This Excel Holiday planner will help you stay organized. It has sheets for a gift list, holiday budget, holiday tasks, dinner planning, and many other holiday essentials.
This year, don't plan your Holiday activities and spending on scraps of paper -- use Excel instead. Download the free workbook below, or follow the instructions to build your own planner
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 Holiday 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 Holiday 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, corporate event planner, for contributing to this Holiday Planner.
Decide what you want to keep track of over the holiday season. For example:
Then, open a new Excel workbook, and insert a few more sheets, to get the number that you need:
To insert a sheet, use the keyboard shortcut -- Shift + F11
Or, click the New Sheet command at the far right of the sheet tabs.
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:
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, and adding things up with a calculator!
You could also create a Holiday Task List in a sheet in your Holiday Planner.
Now that you know how to create planner sheets, you can add any other planner sheets that you need. Download the sample Holiday Planner, below, to see other sheet examples.
For example, make a Holiday Card list with columns for Name, Street, City, State, Zip, Sent and Received.
Instead of building your own Holiday Planner in Excel, you can use the sample file that I created. Details and instructions for some of the worksheets are shown below.
When you open the Holiday Planner workbook, a custom tab (PLAN) appears on the Excel Ribbon, to the right of the Home tab.
Click the buttons on the PLAN tab, to go to the sheets in the planner workbook.
For more information on creating a custom tab, go to the Excel Ribbon Getting Started page
On the Start sheet, enter the year, holiday date, and number of weeks that you want to plan. The Holiday Planner originally started out as a Christmas planner, but now you can use any date as the focus for your planning
Then, enter your upcoming activities on the Events sheet, and those items will appear on the Calendar sheet -- up to 5 events per date.
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.
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.
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 Home sheet has a summary of your budget (planned and spent), gift purchases (needed and purchased, days until the holiday, and number events in the current week.
To see my example file, download the Excel Holiday Planner workbook. The zipped file is in xlsm format, and contains macros that navigate to the worksheets.
Use this workbook to get started, then add your own tasks and information, and other sheets that you might need.
Last updated: May 10, 2021 11:44 AM