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I would be lost without my Holiday Planner each year. It helps so much to make sure I don’t forget any of the details of this time of year!
Guys, seriously!! I can’t believe October is already here!!
And by far, the next 3 months are my favorite of the year. I get crazy giddy about Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! I’m thankful for the 9 months in between to recover, but I really just love this time of year so much!
With all the wonderfulness that Thanksgiving and Christmas bring, they can also be responsible for loads of chaos (or maybe we just make them chaotic 😉 ).
Each year I make a Holiday Planner to help me keep track of everything going on. This year is no exception. So I want to share with you what I have put together and show you how you can do the same thing. And then maybe we can all have a little more peace to just enjoy the wonderful things that the season brings!
My holiday planner has changed a lot over the years. I first started making one when I got the chance to “host” Christmas at my parents’ house 4 years ago. That year my planner was in a 3 ring notebook. And it worked wonderfully. Christmas Day, that book didn’t leave my side. I don’t even know how I would have survived without it.
Over the years I’ve been in charge of multiple holiday meals, ranging from 20 people to 4. Every time I use my holiday planner, and every year I’m grateful for it.
But what can I say, I really really love planners.
For this season my holiday planner will be in the back of my Happy Planner. This year will be relatively tame compared to years in the past. I still need the basics, but I’m not in charge of as much this year so I don’t need all the pages right now. But what I love about this system is that I can make my planner exactly what it needs to be for each year. It is completely adaptable for large gatherings of everyone you know, and can still be perfect for a small family meal.
Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are included in my holiday section. Two of my favorite pages from all of the planner pages are the Meal Planner and Cooking Schedule. To me, these have been the most valuable. I feel like I’m constantly forgetting something, and these help to make sure that not only do I remember to include everyone’s favorites when planning, but I don’t forget to make something on the day of.
The Cooking Schedule page has, you guessed it, a cooking schedule! This is the most valuable page I have. It will list everything that needs to be prepared. Then has a time table to schedule everything out through the day. I use this for writing down when I want something to be done, when it needs to go in the oven (because only 1-2 things can go in the oven at one time- and that darn turkey takes so much of the oven’s availability), and what things I can multitask on (while the rolls are rising, I can prep the sweet potatoes).
Next I have a to do list. This can be things that need to be done on Thanksgiving day, but I like to use it as a general list of reminders for the party; like getting the decorations and good dishes out of storage.
I also love this categorized shopping list. Everything is broken down into sections so you don’t waste time in the store running back and forth between the produce, frozen foods, and spices. It saves so much times and helps to see everything that is needed in a way that makes sense. If you are visual like me, this is so important!!
And that concludes my Thanksgiving Planner. But there are more pages included in the bundle that I’m just not using this year, including a Sales Planner for Black Friday and Guest List.
Moving on to Christmas now. And I know it is early to talk about Christmas, but since I’m already starting to plan gifts, I needed to include this section so I could remember all the great ideas I’m having now (because 1-2 weeks before, I won’t be able to think of anything!)
The first page I have is the to do list. Again this is for things like decorating inside and out, deep cleaning, preparing for guests, and other random things to prepare for Christmas.
In my Christmas Planner section, I also included a notes page for random thoughts, and a general shopping list for things other than food related items, like new decorations.
I didn’t include a meal planner and cooking schedule in my Christmas section, because I probably won’t be planning it this year. But they are in the bundle along with many other pages, like greeting card planners and holiday traditions and activities you want to remember to do.
So the next page I did include are gift ideas and a gift planner. I love the gift ideas pages because I write down the name of everyone I need to get a present for, and then as I think of ideas for them, I have a place to write them down. The gift planner is after I have decided what I will get for each person, I write it down, if it has been purchased, how much it cost, and check when it is wrapped. This helps me to make sure that I don’t forget anyone, and that everything stays balanced and equal (especially important if you have kids!).
And that concludes my Holiday Planner Tour for this year. But now let’s talk about you.
Why you need a Holiday Planner
I know I’ve mentioned this already, but my Holiday Planner has been so important in helping me remember all the small details that I would have otherwise forgotten.
Even the smallest gathering still has the need to know what food you will be making, and what other people are bringing. Plus, remembering gifts for everyone can get confusing, and you wouldn’t want to leave anyone out!
Why Printable Planners are the best!
I love my printable planner. Printables are always the best way to go for Holiday Planners because everyone’s needs are different. Printables allow you to have the pages you need, and as many of them as you need (notice that I had two pages for gift ideas?) and none of the pages you don’t need. They are completely customizable to fit YOUR holiday! And not just what you want, but you can put them in an order that works for you! (More about how to do that in a minute)
Plus, you can use them year after year. You don’t need to buy a new planner each year, you can use the same file and just print what you need each time. How easy is that? You can even keep the same pages that you used last year if they are still applicable (like if you eat the same meal every year, and cook it the same way each time). If you had a printed Holiday Planner book, you would not only need to buy a new book each year, but you would need to rewrite the things that stay the same. And who really wants to rewrite their decoration inventory Every. Single. Year. I don’t know about you, but my decorations don’t change that much from year to year.
How to print what you need, in the order you need it
Both the Thanksgiving Planner and Christmas Planner are available in my shop, Hello Planners, in many different sizes for all your planner needs (Thanksgiving is currently in 7 different sizes. Christmas is in 3, but the other 4 sizes will be listed very soon!).
The Thanksgiving Planner is only $8 and the Christmas Planner is $10! And remember, you can use them year after year!
The benefit of having them in PDF is how easy it is to print. If you have a printer that can print double sided pages, that is even better.
If you are printing single sided, in the box where it shows the page range you will print, you can pick and choose pages with commas. Instead of printing “1-3”, you can print “1,5,7” and it will only print those three pages. Once they are all printed, you can just organize them in the order you need and put them into your planner.
If you can print double sided, I would do it one sheet of paper at a time (front and back). So you can choose pages “4,7”, select the double sided options (make sure it is flipped along the long edge), and it will print those two pages back to back.
I hope this helps with printing. And please leave a comment below with any questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer them. Sometimes I might not be able to help, just because each printer is different and it can be hard to know what to do if I can’t see it. But I will do my best.
I would love to know how you organize for the holidays! Have you used a Holiday Planner before? Which pages are your favorites?