I've shared some of my planning with you before, but here's what I've been doing recently.
I took a fresh sheet of Christmas-themed computer paper (always on sale after Christmas) and listed down everything that we gave for Christmas gifts. Of course, I had already made a list, but some things changed with the actual gift-giving: I couldn't locate a source for a particular gift, I changed my mind, etc. etc. I started the list in January 2016 and by the time Christmas came around, my list had been scribbled on, crossed out, and so on. So that there will be no confusion next year and I don't give someone a duplicate book or whatever, I make a nice, neat list.
|Sorry for the poor quality -- this is one of my copied-over lists.|
Then I take a fresh piece of lined notebook paper and start a new list for the coming Christmas. Some things are going to stay the same, pretty much. For instance, we always give my mother-in-law homemade bran muffins, a jar of homemade hot chocolate mix, and a bag or box of clementines. So that is already on 2017's Christmas list next to her name. (We used to give her bran muffin batter so she could bake them as needed, but now she prefers to receive the baked muffins.) I made my dad a photo calendar this year and will plan to do the same in 2017.
Some gifts, like a science center membership for one family, a gift card for another, etc. will be the same again next year, so I make sure to write those down.
I have already ordered a couple of items for next Christmas, so I've made note of that on my catalog/internet order form.
Another thing I like to do is to look over my crafting time lines and add in new projects I want to start and note whether I need to buy materials for them. This year, I'm tentatively planning to make handcrafted gifts only for birthdays as I did in 2016. It worked out quite well.
I also took a fresh sheet of notebook paper and started listing ideas for 2017 birthdays. I just jot down each person's birthday and their name, and I do this in order of where the months fall in the year. We don't have any birthdays (other than my own) until March, so I start there. I already have a few birthday ideas, having seen how certain Christmas gifts were received.
I also like to note any new recipes we tried and how we liked them. And I make a note of any new decorations we added, where we put them, and where I will be storing them. This making note of where Christmas items are stored is something I need to get more specific on in the coming year.
I actually have several Christmas notebooks: this big one, with its wealth of planning forms, gift ideas, and so on;
a smaller one which contains memories and family recipes; and then a smaller one still, which is pictured at the top of this post.
It's a great feeling to start with 2017's Christmas planning -- before 2016 has even ended! Why not brew yourself a cup of holiday tea and get started? You'll be glad you did.