Thursday, December 29, 2016

Some time with my Christmas notebooks

 In the last few days, I've spent an hour or so working in my Christmas notebook.  (If you'd like to know more about this notebook and how I use it, click on "Christmas notebook" in the word cloud of labels in the sidebar for more posts about it.)  The notebook above is not my full-fledged Christmas notebook, but I've done some work in it too.  I bought this little Mary Engelbreit planner for $1 at a dollar store in Nevada!  It's handy for jotting short notes about our holiday each year, and there are several more years' worth of pages in there. 

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 tuck it in the "Christmas Past" section at the back of my notebook.

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.


  1. I do something very similar with my Christmas Planner that I have used for years...
    I think you are familiar with the site Organized Christmas? They have tons of sheets to run off to use in planning..

  2. Hi Deb! Yes, I am familiar with that site and I have printed off many of the forms to use in my notebook. It has really been a help to me over the last ten years or so. I seem to get just a little bit more organized every year.

  3. I need to work on my notebook too. Have not redone my Christmas gift list afterwards but that is a great idea. I like that you already list the ideas for 2017

  4. It really helps, Lucie. As things get added, crossed out, squeezed in, etc. on my list, it can get pretty hard to decipher. I don't want to be wondering what I gave people last year, so this works well for me. Starting the list for 2017 is also a huge help as the year goes on.


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