for the gift-giving season, but you’ll also have a blast creating these handmade treasures for the special people in your life.

  • Start your Christmas Shopping

It’s go-time for your holiday shopping. By now, you should have a solid gift list, a budget in place, and maybe even a few items you snagged during those Christmas in July sales. September is the month to really kick your Christmas shopping up a notch. Starting early helps you spread out your spending and dodge that last-minute stress. So, let’s dive into buying those fantastic presents and stocking stuffers – you definitely won’t regret being ahead of the game!

October – Traditions and Holiday Cards

  • Get Ready for the Elves to Visit

If there is an Elf on the Shelf that visits your home in December, it’s time to start planning all the fun things they might do while they are visiting. Make your Elf schedule which includes what they will do each day and a list of things you will need to purchase or make to accommodate their stay.

  • Advent Calendar Planning

If you’re planning on doing an Advent calendar this year, now’s the perfect time to start getting ready. Whether you’re planning to include wrapped books for each day, tiny gifts, jokes, or fun activities, it’s time to sort out the details. Create a schedule and design, print, or buy any items you’ll need. Taking care of this ahead of time makes the tradition of an Advent calendar so much more enjoyable.

  • Prepare your Christmas Cards

Things really start to pick up next month, so, before things get too crazy, now’s the perfect time to purchase or design your holiday cards and begin addressing them. Get creative and make your own, buy them, or use an online tool like Shutterfly to design your Christmas cards.

If you include family photos with your Christmas cards, October is an excellent month to get those snapshots taken.

  • Purchase Gift Wrapping

As soon as you spot wrapping paper in stores, it’s time to grab your favorites! Stocking up early allows you to choose coordinating designs that’ll create a harmonious look under your Christmas tree. Plus, using matching paper can add an extra touch of personalization to show who each gift is for.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up tape, bows, ribbons, and gift tags to complete your wrapping essentials.

November – Let the FUN Begin!


Whether you kick off your decorating in early November or prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving, one thing’s for sure: November is the time to unleash your holly jolly decor. So, whenever you’re ready, get into the festive spirit and transform your home into a winter wonderland.

  • Finish Your Christmas & Stocking Stuffer Shopping

The sales are really starting to heat up. What once was a single day of discounts on Black Friday has now extended throughout the entire month of November. You began your shopping journey in July, and now, November is your time to make the most of it. As the month comes to an end, aim to have the majority of your Christmas shopping wrapped up, so you can relax and enjoy the holiday season ahead.

  • Send Out Christmas Party Invites

Hosting a Christmas Party? Send Out Those Invites! Early November is the ideal time to get your invitations out. Aim to send them around six weeks before your party date, as the Christmas season is often filled with various parties and events. This way, your friends and family will have ample time to plan and ensure they can join in on the festive fun!

December – Wrap Gifts and Connect With Loved Ones

  • Send out Christmas Cards

Early December is the perfect time to mail out your holiday cards. To stay on track, set an alert on your phone, and aim to send them by December 10th so your holiday greetings arrive on time.

  • Last Minute Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

If you’ve been following our checklist, your Christmas shopping should be almost complete by now. Let December be the month to grab any remaining gifts or stocking stuffers from your list.

  • Wrap gifts and prepare for the holiday

Whether you like to do it all the night before Christmas or you prefer to get it done in the days or even weeks leading up to Christmas, December is definitely the month for gift wrapping! If you followed the checklist in October you should have all the supplies you need to get to wrapping.

If you want to add a little something special to your presents, check out my Gift Wrapping Ideas Pinterest Board. You’ll find tons of creative and stunning wrapping ideas to make your gifts stand out under the tree!

  • Enjoy your time with friends and family

We can get so tangled up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we miss out on truly appreciating the precious moments with our loved ones.

So, this December let’s make an effort to slow down, make time, and be present so we can really cherish the memories we create with our friends and family this festive season. After all, that’s what the holidays are truly about!

A Stress-Free Unforgettable Christmas

Tackling tasks month by month transforms planning for Christmas into a stress-free experience, allowing you to genuinely relish the holiday season. Our ultimate monthly guide will set you on the path toward a magical and unforgettable Christmas. Happy planning!

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