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Excel for Christmas Holidays

Use these holiday Excel templates for gift lists, budget, dinner plans, event calendar, holiday fun and games. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more. Download the free Excel workbooks, and get started!

Excel Advent calendar

Excel for the Holidays

Holiday planning can be complicated, so use Excel to help you stay organized. There are lots of free workbooks here on the Contextures website, to help you!

For example:

  • The Holiday planner helps you organize your gift buying, holiday tasks, your Holiday budget, and other activities. Use this Excel file as it is, or add your own lists and sheets, as needed.
  • There's a dinner planner too, and I use it for every holiday meal that we have!
  • For holiday fun, see the Excel Advent calendars, and the Excel Christmas Tree workbooks.

This short video shows how some of the Christmas Excel files work.

Excel Holiday Planner

This Excel Holiday Planner helps you organize your gift list, control your holiday budget, track your spending, manage your To-Do list, and more.

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.

custom tab on Excel Ribbon

Get the Holiday Planner

To get started, download the free Excel Holiday Planner workbook. The zipped file is in xlsm format, and contains macros that navigate to the worksheets.

For detailed steps on how to use the workbook, go to the Excel Holiday Planner page.

Holiday Dinner Planner

This Excel Holiday Dinner Planner helps you organize your holiday meal, so everything is cooked and ready to put on the table, at the exact time that you want to eat dinner.

You'll start by selecting your dinner time, then list all the meal items that you plan to serve, and the steps you need to do. Excel will calculate when each dish needs to start cooking!

select dinner time

Get the Holiday Dinner Planner

To get started, download one of the free Excel Holiday Dinner Planner workbook. The zipped file is in xlsm format, and contains macros that navigate to the worksheets.

  1. Basic Planner: Download a copy of the free Excel Holiday Dinner Planner. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.
  2. With Recipe Finder: Download a copy of the free Excel Holiday Dinner Planner and Recipe Finder. The zipped file is in xlsmx format, and contains macros and connections for the recipe finder.

For detailed steps on how to use the workbook, go to the Excel Holiday Dinner Planner page.

Excel Timeline Game

On Christmas Eve, our family tradition is to play a few "Reindeer Games" Some games have us up on our feet, and acting silly. Other games, like this Excel timeline game, shown below, are played sitting down, with pencil and paper.

Tip: Go to the Excel games page for Bingo templates, and more ideas.

List of Christmas Traditions

For this timeline game, I've collected a list of classic Christmas traditions, and the years that those traditions started.

In the screen shot below, you can see a list of fake Christmas traditions:

  • First snowman built (1902)
  • First togoggan ride (1920)
  • Paper snowflakes invented (1837)
  • First reindeer games held (1845)
  • Hot chocolate invented (1801)

Christmas tradition list

Play the Timeline Game

Here are the steps to play the game, and there are more details in the Excel file that you can download:

  • Ahead of time, the host opens the Excel file, and chooses a few traditions (I usually choose about 10).
  • At party time, give everyone a sheet of paper, and a pen, and ask them to draw a vertical line on the paper
  • Using the instructions in the Excel file, the host announces the earliest year, and the latest year for the timeline
  • Then, the host reads one of the traditions, and a short code to write on the timeline. Everyone takes their best guess!
  • After all the traditions have been read, the host reads the traditions, along with their year in the timeline.
  • There are scoring instructions in the Excel file, OR you can just play for fun, and not bother with scoring!

Christmas tradition game sheet

Excel Timeline Game Variations

Instead of using Christmas tradtions for the timeline game, you could use a different list, to make a different version of the game. For example:

  • Company History: Find important events in your company history, and the years for those events. Use this game as an icebreaker at a company event
  • Classic Movies: Make a list of classic movies, and the years those movies were released. Use this game at a family party, or social event. You could choose a list of horror movies, for a Halloween party, or holiday movies for a Christmas party.
  • More Timelines: There are lots of other timeline lists you could create too, such as popular toys, world events, important inventions, or famous companies.
  • Small to Large: Another way to play the game is by guessing the size of things, from smallest to largest. For example, read the names of 10 planets, or 10 countries, and have players place those on the vertical line. It's usually harder than you think!

Get the Excel Timeline Game

Christmas Traditions: Click this link to download the Christmas Traditions timeline game workbook. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.

Excel Advent Calendars

Instead of buying an Advent calendar that's filled with chocolate, use one of these Excel Advent Calendars instead. The "treats" behind each door are little pictures, instead of chocolates. They're not as delicious, but they don't cause cavities!

There are 5 different Excel Advent calendars available. Some of the calendars use macros, like this one. It has a red background, with green shapes as the 24 doors.

Excel Advent calendar

A couple of the Excel Advent calendars do NOT have macros, like this one. It has a background image on the worksheet, and numbered cells with green fill colour.

When the number is less than or equal to the current date, the number and green fill are removed, thanks to the magic of conditional formatting.

Excel Advent calendar no macros

Get the Advent Calendars

Macros: Download the red and green Advent Calendar. It has macros that run when you click the shapes

No Macros: Download the Advent Calendar with background image. Conditional formatting shows the pictures each day.

Go to the Excel Advent Calendars page, to see the details on how they work, and get more Excel Advent calendars.

Excel Christmas Trees

It's fun to make Christmas Trees in Excel, and there are many different ways to do that.

1) Simple Christmas Tree

First, this simple tree uses conditional formatting to show its lights.

Simple Christmas Tree in Excel

2) Christmas Tree With Scroll Bar

This Christmas tree is fancier, with a scroll bar that adds lights, tinsel, and gifts, as you move the scroll bar marker to the right..

Christmas Tree With Scroll Bar

3) Christmas Tree with Spin Button

This tree is similar to the Scroll Bar version, with a few new features, like the Santa picture, shown below. It has a Spin button, instead of a Scroll bar, and a check box to change the light colours

Christmas Tree With Santa picture

Get the Christmas Trees

There are three versions of this tree, and you can read the details on how the Excel Christmas trees work.

  1. Simple Tree: You can download the zipped Simple Excel Christmas tree file, and it doesn't contain any macros.
  2. Scroll Bar: To see how the Excel Scroll Bar Christmas Tree file works, you can download the Excel Scroll Bar sample file. It is in xlsx format, zipped, and does NOT contain any macros.
  3. Spin Button: This tree is similar to the Scroll Bar version, with a few new features, like the Santa picture, shown below. It has a Spin button, instead of a Scroll bar, and a check box to change the light colours. Click here to download the Scroll Bar Christmas Tree sample file. It is in xlsx format, zipped, and does NOT contain any macros.

Excel Holiday Fun

Lots of holidays are celebrated with fireworks, and Excel can do that too! Go to Andy Pope's website, and download his Excel fireworks file, to see how it works.

It's based on an xy scatter chart, and you can set the number of rockets, the sparks in each rocket, and the effect of gravity.

Excel fireworks display

Andy also has a sample Excel workbook with scrolling text, so you can combine the workbooks to show Happy New Year, and a fireworks display.

scrolling banner text in Excel

More Pages

Excel Games

Holiday Dinner Planner

Excel Holiday Planner

Excel Advent Calendars

Excel Christmas Tree

Excel Humour

Do you decorate any of your Excel files with Christmas colours?

Or for any other festive occasions?

Excel cut and paste errors can ruin your day!

 

 

 

Last updated: March 8, 2024 2:09 PM