Monday, October 17, 2011

Ten Weeks 'Til Christmas

Got a holiday theme going on this week, it seems. But Christmas fast approaches, faster than most would like. And at ten weeks out is when I typically start buckling down with shopping and stocking baking and holiday dinner supplies and I usually have a much better idea of what I'm aiming for by now but it's been kinda hectic around here lately, if you've noticed in my posts, and I'm pretty much aiming in the dark at this point.

So I've given the link to Organized Christmas, my favorite holiday planning website, and I think a few of you have even gotten on board with some early preparations this year-kudos! I've gotten a chunk of my Christmas cards addressed already and have even bought some baking supplies along with a few stocking stuffers (that Michael discovered in my hiding place in the hall linen closet--the rotten stinker!! So I've had to MOVE my hiding spot and start over again...The kid is aging me!) But now I really need to commit to menus, a concise cookie list, and settle on our gift budget so I can get down to business and do the serious shopping. It's time.

So here's a little trick I came up with for an inconspicous purse pocket planner that I've done the last two years. I tried keeping a little notebook in my purse with shopping lists and suggestions, but you don't realize how often someone needs a piece of paper to scribble a note on and before you know it your Christmas list is out and exposed in someone else's eyes that shouldn't be seeing such a list if you want Christmas credit to still go to Santa. And I'm surprised my Bug is still hanging on to Santa this it's gonna be tricky trying to maintain that innocence yet at his age but I'm certainly going to try my best!

Okay! The tip: A simple piece of copy paper, 8 1/2" by 11", and you fold it into tenths. I will try to explain to you how to do that...because who folds into tenths, right? Leave it to me because I don't do anything easy!! My dad always said I was ass-backwards...still proving him right forty plus years later...I miss that man!! All right, take your sheet of copy paper and lengthwise mark off five 2 3/16" increments. I draw lines along the increment marks, makes it easier to fold. Mark the middle width at 4 1/4" and draw your divider line.Be festive: use red or green pens or markers to draw your column markers, or silver and gold metallic-whatever lights your holiday fire! You can even snazzy it up with cute Christmas stickers if that floats your boat, but don't get too carried away, you still need room to write!
Last year's planner above

This year, all ready to go!

Label each block starting at Week Ten down to Week One, and you can add the dates of each week if that helps give a little more planning perspective. Fold your paper lengthwise, then accordian style folding along each week's dividing line. Granted, it helps if you write fairly small, as I do--but this is the perfect size planner to pop in your purse or wallet and it's completely innocent looking to possible snooping eyes who shouldn't be in your purse in the first place, yet there they are!


So, using my master lists of gifts, stocking stuffers, and baking ingredients, I begin dividing everything I need into the ten weeks. Baking supplies can get tricky. I usually begin baking at week six, so I'll list whatever cookies I want to make on each of the last six weeks and plan backwards from there to be sure that I have the specific ingredients on hand by the week each certain cookie comes up. The beautiful thing about having saved last year's handy dandy list is that I can simply copy the baking order onto this year's list, as well as the weeks I need which ingredients! Brilliant! There are also notes scribbled on last year's list of gifts perhaps I wanted to buy but didn't--possible ideas for this year's shopping? And it also helps jog the memory of gifts that were great and others that weren't so great, so snafus can be avoided this year.

So there you have it: an easy, inconspicuous purse size pocket planner for the upcoming holidays. I hope you try it--or finagle a little list to suit your own needs. Everybody's a little different, so make it work best for yourself. Whatever makes getting through the holidays with a little less stress and wigging out! Now let's go shopping!!

Holiday Grand Plan

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