As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, it is important to stay organized in order to keep things running smoothly, and to keep from becoming exhausted with all of the preparations that are needed. There are many Christmas organizing ideas out there, but for me they tend to be time consuming in themselves. I have put together a notebook of my own keeping in line with what I need to do to stay on top of things. My notebook basically revolves around all of the food that needs preparing. I don't include topics like decorating and gift buying because that just seems to happen on its own. For the past couple of years I have begun buying my Christmas cards in October and addressing the envelopes before Thanksgiving at a gradual pace, so that doesn't need to be included in my notebook. It just basically comes down to making up menus, creating grocery shopping lists, and scheduling out what to make when. I am a creature of habit, and make the same foods each year. After a few years of recreating everything, I decided to keep a record of the things we ate and things that I needed to buy. So my notebook is divided up into sections for different holidays throughout the year. I have the menu printed up on one page, followed by a page with my complete grocery list. I have absolutely everything I need on the grocery list just to make sure I don't inadvertently forget something like pepper. Before I go shopping I make a copy of the grocery list, cross off all of the things that I already have, and am ready to head to the store. This in itself saves so much time. After the grocery list page in the notebook, I have a page for each recipe that I will be preparing. Having the recipes all together in one place also saves time by not having to go search for specific recipes that you have no idea where you put them last year. Lastly, I have a page with the seven days prior to the specific holiday listed, and next to each of those days I have scheduled some sort of food preparation activity. Dividing up all of the tasks between the days prior to the holiday cuts down tremendously on last minute preparations. And that's my notebook. This saves me countless hours each year of trying to think what we should have, making up new shopping lists, and deciding what to make when. Just to make it fun, I have also typed up my recipes on cute paper and keep them in plastic sleeves so that the recipes don't get spilled on and torn. There are some spills though that just can't be avoided. I am actually in the process of putting my recipes in a new notebook, because a while back my daughter accidentally dropped an entire bottle of pancake syrup of which a good portion landed right on my notebook. The pages were so sticky, it was impossible to clean up. Thankfully though everything was stored on my computer so it is just a matter of printing them all out once again.