The end of the year holiday season is upon us and there’s a lot to plan. Like, a whole lot. So it’s only fitting we have ourselves a guide to help with all the planning necessary.

Of course you can make the season only as busy as you want it to be, but on a surface level we have Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve – which, by the way, is the last New Year’s Eve of the decade. Yeah, I need to sit down too.

Having said that, there’s no reason to panic. With a plan, this last stretch of the decade will go by smoothly!

“The undertaking of a new action brings new strength. – Richard L. Evans


Planning is essential to make sure things work out! Source: B24/7
Planning is essential to make sure things work out! Source: B24/7

Let’s first go through some overall planning you can already start doing before the holidays get here. These span through the entire rest of the year, but we’ll get into the specifics of each holiday in just a sec.

Travel plans

A lot goes into planning a single travel: how many people are going, where are you going, who will drive, how many days will you stay out, and so on. If you’re going by car, remember to perform a check-up and make sure everything you need is ready to go.

It’s also wise to plan for delays and other shortcomings – holiday season is a busy time, so keep that in mind.

Don’t forget your pets! In most cases it’s not possible to take them with you, so be sure to plan ahead for where they are staying while you’re away.

Check your local event calendar

There’s almost always a ton of interesting events you can go to in your town with the whole family. Keep an eye out for concerts, holiday parties, community events, church celebrations, and so on. If you find something you’d like to visit, check the date on your calendar so you don’t forget!

Set a budget and gift list

During this season there is a lot of gifting. And gifting people is a lovely gesture, but to make sure you can cover everyone, it’s important to set up a budget early on. This way you can start shopping soon (since some gifts may need shipping time to reach your home) and gift everyone you’d like!

Organize your shopping

Leaving things for the last minute is always bad for holidays because, as it turns out, many people also tend to leave things for the last minute – which means you’ll be stuck getting whatever is left while possibly going through a lot of traffic and chaos. 

To prevent that, you can instead order some of your gifts early online, or purchase them ahead of time yourself before chaos ensues. 


Thanksgiving is just a week away, so preparation is crucial! Source: Unsplash
Thanksgiving is just a week away, so preparation is crucial! Source: Unsplash

So the first big holiday of the season is coming this month, November 28th – Thanksgiving! With some preparation, you should have no problems at all.

Organize the house

It’s a good idea to organize the house as soon as possible, especially if you have a lot to go through. However, if time is running short, consider hiring a cleaner to save you some time!

Get the fireplace ready

Nothing beats the coziness of a fireplace during these colder months. Make sure the chimney is clean and the fireplace itself is ready to rock when the time comes – also be sure to stock up on firewood, if yours is not electrical or runs on gas.

Guest room

If you’re expecting guests to sleep over, get the guest room ready for them – or at least a place where they can sleep well. It will probably be cold, so separate some cozy blankets and perhaps a small heater for the room they’re staying in.

Stocking up on food

Thanksgiving dinner involves a lot of stuff, so it’s wise to plan ahead what exactly will you be preparing and stocking up beforehand. Make a list of your recipes and ingredients and take that to the market and grocery shopping!


Think of how you’ll set up the table and get other decorative elements ready early, so you have enough time to set them up properly.


Christmas is a very busy time of the year, so plan ahead! Source: Martha Stewart
Christmas is a very busy time of the year, so plan ahead! Source: Martha Stewart

Christmas is an incredibly fun time to cook, decorate and celebrate! But of course, having a plan is still recommended, especially since the closer we get to Christmas Eve, the more crowded and chaotic things get.

Decorating the tree (and your home)

Who doesn’t love decorating the Christmas tree? It’s already close enough to set it all up. Make sure your lights are in good condition and all your decorations are ready. But you can also try a completely different tree this year by changing up the decoration, so if that’s the plan, look for the new pieces early. For ordering online, they need time to get here soon, and for getting it on a store, you should go as soon as possible to already have everything ready before December!

Party invitations

Will you be sending invitations by mail? Mostly online? Whatever the case, be sure to start sending them out with at least a couple of weeks in advance – some people may need to prepare for travel and such.

Budget for gifts (and create a gift list!)

The first step here is probably making a list of all the people you want to gift this year, and from that, deciding what to give each one. Make some research online for gift ideas and take your notes for when the purchasing starts, so you have everyone covered and your budget under control!

Plan the meal

Lay out every ingredient you’ll need and stock up at least a week before – the last week before Christmas will be very crowded in markets, so it’s wise to avoid that chaos!

Aside from the supplies themselves, consider your recipes: there might be some you can prepare in advance and only finish up on the day.

Prepare for guests

You might also have guests staying over this Christmas, so be sure to have a room ready for them!


Hanukkah is very special to the jewish culture! Source: Southern Living
Hanukkah is very special to the jewish culture! Source: Southern Living

Most of what we’ve mentioned about Thanksgiving and Christmas also apply to Hanukkah, so we’ll keep it short:

  • Plan for the menu
  • Set up the table
  • Decorate and get some appropriate music 
  • Invite your guests
  • Shop for gifts

Will you make any of these Christmas decoration ideas? Let us know on Facebook and share your creations!


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