This Christmas: lay back and relax, let your planner do the work for you!

print found here

Hello my darlings! It has been the longest time since I posted, and my hiatus has been abrupt and unannounced. I was so happy to see that many of you have begun to enjoy and frequent this blog, but as I hope you all know, sometimes life just happens and we need to deal with it. But I've never intended to stop posting, and the upcoming holiday season is as good of a time as any to get back on that bandwagon and cater some inspiration and a helping hand with your holiday planning. So, without further ado, here is the full, quick and easy holiday planning guide, bought to you by Black Forest Designs!

1. Christmas planning starts in November!
This is debatable, as some of us start even earlier, but in my experience waiting until November to start the holiday craziness is enough. Let's face it: those of us with kids have school starting season to deal with, then there's Halloween, and we still haven't switched from summer mode to full work-mode! So after Halloween, on one of those rainy fall afternoons, crack your planner out and figure out what you're going to give, buy, bake, decorate this Christmas season!

2. Figure out your sections
Those of us that use planner know our sections all too well. But for me, Christmas gets a whole new divider, that hides a couple of my holiday sections. I'll write them and what they contain as an example, but this will obviously be different, depending on your needs.

Christmas planning section:

- My Christmas wishlist (Check out my hand-illustrated inserts here!)
Pretty self explanatory. I put it in right after my Christmas dashboard, not because I'm selfish, but because I want to always check off the things that I've either gotten for myself or the ones I know I'm getting, so if anyone asks me for it I can send them the remaining items and not get 2 of one product :)

- Gift list (Check out my hand-illustrated inserts here!)
Complete with slots for the person's name, the item you're buying them, the store or website you're buying it off, price of the item and a checkbox for each. Start to think of items that person could use/enjoy, and write them down as ideas. It's also great to have this finished before black friday :)

- Christmas baking list
Still working on it, but I find that for me it's pretty self-explanatory: I just make sure to have sextions for the name of the dish, ingredients and where my recipe is (because I usually store recipes on a Pinterest board :)

- Christmas shopping list
I found myself asking: but what else do I need? I already have lists for myself and others, not to mention food. But I do have a couple of sheets, where I usually write the wrapping materials, Christmas decorations I want to get. I also love to craft and write my craft materials here (btw, I have gathered a pretty nice spread of Christmas craft ideas here)

- Christmas card list
This is really important to have ready and at hand as early as possible, so everyone on your list gets their Christmas greeting cards on time. Of course, if you do e-cards, you can just have a separate mailing list digitally, but I tend to hand illustrate unique cards for everyone, so this is probably the first thing I have to get out of the way every year :)

3. Have designated shopping days
Yes, I'm guilty, there have been years when I've done ALL of my Christmas shopping in one day, and I think it's safe to say that is not the way to go. If you want to skip the headache of waiting in long lines, tackling other buyers for the last set of Christmas lights and missing out on all the sales, plan it out! Here's my gameplan for this year:

- figure out the things I'm buying for everyone
(this can involve long hours spent browsing the internet, but it also makes for good ideas and finds, especially for that certain person in our lives that we all have, and for whom it always seems impossible to find a gift)

- wait until Black Friday and get most of the stuff on sale
(I know, Black Friday is also crazy, even in the online retail world, but most stores will have pre- and post- Black Friday sales as well, so get on it!)

- buy wrapping material, craft supplies and decorations

- plan out the cooking
(I usually get supplies that will not go bad in the near future as early as I can. For example, I make my gingerbread cookies at least 1 week before Christmas, put them in a shoebox with one halved apple, and they will be moist and tasty when I unpack them)
Image from Pinterest

- buy cooking/baking supplies at least 5 days before Christmas
(This way, you'll have 4 whole days to cook and bake, and the whole day to celebrate and relax:)

On and endnote I'd like to wish you all splendid holidays this year. Remember to take your time and enjoy it to the fullest, and don't worry if it doesn't go exactly as planned, life never really does, does it? But we'll be seeing more of each other, since I'm currently working on more Christmas planning supplies, greeting cards and prints that will be available in my store sooner that later. Don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list and never miss a post, freebie or new product from us!