Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Christmas in July

(A little late in posting... we had some unexpected events that have emotionally wore me out.... but I'm back on track and ready to focus on Christmas in July!) 

A Christmas Organizing Notebook (or books) serves as the foundation of your holiday organization year after year.  By creating a notebook, you will have EVERYTHING at your fingertips and you can continuously reference it for reminders and direction concerning you holiday plans. ( refer to min ALL THE TIME! - I keep the past years as well - amazing how much that helps me!!)  After the holidays have settled down, I LOVE going through my books and begin working on the pages for the next year - I keep a extra sheet or two in each section as well and make notes as to what went well, and what didn't go so swell, any new ideas and traditions that I'd like to add (or do away with) etc., and this give me excitement for the next year!
 See why I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!  All year long!!! 

(Now remember, since most of us do not live exactly "identical" lives, well, I'm pretty sure no-one's lives are near "identical" your notebook will be uniqut to you and your family -  After all - it is about YOU and YOUR family - I just want to help you RELAX and ENJOY the holiday season... you know... Make Christmas Count - all year long! That's all.)

Now down to business!
You have your 3 ring binder, right?
We are READY to roll!! 
OHH!!! Are you SO excited??? 
I SURE AM!!!! 

The first thing that you may want to do is start our by setting up your "sections".  
Here is what I have, but remember - YOUR book is for YOU and I know it will differ.... 
(PLUS, I have 2 binders - I probably should have told you that...oops... I have one for "GIVING" and one for "ENTERTAINING and SUCH" - mostly because my GIVING book contains my Santa list and with a large family - it is a LOT of information...:)) 

As you assemble your book(s), here are just a "few" ideas of things you may want to have on hand or nearby as you do so.... to save you some time in hunting or having to "stop" - we want to be productive and accomplish this task rather quickly so we can get to the "heart" of the fun! :)

1 to 3 inch 3-ring binder (one or two of them)
3 hole punch
Index dividers for 3 ring binder
Slash pocket folders or page protectors for keeping loose items in (example: recipe or craft ideas from magazines, receipts from gifts you purchase, etc.)
Notebook paper
Zippered pouch to hold pens, pencils and other loose items
Calendar for the whole year (can be a store bought one, or printed from a computer program - I like to make my own... mostly because I like BIG squares to write in!)
Pages designed with photo pockets on them (usually 4 to a page) where you can put recipe cards and/or address cards
Colored Pencils (for marking on your calendar)
Are you set now????  
Here we go - Let's CREATE some fun!!! 
(Oh! I'm getting so excited just thinking about it!) 
In book one, I have dividers for:

Calendar - this is the very first thing I put in - I mark it with all the "EVENTS" and when things need to ship out by as well - keeps me on my toes - since my "memory" seems to be overloaded and I can't remember anything anymore ..... 

Greetings - or otherwise known as "Cards & Letters"  (this includes my address list etc)  I try to make it as current as possible, I also put a extra sheet protector in this section (or punch a manilla envelope) so I can slip the envelope with the return address on it to update my list for the next year - but as I send out my cards (and they are usually LATE I admit it) I have it right there... this way, I don't have to stop my production right then to update my list, but do it after the holidays when things slow down.
Traditions - I also keep the calender from the previous years in here - this way I can go back and see if maybe it is time to bring back some traditions or maybe we need to try some new ones too!

Menus - This is where I put my menu for the month, along with the recipes and grocery shopping list.

Baking - This is for my HOLIDAY baking.... and CANDY making!  I keep the recipes and a grocery shopping list in here as well.

Entertainment - This is a section that sometimes gets used... and sometimes just not.... I like to put "ideas" in this section for parties, games, decorations etc.  Someday I hope that we are "entertainment" people again.  I really love Christmas Parties and having fun with friends - just as much as I do with my family - but I suppose that there is just a season for everything....

Decorating - This is where I keep a list of things that need to be replaced - so at the end of the previous Christmas, I make a list as I put things away of what needs replacing, or if I want to "add" to my decor - or just you know - notes- then when it comes time to "prepare" I know what I need - it is also helpful as a shopping guide to get things after Christmas when on clearance for the following year - It sure saves money!

In book 2, (which is my most FAVORITE book!) consists of the FUN! 
Family GIVING - this is a big section - I have dividers for each family member with a few sheet protectors and list papers - I make a list of the things that I would like to do for them, things that they like and things that they want - I make sure I note the budget for each person on the top - and then I start checking my list.... I LOVE this!  (I also have a section for "MY FAVORITE THINGS" gift - this is my FAVORITE part of Christmas! but we'll get to that later...) 
Then I have a section for Neighbor gifts, Work gifts, Friend gifts and other... I keep several papers and sheet protectors in this section as well - I print ideas and then once I pick the idea - say for neighbor gifts - then I pull out what I need and on we go :)


So - There you have it...
Now, you either have some work to do - and quickly :)
OR you are well on your way to a stress free Christmas!

Either way - you will be making a difference and

See you on Monday!

Oh - wait - there is a little "homework" assignment for Monday...
Grab a extra notebook or a journal....
This is going to be one of my OTHER Favorite things about Christmas!
(In case you haven't noticed.... pretty much EVERYTHING about Christmas is my FAVORITE!)
just sayin'....

Coming up on Monday...

  What I LOVE about Christmas!

And don't forget to visit DEBBIE over at Debbie-Dabble Christmas! She has some fun things happening for Christmas in July - and some other great sites to visit as well!


  1. I want to do a post in the middle of the week showcasing the blogs that are participating in Christmas in July. So I am asking for permission to show a picture from something you posted for the celebration with a link back to your blog.Will that me okay?
    Let me know..


  2. Oh, I really must work on this idea! Over the years I have made lists on my computer and printed out sheets about: Decorations room by room, Christmas tree decorations for each of the trees I do, Lighting plans for windows, storage of Christmas items, etc. But I have not put it all in a binder, though I have several binders for just that purpose. Thanks for your inspiring post!

  3. Carrie,
    I have always kept a booklet on Christmas but at the end of last season ,I made a Christmas Planner. I admit that i have not devoted a lot of time to the Planner but I plan on doing that now...



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