And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, October 24, 2016

Leading Up to the Holidays Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I shared my game plan for early prepping for the holidays. Yesterday we had a "free" Saturday. That never happens! I took advantage of the time to continue my holiday planning. I got a few more dates and times on my calendar. I worked on my Thanksgiving shopping list by marking off the items we already purchased. I cleaned out all my kitchen cabinets (looking for a lost slow cooker cord!).

I also made all my Christmas planning sheets. In the past, I've used a few planning pages in my homeschool planner. The one I have this year didn't include those types of pages. Just like with my Thanksgiving pages, I set out to find some free printables online. I couldn't find anything like what I needed! I then did a check in my downloads folder here on my computer and found a free Christmas planner from a few years ago. I decided which of the pages I could use and printed those. I used some very pretty snowflake paper I bought years and years ago. I've dragged that paper through all of our moves never knowing what to use it for. It was perfect to print all my Christmas pages! I stuck them in my big family binder that I started using this year. Now they stick out so I can find them easily, and my kids shouldn't be snooping in the binder at all.

I made a Christmas Card list to keep track of those I send and receive. I also realized my address file is woefully out of date so I will be working on updating that over the next few weeks so I can send out cards after Thanksgiving. I also made a Christmas menu page and shopping list page. We don't usually do a huge dinner here for Christmas, but we will have a small meal. I can also keep up with the dishes I need to take to gatherings on those lists. I made a separate shopping page for gifts. The big portion of my pages is devoted to gifts. I found a few years ago that it is a good idea to keep track of the gifts I buy. Otherwise when I start so early shopping I forget what I have and buy some people more gifts than I intended! I also think it's great to start early thinking about who you will need to shop for so there aren't too many surprises on an already thin holiday budget. While I'm not the most organized holiday shopper, I do think I'm improving a little each year.

Don't be afraid to make your own printables rather than finding freebies online or paying for them! Most of my Christmas pages included simple tables or lines. Pop a centered title at the top and hit print. I spent less than 20 minutes making the printables that I designed. Not only was it fast and insured I had exactly what I needed, I didn't put a lot of extra images or designs on them so I saved ink. Using pretty paper made them unique without wasting a load of ink.

Have you started planning for Christmas? Are you an organized shopper or do you just wing it?

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