The Truth About Holiday Stress and How To Conquer It Plus The Home for the Holidays Christmas Planner

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Get holiday stress relief with these ten simple & timely tips. Conquer that to-do list and stay organized with the Home for the Holidays Christmas Planner!

Holiday stress is real. All of us, at one time or another, have experienced it to some degree. It’s not unusual or hard to understand. Holiday stress is the direct result of having too much to do, and not enough hours in the day. Preparing for the holiday season adds to an already busy schedule, but there are ways to make it easier. So read on for some easy-to-implement tips…and even if you get just one new idea to make things easier this holiday season, this post will have done its job.


I’m starting at the top with perhaps the most controversial bit of advice. I know that many people hate the idea of beginning Christmas prep before Thanksgiving. Here’s the thing…we’re all looking for balance. Waiting until after Thanksgiving puts a TON of weight on December, and there’s not one good reason why you should do that.

I’m not suggesting to skip over Thanksgiving. Quite the contrary. Begin your Thanksgiving prep three to four weeks before the big day, but put the wheels in motion for Christmas as well. There’s not one of you out there who isn’t great at multi-tasking! Starting early allows you to really enjoy the entire process. Shopping isn’t as frustrating because everything is still in stock. You won’t feel frazzled…and you won’t fall into bed at night wondering how in the world you are going to get everything finished.


This tip goes along with the “start early” tip. Lists are super important, so start making them now. What you want to bake, a gift buying list, update your Christmas card list, etc. I included handy printables in the Home for the Holidays Christmas Planner that will help with this. (More on that at the end.) Sometimes my mind is such a jumble of things I need to do…but if I take the time to put everything on paper, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. And you have admit…it sure feels good to check off those jobs!

christmas kitchen decor small tree in crock


This is something we should do every year, no exceptions. Decide well in advance how much to spend on kids, friends, spouse, etc. Tell your family what their budget is, so they know what they can and can’t ask for. You should have a pretty good idea from years past how much is spent on groceries. Personally, my biggest weakness is Christmas décor. I tell myself every year that I need to just use what I have…but that never happens. Setting an amount helps keep me in line because I could definitely get carried away. So make sure to budget for your favorite aspect of Christmas. You will definitely earn it!


If you like to decorate with a theme, decide that now. Some years I use a theme, and other years it’s a free-for-all. This is definitely a personal choice, but it’s helpful to decide in advance, so if you need to purchase anything, you have plenty of time.


Take a look at your decorations and decide if there is anything you want to donate. Doing that ahead of time helps to clear out your stash, and it makes it easier to see what you have. If you have a theme, decide what you can use, and then make a list of what you need to purchase. (There’s a page for this in the Home for the Holidays Christmas Planner.)

At this point, it’s helpful to organize your decorations, and put everything you are using this year together. I do this every year, and it’s so much easier than rummaging through multiple bins looking for something.

decorated christmas tree and wrapped gifts


When Thanksgiving is behind us, it will be time to set up a wrapping station. (If you have the space, set up your wrapping station before that and wrap as you buy.) Look at your supplies now, and decide if you need anything new. Wrapping presents is my favorite part of Christmas, so I go all out. Every gift is boxed with tissue paper. Each present is adorned with a beautiful bow. If this isn’t your cup of tea, just go the easy route. Pre-made bows have come a long way since the 80’s!


This is such a time and sanity saver. Baking ahead of time not only reduces stress as it gets closer to the big day, but it makes the task much more enjoyable. Take one thing at a time. Plan everything out with the Home for the Holidays Christmas Planner. Try to have everything finished, and in the freezer by mid-December. You will feel so accomplished and relieved!


I know Christmas cards aren’t as popular as they were in the past, but if you still send one, get things going now. Take your picture, buy the cards, gather your addresses. I had my list on a spreadsheet for several years, so I was able to print mailing labels. A few years ago, my daughter-in-law helped me upload my list to, so I was able to have my cards AND envelopes printed. Oh my gosh. What a time saver! The presentation is beautiful, and the process is very easy. The best thing is that now, and for the rest of time, with just a few address updates, my list is ready to go. All I need to do is upload our new picture and order. Click {HERE} for more information.


Shopping online, at least for me, has become a way of life. I live in a small town in Ohio, with the nearest Target an hour away. Good shopping is not available, so being able to find what I want online has made such a difference. Make sure to always check Google for a coupon code, don’t pay shipping unless you have no other choice, and get started early! Most online retailers have a generous return policy for the holidays, so returns are rarely a problem.

2023 free printable christmas planner


When you are ready to pull the trigger on Operation Holiday, print this handy planner before you do anything. It will help organize your thoughts, and minimize holiday stress. It will nudge you to make those essential lists. I decided to keep mine on a clipboard, but if you use a calendar binder, this Christmas planner can go right in front. Another idea is to put your Thanksgiving planner and Christmas planner in a binder of their own. That way when it’s time to add the planners for next year, you will have these planners right there for referral. You can think of it as sort of a holiday diary…and an organized one at that!

I suggest printing the entire PDF file first, and then if you need multiple copies of some pages, print those as well. The best and easiest way to download and print PDF files is to use Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a free product and simple to install. Click {HERE} to learn more. **Make sure to uncheck the optional offers for the McAfee products.



Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

**Please note: if you are already an OSP email subscriber, go ahead and fill out the form below. I will send the download straight to your inbox. My email company makes sure you won’t have duplicate subscriptions.

If you don’t currently subscribe to OSP, and would like to receive this planner, and avoid holiday stress, just fill out the form below. It will promptly arrive in your email inbox!

Let’s avoid holiday stress and make this the best Christmas ever!


Use this Thanksgiving planner to make the holiday easy for you, and so lovely for your family & friends. Includes planning and organization pages, turkey tips,
a Thanksgiving prayer, and more.

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  1. Thank You so much for the yearly planner / calender. I love it, it’s amazing and so simple and easy to use.

  2. Kimberly Lorance says:

    The Thanksgiving planner request worked well; however, the Christmas planner request is not working. I am getting the error message “TypeError: Failed to fetch”. I would love to have the Christmas planner too!