Christmas Notebook Stuff

Notebook Dividers

Okay gals.... here's the way Rhonda (the Christmas Notebook lady) has her notebook divided.
  • "Let's Celebrate" - Ideas for celebrating, ways to share the joys of Christmas, Christmas stories, ideas for party games, etc.
  • "Christmas Plan" - Weekly plan
  • "Gift Ideas" - Craft type gift ideas, list of people to give to, list of gifts bought, etc.
  • "Advent" - Ideas for celebrating Advent
  • "Decorating Ideas" - Ideas to try and also a page for each room of the house and how that room is decorated
  • "Christmas Trees" (she has several!) Themeā€™d tree ideas, etc.
  • "Recipes" - All favorites and "like to try" ones
  • And then she has a section for each party they host ie: Open House, Office Party, Family Party etc.
  • "Thanksgiving" - Recipes used each Thanksgiving and ideas for Fall decorating.
  • "Storage" - Hard copy of the list of Christmas storage boxes. I believe this is sort of set up using the same idea that Pam and Peggy use for their storage....numbered boxes, then jotted on a 3x5....
Now, here's the dividers I used for MY notebook.....not nearly as extensive.
  • "Celebrations"
  • "Christmas Plan" (Where I'll combine, etc. the best of all the plans...what works for me)
  • "Decorating Ideas"
  • "Gift Ideas"
  • "Recipes"

Decorating Section Dividers

Ladies....these are my words, but Rhonda's ideas... :)

Behind your Decorating divider, you will be making a page for each room you decorate, including the outside of the house. At the top of a blank page, write the name of the room i.e.: Living Room. Now, list the decorations you use in that room. If the tree is there, write Tree. If you put lights around the windows in this room every year, write it down. If you have a Nativity scene that is placed on the coffee table every year, write it down.

Now, toward the bottom of the page, write To Try: and leave space. This is where you can write down ideas you want, or have always wanted, to try! For example, my living room page doesn't have anything listed on the To Try section, but my Kitchen page does....my Kitchen page has "Holiday linens" as the decorating tradition, and under To Try I've listed Holiday dishes. I've always wanted a set... :)

My outside page lists my yard art, garland on the fence, wreath on the door, etc. Under To try I've listed a sleigh filled with "gifts", and a gingerbread village..... These To Try sections are not things you are going to do this year, necessarily....they can be ongoing! In my next posts...I'll start the weekly comparisons.. :)

Week One Notes

Once again...this is copyright by Rhonda!

Week 1 tackles Gift lists, your Christmas card list, setting dates for parties/entertaining, making your list of baked goods.

Sounds fairly similar to our HGP.....but here's an idea or two...

Keep on on-going shopping list for items needed for baking, entertaining, and decorating. Keep this list in front of the Weekly Plan section of your notebook and add to it as you think of things you need to purchase. For example, if you see a decorating idea you want to try, list the items needed on the shopping list.

Check the shopping list before you go to the store each time! You can then pick up things here and there.... In your notebook, on the page for Week 1..write down the things you want to accomplish during this week. :)

Week Two Notes

The Notebook Week 2 starts on Sept 7th, or thereabouts....

Week 2 is about cleaning! The way this plan does it is this: List all the rooms in your house. Assign them to the 11 weeks between now and the week prior to Thanksgiving. Assign rooms to dates by putting rooms that are private or not needing high maintenance at the beginning of the dates, and put the deep-cleaning, public rooms toward the final weeks. Surface clean the rooms that will be used the least during the holidays.

Here's what she tries to do in her "deep cleaning": Get rid of spider webs. Wash or dust all woodwork, windowsills, etc. Wash the windows and curtains Wash linens, including bedspreads, etc. Dust/wash furniture, cabinets, etc. Clean the light fixture Move furniture and scrub/vacuum floor Clean spots on carpets.

This is also a "browse" week...develop ideas you want to try, etc. Also, create a list of dates to be plugged into your planner or calendar...dates of parties, events, etc. Create an ongoing list of other holiday prep items.....include things like :

Mail Christmas cards Get your tree Go caroling, etc. Here is what her Week 2 looks like:
Surface clean; master bedroom
Planning Ahead:
Buy extra baking supplies
Buy extra scotch tape, ribbons, gift tags
Double one meal and freeze half.
Discuss gift responsibilities with dh and children
Write down whom is responsible for which gifts
Order Christmas cards
Plan decorations for Guest Room tree
Divide gift needs into eight lists. Buy one list each week for the next eight weeks.
Develop ideas for gifts, decorations
Photocopy new ideas - note magazine, date and page number on each copy.

Week Three

Week 3 begins the Holiday baking. Rhonda suggests baking 2 kinds of cookies each week (more or less depending on what you've decided you will need).

Look over your menu plan for the week, pick one to double, and freeze half.

Put an envelope in your Notebook to hold receipts from gift purchases. Also, keep an ongoing list of what you are buying, how much you've spent, etc. Keep this in the Gift Ideas section of your notebook.

Look over your gift list. Divide it into 7-9 sections. If you start buying one section a week, starting this week, all buying will be done before Thanksgiving!!

Here is her To Do list for Week 3:

  • Surface Clean (whatever room has been designated for this week)
  • Bake __ dozen cookies.
  • Bake 2 loaves of cranberry bread - freeze.
  • Double one meal and freeze half.
  • Buy two canned goods for donation purposes.
  • Set up box to hold donations.
  • Set up gift-wrap center.
  • Buy 1/7 of To Buy gifts.
  • Buy all supplies for handcrafted gifts.
  • Buy extra film, batteries, blank video tapes, etc.
  • Make a list of new Christmas cookie recipes to try.
  • Make copies of recipes and place them in Notebook.
  • Buy supplies for new Christmas decorating ideas.
  • Decide which week to assemble new decorating items and schedule it into planner.

Here's some tips from her....
Freeze cookies by the dozen in Ziplock bags. Mix the bags in a Rubbermaid container...in one container, then, you can have five or six different kinds of cookies. :)

- Note winter clothing needed. Go thru closets, etc. and weed out clothing. Donate it! Here's an idea she had from Week 3:

As you shop, keep an eye out for stocking stuffer type things....Mark a large ziploc bag with child's name (or whomever the stocking is being stuffed for) and store the items you pick up in the bag. All the bags go into a plastic shopping bag which she hangs from a hanger among the clothes in the back of her closet! I think this is a great idea!!!

Christmas Notebook - Week 6

  • Surface Clean: Guest Room
  • Planning:
  • Bake/freeze goodies
  • Make one freezer meal
  • Buy 1/7th of gifts to buy
  • Force an amaryllis (mark date on pot)
  • Plan decorating scheme for mantle
  • Begin designing Christmas letter.
  • Chose photos for letter
  • Choose graphics
  • Choose Bible verse
  • Plan a holiday craft day for your children
  • Choose project, choose date, list needed supplies

Here are some of her ideas on this week:
Think about your Christmas letter...if you're inclined to do one. Think about ones you've rec'd...what do you like about them? What don't you like? Jot down ideas of what you want to include in yours. Maybe create a scrapbook style letter. Have older children help out. When you prepare and organize for the holidays....find ways to include the children. Many amaryllis bulb kits are available at stores like Wal-Mart.