Week five of a 5-week to-do list to help you prepare for Christmas
Christmas Countdown Calendar: Week Five
Christmas Countdown Calendar: Week One
Christmas Countdown Calendar: Week Two
Christmas Countdown Calendar: Week Three
Christmas Countdown Calendar: Week Four
Is it December 18th already?? Seven days and counting until Christmas morning. Hopefully you have been able to get most of your holiday preparations done over the past four weeks, but if this hectic holiday is beginning to take it's toll, try these 10 steps to zap holiday stress.
This week should be about finishing up all those things that will allow you to actually enjoy Christmas Eve and day with the rest of your family and friends. So try to get as much done as you can by the 23rd.
Finish up any gift-wrapping early in the week.
If you have stayed organized and have most of your holiday tasks complete, schedule a few extra holiday outings with your family. Go caroling or for a stroll around the neighborhood to look at lights. Or stay in and eat popcorn and cookies while watching a Christmas DVD.
Have you not had time to decorate yet? Try these last-minute holiday decorating tips.
Need a few small last-minute gifts for neighbors or co-workers? Make them some easy-to-make homemade candy.
- If you need any very last-minute gifts, mobile gift cards can be a quick way to give a gift on the fly without leaving your house.
Make sure the tree stays watered.
Keep the house tidy so you do not have to take too much time de-cluttering before Christmas Eve. Have the family pitch in 15 minutes each day to help with this task.
Pre-make Christmas morning breakfast or brunch.
Get the stockings stuffed.
- Charge the camera batteries overnight so all cameras are ready to go Christmas morning!
For some of us, Christmas tasks will extend past the 25th. Here are some things you might want to get done after Santa has come and gone:
- Need to exchange some of your gifts? Here are some great tips for happy returns.
- Don't forget to take advantage of after-Christmas sales if you need more wrapping paper, decorations, or even to get a jump start on next year's gifts.
- Be sure not to let your gift cards go to waste. Take a look at these 8 ways to prevent getting cheated on your gift cards. Look into exchanging those gift cards you really don't want.
- If your December shopping results in a larger-than-desired January credit card bill, here are 4 ways you can pay off that holiday debt.
- For more Christmas preparation tips, visit the TDS Christmas library section and the TDS Christmas page.
- Follow our Pinterest holiday boards: DIY Holiday Gifts, Cheap Christmas Ideas, and Preparing for a Frugal Holiday Season.
- Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
- Subscribe today to get your free Dollar Stretcher Tips email newsletter. Twice each week we'll share great ideas from our readers. Everything from auto insurance to weddings to help you live better for less.
If all your pre-planning helped make this year's holiday much less stressful than the past, or if last-minute scrambling made this holiday a little less jolly for you, be sure to make a note on next year's calendar to start your holiday planning and prepping on November 20 to ensure a very merry stress-free holiday for you and your family.
Take the Next Step:
Trending on TDS
- How to find lipstick for less
- The beginner's guide to co-op buying
- 7 easy steps to shedding clothing you'll never wear
- All-natural facial masks
- Pricing garage sale items
- Creating an outdoor room on a budget
- What you shouldn't (and should) buy in April
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 5 reasons to skip an all-inclusive vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- Gain more by spending less