Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's The Christmas Countdown

I'm late. CEO of Organized Christmas has yet another countdown. "Christmas Countdown" started Sunday.  It's six weeks of pure fun.   To learn more click here.  For the past two months I have been following the Holiday Grand Plan which focuses more on house cleaning before the holidays.  Well my place is as ready as it's going to be.With Christmas Countdown, I forget about house cleaning (Well not really) and focus more on holiday prepping.

This week we Get Organized. If you haven't done so already it's time to make lists, think about holiday meals, schedule professional cleaning (if needed), and schedule family photos. It's also a week to think about Christmases past. What worked?  What didn't? Any changes you'd like to make for this year?

Have a holiday planner? If not, this is the time to get one started. CEO has created lots of forms that you can print and add to your planner. Need to decide on what the family is wearing for the photos for the Christmas cards, this wardrobe planner should come in handy.  Having a potluck dinner?  Use this form to keep track of what each person will be bringing.

I've been doing the countdown since 2006 (The year I found Organized Christmas) and let me tell you it has really helped me enjoy my holidays more.

Here's what my planner looks like. It's a three ring notebook with a clearview front.  I just inserted a piece of scrapbook paper for the background. Then printed and inserted the cover on top. The cover is the work of Ms. Melinda.  There are some ladies at MHH whose notebooks are much more creative than mine. I tell you, these ladies are talented. I just have a simple book cover. Heehee.

My notebook is divided into 10 sections:
  1. Activities.  Here is where I keep my calendars and the Christmas Countdown checklists.
  2. House Cleaning. In this section I have the Holiday Grand Plan or Houseworks Holiday Plan
  3. Crafts. In this section I keep a list of homemade gifts and decorations as well as ideas for future projects.
  4. Autumn. All about Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving
  5. Decorate. Decorating ideas, room by room planning, decor inventory.
  6. Gifts. Gift list, budget, shopping list,Gift closet inventory, stocking stuffer and gift basket ideas
  7. Foods/Recipes. Holiday menus, grocery lists, dessert recipes, pantry/freezer inventory
  8. Entertainment. Holiday party planning, holiday movie/music/book collection.
  9. Addresses. Names and addresses of folks I send Christmas cards to. Tracker form of cards sent/received.
  10. Debriefing. Summary of the holiday experience as well as making a few new year's resolutions.
I keep a sheet protector in the back of the book to hold receipts. Some members at MHH use large envelopes. It's really up to you. I also keep blank lined paper for writing notes and reminders and keep the previous years forms for comparising and for guidence for the next year.

Get Organized week is pretty much done.  Being a big Christmas fanatic, I spend time here and there throughout the year planning. 
  • All my lists are done (gift list, holiday menu, shopping list, address list, etc.).
  • No travel plans for me. I like to stay home during the holidays. Luckily for me the majority of my family live here in Maryland. 
  • No overnight guests visiting this year.
  • I have a steam cleaner my step-dad bought me a few Christmases ago so I clean my own carpet twice a year.  I plan to spot clean the main traffic areas such as the hallyway and the livingroom. I also clean my livingroom furniture twice a year. The furniture is in great shape and doesn't need cleaning right now.
  • No photo sessions to plan either.
Be sure to check out the weekly readings CEO has posted as part of the countdown. They are very inspirational and give great tips and advice.


Lila Jackson said...

This looks like lots of fun and exactly what I need to keep organized through-out the holiday season.

cynthia said...

Aggy, thank you so much for your kind post!

I love reading our Christmas Countdown success stories.

Cynthia Ewer, Editor
Organized Christmas

Leann said...

Good for you my friend! I've got my notebook going too!


Shakerwood Primitives said...

I've got my notebook finished.....I just have to remember to pull it off the shelf and open it once in a while!