Monday, January 6, 2014

Keeping the Holidays Sane With a HOLIDAY NOTEBOOK!

Last year, I was introduced to the wonderful concept of a summer notebook - a really cute idea that helps keep summer vacation fun and relatively organized. I tried it, and it was great!

This fall I decided to use the same idea to make a notebook to organize the three months of our holiday season (November, December, January) - and it was a great success!

In the past, I have used FlyLady's Holiday Control Journal, and it is a great free resource (download here). I highly recommend it. However, it has way too much material for me (though I have tried just printing off the pages I need), and in many ways, it stresses me out due to its complexity. We're trying to simplify Christmas, not just organize the insanity. Thus, making my own holiday notebook was the next logical step - and the easiest way to add just what I need without extra pages that would bog me down (and make me feel guilty for all the stuff I don't do!).

Here is my holiday notebook.

Are you impressed? You should be. Wow, look at that red notebook. Impressive. 

And here are the different components contained within...

Calendar pages - one per month. I copied events from my personal calendar, and then added an activity or craft to do at home on the blank days:

A page to record Christmas gifts (for thank-you notes):

[Picture left out - too many personal family details! Just imagine it.}

A meal plan for Christmas week - especially important as I had both houseguests and a job playing for a Christmas Eve service, so we needed everything planned ahead of time:

A printout of my Evernote list of activities planned for each holiday:

And finally, an article that I wanted to keep handy (link) to remind myself of plans for Christmas morning:

It was simple, easy to keep track of, and a great help.

Each mama's notebook would contain different items - no two notebooks will look alike. But if you haven't given this idea a try - and find the holidays as stressful as I do - it might be a good thing to look into for next year! I'm already looking forward to planning my 2014 holiday notebook!


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