8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Plan your Holiday Calendar

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: How to Plan Your Holiday Calendar

There are so many fun things to do throughout the Christmas season.  Gingerbread house making, caroling, Christmas plays, cookie exchanges, dinner parties, Christmas light looking, craft making and even holiday movie watching. There is so much to do, there may not be enough time to do it all!

Why won’t you be able to do everything you want to do?  Well, because there’s grocery shopping, laundry, dinner making and everyday life stuff that still has to happen!

This is where planning comes in really handy.  After all, life is busy, and it’ll be hard to get the fun things on the schedule if you don’t plan ahead.

Here are the steps to take if you want to do a lot of fun holiday things this year:

Grab your Calendar

First of all, grab your calendar and mark down all the things you know will be happening regardless of the holidays.  Doctor’s appointments, school activities, office parties…etc.

Talk as a Family

Next, you’ll want to gather the family to discuss all the activities each of you want to do.  Sledding? Cookie decorating party? Christmas play watching?  Brainstorm to your heart’s content.  Make sure to write down all the Christmas movies you want to watch and even the crafts you want to do. (I have a cool Holiday Bucket List included in the Holiday Planner that’s available in the Simply Frugal store that should come in handy!)

Prioritize

Since there are likely more ideas than time, take a look over the calendar again and plan for the activities you can realistically accomplish.  Even with the regular everyday life stuff added in.

Back to the Budget

Before you get carried away with grandiose plans, go back to your budget.  What did you allot for fun?  The case may be that you’ll have to save some activities for future years.

Fill in your Calendar

Now fill in your calendar with all the activities that you can set in stone. Buy those concert tickets and finalize plans with friends, then put them on the calendar.  Make sure to allow for some quiet nights/days at home!

Holiday activities are supposed to be fun so don’t stress about doing everything.  Just make a point of doing the things you want to do instead of wishing they would happen. Planning in advance will make the season more relaxing.

I’d love to know, what’s one thing you’ll be adding to your calendar this year?

Sign up for the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas newsletter to receive a FREE Christmas Dinner Checklist!  This checklist is quite detailed and will help you remember all the details needed for a memory filled dinner with family and friends. You’ll also receive a weekly email with each week’s “task”.

Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Plan Your Gift List

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: How to Plan Your Gift List

Here we are, week two of the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series!  I hope you had time to do last week’s task: your Holiday Budget!

While I’m fairly certain that many of you are striving to live daily life more simply in terms of less stuff, less waste and less expenses, this series is focusing on simplifying the process of Christmas.  Focusing on the organization aspect so that you don’t give too much of yourself in terms of finances or time.

Christmas can become a nuisance rather than a joyful, meaningful time if we’re constantly feeling stressed. This goes to say, I think the best way to have a more organized, more peaceful Christmas is to do your holiday tasks a little at a time. Tasks on our holiday to-do list can easily morph from fun to miserable when we’re too busy or wandering without a plan.

This week’s task is to plan your gift list.

It’s definitely not too early to plan your gift giving, especially if you plan on making some homemade gifts. Since you’ve hopefully planned your holiday budget already, you should know exactly how much money you have for gifts.

This week you should:

  • Write down all the names of the people you have to purchase gifts for
  • Add gift ideas for each person

Take a look at this year’s Simply Frugal Holiday Gift Guides that are available!  I hope it will help you find a ton of great affordable gift ideas!

But for now, what’s the hardest part about gift giving for your family? What are your solutions?

Sign up for the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas newsletter to receive a FREE Christmas Dinner Checklist!  This checklist is quite detailed and will help you remember all the details needed for a memory filled dinner with family and friends. You’ll also receive a weekly email with each week’s “task”.

Not only do I want a more organized Christmas season of my own, I'm hoping I can help you as well! Introducing... the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series!

A Homemade Christmas Gift: No Sew Dish Towel Apron

Here's how to create a No Sew Dish Towel Apron that any chef would love to receive!

Today’s homemade gift idea can’t get much simpler. So, I happen to think it would make a perfect last-minute gift!  Simply head to your nearest dollar store, pick up a fancy dish towel and some ribbon and get started!

Here’s how to create a No Sew Dish Towel Apron that any chef would love to receive:

DIY No Sew Dish Towel Apron

Supplies needed:

Directions:

  1. Begin by folding your towel into the size of apron you want. You can fold it down to about 8 inches by 8 inches square for a child, or simply fold the towel in half for an adult. If you wish for a longer apron, manipulate the fabric to get the shape you wish. For the sample you see here, I folded the towel once in half, then folded each end in about 2 inches.
  2. Apply a strip of iron on fabric tape OR fabric adhesive to the inside of your folded seams. Press and iron the towel if needed. The idea is to use the tape or adhesive to secure the shape of the towel.
  3. Apply a length of adhesive tape or glue to the top of your towel. Press the length of ribbon into it. Press and iron if needed. The ribbon should now be adhered to the towel, leaving you two lengths on each side for tying.
  4. Once your adhesive is dry or ironed in place, your towel can be used. Simply use the excess ribbon as ties, tying them behind your back to hold the apron in place.no sew dish towel apron 2

Frugal Gift Ideas for Kids

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Frugal Gift Ideas for Kids of all ages! $30 or less!

Frugal Gift Ideas for Kids

Shopping for gifts for kids can be tricky. While there is no shortage of ideas out there, it can be tough finding quality, engaging toys. So my goal with this gift guide was to find ideas that inspire creativity, teaches a skill, is practical or gets them up and moving!

Gift Ideas for Toddlers

  1. Koala Capers Game – This looks like a simple but silly game for the whole family to enjoy!
  2. Chirp Magazine subscription – Offers pages of stories, puzzles, illustrations and colourful photographs produced by some of Canada’s most talented authors and artists.
  3. Wipe Clean Workbook – Both my daughters have loved these types of books!
  4. Shopping List Game – A favourite in our house!
  5. Kids Play Tent – Perfect for a quiet play space in a cozy corner.
  6. Water Doodle Mat – Time for some mess free fun with one of these mats!
  7. Carpet Playmat Rug – Popular with all kids. Hours of pretend play fun!
  8. Play Doh Noodle Makin Mania Set – You can’t go wrong with Play-Doh! This is one of those messy activities that I allow because of the depth of play.
  9. Assortment of Wild Animals – Still a favourite here, my youngest plays with animals all the time!
  10. Electric Toothbrush – Who says that the best gifts can’t be practical too?
  11. Earflap Hat – I love that these have a built in scarf!
  12. Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pads – A long time favourite in our house.
  13. VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox – This looks like a great toy for the kids who love to figure out how things work.
  14. Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard – Looks like an activity that could keep youngsters occupied for more than 3 minutes!

Gift Ideas for Kids (Age 5 – 12)

  1. Deluxe Art Set – The artist will love carrying this around everywhere they go!
  2. Unicorn 3D Night Light – This one is just a super cool idea.
  3. Lip Balm Making Kit – My daughter and I always enjoy doing kits like these together.
  4. Paint Your Own Figurines – I would have loved these when I was young!
  5. Charm Bracelet Making Kit – They will have fun creating bracelets that they can keep for themselves or give to a friend.
  6. Rainbow Loom – My daughter and her cousin had so much fun creating bracelets when they were together this summer.
  7. PBS Kids Do It Myself Cookbook – Perfect for a child wanting to learn how to cook!
  8. Kid Nylon Knife Set – I actually purchased my daughters a set of these because they like to help in the kitchen.
  9. Owl or Chickadee Magazine Subscription – Includes interactive stories, puzzles, comics, animal features, and science experiments educate and entertain readers.
  10. LED Bike Wheel Lights – These are just so cool! And provide extra visibility.
  11. Magnetic Dart Board Set – Hours of fun, in a safe way!
  12. Adventure Design Plate Rubbing Activity – These could be really great for road trips or airplane rides.
  13. LEGO Classic Brick Box – LEGO is always a fantastic option!
  14. Winter Hat – These are ridiculously cute and warm!

Gifts for the Techie

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Frugal Gift Ideas for the Techie - $30 or Less!

Gift Ideas for the Techie

Shopping for a gadget-obsessed friend or family member? Tech gifts are some of the most popular and sought-after gifts out there. However many electronic gifts come along with a big price tag. If you’ve written off any and all devices this year because of cost, you might want to think again after seeing these picks.

  1. Anker USB Car Charger – For the techie on the go.
  2. Wireless Bluetooth Headhones – These headphones have a high rating for comfort and sound quality.
  3. iPad Case – Another highly rated product at a great price!
  4. Lose Your WiFi Mug – It’s the true. It’s all fun and games…until you lose your WiFi signal.
  5. Wireless Smart Plugs – These smart outlet plugs work with the Echo, or with an app a smartphone!
  6. Phone Holder/Kickstand – Well these sure are neat! Use it to secure your grip when texting, taking photos and more. Also perfect for propping your device for watching videos.
  7. Wallet Phone Case – Protect the device and make it even more functional with pockets for ID and important cards.
  8. Bluetooth Headphone Toque – Keep warm while listening to your favourite tunes… without any wires in the way!
  9. I’m Thinking T-Shirt – Perfect for the techie with a sense of humor.