I am feeling a tad discombobulated. Everything is seeming to take more effort than it should; I feel as if I am swimming upstream. And it is in times like these that I am pleased that I have done some advance planning. This planning ensures that the most important holiday traditions will actually happen regardless of how I am feeling.
This year I made a holiday organizational binder from materials I had around the house.
I had purchased this really cute polka dot binder a couple of years ago thinking that I would use it as a cookbook but it proved to be the perfect base for this project.
I then used scrapbook paper to make dividers for five individual sections.
And I used vintage Christmas postcards and tags as accent pieces.
The five sections of the binder are Stir Up Sunday, Advent, Christmas Gifts, Christmas Food, and The 12 Days of Christmas.
The Stir Up Sunday section contains recipes for the hot chocolate mix that we always stir up on this day. It also contains recipes for cookies I had hoped to mix up.
The second section is for Advent. It contains a calendar of activities that I hope to complete in the twenty-four days leading up to Christmas.
There are also to-do lists, menus, and shopping lists for those activities.
For instance, for Saint Nicholas Day, I included my sugar cookie and speculatius recipes, historical information on Saint Nicholas, the craft activity that turns a simple chocolate Santa into Saint Nicholas, and a shopping list that reminded me that I needed gold coins and oranges.
The Christmas Gift section simply lists what I have for everyone and what I still need to get.
The Christmas Food section is much like my Thanksgiving folder, it contains menus, recipes, shopping lists, and timetables for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meal preparation.
The final section is for the 12 Days of Christmas. It is similar to the Advent section in that it has a calendar of activities for those days (i.e. the Feast of St. John is on December 27, Bishop's birthday is on January 5, and we will recognize Epiphany on January 6) and will contain related ideas for making each of those days special.
I am really pleased with how my binder turned out.
This method of organization really does help inspire and motivate me. It really helps me prioritize and make meaningful choices during this time.
And it makes it easier for me to complete those things that are the most important to me and my family.
Even as I am writing about it I am finding that my mind is clearing up just a bit and I can feel a bit more motivation stirring within me.
It's a good thing!