I shared, many moons ago, my method for dealing with the holiday season on my old Lazy Lady blog. I even started offering it as a free download after some folks showed an interest in my organized approach to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Yule. Well, I love using my Holiday Planner each year, and updating it, so why shouldn't I continue to offer it to all of you?
In this planner you will find a schedule of when to do things to best make your life easier during this holiday season, broken down for week-to-week planning. I've left space for you to add your own notes or tasks for each week (in my personal one, I have my brother and mothers' birthdays, as they all happen during this time, too). This will take you through preparing for Halloween through New Year's Eve.
Next, you will find a section to jot down gift ideas as you have them in the coming months. I have a section for co-workers, friends, "emergency" gifts – gifts you can have on hand, like candles or baked goods, for those times when someone gives you something and you don't have anything for them – and "Kringle" gifts, which is what we call "Secret Santa", if that's something you do. There is also a full page dedicated to family gift ideas.
I have a section called "Likes & Sizes" that I use for my family gift ideas. It's helpful to keep track of clothing sizes and general likes, even for Mr. LL and myself, in case a family member asks me what size of something Mr. LL wears so they can buy him a gift.
Then, you will find a place to keep track of all the people, and their addresses, that you want to send Yule greetings to this year. I've also added to the 2015 planner and little gift check box to these pages, to help you remember who is getting a gift mailed along with their card.
I pride myself on being a thoughtful gift giver (not always timely, but I do put a lot of thought into my gift choices), but I also recognize the need to be thrifty with my gift budget. I work in a decent sized office, and sometimes, I get gifts that aren't quite me. They go into my "Gift Closet" (or box, or bag, or whatever) so I can regift them later. Sometimes, the items in my Gift Closet aren't regifts at all, but items I bought or received in bulk that I thought would make great little additions to bigger gifts (back in my beauty box subscription days, there were quite a few travel sized, high end beauty products that went into my GC, keeping in mind the expiration dates on them, of course).
If you are like me, you have an unhealthy addiction to holiday wrapping paraphernalia. In order to keep myself from buying a bunch of wrapping that I don't need, I have a gift wrapping inventory in my planner. It tells me if I need to get tissue paper, ribbons, tape, etc. or if I have plenty of everything, so I should save my pennies.
Baked goods has been my go-to gift for co-workers for years now. It's hard to go wrong with a batch of delicious cookies or home-made candies. That's why there is a page in the planner dedicated to planning out my baking. I try not to buy all my ingredients at once, and totally blow my grocery budget, so I take note of the recipes I'll be making and see what I can get on sale and will keep till I'm ready to bake.
I'm also a big advocate for DIYing gifts. I'll make jewelry, art work, and even my own wrapping materials sometimes, so having a page to keep track of all the projects I want to get done is a huge help.
Every year, I try my best to get as many of my gifts from local shops as possible, but sometimes you just have to order online. So, in the Holiday Planner, you will find a page that will help you keep track of all these orders and when you can expect to receive them in the mail (to keep sneaky husbands from peeking ¬.¬).
And finally, if you are of the old school variety – or maybe it's a Southern thing – and like to send out Thank You cards to friends and family who sent/gave you presents, there is a page in here to help you stay on top of that task, too.
I hope you will download this freebie and get great use out of it! Let me know if there are any other downloadable freebies you'd like to see on Lazy Lady in the future!