Start early on your Yuletime planning.
It’s a fact. You cannot get ready for Christmas if you start in December! Or November! You’ve got to begin to get ready way back. It doesn’t have to be all year, but it would be a good idea if you thought about it over the winter.
Some people are into infinite and detailed scheduling of everything in their lives.
Others chronicle only what they feel is the most important.
Since that wonderful date is so important to us, we embarked on learning how to get organized for it.
We are not natural planning people! Translate that into: we are not naturally organized folks. It’s a confession; unfortunately, it’s true.
As the year goes by, we feel our way into better holiday organization. It is not fully fledged in January (our first post on the subject), until 12 more months have rolled by. Then we should understand how to do this! We’ll see.
For now we are going to go month-by-month, with a post for each month of the 365-day period.
We hadn’t thought about the form our planner should take, just that we had a vague idea there should be a paper-based or computerized real planner, not just bits of paper stickies and torn off 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
Currently, we have a physical guide, since we don’t think it will be kept up if we go all electronic. Yes, there is nothing wrong with the old 3-ring binder and dividers. Good way to start before paying out much money on this project.
Agreed: we will keep a calendar for this purpose, and it needs to be separate from our regular day-to-day one. But it should be united, that is be part of, the paper organizer.
We have to have sections. That is: categories of what is really a To Do list. Realize that the number of sections is going to grow! There could be a lot of them.
There are some good beginner’s tips on organizedhome.com.
Categories (sections) for the Yuletide planner
- Card list – who to send cards to
- Card from list- who sent us cards last year (and in previous years)
- Letter – if you plan to send out a holiday letter, have a section for collecting information each month to make up into that letter.
- Gift list – who to give gifts to
- Gift from list – who gave us a gift (last year)
- Parties – if you are a winter season party giver, look at the calendar and tentatively decide when to give your party. Maybe you are giving more than one! If so, you will need a page to get ready for each one. Remember that you’ve got to account for all the possible social times up to New Year’s Day. Are you including a brunch you mentioned to friends to be held during the week between December 25 and January 1?
- Xmas eve – will you spend it just with the family or have friends over, too?
- Xmas day, including meals and gift-giving
- Meal formulas – shopping lists, menus, and recipes
- Decorating – the tree, indoors including each room or gathering area, and outdoors
- Purchase list – what you’ve need to buy (or find) for each category. It might be best if this goes month-by-month.
Note: is the family doing this with you, or do you have kids? You’ve have to have a page for each one, or have a subsection for each person in each category.
Thought: this could get quite complex! No wonder it’s hard to just pick out a commercially-made paper record, since the way it is arranged may not be a match for our particular ideas and schedule. Sigh.
Addendum: we are looking around for some good planners and pages. (There are many possibilities.)
Here is one that has free downloadable paper printables and checklists. It is particularly strong for its party planning page. Their “Big Party Planner” has sections for theme/ideas, food, decorations, entertainment/activities, supplies. This seems to us to include the essential ideas that we’ve come up with ourselves.
Party plan ideas
- shopping (supplies)
Here is our first of the year post.
To be continued … all year is our holiday happiness development time.