A Planning Notebook for Peaceful and Productive Holidays

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

Holidays Made Productive
source: Ceressa Bateman

I love the holidays – the warmth and festivity, gifts (yeah!) and happy times with friends and family. However, this time of the year can also be the busiest, craziest and most stressful if you don’t plan and organize at least a little. Using a holiday planning notebook is a super-simple way of staying productive and organized during the hectic festive season.

Here’s how to create your own holiday planning notebook, akin to a home management notebook but specifically for the busy holidays:

Choosing a Notebook to Plan the Holidays

Pick a binder big enough to hold different sections but easy enough to be toted around in a bag or by hand. I love choosing the colors of the season – red and green – but you can take your pick. Put in at least 5-7 dividers with pockets. And yes, do keep a pen or pencil in the front or back pocket of the binder.

Sections for Your Holiday Planner

I said 5-7 dividers, right? So, here’s what you’ll need them for:

1. Cleaning Schedules: This time of the year is perfect for those deep-cleaning exercises that you’ve been putting off all through the year.

2. Shopping Lists: While gifts would be high on the shopping list, you may also want to buy items for decorating and entertaining as well as foodstuff. Use separate lists or group everything into one list but do have a section for it.

3. Budget: The holidays can be a time when the budget skyrockets. Stay on track this year by planning your holiday spending.

4. Parties, Menus and Recipes: This section will have information on entertaining, guest lists, menus, seating plans, table décor as well as recipes for your menu items. If you’re doing a lot of entertaining this season, you may want to give all three – parties, menus and recipes – their own dedicated sections. I just have the one big party to think about, so I have just one section.

5. Christmas Cards: This section should hold your list of people to send cards to as well as a copy of their addresses. If you haven’t yet, you may want to digitize your address book and store it on the computer. You can also include any craft ideas if you’re considering making your own cards this year.

6. Calendars: You’ll want a big calendar with space to write in when planning your holidays. Include information on caroling, volunteering, visiting, hosting houseguests, shopping and entertaining to ensure that you don’t over commit or overlap.

DIY or Readymade Holiday Planning Notebook

While I’ve always made my holiday planning notebook from scratch each year, I’m going to be cheating a little this year. Mandi has an awesome free Christmas planning ebook and printable planner that can make your Christmas and New Year stress-free and productive.I’ll be using quite a few of those printables, especially the master to-do list, budget worksheet and holiday baking planner to make preparing my holiday planning notebook easy and simple. You can do the same or make your own planner from scratch.

Finding time in the busyness of the season can be tough, but using a holiday planner can streamline activities, reduce stress and make you more productive than ever.

Have you made your Holiday Planner for a stress-free, productive festive season? What are your must-dos?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.
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