In the first part of Creative Gift Giving I shared how I go about getting ideas for meaningful gifts. Today I want to share with you how I organize all these ideas!
This is my Holiday Notebook (I say holiday not Christmas because I use it for Thanksgiving as well). It's just a simple note book with dividers that I glued a pretty gift picture onto. You can be as fancy or as simple as you want.
(If you buy a notebook with out dividers I suggest adding simple tabs yourself). As you can see mine is pretty beat up. That's because this is the four year I have used it so it's been through quite a lot. I have mine divided into four Sections.
Each year I keep a list of the dishes I am assigned to bring to any Holiday meals and parties. A lot of times I also keep my holiday meal/party grocery shopping list in there. Each divider in my book has a pocket which I LOVE. In the Menu section I keep index cards with go to recipes I use at the Holidays. (Corn casserole, Green Bean Casserole, ect).
A LOT of information goes in this section of the journal. I use the pocket in the divider to keep track of receipts I have also added an envelop that I put any gift cards/coupons I plan on using while shopping.
In the gift section I make a list of every one I am planning on giving gifts to. This is every one from family members, friends, teachers. I also keep a separate list of who is getting Christmas cards, and who is getting baked goods as a gift.
This is when all the research we did in Part One comes into play. DI keep a running list in my head (and some times in another note book) of ideas I collect from the observing I've done. During the year if I see a great deal on something some one would love I will often buy it. This helps spread the cost of Christmas out as well as reduce the stress of last minute shopping. I have a special draw I stash all the stuff I buy through the year and I keep a running list. As the holidays approach I sit down and compare that list with my Gift Giving list. A lot of times I can cross off quite a few people before I even start officially "Christmas" shopping.
Once I have crossed off any one who is already done I brain storm ideas for the people left. My shopping list for things I plan on buying also goes in to the "Gift" section of the note book.
Because I make a lot of Christmas gifts the third section of my note book keeps track of any gifts I plan on making. From dolls to my daughters, to napkins for my mom, or towels for a friend all those projects get recorded as well as a craft/fabric shopping list.
My fourth section is a to bake section. I keep many of my favorite cookie/baked good recipes on index cards in this pocket as well as a list of anything I want to bake and who is getting baked goods as gifts. I've also collected fun ideas on how to package baked goods over the years and will often add a picture or jot down an idea in this section.
The last section of the note book is where I keep track of gifts we are given during the season so I can be sure to write out thank you notes. Some times I keep thank you cards in the fold so as soon as I get a gift I can jot down a quick note to be mailed in January.
You can organize yours however works best but it really does help. You can either use just a blanket note book or a fun holiday one. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
These fun notebooks are available at ChloesCards.
These two can be found over at Kimberly's Craft Corner.
And this pretty little organizer can be purchased from Crafting To Stay Sane.
(All pictures were used with the consent of the etsy sellers.)