This month I thought I would swap out my usual "Keepers at Home" heading for a cozy evening snap-shot of my holiday mantel all lit up. You might have noticed it in the back ground of many of my pictures this past month. I'm slowly adding turkeys to the autumn decor as a nod to Thanksgiving in a TWO short weeks.
Managing holidays is an exuberant affair for me. For as long as I can remember I have always loved to transition seasons and wrap myself up with gusto in each celebration as it came. I'm certain it was my mother's influence! She made every season sparkle. I feel like I honor her memory as decor dons every nook and cranny of my home and holiday place settings to accompany meals are plotted and planned from as early as I am able to start putting pen to paper!
It was in this process recently that I decided to work up some new printables based on my handwritten versions I have developed over the years. Something I could share with all of you. One already appeared in my monthly newsletter, which, by the way, if you sign up for NOW, I will send you a link to November's issue with not just a dinner organizational print-out but also a Thanksgiving Bible study! (Details are at the bottom of this article.)
I tend to cook and prepare all month long in order to make the day-of a little less chaotic. However, I don't just barrel into my need-tos. Nope, I make a list and get an action plan in motion.
disguise turkeys every year as a quirky craft/decoration. Above is my template I duplicated back when my oldest was in elementary school. With almost everyone adult age now, they STILL love the annual turkey disguise!)
|click on image for FREE download|
The top half with the partial November calendar is used to pencil in general ideas of what pre-prep items can be done those weeks and any major events which I don't want to forget to accommodate as I am working and planning.
I also have a menu line-up and grocery planning list I lead-out with so I know what I am cooking and prepping for all month!! A PDF of which is available in this month's November newsletter along with printable recipe cards which I will email to all new sign-ups until Thanksgiving Eve!
I believe a good plan in hand helps to save a lot of potential holiday chaos. Delegating and doing various tasks ahead of time can also help defray the frazzles!
The other pages in my binder were done by hand with colored pens and thanksgiving stickers. Once I achieved the design I liked I photo-copied with a color printer, keeping the original tucked at the back of it's corresponding section in my binder should I need additional sets down the road. If you are interested in making your own, here is what you would need:
- 1" 3-ring binder
- Tabbed dividers
- 3-hole punch
- Fall or Thanksgiving themed scrapbook paper to insert in binder cover
- Colored pens/markers of choice
- Fall or Thanksgiving stickers (scrapbook isle at craft store or card isle in other stores)
You may need scissors and/or a paper cutter if you need to cut your scrapbook paper down to fit the cover.
I label my tabs:
I use the "Memories" tab to record everyone's favorites from the year: old traditions, new traditions, craft/decorations, food, and favorite book (we had a TON of children's Thanksgiving picture books when my kids were growing up).
Under the Menus/Recipes tab I will keep the Menu Worksheet (FREE printable in my newsletter). At the end of the season I tuck each completed one along with any notes on recipes and magazine or internet recipes (printed off) we tried and/or might like to do again.
I keep all my old to-do lists under the Calendar/To-do list tab. It may seem irrelevant when the holiday is over, however, they help me remember what worked and what didn't. I also keep the printable in this article in this section.
My "notes to self" I actually store at the very front of all of this. Seeing them when I first open my binder for the year helps me recall to sit and read. (I can be seriously that forgetful!)
If you want to do a section for each month between September and November, the process is the same. I use sheet protectors with relevant scrapbook paper inserted at the beginning of each monthly section so the divides are clear. You could just make this for Thanksgiving though, which is what I have considered down-sizing my binder to since my kids are almost all grown and September/October hold much less planning need as a result.
I pray, however you choose to organize and celebrate Thanksgiving, that it is a blessed one and, regardless of your season of life, this season produces a multitude of gratitudes, even if only in the small things!
*Are you subscribed to my newsletter? You might want to be. Why? Well, the newsletter contains bonus material you won't find on the website... not to mention, in those busy months when I can't get regular blog articles up, you can count on this periodical popping up in your email in-box each last Thursday with all new content! What exactly does the newsletter contain?
- Encouraging articles on Faith, Home(making), and Homeschool
- Free printables under different themes each month
- Insider info on the latest goings-ons with all things on my blog and writing related