The only thing I love more than organization is the autumn/Thanksgiving/Christmas season! After Labor Day, I kick into high gear, keen on squeezing every last moment of fall and Christmas fun out of the next four months. If I’m not careful, however, this fervor can easily turn into overwhelmed burnout by New Year’s Eve.
So how do I manage all those crazy details? My trusty Holiday Binder! (Psst, read to the bottom for a link to our FREE holiday planner printables!)
The idea came to me through the many organized homemakers online. Every homemaker’s Holiday Binder looks different, organized specifically for the person using it. Some of the pages inside my Holiday Binder include:
- An at-a-glance monthly calendar, with annual events I want to attend and deadlines I can’t forget, like when to reserve a Thanksgiving turkey and order Christmas cards.
- Tips and notes about what did and did not work in years past. Reminders of what not to forget, and warnings about the things that failed gloriously.
- My favorite, tried-and-true recipes, as well as new recipes I’m interested to try. Additionally, I keep an ingredient shopping list of the items I need every year, organized by the layout of my store. It makes menu planning and grocery shopping so much easier.
- My personal inventory of the seasonal things I love to buy every year, ie seasonal hand soaps, essential oil blends, and specialty foods. This is especially useful for seasonal things that come out early and sell out quickly, as well as items that are easy to overbuy in seasonal excitement.
Other common holiday binder components include budgets, gift lists, and Christmas card address lists. It’s also a great place to hang on to useful annual information, like the seasonal menu from your favorite bakeries/restaurants, coupons for custom Christmas cards, and business cards from your favorite vendors.
One of the most useful aspects of a comprehensive Holiday Binder are your personal notes. After each Thanksgiving and Christmas, I take the time to take detailed notes of what worked and what didn’t over that season, ie the success/failure of a recipe. I also make note of which items I’m running low on that I will need promptly the following season, like batteries or wrapping paper.
If you wish to keep your holiday season organized, I highly recommend making your own Holiday Binder. By taking a little extra time to update it every January, you’re able to hit the ground running the following September. It breaks up that enormous to do list into smaller, more regular deadlines, each with its own early reminder. It keeps you just ahead of the curve, so you are able to pause more often to relax and enjoy this wonderful time of the year!
If building your own binder seems overwhelming, don’t fear! I’ve created a packet of printables to get you started. Categorized by Fall and Christmas, each season comes with three pages, including the following helpful lists:
- Seasonal to-do list
- Seasonal restock list for pantry items and housewares
- Favorite annual festivals you wish to attend, with dates, ticket costs, and website information
- Favorite recipes
- Dinner hosting timeline
- Dinner menu
- Dinner shopping menu
- Dinner guest list, including diet restrictions
- Blank monthly calendar
- Several blank lined spaces for your own unique notes
For the 2022 fall/Christmas season, I’m offering them for FREE! Simply download the pages below and get a strong start on your own Holiday Binder today!