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How to Stay Organized During the Holidays

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

 Monthly Planner at House of Doolittle

Every year in the fall it feels like we transition from Halloween to Christmas in the blink of an eye. One minute we are carving pumpkins and the next we are hanging mistletoe with barely a breath in between.  

And along with the change from one holiday to another the expectations are high as our to-do lists grow and grow. It can be overwhelming to navigate shopping for gifts, juggling family events, and planning holiday travel as well as trying to wind down the year at work.  

You can’t rely on just your memory to keep track of time management and organization. A monthly planner or wall calendar are essential tools for maneuvering through the holiday season. Those to-do lists don’t stand a chance when maintaining calendar updates as part of your daily routine. Let’s take a look at some best practices to get you to December 31st so you can say job well done.  

The Holiday Task List: How to Get Started  

Look at your calendar now and fill in the obvious dates which means you need to know the days of upcoming holidays. For this year, the following days include: 

December 18-26 Hanukkah 

December 21 Winter Solstice 

December 24 Christmas Eve 

December 25 Christmas Day 

December 26-January 1 Kwanzaa  

December 31 New Year’s Eve 

January 1 New Year’s Day 

The next best step is to enter vacation days for school and work. Once you have these in place, the rest of the month will work around those. Make sure you enter any school activities like pageants or holiday work parties. It can be easy to forget scheduled appointments during this hectic time of year so double-check those doctor and dentist appointments or salon appointments so that nothing important is forgotten.  

Check for the times of services or other special events at places of worship. Normal times may change, or extra services may be added so it is wise to learn the holiday schedule and update those days immediately in your calendar.  

Many families have to incorporate travel into their holiday plans, which requires an added layer of logistics. A good to-do list for travel details to add to your calendar can include: 

• Schedule airline or train tickets

• Reserve a rental car

• Book hotel reservations

• Book kennel reservations of schedule a pet-sitter

• Hire a house-sitter

• Gather everyone’s passports and vaccination records

Gift-Giving 101- Make a List or Risk Forgetting Someone 

The obvious recipients of your thoughtful gifts are always at the top of your mind- kids, parents, spouses, friends, but there are others you may want to add to your list as they are often the people who make your life easier: 

• Teachers

• Babysitters

• Hair stylists

• Paper boy or girl

• Sanitation workers

• Lawn maintenance workers

• Tutors

• Housecleaners

Cash is always welcome, but many people also love gift cards to their favorite stores or coffee shops. And it never hurts to purchase a few extra gifts and gift cards because there is often that person that slips your mind or an unexpected guest.  

Meal Planning and Cookie Baking 

Our busy holiday schedules can turn meals into hectic events unto themselves, especially those that involve entertaining dinner guests or planning family functions. You have probably ventured into a grocery store during the holidays, and it can be a crowded, impatient nightmare. Make this task much less stressful by creating specific lists for everyday meals as well as festive events. Peruse your favorite recipes and ensure you have all the ingredients you need. This small to-do list entered in your monthly planner will allow for shopping ease and fewer frazzled nerves. And don’t forget- so many people are baking holiday goodies so stay stocked up on staples and seasonal items.    

Special Seasonal or Holiday Tasks 

There are many festivities we associate with the end of the year holidays, and they require some planning to stay organized and efficient. A few to consider include:  

• Mailing holiday cards- stamps, addresses, pens

• Giftwrapping- wrapping paper, scissors, tape, name tags

• Baking- staple and seasonal ingredients, storage containers, candy or cupcake paper cups

Share the Love…and the Tasks  

Coordinating all the things associated with the holidays cannot be a solo endeavor and can become that much more complicated when there are numerous people involved with different needs. Ensure that your sanity remains intact and that you can enjoy all parts of the season by sharing and delegating.  

Encourage family members and co-workers to go over the monthly calendar with you to ensure that all important dates are noted and that everyone is informed. Everyone can then be accountable for their own responsibilities and contribute to the overall success of the month.  

While we are all in the middle of a very busy holiday season filled with events, to-do lists, and other obligations, it is critical for everyone to remind themselves to rely on the support of your organizational tools and the beauty of delegating tasks. Checking your monthly planner and wall calendar and checking it maybe more than twice will ensure that your November and December are filled with happy memories and not the worries of forgetting something.  

Think about an eco-friendly paper planner, wall calendar, or desktop calendar from House of Doolittle as the perfect gift to keep you and all those in your life organized and up-to date.