Have the holidays snuck up on you again this year? It always seems as though there’s so much time to get everything finished, and before you know it, time is up!
Holiday planning does not have to be stressful or difficult though, it just takes a little extra time and organization in the beginning to make the process easier in the long run. The best way to get things organized is by making a holiday planner. We’ve put together some instructions and FREE templates to help you get started!
Step 1 – Select the Right Binder & Accessories
If you know your planner will be stuffed with everything from recipes to gift ideas, be sure to choose a binder large enough to meet your needs. Generally, a 1” binder is large enough, and we recommend the Wilson Jones® Heavy Duty Round Ring View Binder. It allows you to customize your cover, has two interior pockets for extra paper and is sturdy enough to withstand all of the holiday chaos. Also, don’t forget to add a set of dividers like the Wilson Jones® View-Tab® Extra Wide Transparent Dividers. They are easily customizable with the ability to print your topics on a sheet of paper, and are wide enough to use with sheet protectors and laminated pages.
** Cover Page Template HERE **
Step 2 – Create a Calendar
Experiencing a successful holiday season is largely based on setting deadlines. Sit down for a few minutes and write out tasks such as purchasing gifts, cooking meals and sending out holiday cards. Try to use a method that works best for you. We like to color code tasks or use sticky notes as reminders, they help planning run smoothly.
** Calendar Template HERE **
Step 3 – Organize Your Gift Guide
Gift guides can be a great tool for remembering small details during a time of craziness. Figuring out your gift list, budget and the date you want gifts to be purchased by helps you reduce the guesswork and unnecessary spending. Also, try writing your holiday card list in this section of your binder and check each person off the list as their card is sent out.
** Gift Guide Template HERE **
Step 4 – Plan Your Holiday Meals
A lot of holiday stress comes from the meals that need to be prepared. Wondering who will be making what, the ingredients that need to be purchased and if the recipe will turn out right is enough to make your head spin. By utilizing a system that lays out all of these worries, you can avoid a lot of the hassle. Follow our template and watch as your stress level falls and your preparations seem simpler. If a recipe proves a success, run it through the Swingline™ GBC® Fusion™ 3100L 12″ Laminator for easy access from one holiday to the next.
** Meal Guide Template HERE **
Step 5 – Leave Room for Crafts and Holiday Cards
Tis’ the season to cut out intricate snowflakes, use paper bags to create a talking Santa Claus and prepare for the mounds of holiday crafts your kids will make at school. These creations are worth preserving, so laminate them in Swingline™ GBC® EZUse™ Thermal Laminating Pouches (can be used with any Swingline™ GBC ® Fusion ™ laminator) to ensure they will hold up to all the wear and tear. You can also laminate all of the beautiful holiday cards you receive and create year to year.
Ultimately, holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not stressed over. With this planner binder, we hope it helps things run smoothly and efficiently. While you’re still in the Holiday spirit, head on over to our facebook page and enter our holiday sweeps!
Wishing you a great holiday season from the Swingline & Wilson Jones Teams!