39 Christmas planner ideas to choose between. Keep track of the festivities that matter most to you with a perfectly customised 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 Should Be Included In A Christmas Planner?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Store receipts for all your gift purchases in one place in case of returns (or details for a repeat purchase)
Flyers for any activities you’ve spotted, places to visit, etc.
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.
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!
More Like This
More Christmas Inspiration
50 fun winter activities for kids! Beat the chill with games, crafts, and outdoor adventures for half term, winter holidays, and beyond.
Looking for the perfect film for a family snuggle on the sofa? Here’s our pick of the best winter movies for kids (that aren’t just for Christmas!)
12 ideas for easy creative scrap fabric projects to put old material to good use, without the need to sew.
Give feathered friends a helping hand in the harsh winter months by decorating your trees with tasty, easy-to-make bird seed ornaments.
Keep garden birds fed this winter with a fun DIY apple bird feeder! An easy, eco-friendly project for kids and a treat for wildlife.
Embrace self-care this winter with our Mindful Moments guide: 30 simple activities for daily rejuvenation. Perfect for post-Christmas calm!