Setting Your Holiday “Done-Date”

The holidays are well upon us, but the big question is – are you ready for them? Most of us will be spending mid-December just scrambling to get it all done, but there are ways you can organize your time and help save yourself some stress in the long run.

Use this work-back schedule to help you make sure that you’re well prepared and not rushing out on Christmas Eve in a frenzy:

Set Your Done-Date
When would you like to be completed everything, in order to feel organized and stress-free? It helps to work backwards and give yourself a buffer, so you’re not feeling rushed and frantic.

Here’s a good starting point to work with; keep in mind your Done-Date could be completely different based on your holiday traditions and timelines. Simply adjust all the dates as needed, based on the official Done-Date that works best for you.


December 1st:
– Confirm who is left on gift list by this date and decide on gifts.
– Create your holiday meal grocery list.

December 5th:
– Have all gifts selected/made/purchased by this date.
– Wrap/prepare gifts a little bit each night if you can.

December 16th:
– Have any gifts shipped out to loved ones by this date.

December 18th:
– Last day to ship out any items – double check you completed your list!

December 19th: Done-Date
– Have any remaining gifts wrapped by this date.
– Complete any baking or crafts by this date.
– Drop off any gifts or donations by this date.
– Have all meal items, and groceries for the next few days, on hand by this date.

December 20th: Buffer Day
    – Take care of anything you missed.

December 21st: Watch some holiday movies

December 22nd: Decorate a gingerbread house

December 23rd: Watch some more holiday movies

December 24th: Christmas Eve — ENJOY!

December 25th: Christmas Day — HAVE FUN!

December 26th: Boxing Day — BE MERRY!

BONUS TIP: Keep Some Generic Gifts On-Hand
Have you ever been in the midst of wrapping gifts, only to find that you forgot someone on your list, or have way too many things for one person and not enough for another? Keeping a few gifts on hand that everyone loves will help to fill that gap and keep you from having to rush out to purchase last minute gifts. Some ideas include:

  • fancy teas or hot chocolate
  • candles, essential oils
  • skincare sets like hand cream and body lotion
  • scarves, socks, and throw blankets
  • journals and notebooks
  • ceramic mugs, water bottles

Don’t let yourself miss out on the season because of stress or worry; get what you can all done and enjoy as best as you can. Remember, we often don’t know we’re experiencing the ‘good old days’ until they’ve passed us by, so make every moment count!