6 Tips for a Simplified Organized Christmas with Free Printable Christmas Planner!

Hi there! Christmas is right around the corner and to help you avoid the stress that comes with the holiday season I’m sharing once again some of my tried and true tips for a simplified organized Christmas. You’ll be happy to know though that I’m not here to simply tell you to scale back and just do less because that is hard when there are fun traditions to do, happy events to attend and exciting gifts to buy. Of course this may be something to consider if you find yourself doing these things out of obligation. However even then this can be tricky. For example, my daughter jokes with me that she will not come home from University if I don’t have a hot chocolate station set up. It’s tradition after all she tells me. Well how can I let that go?! Ummm of course I’m going to do it!

hot chocolate station

So instead, my method of “getting it all done” is by being prepared and starting early! November I go hard and December I relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. Oh and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie or fifty, ha! So no I’m not super woman, I’m just organized and that to me is the secret to less stress and chaos and more simplicity and fun. So keep reading for my simplified organized Christmas tips and the link to my 2021 free printable Christmas Planner which will help you stay on track this season with all there is to do.

6 Tips for a Simplified Organized Christmas with Free Printable Christmas Planner at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

*I receive commissions for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.*

Be Intentional:

As I mentioned above, I do want to reiterate that when I mention the word simplify I don’t necessarily mean removing all the things from your schedule. Where’s the fun in that? And the holidays should be fun and special. They just don’t need to be harried and chaotic as well. It really comes down to figuring out which things you get most excited about and which you don’t. It’s acknowledging the things we do out of obligation and then either giving ourselves permission to let those things go OR find a new way of doing them. We all have these pressures we put on ourselves of how we think things are supposed to be. Maybe it’s the way you’ve always done it or maybe it’s just the influence of friends and social media.

Whatever it is, all I’m saying is to take some time each year at the beginning of the season to re-evaluate what you do and why you do it in order to be intentional about it. Because honestly no one can do it all. Something always has to give. And personally I’d rather be the one to say what that “give” is before it’s decided for me.

For me that meant giving up “Christmas” decorating. All the Christmas decorations always felt cluttery (I doubt that’s a word) to me and way overstimulated my senses. So I decided to do things my way. I now decorate for winter instead as soon as we get snow (often October or early November). The coziness of natural elements, twinkling lights and battery operated candles (that are on timers so they all come on at the same time!) is so calming and peaceful to me. Then in December the only decorating left to do is put up our Christmas tree. So simple and lovely.

What can you rethink and do differently this year to alleviate some stress and chaos?

winter decor

Manage Expectations:

Every holiday season brings with it new challenges to contend with. Family pressures, work stress, financial instability, illness and so many more contributing factors play a big role. These things can be difficult to manage and often out of our control. We could easily let them trample our holiday spirit. One way around this is to meet these overwhelming challenges with new expectations. It can be so hard to let go of familiar family traditions and not be sad or grumpy about doing so. But it can be done and new traditions may even come of it.

Ten years ago my husband lost his job and we had to move to a new province and town where we didn’t know anyone. That first Christmas here by ourselves with just the five of us was tough. We were use to celebrating with a huge houseful of family around us. We were all so sad going into that first Christmas alone. However, do you want to know what happened during that time? We found ourselves making new traditions and one of those new favorites still exists to this day 11 years later…spending all of Christmas day in our new matching Christmas jammies! We don’t even get dressed for Christmas dinner. And now if we do have company for Christmas dinner, they have to come in their pajamas too. Yep, it’s the rule, ha! So many of our current family traditions came from that place of necessity.

In difficult circumstances, it can be hard to lower expectations or find the good, but, however small, there is always something to be grateful for. Constantly wishing things were different can make it extremely hard to find the positive. Please take some time over the next couple of weeks to consider the expectations you place on yourself or allow others to dictate for you. Or even the expectations you have of others. Be realistic about what you are capable of and what your circumstances will allow and be open to new possibilities and traditions. You may just discover a delightfully peaceful holiday that was more than you ever could have imagined!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Be prepared:

To help you coordinate and prioritize holiday plans I’ve created a free printable Christmas Planner that you can download below. It’s an updated 2021 version of the one I put out last year. There are twenty two different pages in the set including two different covers depending on your preference. I know some like to call it a Holiday Planner and some like to call it a Christmas Planner. Whatever you choose, I’ve got you covered (see what I did there?)! And I’m sharing it with you totally FREE as my Christmas gift to all of you. I sure hope you like it!!

Free Printable Christmas Planner

Pages include:

  • Two Covers
  • Family Traditions
  • Acts of Kindness
  • Christmas Gift Ideas
  • Advent Traditions
  • 12 Days of Giving
  • Holiday Priorities
  • Christmas Party Planner
  • Weekly Menu Planner
  • Christmas Eve Menu Planner
  • Christmas Day Menu Planner
  • Baking List
  • Grocery List
  • Clean & Organize
  • Gift Budget
  • Christmas Gifts Purchased
  • Holiday Budget
  • Weekly Planner
  • Nov/Dec Calendars
  • Notes

I set up my Christmas Planner binder using a small white binder and pocket pages (affiliate links) from Amazon. This helps keep everything organized and in one place. A little bit of advance planning will mean the difference between a stressed out holiday season and one that you can sit back and savor. I know which option I prefer that is for sure!

Start by writing in the big events that you are hoping to attend and do into the calendar. Then take each event and make a list of all the little details you need to take care of to make that date happen. As an example let’s take a Christmas potluck party at a friends house that you want to attend on Saturday, December 12th. Here’s what needs to happen before then:

  • Because you will be playing a gift exchange game, you need to buy a $10 gift to bring.
  • You need to figure out what dish you will make for the potluck.
  • You need to buy the ingredients for the potluck and prepare the dish.
  • You’d like to bring a small hostess gift to give to the hostess so you need to buy that too.
  • It’s also a holiday sweater party so you need to find and/or buy something to wear.

So as you see there are some details to work out. BUT what most people do is mark the big event on their calendar and then carry around a mental list of those things that need to be done beforehand.  What happens when you get busy and overwhelmed? All those tasks you’ve been trying to remember get forgotten about and then you are left to frantically try and get it all done at the last minute.  You arrive to the party frazzled and tired and just want to go home and crawl into bed.  Am I right? Trust me I’ve been there. The details matter because they add up fast especially if you have multiple events to attend. Keep that in mind.

Free Printable Christmas Planner

6 Tips for a Simplified Organized Christmas with Free Printable Christmas Planner!


Download your FREE printable holiday planner HERE.

Once the file opens in Dropbox, click on the three dots in the far right column and then click on Download.

{for personal use only please}

Getting everything down on paper and out of your swirling mind is one of the best ways to combat overwhelm. My hope is that this little planner will also help you simplify your list so that only the things that bring you the most joy remain.

Please also refer to my post on holiday menu planning simplified to help you be further prepared this Christmas.

Use Gift and Budget Apps:

In my quest to help you have a simplified organized Christmas you need these two apps in your life. I have used these two apps every year to make my life so much easier and I can’t recommend them more highly to you. They assist you with both gift buying and tracking as well as staying on budget. They are sanity savers! You can check out that post right HERE.

2 of my favorite Christmas Apps for keeping me organized!

Implement the PUPA Movement:

Also don’t forget to add your free PUPA Movement printable to your binder. What in the world am I talking about? I created this strategy to help you get in the habit of picking up and putting away the stuff in your home in preparation for a clutter-free holiday. You can read all about it and grab your free PUPA printable HERE. It’s awesome and helpful, go check it out!

Organize for the holidays with the PUPA Movement

Christmas Craft Projects:

Every year I like to make Christmas gifts for my girlfriends, but I am the worst procrastinator and in years past I found myself leaving everything to the last minute. But I finally figured out how to stop procrastinating though and actually get my projects done. Seriously if you are hoping to make some gifts this season, follow my method HERE for getting it all done in time without stressing out about it. It really works!

Organizing Christmas Craft Projects at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Turn up the Tunes:

To help you get into the spirit, check out Org Junkie’s Favorite Christmas Songs playlist on Spotify. I add new songs every year but Johnny Reid’s, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, still holds top spot though. However Carrie Underwood’s new Christmas CD (affiliate links) has some good contenders. Enjoy!

If you click on the circle in the top right corner on the player below, it’ll open up the playlist right in Spotify for you.

So there you go, I think you have everything you need now to help you have a simplified organized Christmas. Let me know how you make out and if there is anything else I can do to help!

Happy holidays!

If you found this simplified organized Christmas post helpful, would you do me a big favor and share it for me. Thank you!

6 Tips for a Simplified Organized Christmas with Free Printable Christmas Planner!

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