Fully Enjoying the Season – Day 22 – My Holiday Organizer

Week Four – Christmas Bliss

Day 22 Tammara’s Holiday Organizer

I’m going to preface this entry with a few points:

1. It’s going to be long. But not wordy or emotional, it’s just a giant list.

I FIND MANY PEOPLE SKIP THIS STEP AND END UP STRESSED THROUGH TO THE NEW YEAR. Please don’t skip it…and the sooner you start, the better. Your MIND and SCHEDULE will thank you, maybe even your family.

2. I do not do everything on the list every year. I modify the list in October (nice timing) each year for our family.

3. Based on yesterdays post, you know how I prioritize.

4. I try to combine chores with fun occasions, ie. decorating parties, shopping trips with friends (and lunch); play dates become Carolling or visiting shut ins, etc.

5. I have not completely updated my list for 2011 but I am posting it anyways for times sake. Because we’re home schooling, I’d like to add some elements to the advent aspects and creative or social things that we do during the day. I like this list because it tells me what to do – I don’t have to fill in everything. Just modify.

6. I print this off every year and stick into a binder that I leave on the counter under my daytimer.

I look at it everyday. I like to be able to touch it, and smell the stains of food spilled on it from years past. But you could also just have this list in your phone.

2 years ago I bought this book on clearance and now it is my Christmas binder.
It is a great resource. But I still use my own personally tailored list. I find it’s the easiest to maintain – modify and print. But if you like going for a more personal or crafty look – here’s some cool ideas I don’t use…

Tammara’s Holiday Plan for Keeping the Holidays Stress Free 2011

“For about 45 days a year our culture confronts Jesus. You may accept Him or reject Him, but you can’t ignore Him because He’s everywhere.” E. Barnes

Week One: Nov. 1-7 *I always start this the day after Halloween.

q Gather up the Fall/Harvest Décor, books, etc in stages and return to storage.

q Pull out the Christmas Décor boxes and prep an area to lay things out.

q Review Family Portraits. If you haven’t already. (I book these in Sept. each year)

q Pull out your Christmas books, recordings, CD’s, videos… Anything new to add?

Ie. 2007*Harry for the Holidays

q Pick a decorating theme. Ie. Red & Silver, Classic, Country, Rustic, Victorian,

This Year’s Theme:

q Make a decorating schedule for your home. List the areas to be decorated and what you’ll do there.

q Put together a list for outdoor decorating.

Ie. Giant Wreath needs an overhaul. In 2007 we used LED lights on the wreath and also had them in the urn which I did up with the red dogwood branches and fresh cuttings from outside, we used no other lights outside and it was enough. *we’d just had baby #3 afterall.

q Do an inventory of your decorations. (Leaving out pieces that don’t work with this year’s theme.)*I bought extra boughs on clearance to add into the tree on main floor to “fill it out”

q Pull out your recipe books and note favorites to bake, and new recipes to try.



q Book your baking day(s).

q Set a date for a Christmas Cookie Exchange, or bake off. Or both.



q Make a list of new decorations you’ll need and shop for them.

q Shop for gift-wrapping supplies.

o Choose items like tissue paper that can be used year round.

o Purchase three colours that complement your theme

o Splurge on ribbons, artificial berries, greenery, etc.

q Order/ Plan floral arrangements if you do this. (Aunt Fern)

q Start a holiday calendar – which dates are booked. Are gifts needed? Meals for potlucks, etc. Dress for these events, who is attending – spouse, kids, family. Note other dates – birthdays, etc. that take place during the season.

q Set Up a Christmas Card Writing Station (Scrapbooking Room?)

Stamps, coloured pens, labels, address books, stickers/ seals, etc.

q Pull out your Christmas Memory Book

q Plan some meals to make ahead and freeze soups, casseroles

q Start Planning your family Advent Celebrations.

Week Two: Nov. 8-14

q Draft a Newsletter.

q Update your Christmas card – address list.

o Make labels

o Return address labels. Use a nice font and plain labels.

q Order/ Buy your Christmas cards.

q Buy postage for the cards & Supplies for sending Packages


q Send overseas items.

q Finalize your gift list and hit the shops. Get as many of them as you can early in the season.

q Are you going to give Christmas Baskets – make a list of what you’d like to put in them and begin collecting. Don’t forget the basket, cellophane and ribbon to. Make a list of who you are sending them to.– didn’t do this in 2009

q Create your Gift Wishlist and send to grandparents. (our appreciate this and then we don’t get gifts that we regret receiving)

q Decorating on your own?

o Set aside an area where you can bring out everything.

o Decide which area you’ll decorate first. See list.

o Bring the appropriate decorations to that area.

o Complete one area at a time.

q Bring out the tree the day you plan to decorate it. It’s a good idea to have a traditional date to trim the tree. Make it a family affair.

q Take Out Christmas Dishes.

q Make a list of Special Holiday foods to purchase.

q Make some extra easy meals and freeze

Week Three: Nov. 15-21

q Test and put up interior and exterior Christmas lights.

q Assess what special linens, napkins, serving pieces, etc. you’ll need.

Bought new gold runner; tablecloth; new red placemats & Cloth Napkins.

q Purchase supplies for baking nights.

q Plan your holiday menus. (List Meals)

Carter’s 3rd Birthday

Nov. 28th After Church 2 Soups; Shrimp Tray; Veggie Tray; Fruit Tray; Cheese Ball and Crackers; Assorted Buns; Cake from Costco

Cookie Exchange

Dec. 5th – Andrea’s House

Mom’s Family Christmas

Tea in Christmas Cups

Christmas Eve (Dec. 24th)

Dinner (5pm) French Onion Soup w/ Cheese & Toast; Garden Salad

After Evening Service (7pm) Mulled Apple Cider; Christmas Tea; Cheese Tray – Brie w/ Jelly, Grapes, Nuts, Dried Figs “Loukoumades”

Christmas Brunch

Eggnog w Rum; Coffee; Sparkling OJ; Christmas Morning Muffins; Make Ahead Cinnamon French Toast; Quiche; Sauted Peppers & Onions; Sausage Links & Bacon; Fresh Fruit Salad

Christmas Dinner (Dec. 25th)

Wine: Christmas Punch: ­

Beef Wellington; Turkey; Mashed Potatoes; Sweet Potato Casserole; Fresh Bread; Holiday Broccoli & cauliflower; Christmas Pudding w/ Cream; Pumpkin Pie w Cream

Max’s Birthday Dinner (Dec. 27th)

New Years Eve – Good Riddance Greek Dinner

Pita Bread with Olive Oil Dipper; Tiropitas; Horiatiki Salad; Roasted Lamb; Grilled Chicken; Roasted Potatoes w Rosemary; Baklava

New Years Day Brunch/ Dinner

Pancakes; Eggs & Bacon; Fruit Cups Heinekin Ham; Mashed Potatoes; Vegetable Medley

q Plan your holiday agendas (Special Days)

q Participate in Baking Night and/or Exchange.

Week Four: Nov. 22-28

q Write out your Christmas cards.

q Finalize newsletter.

q Plan out a couple of “holiday outfits”.

o Purchase extra nylons

o Make up

o Hair supplies

q Purchase extra film for your camera to capture the moments.

q Get a Pedicure & Massage.

q Book a Hair Appointment.

Week Five: Nov. 29-Dec. 5

q Put up exterior decorations like wreaths, garlands and swags.

q Mail Christmas Cards.

q Take out China, Silver, Crystal Dishes and Serving Pieces.

o Clean if necessary.

q Polish silverware if necessary.

q Clean Glassware if necessary.

q Collect Greens to make arrangements around house

q Make Fresh Arrangements

Week Six: Dec. 6-12

q Maintain a tidy house. Devise a system for clutter.

q Dec. 6 – St. Nicholas Day

o Saint Nicolas/ Gift Give-away.

q Niagara-on-the-Lake Santa Claus Parade – Dec.10th – 11am

q People to Visit This Month

q If you are having a Christmas Eve Potluck or Buffet, review your menu. After the evening service, you can spread the buffet out near the tree. Have a sing-along, read the Bible and have communion.

q The Christmas Day Breakfast/Brunch menu should be checked. Make sure pantry is stocked.

q Plan your table settings and centerpiece.

Week Seven: Dec. 13-19

q Wrap all gifts over a few nights.

q Visiting

q Save invites to parties until you’ve sent a thankyou. Stock up on hostess gifts.

q Check your holiday calendar include church services, etc.

q Make a list of holiday calls you intend to make. Update phone #s.

q Pick up floral arrangements, if you ordered them.

o If making your own, buy the flowers and supplies now.

Christmas Week: Dec.20-26

q Go over the menus and supplies one more time. Do you last minute shop.

q Keep routines normal for the boys. Schedule special times alone with them.

q Place the wrapped gifts under the tree if you haven’t yet.

q Keep your list of rec’d gifts updated.

Dec. 21

q Check your stocking stuffer items. Draw names for stockings.

q Add fresh greenery to indoor decorations

o (turn down thermostat at night to keep it fresher, longer)

Dec. 23

q Set your holiday table one or two days before the meal if possible. Enjoy!


Dec. 24

q Read Luke 2 by Candle Light.

q Christmas Eve Service – 6 pm


Dec. 25

qFamily Time; Gift Exchange; Meals; Etc.

Dec. 26

q Boxing Day Thank You Card Activity

q Shop for clearance items – Christmas decorations, etc.

New Years Week: Dec.27-Jan.2



Dec. 30


q Set your holiday table one or two days before the meal if possible. Enjoy!

Dec. 31


q NYEve Greek Night

January 1


q New Year’s Dinner

January 2


q Holiday Clean Up Plan

In the next few posts I’ll be sharing other tips I use to create and maintain Holiday Bliss in our home but what I shared today is where it all begins to get sorted. PS – don’t you love the quote by Emilie Barnes at the top of it. I love her and read her stuff to get the much needed inspiration and heart focus for enjoying this season fully.

Much Happiness!


One thought on “Fully Enjoying the Season – Day 22 – My Holiday Organizer

  1. Krisjana says:

    Wow! What a fantastically detailed list. I look forward to reading it again and starting my own list soon. I must admit though, I was saying to myself that the list seemed long when suddenly it said “week 2”! lol.

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