Follow Clearissa Online

Take Charge of Your Holiday Season

From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center 

Take Charge of Your Holiday Season - A Hidden Jewel Inside Every Candle!

I used this technique last year and it worked out well for me so I decided to share it with you again this year in hopes it will help you enjoy the holiday season instead of stressing your way through it. I don’t know about you, but for me, once we pass Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays sort of all run together in a blur of hustle and bustle. We can barely get rid of all of the Thanksgiving leftovers before it’s time for another party and another party, and then a huge Christmas dinner and then blink and the New Year is upon us. So with that in mind, I decided last year to be a bit more organized and methodical in my methods of getting through the holiday season this year. This year I intend to enjoy the season without getting overwhelmed and spending most of my holiday season cooking, cleaning, shopping and stressing. Big emphasis on not “stressing!” This year my goal is to take charge of my holiday season. I have created a checklist and I am including it here for you as well. Of course you may tweak the list to match your activities but if you’re like me, it will all run smoother if you have a list of things to do instead of flying by the seat of your pants. 🙂 Let’s Take Charge of Your Holiday Season…Noooow!

This article may contain affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are mine and you can view my entire disclosure policy here.


In order to get a head start on the holidays, I have already begun the planning and have even executed some of my plans. Here is my plan. You will notice I have included dates of completion. With dates in place, I will not have the option to procrastinate. I have a set dates of completion and I “must” meat my deadlines. The secret is to be true to your list and stick to your plan.

Task Date to Complete Done
Set Up and Stick to A Holiday Budget. Include meals (Thanksgiving dinner & Christmas dinner and food for any parties you will be hosting) in your budget. As well as gifts and miscellaneous items (wrapping paper, Christmas cards, postage, etc.) October 15, 2017  x
Pick up/order Christmas Cards October 25, 2017  x
Find out what family members want for Christmas October 31, 2017  x
Make a realistic Christmas Gift List (be as true to your budget as you possibly can & stick to it). Remember this is a realistic Christmas Gift List, not a dream list. November 30, 2017  x
Address Christmas Cards December 1, 2017
Christmas Shopping Trip 1 December 2, 2017
Wrap Christmas Gifts Purchased On Shopping Trip 1 December 5, 2017
Mail Christmas Cards December 6, 2017
Complete guest list for Christmas party at home (if you are hosting) December 7, 2017
Send eVite for Christmas Party Electronically (if you are hosting) December 8, 2017
Christmas Shopping Trip 2 December 9, 2017
Order heavy hor ‘d oeuvres trays (No need to try to prepare everything yourself. Remember, we are working smarter, not harder) December 10, 2017
Complete online Christmas shopping (complete online shopping early so you will not have to stress over late deliveries) December 10, 2017
Christmas Decorating w/Family (it’s time to deck the halls. This includes the tree and any outside decorating you may do) December 10, 2017, or before ( I am usually done by the end of Thanksgiving week, but that may be too soon for some)
Christmas Party December 18, 2017
Wrap Christmas Gifts Purchased on Shopping Trip 2 and all other gifts that may have accumulated December 20, 2017
Attend one Christmas Party (you cannot accept ALL invites) On or before December 21, 2017
Shop for Christmas Dinner December 22, 2017
Prep Food Christmas Dinner December 23 & 24, 2017
CHRISTMAS DAY (Family & Close Friends) Gift Giving December 25, 2017
Prepare New Year’s Day Dinner December 31, 2017
Watch Night Service at Church (News Year’s Eve Celebration) December 31, 2017
NEW YEARS DAY – Relax the day away with family January 1, 2018

Of course, your list will be different from mine. You may need to substitute prepping and cooking with travel. Perhaps you no longer send Christmas cards via snail mail, by all means, adjust your list to suit your holiday style, but do make a list and stick to it. Notice that on my task list, there are free days (days that are not listed are considered free days) in there where nothing is scheduled. Use these days to have fun and simply enjoy the season.  Planning ahead will leave you some much needed quiet days to truly enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. It will also help you to slow down and just breathe and not feel so overwhelmed. This year I would like to have warm and cozy memories of the holiday season instead of remembering how rushed and stressed I felt. Isn’t that what the season is actually all about?
Shop Black Friday Deals from Cricut!
While making your list, include a day for just “you.” Maybe schedule an appointment at the spa to have a massage and/or mani/pedi. Finish your shopping early and spend some time in the 

Christmashustle and bustle with your spouse just window shopping while holding hands and watching everyone else rushing about at the last minute. While you are engaged in people watching, be sure to look at their faces. I promise you if they are stressed and rushing around, they will not be smiling and enjoying the holiday decorations. They will be in panic mode and the stress will show on their faces. You do not want that to be you-not this year!
Arm Tights™ are new at SPANX!
How about a relaxed movie night with your Christmasfamily, or a night with the family where everyone chips in and helps to prep for dinner for the big day(s). Bake cookies, not because you have to because of an event you may have forgotten or been coerced in to. You may even want to include the entire family in on making your holiday checklist. Delegate some of the responsibilities that normally fall on you. Unless you’re a stickler for perfectly wrapped gifts (I confess, I am) wouldn’t it be fun to make it a family affair and perhaps have an assembly line around the table? Of course, it would:

  • one person can wrap
  • someone else can add the bows
  • another person can add the tags

All while sipping hot chocolate or a glass of wine if you’re of age, and listening to Christmas music. Just make it fun and RELAXING. In the end, we all need to remember the reason for this season. Whether you believe in the Christ in Christmas, as I do, or believe it is just a time for family and friends, enjoy your holidays without stress. Enjoy the season by taking control of your time.


How do you organize your holidays? Do you use lists? Do you enlist the help of family members?

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy this one.

Don’t forget to download your copy of Organize Your Life in 21 DaysI promise you this book will help you with many of your organizational issues. Even the emotional ones. So be sure to get your copy today. It is also available for download at the Kindle Store on Amazon.

Organize Your Life

Never miss another article, tip or project.  Subscribe today!

Until next time…Organization is my element




WPBlogging 360


Get FREE shipping on all orders $40 or more online at!
Don’t forget to share this aricle with your friends.

Thank You for the Visit!



Tagged , , , , , , ,

29 thoughts on “Take Charge of Your Holiday Season

  1. Great tips. Organizing ahead of time definitely reduces stress which makes for an easier, happier holiday season. 🙂

  2. Hi Vanessa, Yes I believe in planning. And so far this is working for me. I hope you will relax and enjoy your holidays as well. Make a list and enjoy. 🙂

  3. I love a good plan! I usually plan out the holidays, but I don’t set date deadlines. So I’ll try that this year especially with Christmas right around the corner.

  4. Hi Ayanna,

    Thank you for visiting. I love a good plan as well. And I also love a list. Let me know how this works out for you. I would love to hear whether or not adding deadlines helps to keep you on track Stop by again.

  5. I am all about planning so this is perfect for me. You are correct about the holidays all running together.

  6. Hi Candy,

    I’m glad you stopped by. Yes to me, once you hit Halloween, there is no reprieve. Heck, they begin playing Christmas music in October now a days and the Christmas movies are already on the Hallmark channel. So I believe we have to take control ourselves because retail is outta control. Please stop by again and I hope the post helps you.

  7. I am not as busy as you thankfully and this Christmas I am going to my daughters so that will be awesome. If I am having guests I do plan in detail.


  8. Hi Kathleen,

    How blessed are you to get to go to your daughter’s this year. I am trying to pass the torch to my daughter but she is a bit hesitant. She’s afraid she can’t do it. But I am trying to instill the confidence. I keep telling her that it’s all in the planning. Enjoy family this holiday season and please stop by again.

  9. Love that you have a plan. Now you can deviate from it, but it is there to come back to and guide you. Have a wonderful holiday season.

  10. Girl you are one of the organized people I know. Learning tons from your post. Adding to my planner now.

  11. That’s a very useful timeline, Clearissa!
    I believe in early planning being the key of success without stress.
    Great tips!

  12. Hi Karen,

    You made me laugh. Hopefully I won’t deviate too far away from my plan. 🙂 So much to do, so little time. Thank you for reading along. Be sure to join our weekend linky party at Blogging Grandmothers. I think you will enjoy it.

  13. Hi Candy,

    Awwww shucks!!! You are making me blush. Thank you so much for the compliment. I hope my posts are helpful. Let me know how it works out for you. Enjoy your holiday.

  14. Hi Debbie,

    I love it when a plan comes together. And I have spent too many holidays stressed out and running around to the point that I did not enjoy the holiday or family time together. I vowed a few years back…well actually once the grands came along, to find a different way and I found planning to be the best way for me. Thanks for always being so positive. Be sure to join our weekend linky party at Blogging Grandmothers. I think you will enjoy it.

  15. That’s quite a list you have there! I am not that organized but if I followed your list I’m sure I’d be less stressed. Those 4 holidays sure do run together.

  16. Great tips Clearissa and I love the idea of making a day for yourself. It can be so busy at this time of year and a day of self care will certainly help.

  17. Goodness, you are organized, Clearissa!! I have discovered I LOVE Bealls wrapping service! They wrap free! So, I’m almost done with my whole list! And it’s wrapped!! Whee!
    I do have a few handmade gifts to finish. But I’ve got over a month! Easy peasy!
    OR not, then another trip to Bealls! They have clearance, and coupons ALL the time!
    I quit sending out Christmas cards over 5 years ago. Such a stress RELIEF!!
    Blogging Grandmothers

  18. Hi Melinda. I have never heard of Bealls. But it sounds very helpful. I love receiving Christmas cards so I still send them. Old fashioned. 🙂 Enjoy your holiday.

  19. Hi Sue. Just a,few hours of self care can make the entire season goes along. Be sure to get your day in there

  20. Hi Grammy. Yepper those holidays do run together. 🙂 You don’t have to make an elaborate list. Lol just a list to keep you on track.Enjoy the holidays.

  21. It’s a great idea to have a checklist. Seeing your organizational skills makes me nervous. It’s only November 18, and I’m already FREAKING OUT about not having completed any shopping.

  22. I am sipping a big mug of hot chocolate and christmas music is softly playing in the back ground. Just relaxing and enjoying the evening before another hectic day tomorrow.

  23. Good for you Candy. That’s how to take charge of your holidays. Wind down and enjoy yourself. 🙂

  24. I’m like you Clearissa I need to be organised so I can enjoy the Festive Season and not feel like it is a chore. You certainly have everything covered so thanks for compiling an easy to follow list. Blogging Grandmothers Link Up

  25. Awww thank you Sue. I am happy you enjoyed the list. If you have any good ideas…I would love it if you would share. See you next week at Blogging Grandmothers Link up. 🙂

  26. A plan? A budget? What’s that? lol I’m woefully in need of both of them!
    I did give up sending cards years ago! Less stress!
    Grandma Blogging

  27. Hi Melinda,

    Yes a plan and a budget. 🙂 You can do it. Lots of folks no longer send Christmas cards. I simply love receiving them and in order to get them, I keep sending them. lol However, I will admit, it is becoming a lost art.

  28. Even being retired I find I need a plan or I can waste days,

  29. Hi Victoria, I am not retired, but I can certainly waste time if I do not plan. I can get stuck on Facebook or Youtube watching other crafters if I am not careful. So I have to plan and stick to my plan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.