39 Christmas planner ideas to choose between. Keep track of the festivities that matter most to you with a perfectly customised planner.

Jolly Festive Shares Icon
Writing lists in a Christmas Planner

‘Tis the season to get organised! In this post, we’ll unwrap the essential ingredients for a perfect Christmas planner.

From giftlists and budget tracker to festive menus, elf calendars and even holiday memories, we share 39 Christmas planner ideas for you to consider when creating your perfect design.

What sections should you have in a Christmas Planner?  As with everything festive-related, the answer is of course  … whatever you want!

But if you’re trying to decide which sections to add to your homemade planner or what to look out for in a store-bought design, we’ve outlined 39 aspects of the celebration that you might like to consider.

Want some assistance getting started?  Check out our free Christmas planner printables ready for you to download too!

Key Christmas Planner Categories

Most planners have the following main sections:

1. Gift Lists

Keep track of who to buy for, gift ideas, wish list items and whether gifts have been purchased, wrapped (and sent).  This is a great way to make sure you don’t forget that perfect gift idea for your best friend that you thought of in July!

Don’t forget to note down where you’ve put any pre-season purchases to avoid discovering them in January … we’ve all been there, haven’t we?!

2. Christmas Card List

Prepare a list of the family and friends you plan to send a holiday card to, along with their addresses.  Add a checkbox to keep track when cards are sent.

3. Menu Planning

It’s so much easier (and most cost effective) to think ahead about the Christmas menu.  Plan out the main meals for each of the key celebration days so you’re sure to have all the food in.  It’ll make it easier to share responsibility for Christmas food preparation and cost too.

4. Budget

A dedicated section for holiday budget will make it much easier to manage costs.  Using a budget tracker will help keep an eye on expenses for gifts, decorations, food, travel, and any other relevant costs.

5. Calendar

A November & December calendar is very useful for planning the Christmas countdown.  Mark important dates, events, parties and deadlines on a daily planner so you’re not trying to remember it all!

6. To Do Countdown Checklist

The Christmas planner is of course one big checklist.  Using an overall Christmas checklist acts a bit like a table of contents.  Organise it by when to do each job and you’ll know what to prioritise when.

Writing Plans For Christmas

Other Section Ideas

Some different sections you might like to consider using in a Christmas planner are listed below.

Don’t let the list overwhelm you.  Just pick and choose the important things for you to keep track of for your perfect festive season, no one else’s!

7. Décor Plans

Plan your ideas for Christmas decorations, including specific themes, colour scheme, and placement throughout your home.

8. Ornament Journal

Some Christmas decorations are too special to forget the story behind them!  Record details of who bought each ornament, when, where and why they chose that particular one to create a truly special history of your beautiful tree of memories!

9. Household Jobs List

Keep track of household chores and tasks that need to be completed ahead of the holiday season.

10. Activity Booking Dates

Note important dates and deadlines for booking holiday activities, such as ice skating, visits to Santa, or Christmas light trails.

11. Travel Plans & Packing Lists

Organise travel arrangements, itineraries, and create packing lists well in advance to minimise stress in the run up to a Christmas holiday trip.

12. Party Planning

Create fabulous Christmas parties with notes and checklists to track the guest list, food, décor and activities.

13. Holiday Wardrobe

Keep track of your festive outfits and accessories to ensure you’re prepared and stylish for all your holiday gatherings.

14. Traditions

Capture and organise your family’s beloved holiday traditions to make sure they are included and enjoyed year after year.

15. Values & Priorities

Ask everyone to share what they are most looking forward to during the holidays.  Taking a few minutes to note this down can help prioritise what’s most important for your family.  It’s a great opportunity to think about ways you might like to give back during the season too.

16. Bucket List

Create a wish list of activities and ideas you and yours hope to incorporate into the festivities.  Keep the list ongoing from one year to the next, and mark the date you achieved each Christmas bucket list dream.

17. Stocking Filler Lists

Store ideas for Santa, keep track of purchases and monitor budget for each stocking you’re in charge of.

18. Recipes

Save all your favourite holiday recipes in one safe place and add new ideas you’ve spotted and want to try.

19. In The Freezer

Document an inventory of what’s ready in the freezer so you don’t forget or double up!

20. Cookie Swap Details

Keep a record of cookie swaps in the past and recipe ideas for the future.

21. Shopping Lists

Prepare shopping lists for food, gifts, décor and other holiday essentials.  Use annotation to mark when each needs to be purchased, e.g. last minute, Black Friday, in time for posting, etc so it’s easy to stay on top of deadlines.

22. Table Plans

Plan and organise seating arrangements and table decorations for Christmas dinner and other holiday gatherings.

23. Advent Calendar Tracker

If you prepare homemade advent calendars, using a tracker to keep on top of each day’s treat can be extremely helpful.

24. Reverse Advent Calendar

Prepare a checklist of each item to include in your reverse advent calendar donation box.

25. Elf Calendar

Plan ahead for your elf’s December to avoid any last-minute panics.

26. Christmas Eve Box Checklist

Ensure you have all the essentials ready for a magical Christmas Eve box.

27. Christmas Morning Box

Before the mayhem begins, take time to think about what essentials you’ll want close to hand and create a Christmas morning box checklist to pull together.

28. TV / movie Viewing Schedule

Schedule the movies and TV shows you want to watch during the holiday season so you don’t miss your favourite programme.

29. Notes & Ideas

Jot down any miscellaneous notes, ideas, or inspiration that comes to mind during the Christmas planning process.

30. Put Away Inventory

Keep track of the Christmas decorations, lights, and other items as you put them away after the season, making it easier to find them next year.

31. Gift Thank You List

Maintain a list of recipients and gifts received during the holidays so that you can easily send thank you cards to everyone.

32. Memories From Christmas

The Christmas Planner in itself makes for a wonderful keepsake.  But take it to another level by purposely capturing details of special moments and memories, turning the planner into more of a Christmas Journal.

Preparing A Christmas Checklist

Folders To Include In A Christmas Planner

As well as sections in which to note down lists, ideas and information, it’s always handy to have some folders or envelopes in which to keep physical items you’ve gathered over the year.

Folders you might like to incorporate include:

33. Receipts

Store receipts for all your gift purchases in one place in case of returns (or details for a repeat purchase)

34. Flyers

Flyers for any activities you’ve spotted, places to visit, etc.

35. Cuttings

Magazine or newspaper cuttings that caught your eye with ideas of things to try, see or do.

36. Recipe cards

Recipe cards (like the ones in some supermarkets) that sounded tasty.

37. Christmas messages & news from prior year

News & updates from friends and family received in cards last year that you will want to refer to when writing Christmas cards this year.

38. Change of address cards

Any updates to addresses received during the year, ready to use when prepping your Christmas card address list.

39. Memories

If you’re intending to hold onto the planner as a keepsake, you might like to store special memories from this year’s celebration too – photos, special gift tags and cards, etc.  

Share Your Christmas Planner Ideas

What other Christmas planner ideas and categories do you use?  We’d love to know what else helps you keep on track over the holidays!


Share Your Creations!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @jollyfestive.

And be sure to tag #jollyfestive in your photos.  We love to see which Christmas activities you’ve been enjoying!

More Christmas Inspiration

Christmas Green Salad

Christmas Green Salad

Delicious and healthy? You bet! Our Christmas Green Salad is packed with roasted veggies, avocado, and feta -perfect as a festive meal or side!

Christmas Caprese Candy Cane

Christmas Caprese Candy Cane

Serve up holiday cheer with a Caprese Candy Cane charcuterie board—simple, delicious, and a show-stopping appetiser for any party!