Home Organization

Getting Organized for the Holidays

Thanksgiving Table (1)The holidays are coming! Yes, I actually said that out loud. And I know that I am not the only one getting into the planning mode. Just simply walk into any store and you can see that the holidays are on the minds of many.

Even my children are already in the planning mode. It was at least two weeks ago that Olivia texted me asking me to organize a Secret Santa pick for the siblings. Last year they all bought small gifts for each other. This year they decided that that was too much and instead they all agreed that a Secret Santa was the way to go. At the dinner table with two of the kids as my witness, I wrote each name on a slip of paper, put the papers into a bucket, and pulled each one out writing a name on the outside – not looking at the inside. Once they were all picked, I verified that I did not have any one slip of paper with the same name on both the outside and inside. Lucky me, no doubles. I then texted each child the name of their sibling that they were now secret Santa for. Well with the exception of Sophia, our cell phoneless child. I simply showed her her slip of paper.

The kids have figured out how to cut down on holiday stress! Now it is my turn. I am a huge organizer – that is not to say the my house is always clean. It’s not. In fact when all the kids are home it often feels as though I am living in a flophouse. But I am the queen of lists! To help me stay sane during the coming months I am making my list of to-dos, and I spread them out.


For us the holidays bring children home, four birthdays (Sophia, Gavin, Dominick, and Robert), a large Christmas party, hosting family dinners, and my parents visiting from out of state. I have also just registered with Team in Training to raise money and train for a triathlon.  So I will be throwing in a few fundraisers into this crazy mix. I am very excited to have been selected to work with the team as a mentor this year.

Lavaman Finish Line

How am I going to survive all of this? I plan on thriving with a passel of patience and masses of merriment.  After all, the holidays are meant be enjoyed.

And the question remains:


With the help of my old and trusted holiday binder!

Getting Organized for the Holidays

First I make a list – This is kind of scary, but I list everything that needs to be done over the next two months and second I start filling out the calendar. I do keep this holiday and entertaining list separate from my work to-do list, my blogging list, and my training schedule or else I would be completely overwhelmed.

My List – a work in progress

  • Clean out the guest bedroom
  • Clean out the hall closet
  • Clean out the guest bathroom
  • Clean out the laundry room – It is my entertaining staging area
  • Clean out the linen closet
  • Set budget (gifts, entertaining, and decorations)
  • Start shopping for gifts
  • Plan and order Christmas cards
  • Organize wrapping center
  • Decorate House – Thanksgiving
  • Decorate house – Christmas
  • Get Christmas trees
  • Decorate Trees
  • Address and send cards
  • Send gifts
  • Plan food for Thanksgiving dinner – to take not hosting
  • Plan menu for Christmas Eve
  • Plan menu for Christmas Day (brunch and dinner)
  • Plan menu for Christmas Party
  • Send invites for Christmas party
  • Plan family movie night fundraiser
  • Assess lighting for the house
  • Design lighted backyard
  • Write Christmas letter

And then I print out my calendar and start filling in the little boxes! All of this gets organized into my Holiday Binder.The list is long, but honestly it is probably just the tip – I will be adding to it as things arise. Like our traditions. We have a few, and I will be sharing those with you soon.

Today’s job though is mostly done. I have made my list, printed my calendars, and now it is time to pour a cup of coffee and fill in the calendar boxes.Chunking it out into smaller bits is what helps keep me sane. I do not have a lot of time on any given day – so I can only handle a little bit at a time. Getting Organized for the Holidays


Here’s to a season of merriment!

(4) Comments

  1. Dawnell May says:

    I have my 2017 Holiday Binder all done. This is my 3rd year of keeping the binder & it is a great way to keep everything organized. Thank you Stacey for the idea. I LOVE it & I am all set for 2017 Holiday happenings.

    1. Stacey says:

      Dawnell, I’m so glad my binder idea has helped you! I just set mine up last week as well, and I am on my way getting it all together. We have a huge house full this year!

  2. This was fantastic Stace! It made he more excited for the holidays as I begin to think of the lists I have to make and the fun associated with each entry.

    1. Stacey says:

      Renie, I agree – planning is half the fun! We just set up our Secret Santas. The kids love this tradition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *