How To Make A Holiday Planner For A Stress Free Season
Are you ready for a stress free holiday? If so, one of the simplest places to start your preparations is to make a holiday planner.
Now, I'm not talking about anything too fancy here. Instead, this is the type of tool you create simply, and then build upon from season to season, and from year to year to come.
Purpose Of Using A Centralized Planner For Your Holiday Preparations
Next week we're going to begin the Stress Free Holidays Challenge for the year, slowly doing tasks little by little over the next 13 weeks to get us through the holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, so we can enjoy the experience instead of being stressed out.
The whole point of that process is to go about your preparations in a somewhat organized fashion. Creating this planner can help.
Your planner is where you can hold all your ideas, lists, schedules, calendars, recipes, and traditional activities that you and your family like to do each year.
The first year you'll take the most effort to build it, and then the years thereafter you'll tweak and update it, using it as a reference to help you remember what your family enjoys doing, and how you did it, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Plus, over time it also acts much like a living, breathing, scrapbook of past holiday memories that you add to each year.
(Have you joined the FREE Stress Free Holidays Challenge yet? If not, find out more, and sign up here.)
What You Need To Create Your Own Holiday Planner
You don't need lots of fancy equipment to make your own planner. Instead here's the items you'll need:
* Note - I'll be providing you with several printables throughout the Stress Free Holidays Challenge. You can see the ones I've already added to the site in the printables section or look below for links as well.
How To Make Your Holiday Planner
Making your holiday planner is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. I tend to suggest making it simple so it actually gets done! It doesn't have to be overly beautiful, just functional.
Basically, this week is the calm before the storm when it comes to getting ready for the holidays. Therefore, my suggestion is to just create the skeleton of your binder this week and over the course of the season you can add to it, as you do each week's challenge.
You can put together your binder with whatever categories you want, but here are some of the categories and/or sub-categories I suggest. You don't have to create each of these -- choose the ones that you enjoy or are important to you.
Potential Categories & Sub-Categories For The Holiday Binder
Below are the categories or subcategories I suggest you could put in your holiday binder. First, I've listed them, and then below that I've provided the free printables on this site that could be used for some of these categories.
These categories are, of course, just suggestions. If you don't, for example, care about Halloween recipes, don't make a tab for them! The point of this planner is to make you less stressed, not guilt you into doing things you don't want to do -- so trust your gut and don't go overboard because that will cause stress.
Available Free Holiday Printables You Can Use
Here are the free holiday printables available that you can use, from this site. When you click any of these links below you'll go to the page of the site which contains that printable, plus instructions and guidance for how to use it while doing your holiday preparations.
I've grouped the free printables specific to two of the biggest planning holidays here, starting with Thanksgiving:
And also Christmas:
What To Do The Rest Of This Week
Once you've gotten the structure of your Holiday Binder in place, pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Next week we'll actually begin the Stress Free Holidays Challenge, and that's when we'll begin the process of planning and preparing for each of these holidays in a relaxed and stress-free way.
Are you looking forward to it? I know I am?
Oh, and please tell me in the comments what additional ideas you have for more potential categories to add to your Holiday Planner, since I bet I missed some!
Bonus: Do You Need To Clean Up Your Home For The Holidays As Well?
Along with planning food, gifts, travel, and more for the upcoming holidays, you may need to also clean up your home to get ready for guests, parties, and hospitality.
Grab some or all of these cleaning checklists to help you get your home in order!
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