My Christmas Planner – A Tutorial

Christmas 2011

 There are only 10 weeks until Christmas!!! Woohooo!

Last year, after reading the ebook “Untangling Christmas” by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice, I decided to make my own Christmas Planner! I LOVE having everything I need all in one place on the shelf!

My planner holds my to-do list, baking list, gift list, decorating list and thank you list along with my Christmas card addresses, recipes, traditions and receipts from purchases – all in ONE place! Not only do I feel organized for this holiday season but every Christmas season I can pop open my planner and reuse everything I have created from years past!

Here’s how it works (and some things I added that weren’t mentioned above)!

(If you can’t view this video click here)

Visit this week where she is giving away copies of this ebook all week long along with some other fun things like a retro apron, holiday cards, and Bath & Body Works lotions!

Chime In: 

I can’t WAIT to start playing my Christmas music. When do you start playing Christmas music? I usually start it on November 1st so I’m just 15 days away! Do you have any tips on how to stay organized?

Walk with the King,


  1. I LOVE this idea!!!! I love making notebooks of things, lists, packets, etc…lol..this is such a cool idea! Thanks for sharing & doing a video 🙂

  2. I love Christmas music so much I play it year round. Years ago I got a very strange look from a construction flagger in the middle of summer when I had my window down in my car and my Christmas music full blast with the kids and I singing. I have been thinking about Christmas but havent started much planning but only 10 weeks….yikes… I better get started. We like doing homemade gifts and this year they will have to be mailed…double yikes….thank you for your ideas. love your site

  3. Awesome idea, I must create one. Every year, I have trouble finding receipts, recorded, and thank you cards. Thank you!

  4. I would LOVE to have a stress free holiday season!!! Thank you so much for passing along this great idea. I already have a HMB, so this is right up my alley!!

  5. Oh that is great! Courtney would you consider sharing your Christmas music preferences? I would love some inspiration as I must confess I dont have any and have been considering purchasing some this year.
    Thanks for another inspiring video and happy countdown to Christmas everyone.

    1. Judy, my new favorite is “Joy – An Irish Christmas” from Keith and Kristyn Getty ~ love all their CD’s!

  6. That’s great Courtney! I can’t give any tips on how to stay organised at Christmas, it always comes together in the end but it is a super hectic time!! I guess a couple of things I try to do is make sure my gifts are always wrapped by mid December, all gifts are bought before the end of November that way I am free to turn my attention to baking and hospitality. As far as when do we start playing Christmas music? Ahem…. It’s already started!!! I begin lighting spiced (Yankee ) candles in November, I guess that is another family cue that Christmas is coming! Lol. Can I just recommend a book for Advent? Bartholomew’s Passage is a great family read aloud book, oh and we always read Johnathan Toomey, a family tradition. Bless you sister.
    Julie in Scotland.

  7. Thanks Courtney! I love the organizer! I usually start listening to Christmas music in October. But for some reason I couldn’t wait this year so I started in September! I start with BeBe & CeCe Winans’ “First Christmas”. Then it’s a huge variety that includes classical, traditional, you name it. Love it!

  8. Love the idea of an organizer! I’m a traditionalist, no matter how much I want to break out the music and decor I don’t allow myself to do it until the day after Thanksgiving! And I LOVE Christmas music.

  9. In June, I make a list of all of the people that our family gives gifts too such as teachers, church staff, family, friends, etc. In July, when they have sidewalk sales at stores, I take my list and get much of my shopping done for 70% off. During this month, I organize it and wrap so as we get closer to Christmas I can put my focus and energies on the Truth of Christmas.
    Love your blog, Courtney. You bless me daily!

  10. I am right now listening to Christmas Gaither Vocal Band Style on my laptop so I would say for me it is never too early 🙂

  11. Yes, yes, yes, to peace-filled weeks before Christmas! The candles will probably go in the windows by the end of October. Music … probably around Thanksgiving. And last year, I started shopping on Halloween … here’s my adventure that day, the 4 things I want when it comes to Christmas shopping, and the top 10 shopping mistakes that are so easy to fall into …


  12. This is a fantastic idea, especially because I LOVE anything that keeps me organized! I’m definitely going to do this. OH, and as for Christmas music, I have a confession – I’ve been listening to it for about 2 weeks already! Christmas music is my absolute favorite and I love everything the holiday season brings. It puts me a in a great mood, so I figure, why not listen to it early!!

  13. Ack! Only 10 weeks til Christmas??? That’s so soon! And I have a baby due the week after – I have so much to do! You know what is crazy??? I love Christmas music. But, only when we sing it at church. I can’t stand listening to it on the radio or on CD. Isn’t that crazy?? I used to be the same way with worship music. LOVED it at church. Had no desire to listen to it elsewhere. Well, that’s changed. Now I listen to it whenever I get the chance. Maybe I’ll grow to love Christmas music outside my church walls too….

  14. Great Organizational idea! Thank you for sharing. As for when I, personally start listening to Christmas music – typically November is my starting point but it’s not uncommon for me to play a little bit through October as well. Love this time of year!

    1. This is a great idea!! What about adding a section in the back titled “photos”. It would be great to see how everyone changes each year as the Christmas binder is pulled out 🙂

  15. THIS was WEEEELLLLLLLL worth the 4 minutes to watch! Truly LOVE this as a “organizer” this looks fantastic. I also LOVE your enthusiasm and excitement in sharing this….I can’t wait to make mine. Thanks for your heart to share! :)) Let the festivities begin….Fondly, Alaina 🙂

  16. This sounds like the kind of thing I did with everything when we had 2 kids, and even 4, and still with 6. But for the past 8 years with 8 kids, home schooling, work for church, etc., I haven’t found time to maintain all the files, etc. So I use one notepad that goes with me everywhere; shopping gets finished on the 24th, and the controlled chaos is part of the treasured traditions for our family! Organization is so much a part of who I am that I know I’ll get back to it as the kids move on (3 in/thru college, 1st one married this summer!). For now I need to be more flexible.

  17. I love this time of year…it is definitely getting closer to putting on Christmas music. This reminds me to get my Christmas planner out again and finish updating it. Can’t to play that music.

  18. Wow! What a great idea! Why didn’t I think of it? It just would have made life so much easier but now that I know, I am so excited to get it together!! Thanks so much for sharing it – I so love your blog!!

  19. Great idea! I don’t know how long it would take me to get organized though!!! Here in the Philippines Christmas carols starts playing on TV and the malls in September!!! Really absurd! Patsy from HeARTworks

  20. This is such a great idea! I do something very similar that I worked out years ago and added along new things as years have gone by. I also have a Christmas memory book – I need to make copies for all my kids – who are now grown but I write down each year what we do – and add fun things like visiting Santa, touring parts of town to see Christmas lights, going to Christmas concerts – Christmas parties… and I add photos to the memory book – so definitely need to make copies for all the kids. I keep the memory book going for my hubby and me and now add things we do with the grand kids. This year I’ll take my granddaughter and her mom to see Beauty and the Beast and they’ll do the 1880 Christmas Train Ride — a gift from us.

    As for Christmas music – I’ve started! I live in the mountains and we’ve had a bit of snow so the first snow is my cue – but I admit to watching Christmas movies throughout the year – I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I’ll be setting up my Christmas Village this week – it takes several days – and I leave it up through March usually – as long as the snow is falling here which can be through May – but St. Pat’s Day is my official starting to pack it away day. This is the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

  21. I try to keep the holidays in the proper order, so therefore we try not to listen to Christmas music or have decoration up until the weekend after Thanksgiving and the first few days of Hunting season, I get to decorate. The Christmas music that we do listen to right now is for the Christmas Play at our church. I haven’t made a Christmas planner, but have made the family planner that Karen suggested in one of her books

  22. What a great idea! I’m going to buy the “Untangling Christmas” ebook and start a Thanksgiving/Christmas planner. It will be great to have everything in one spot that I can reference and make notes about what did and didn’t work.

    I love your blog! Thanks for encouraging all of us in our faith! I pray that you and your family have a very blessed Christmas!

  23. This is very cute if I were into Christmas. Wow – how much do you spend every year for the Holiday Season? My eyes were popping out of my head! 🙂 But, if you saw my budget for things high on my list – your eyes would pop out, so to each his own. Very cute idea!

  24. I’m taking this idea and creating a Holiday binder. I have sections for a Thanksgiving menu and table setting/decorating ideas. I have all the same categories for the Christmas section but also added a tab for a devotional or advent study to be place with pages for my own journaling. Then I added tabs for New Years menu and Superbowl party menu as well. This will be a fantastic to duplicate and give to my son’s brides when that time comes. Thanks for introducing me to Karen Ehman’s blog and books. Courtney, you rock! And I am blessed.

  25. 🙁 It says the video is private and i need a log in to view. Is this because its an old post? Am I missing something?

  26. May I just say what a relief to find somebody who geniinely understands what they are talking
    about online. You ctually understand how to bring
    an issue to light and make it important. More people should
    look at this and understand this side of yourr story.
    I waas surprised you’re not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

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