I've found a number of sites with advice, printables, and ways to help you plan for your special times with your family. A lot goes into Thanksgiving and Christmas, what with meal prep, gift lists, supply lists, pantry needs, events (plays, concerts, etc.), and even volunteer opps your family is interested in helping with. It's time to get out your notebook and pen, pack your printer with plenty of paper, and start planning.
The first site I have found to be helpful in times past is Flylady. Some people just adore Flylady, and others don't, but I have really found her methods to be helpful in my own life. Now, I don't use every single method, but I do use her basic weekly methods for planning out my housework. I have certain days I do certain things every week, and I even have her lists of overall top to bottom cleaning that I can choose from each week....it just helps me to think of more things that need tended to, rather than waiting to do it all at once with spring cleaning. Anyway, I'm getting off track. She not only has ways to organize your home life, but she has a host of Cruising Through the Holidays missions, printables, and advice. She even has made videos for this that you can get to from her site or on Youtube. The main thing that I want to put out there is her Holiday Control Journal, which is completely free and printable. With sections and lists galore, including topics such as planning out menus, traditions with your family, a baking ingredients shopping list, a holiday gift list organized into sections, etc., this journal is a gem to have; the best part is that it's free to download anytime. Kelly from Flylady will even send out daily Cruising missions to keep you on track, if you're signed up for Flylady's emails. The emails can take over your inbox, but you can set them to come in a daily digest.
List Plan It also has a free gift list that you can print out and use to help you organize all the people who are on your list to buy for. I know with our family being scattered and with multiple grandparents and parents, it is a must to organize our list, so that we don't miss anyone. List Plan It has a host of other holiday printables, but it does cost to get to the rest....this site is an organizer's dream come true, though.
Mommy Blessings has actually taken the time to post on how to make your own holiday planner. She not only takes you through the supplies you'll need, but she has free printables, as well, even including a mailing list for all those cards you have to send out. She also gives reference to other sites you might find helpful in your holiday organizing needs, such as Christmas Planner.
Organized Home is another awesome website that is filled to the brim with printable forms, recipes, ideas for gifts and crafts, etc. They actually have over 200 printable forms that are completely free and ready for use. They even have a blog that you can get ideas from. Their sister site actually has a very helpful article with tips on how to divide up your holiday planner, so you can make the best use of it.
I did not know that there was actually a book titled Simplify Your Holidays by Marcia Ramsland, the Organizing Pro. I found it as I was researching for this post, but she has several articles on her website that will help with gift giving, Thanksgiving, etc. I even found a video with her that will give you ideas for gift giving and organizing and even ways to keep Jesus at the forefront of your celebrations.
One more resource that will surely grab your attention and get you moving is a free holiday idea book put out by The Old Schoolhouse. It's their 175-page digital holiday supplement for Thanksgiving and Christmas. All you have to do is download, and it's yours!:)
It really is only 3 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving, and it's only 8 weeks until Christmas. Wow! As one friend put it, it's only 4 paychecks away. It's time to start planning and working out your schedule for Thanksgiving. Whether you are having people to your house, or you are preparing to go away from home, it will take time to figure out your menus and your packing lists. I hope that this post has given you some resources to help you get your holiday on....to get you up and running....Have a wonderful day!
Stay tuned next week for ideas on holiday traditions with your family.