Patio Furniture • Outdoor Living Essentials • Christmas

The Ultimate Holiday Preparation Checklist

Get started on your holiday preparations early this year and leave holiday madness behind. Use this checklist to make the holidays a time of cheer by staying organized and stress free. Get started the first of November, and by the time Santa comes down the chimney, you’ll be dreaming of sugarplums.

Week 1: November 4-10

  • Make your menus in advance this season. Be sure to plan for dishes or goodies you will bring to different gatherings throughout the season.
  • Make a list of people to buy gifts for. If you’re on a budget, specify how much you are willing to spend on each person.
  • Make a list of people to send cards to. Compile addresses in advance.


Week 2: November 11-17

  • Gather your supplies—cards, envelopes, stamps, wrapping paper, bows, tape, packing materials for shipping gifts and extra batteries.
  • If you haven’t already, finish Thanksgiving decorating in your home. Keep it simple; a tasteful fall palette in each room–this season’s fiery reds, burgundy and plum with hints or plaid and accent neutrals–along with a few candles will do the trick.
  • Take stock of your pantry. Refer to your menus from Week 1 and buy all non-perishable items you may need for holiday cooking and baking now.


Week 3: November 18-24

  • Start gift shopping. Try to complete one quarter of your list.
  • Make/bake any items that can be frozen for future use.
  • Take inventory of your holiday decorations. Make a list of anything you need.


Week 4: November 25-December 1

  • Continue gift shopping. Try to complete as much as you can this week. Remember your budget and if you love to shop on Black Friday, go for it! Try to stay on track with the list you made on Week 1.
  • Check your Thanksgiving menu and buy necessary items for cooking and baking.
  • Enjoy Turkey Day!
  • Wrap and label the gifts you have bought.


Week 5: December 2-December 8

  • Start phasing out fall décor neutrals and phase in Christmas decor. Buy the decorations you indicated on your Week 3 list.
  • Write all your holiday greeting cards and mail them this week. This is where having all your addresses compiled ahead of time (Week 1) will pay off!
  • Package the gifts that need to be shipped.


Week 6: December 9-15

  • Finish your holiday decorating.
  •  Finish all gift buying and wrapping.
  •  Ship gifts that need to go to out-of-town friends and family.
  •  Finish any goodie baking.


Week 7: December 16-22

  • If you have last minute shopping/decorating/baking, take care of it. Most importantly, relax and enjoy the season!


Week 8: December 23-29

  • Celebrate with friends and family. Spend the time you have saved enjoying traditions and making new ones!


For holiday decorating ideas, see our selection of artificial Christmas trees, ornaments, tabletop décor and more. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we roll out advice for holiday and tree decorating, plus our Top Ten Gifts list.