We Wish You A Merry Christmas...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ok so I know it's a little early for the Christmas carols... but did you know that yesterday was exactly 26 weeks until Christmas??? That's right we are half way there. If you are anything like me, you have already started Christmas shopping and are beyond excited for the holidays to arrive. But since most people aren't weirdos like myself and haven't even put a thought into the holiday season I thought I would give you this friendly little reminder and also share with you what I do to plan for the holidays!


So we all know I'm a little obsessed with list making... ok maybe A LOT obsessed. I can't help it, I hate feeling unprepared, I hate doing things last minute, or spur of the moment. I like to have structure in my day and I LOVE making lists:) Well the holidays are NO different for me.
This year I decided to put together a little Christmas Planner for myself so that I wouldn't be looking all over the place for different list of different things, etc.  I should say there are already tons of awesome printables for the holidays that you can find online. One of my favorites is at Organizing Homelife. She has some super cute printables for card/newsletter organization and some great gift organizing printables as well. While these didn't quite work for what I was trying to do, they are super cute and there are so many awesome printables and ideas on the site it is definitely worth checking out.

I knew I wanted to organize specific things in my book. Since I start shopping early it's important for me to keep track of the gifts that I have already purchased and to also have a good list of things that I should be looking to go on sale! So that is how I came up with the "gift ideas" page and also the "christmas gifts" page.  One allows me to come up with a game plan of what to buy each person and the other allows me to keep track of my actual purchases.
I also wanted a place to keep track of the all the names and addresses of the folks we like to send our family Christmas cards to. So I created the "cards" page and I have to tell you this may be my favorite thing yet. It seems like every year I am running late when it comes to sending out my cards. It seems to be the one thing that I always put off and end up rushing around to do at the last minute. Usually I end up having to send out a million emails, or make a ton of phone calls to track down addresses. I'm terrible about keeping addresses for some reason. I hate to admit it, but last year I ripped off all the return addresses on the cards we received and stuck them in an envelope so I would have them for this year. This page will allow me to keep track of everyones addresses from year to year in a much more organized way.

Another sheet I am  including in my Christmas Planner is for "internet purchases". Lets face it, it is 2012 and most of us do the majority of our shopping online so we get the best deals. Nothing is worse then the last few weeks before Christmas when you are still waiting on packages to arrive and feverishly searching through your old emails for tracking information (been there, done that). Well this sheet allows me to keep track of the item and all its information so I can keep a close eye on my packages and make sure I'm not forgetting about any.
We all know I am a sucker for any kind of homemade gift. I love to give them, but even more I love to receive them:) A few years ago I really started focusing on making more Christmas gifts instead of wasting my money on things that people weren't that into. Some years this has been more work for me then good. (like the 2 years ago when I was up all night on Christmas Eve painting... not fun) I made the "handmade gifts" page to help me keep track of the gifts that I need to make and it also allows me to come up with a schedule so that I am not rushing around at the last minute trying to get everything done.
I also included a sheet for our advent calendar, which is a huge deal around our house. I made our advent calendar last year and we LOVE it. Instead of opening a gift or getting candy, inside of each envelope is an activity for us to do together as a family. (ex. bake cookies, make a snowman, decorate our tree, crafts, games, etc) It is a great way to schedule the necessary things that have to get finished, like the tree, and also to make sure you focus on spending time together as a family.

family hay ride
chocolate fountain party

drive thru christmas lights

Another tradition of ours that we started last year and probably the thing I am most excited for this year is our Elf on the Shelf, Finn. We had a ton of fun with this last year, myself and the kiddos:) and I look forward to seeing what Finn will be getting into this year. It is a lot of work though and takes a lot of planning. It's not as easy as you think to come up with 25 different scenarios.




I also included a page where I can store my "christmas receipts". This way if things don't fit or people don't really care for there gift I have the receipt and am able to return or exchange the items. I always use a pen or a little post it and include on the back of the receipt what the item was. Only because sometimes the receipts themselves are not as specific as I would like. For example if I buy 3 different sets of Mater Cars 2 toys and want to return one of them, I need to know which receipt I will need. It's a small thing, that can help in a big way later..

I also wanted to have one sheet where I could list every person that I need to buy a gift for and where I could check them off when I was completely finished all of there gifts.

So in the end here is what my handy dandy little Christmas Planner looks like... I absolutely LOVE it!!!! but then again it is a list makers dream:) It's a standard 1" 3 ring notebook with each worksheet inside of a sheet protector. I also included extra sheet protectors so I can store things like Black Friday advertisements or coupons; as well as some scrap paper. I still want to make a cover page for the finished book, but all in all I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  I hope some of these sheets are helpful to you in your preparation for the holidays. Remember it's never too early to get started.

.... I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas and I am not trying to exclude you in any way. These documents were created for my personal use. If they are not something you can use I hope that maybe they can give you some suggestions for creating your own holiday planners.


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