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Excel Christmas Planner

This Excel Christmas planner will help you stay organized. It has sheets for a gift list, holiday budget, holiday tasks, dinner planning, and many other holiday essentials.

Introduction - Excel Christmas Planner

This year, don't plan your Christmas activities and spending on scraps of paper -- use Excel instead. In Excel, it's easy to type a few lists, then sort them, edit them, get a total amount, make changes, and print the final lists. Creating a Christmas Planner in Excel is quick and easy, and you'll love how organized you are!

In an Excel workbook, you can add as many sheets as you need to track gift buying, holiday tasks, your Christmas budget, and other activities. After the sheets are added, you can make a cover sheet with a link to all the planning sheets.

Thanks to Sarah Stoski for contributing to this Christmas Planner.

Step 1: Add the Planning Sheets

Decide what you want to keep track of over the holiday season. For example:

  • Holiday Events
  • Holiday Tasks
  • Gift List
  • Christmas Card List
  • Holiday Budget

Then, open a new Excel workbook, and insert a few more sheets, to get the number that you need:

  • one sheet for each thing you want to track
  • one sheet at the start, for a cover.

To insert a sheet, use the keyboard shortcut -- Shift + F11

Or, click the New Sheet command at the far right of the sheet tabs.

insert worksheet

Step 2: Name the Planning Sheets

To make it easy find your lists, change the sheet names from Sheet1, Sheet2, to something meaningful, such as Holiday Tasks.

Note: When you have lots of sheets in a workbook, you might not be able to see all of them. Click the arrows at the far left of the sheet tabs, to scroll through the sheet tabs, or to go to the first or last sheet.

To rename a sheet:

  1. Double-click on the sheet tab.
  2. Type a new name (up to 32 characters long)
  3. Press the Enter key to complete the name.

Step 3: Create a Christmas Gift List Sheet

To help you plan and track your gift spending, you can add a Master Gift List worksheet. This is much easier than keeping track on paper, or even with a calculator!

  1. Click on the sheet tab where you want to create a list of gifts.
  2. Starting in Row 3, type headings for the columns where you can enter people's names, gift ideas, mark the gifts you've sent, and enter the planned cost and actual cost.
  3. In Row 1 you can create a SUM Formula, to show a total of costs for all the gifts in the list.
  4. Format the list as a named Excel table, so it will expand automatically as you add new items.

master gift list sheet

Step 4: Create a Holiday Task List

You could also create a Holiday Task List in a sheet in your Christmas Planner.

  1. Click on the sheet tab where you want to create a list of gifts.
  2. In Row 3, type the headings, such as Weeks Ahead, Done, Category, Task Description.
  3. Format the list as a named Excel table, so it will expand automatically as you add new items.
  4. Then, starting in Row 4, type your tasks: In the Weeks Ahead column, type the number of weeks before Christmas that the task should be started.
  5. In the Done column, type an X when the task is completed.
  6. In the Category column type the category, such as Gifts, or Décor
  7. In the Task Description column type the name of the task, such as Decorate the tree.

task list

Step 5: Create the Remaining Planner Sheets

Now that you know how to create planner sheets, you can add any other planner sheets that you need. Download the sample Christmas Planner, below, to see other sheet examples.

For example, make a Christmas Card list with columns for Name, Street, City, State, Zip, Sent and Received.

Download a Sample Christmas Planner

If you'd like help getting started, you can download my sample Excel Christmas Planner. Use the sample file to get started, then add your own tasks and information, and other sheets that you might need.

For details on some of the Excel techniques used in the workbook, see the tutorials on named Excel tables, Conditional Formatting, Data Validation and Sorting.

Using the Sample Christmas Planner

Details and instructions for some of the worksheets are shown below.

Holiday Calendar

Enter the first Sunday date in the workbook, and you can see a 9-week calendar, starting from that date. Then, you can print the calendar, and write your notes on it, or type in the cells, on the Excel worksheet.

Christmas Day is highlighted with a red fill colour, and the first day of each month is highlighted in green.

holiday planner calendar

Dinner Planner

There's a worksheet where you can enter your holiday dinner time, and Excel will calculate the start time for each dinner preparation step. For instructions on using this sheet, see the Holiday Dinner Planner page.

Excel Dinner Planer

Holiday Budget

To help you stay on budget over the holidays, there's a Holiday Budget worksheet. Enter the estimated amount that you plan to spend on holiday expenses, such as gifts or travel.

Don't enter the Amount Spent or Amount Remaining -- those are calculated from your entries in the Holiday Spending sheet.

You can see the totals at the top of the worksheet.

holiday budget sheet

Holiday Spending

To help you track your spending (except for gifts, which are entered on a separate sheet), there's a Holiday Spending worksheet. Enter the date, category, item and amount for each expense. Use the same categories that you entered on the Holiday Budget sheet.

The total for each category is calculated, and shown on the Holiday budget sheet, using a SUMIF formula.

You can see the totals at the top of the worksheet.

holiday spending sheet

Holiday Checklists

The planner has several checklists to help you plan your shopping, holiday tasks, and party planning. Fill those in, by following the sample data or column headings, or create your own holiday checklists.

  • Holiday Tasks
  • Black Friday Price Comparison
  • Christmas Card List
  • Holiday Music
  • Holiday Movies
  • Holiday Baking
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Last updated: December 3, 2015 4:44 PM