I’ll admit it…I’m a list nerd. Lists help keep me feeling sane, organized, and on top of things. When I have my little checklist in hand, I can rest assured knowing that I’ve taken care of everything that needs to be done (and can clearly see what is still left to tackle!) This time of year is crazy for everyone. There is SO much to be done to get ready for the holidays. I wanted to put some of my anal-retentive craziness superpowers to work for you today, and have compiled a series of checklists and questions to help you get organized for the big day.

Holiday Food

  • Have you figured out what you are bringing to any family celebrations?
  • Are you going to be making any goodie/cookie plates up for friends/neighbors/service workers/etc?
  • Do you have your Christmas menu planned? Breakfast? Dinner? Snacks? Dessert?
  • Do you have staple ingredients to get you through the days prior to and following Christmas? (So you don’t have to go out grocery shopping on the 26th!)
  • Do you have cookies to put out for Santa? (If you do this tradition)
  • Have you thought about any special beverages you’d like to have? (Cocoa bar, hot cider, sparkling cider, wine, hot buttered rum, etc.)


  • Answer the above questions, and then make up your grocery shopping list of the things you need!
  • Use tomorrow to get any baking/prep work done for Christmas Eve/Christmas so that you can actually ENJOY those days! Get anything and everything you can do ahead of time done!  (Even think about setting the table for breakfast before you head up to bed on Christmas eve, having a turkey/ham ready to go in a roasting pan in the fridge, etc!


  • Have you thought about EVERYONE you need to get something for? Think about random relatives, nieces and nephews, (your nuclear family of course), any service workers you’d like to bless, etc.
  • Do you have enough gift wrap, tape, to-from tags, ribbon, gift bags, etc? If not, head to the store BEFORE you start to wrap! You don’t want to stop in the middle if you don’t have to!
  • Do you have boxes to put odd shaped items in? (Think cereal boxes, boxes UPS may have delivered recently, etc. Be creative!)
  • Count up the items you have for your family. Check to see that you have the SAME number of gifts/stocking stuffers for your children! (This is important especially if they are young, and would notice/care that a sibling has 6 presents, when they only have 4, etc.) If you need to, see how you can wrap things differently. Re-group items or transfer larger stockings to presents/smaller presents to the stocking if need be.
  • Separate out any gifts that will not be opened at your home. (Laundry baskets make great present transports!) Group together the presents that will travel to different homes/celebrations, creating one box for each location. Label the boxes clearly so that everything gets where it needs to be.
  • Ship any packages that may be heading out of town. (If you’re just doing this now, call your relatives to let them know the packages will arrive late.) =)

The Home

  • Do you have trash bags ready to go for Christmas morning? Do you have room in your recycling bin for all of the cardboard that comes with Christmas morning?
  • The night before Christmas morning, make sure to run and unload your dishwasher (no matter how full/empty it is) so that you can just put all the dishes from the day right into the dishwasher, and not let them pile up in your sink. You’ll have enough mess with the presents…you don’t need to stare at dirty dishes.
  • Do all of your laundry! No one wants to be worrying about the laundry on Christmas.
  • If people are coming over to your home for the holidays, make sure to clean your guest bathroom thoroughly, sweep and vacuum, and do a quick dusting.
  • Pick up the clutter that is already out! You are going to get a whole new world of clutter on Christmas, so take care of what you have out now, and put it where it goes! Take the few extra minutes to get rid of the piles and pick up the junk laying around. A clean home starts everything off in a better way. (And a clean home is SO much easier to relax and enjoy life in!….at least for me!!)


  • Do you have batteries in the cameras? Enough room on your photo cards? (Film for anyone who may still have a film camera) Check NOW! Don’t make your kids sit and wait on Christmas morning while you’re running around trying to find batteries!
  • Do you have scissors/pocket knife ready and available to open up difficult gifts on Christmas morning? Have them somewhere where you know you can find them that day.
  • Do your kids know your expectations for Christmas morning? Have you discussed what time they can get up? If they can go downstairs/to the tree without you? Protocol for presents?
  • Set your coffee pot the night before, and have it ready to go (or program it to have the coffee brewed at a certain time on Christmas morning!) Again, this is to not make the day wait while you’re getting things ready.
  • Lay out the outfits you’d like your children to wear after the morning is over the night before. (Since Christmas is on a Sunday this year, many families will be going to church. Getting the church clothes ready to go will help, as the kids will likely be very excited about their new toys, and may be more reluctant to get dressed and ready.)
  • Check to see what time your church is having their Christmas service. Many churches change up their normal schedule on Christmas morning, so make sure that you will make the service you wish to attend on time.

Remember that no matter how hard we try, every day will have hiccups…trials…things WILL go wrong. While we want our holidays to be magical and memorable (especially if you have kids), just remember that crazy expectations are rarely met. Kids will cry. Arguments will still happen. Food will burn. Toys will break. Life will happen. Try to smile and ENJOY the day, no matter how it turns out. Christmas is not about having a perfect morning. My little list of questions is just to help keep you organized and as on track as you can be. This is not a recipe for a perfect morning…there is no such thing….Celebrate the birth of our Savior and enjoy your family and friends, and relish the day that unfolds for you…no matter what it looks like. Have a very merry Christmas.