Saturday, August 31, 2013


It's that time of year and we are hitting the pavement running!  I have to admit, I started my planning yesterday with my mom and boy was it fun. It was a welcome break from the monotony of blazing summer heat.  I'm eternally grateful for things like Pandora that will pipe Christmas music, be it ever so slightly, through my home while we plan and my Christmas candles that I can light and set on the table next to us.  The sounds and smells of Christmas help me to get into planning mode and make the triple digit temperatures outside seem not quite so unbearable.

Hopefully you were able to get a binder for yourself or dig up a notebook.  Either way is fine. It's really just a matter of personal preference and what will make it easier for you.  If you haven't already, divide your notebook into the following sections-

Calendar (unless you prefer to use your wall calendar or Outlook)
To Do Lists

These are the three most basic sections and encompass most of your planning needs.  If you have extra sections, you might consider the following:

Christmas Cards

The sections should be pretty self-explanatory with the exception of "Housekeeping".  I use this section to keep track of wardrobe needs, any linens I might need to purchase or replace, and/or any repairs or items I need to purchase specifically for the holidays (i.e. wreath hangers, outdoor lights, etc)

If you have all of those sections designated, you are ready to go!  Here is your to do list for the week.

Week of August 31st- September 6th

Make the following lists:
  • Gifts to give/recipients
  • Christmas Card list
  • Visits/Trips
  • Parties/Entertaining
  • Menus- Include, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and any other events you may celebrate in between
  • Goodies for sharing/gifts
  • Favorite meals to freeze
  • Long term shopping list- start this list according to what you plan for each of your holiday meals.  It helps to have a separate list for each holiday and one for your freezer meals.
This is your brainstorming week and your chance to make a road map for the next few months.  So, light that candle, play some Christmas tunes, and enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

On Your Mark, Get Set

It's so hard for me to believe that we are here again, already.  I could swear that we just rang in the new year.  How is it possible that the holiday planning season is already upon us.  Where has 2013 gone?

Well, like it or not, it's time to get started.  If the next few months go half as fast as the past 8, we will be eternally grateful we started early.

Our Christmas planning schedule will begin this Saturday, August 31st.  Here are a few things to prepare before we get going.

*Dig out your holiday planner from last year and clear out what you no longer need. If you didn't have a chance to get one, head out and snatch up a few things from the back to school shelves.  You will need:
  • a 3 ring binder
  • subject dividers
  • notebook filler paper
  • pencil zipper pouch
  • pens and pencils
If that is too involved, just remember a spiral notebook will be sufficient.  Just make sure you have something to help you keep all your planning tools together.

*Take some time to look up some holiday recipes or crafts you might like to try.  The good part of starting your planning early is that it enables you to let your creative juices flow and try something new.  Sometimes we get stuck in a holiday rut.  Explore and see what new and fun things are worth trying!

*Put your holiday hat on.  Now that summer vacations are over and kids have started back to school, hopefully there's some room for you to start thinking about other things.  As you wander through the store, take stock of what is on sale or on clearance.  Start thinking about gift ideas.  You might be surprised what you can accomplish already.  Don't forget to grab some of those cheap crayons or markers for stocking stuffers.

Time to get busy.  See you on the 31st!