How to Manage Your Holiday Checklist and Save on Stress

woman in holiday sweater, sitting a table with gifts around her, overwhelmed

As November rolls in and the holiday season gets into full swing, your holiday checklist might be growing by the day. Even though many people find these tasks enjoyable, shopping, baking, making cards, hosting/attending parties and buying/wrapping gifts all take up a lot of time and energy. Fitting these activities in, along with your regular daily life, can add a lot of unwanted stress to the holiday season.

So, how can you make this year manageable and enjoyable?

Make Some Changes to Your Holiday Checklist This Year

Make a List and Check it Twice

The first step is to determine what you need and what your priorities are. What is the total of all the things you plan on doing? Take a moment to write them all down. Note all the fun holiday events and activities you plan on doing this season. Add in your normal daily tasks because they don’t go away over the holidays.


What are the items on your checklist you absolutely have to get done? Take note of these and their deadlines. Some things may be more important than others. For example, finding a gift for your grandmother may be a higher priority than buying something for a work friend. Put the “must complete” items at the top of your list.

Decide What You Really Want to Do

With so many holiday commitments, decide how you truly want to spend your holiday. Make time for the things you want to do to make this season truly special. Try to think thoughtfully about your to-do list because it’s different for every person. Some love to spend their days baking while others prefer an all-day shopping extravaganza! Also, remember to take a look at your social commitments. Spend time with those you love and enjoy their company. Don’t forget to make time for a little downtime as well.

Lower the Bar

Do your cookies have to be perfect and homemade? Do you really need to send out 300 holiday cards? Assess what is really important to you and what changes you can make. Consider using a box mix for your holiday party cookies and cut your card list in half. Purchase a few gift cards to avoid the long lines at the store. Things can become a lot easier, and you’ll save time for what you’d rather spend your time and money on.

Ask for Help

You don’t have to do it all alone. Instead of taking every bit of holiday stress on, think of ways you can make it easier on yourself. Can you pay your teenage neighbor to do an hour or two of present-wrapping? Can you put your husband in charge of the gift for his mother? Knocking a few items off your list can make it more manageable.

Find Time for You

Amongst all your other commitments, sneak in a little “you time” this holiday season. Take time to rest and read your favorite book, make a nail appointment or have lunch with a friend. Recharging can give you a lot more energy and stamina.

Keep Your Normal Routine in Check

Keep focusing on your normal healthy behaviors this holiday season. Although nothing is perfect during the holidays, you will feel better when you eat nutritious food, do physical activity, and keep your stress at bay. Every little bit can help.

Above all, make the most of this holiday season!

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