Tuesday, 21 January 2014


2013 was my last year for being stressed out at Christmas. That's my resolution and I know how to do it - I just can't believe I haven't done it before. 

I've simply put in place the same plan I used when I had to organize an event for the Charity I managed. For every new event I would set up a manual where I kept track of every task, including the timeline. From that I made up a checklist to use for future events and once that was in place organizing the event became pretty routine and stress-free. 
When: Friday, December 26, 2014 (Boxing Day)
Oct. 12/14
Update children’s sizes and interests at Thanksgiving get-together
Keep list of gift recipients (with info) on back of shopping binder
Start watching for sales and/or 'spend your points' days.
Nov. 1/14
Check Christmas decorations on hand
Remember candles (kind, size and shape) 
Make list of new items needed.
Add list to back of shopping binder.
Start watching for sales and/or 'spend your points' days.

We only buy gifts for the grandchildren and as they’re all under 14 it means their sizes and interests are constantly changing. I'll start taking advantage of our Thanksgiving get-together to update their information which can then be added to my shopping binder. 

The finished manual contains:
1.     A page for each family where I keep all their current information - address, phone/email/and children's info.
2.     A page for Christmas decorations, cards, gift wrap and other supplies - what I have on hand and what I will need.
3.     The Christmas card list - recipients address and mailing dates, starting with out-of- country, then out-of-province, and then the rest.
4.     The menu, plus a page for each recipe and separating those into (1) Make-ahead and (2) Make-day-of. 
5.     A page for recipe ingredients - what to buy or what to get from the pantry.

No more last minute scrambling to find things - everything is now in one place. Knowing what to do and when will keep me on track and stress-free. Knowing ahead of time what's needed will give me time to buy on sale, so I'll save a bundle. 

Last year I waited until the last minute to buy gifts because I wanted to use my Shopper's points and expected the increased point value of previous years (which never happened). I'm actually OK with that because now I can start shopping at earlier "spend your points" days - I love those - last Christmas I bought more than $500.00 worth of gifts and food for points and $30.00 in cash. 

I will be keeping this manual on my desk where it will always be handy, since I know I will be tweaking it from time to time plus adding items, such as interesting looking recipes or decorating ideas. 

Next Christmas I will, for the first time ever, be calm and relaxed all through the holidays. 

Last week I had included a place to subscribe by email - that has been removed since I didn't like the way it worked. I'll keep trying to make it better.
Anyone wanting to be added to my mailing list, can just email me at:

Talk to you again next week,


  1. I bought a Christmas organizer by Emilie Barnes many years ago and have never used it. I liked the idea of it, it seemed simple enough. Last year when I bought my new calendar, I wrote "get out organizer" in the notes section of month of October. Because of that book, I managed to get my Christmas cards out in time this year, but that's about it.
    LOL! I won't give up. Again next year, I'll pull the book out and try again.

    1. The secret is to keep the manual handy so you can update it whenever you think of something. Its interesting that you could buy one - here I thought I had an original idea.


I want this blog to be interesting, informative and current. Your comments let me know if I'm on track, so comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Lenie