A Checklist for Surviving and Enjoying the Holiday Period!

Keeping on top of things During the Holidays!

Homeschooling in the next 6 or 7 weeks promises to be very hectic.  Not only are we balancing daily school work, but there are other pressures on our time… holiday parties, shopping, decorating, communicating with far-away friends and family.  Rather than getting swept away by holiday stress, be proactive and make sure you know what challenges are coming up!

Holiday Preparations:

Cards: Gather the photos you want to use for Holiday cards.  Put them in a folder or take photos very soon!

Plan a date to put the holiday card together: _____________

Décor: Plan the date to put indoor holiday decorations up: _____________

Plan the date when you’ll put outdoor holiday decorations up: _____________

Clean up: Do you have guests coming?  Get that area cleaned and organized as early as possible!

Gifts: Brainstorm ideas for family gifts. This year we are going to be getting a dice/board game for the cousins called, Escape The Curse of the Temple. (affiliate link) It is action packed and my kids have played it for 3 hours at a stretch!! (My kids are 8, 11 and 13 and they *love* this game!) I’ll try to write up that review soon!


Do you have a set budget for holiday gifts?  Estimate how much you’ll spend on each family/friend/extras (teachers, etc.) Each gift card is “only” $15 dollars or so, but that adds up quickly! Jot down some of the extra expenses you anticipate this holiday season:

Holiday Activities

Don’t Overextend Yourself! Note the days you have holiday parties, concerts and other outside obligations. Write everything down!

This calendar goes up through June 2017 and is FREE to download! Free Calendar 2016-2017

calendar-pages-nov-dec Holiday Crafts: Create a list of holiday crafts you’d like to introduce to the kids. Choose 2 or 3 and put them on the calendar (perhaps do them on the same day of the week at the end of November and first two weeks of December).

Wrapping Paper: At some point early in December, give the kids huge pieces of butcher paper.  Have them decorate their own wrapping paper. Then set those aside to wrap gifts for the holidays.

Holiday Recipes: We all gather recipes and goodies that look amazing, right?  Choose 2 or 3 of those to try out, pencil them in on the calendar – and then let all the others go! You can’t make and do everything, so choose the best of the best and give those a try!

Books: What special holiday books will you read with the kids? Are they on hand? Do you need to order them from the library?

Advent Calendar/Elf on the Shelf: Will you do an advent calendar or elf on the shelf activities? Plan those out.

Christmas-MailboxChristmas Mailbox: Last year instead of an advent calendar we picked up a Christmas mailbox to store on the dining room table. We “mailed” little messages to each other this holiday season… thoughtful things we noticed someone doing, praise for something they did well, or just a nice comment to make someone feel good.

We decided that each of us would have a day (M-F because there are five in our family) when the rest of us would leave a nice note in the mailbox.  The kids were pretty excited about this idea. I liked the idea of doing something thoughtful and kind for others during the holiday season. (You’ll find these on Amazon: Christmas Tins (affiliate link)– but better yet, check out your local dollar store. You only need one.)

Christmas Mailbox - Advent

The Results? It was A-MAXING!! We are definitely planning to do this again this year!  Everyone looked forward to their day of the week and we all kept our letters as keepsakes.

Homeschooling in November and December

Keep the Kitchen Table Clutter Free: Many of us tend to let our homeschooling creep into the common areas of our home.  Try to pick up and put away all non-essential homeschool materials.  Keeping the clutter at bay can really help with the stress and pressure we feel!

What days will we do “themed” printables? (For example, we usually do math printables that correspond to the holidays.) Print them out ahead of time. Mark them down on the calendar so you bring them out at the right time.

What units do we want to finish up?

Jot down those unit activities into the calendar below and try to determine when those can happen.

Relax and Give Yourself Permission to Take Unexpected Days Off: Give yourself permission to miss a day, a couple of days, a week or more!  Homeschooling is a journey not a destination!  The memories of a fun, stress free holiday will be more be more powerful to the kids as adults than any “homeschooling goal” we might have ticked off the ole checklist.  It’s important to keep it all in perspective!

Print out this FREE Holiday Guide and Calendar (Nov. 2016 to June 2017) here:


I hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and that your holiday season is stress free and meaningful!

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. ~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

You might be interested in these related posts:

  • Homemade Christmas Keepsakes – I already have the Christmas ribbon with the kids’ photos strung up in the living room!  Ooooooh, I love pulling that out every year!! :)  I’m sharing these a little bit early because homemade crafts always take a bit more planning to add into our busy schedules this time of year, right?!
  • Free Christmas Music For Beginning Piano


You might be interested in these holiday math posts:





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