Starting a Christmas Notebook - A Beginner's Guide

Discussion in 'Christmas Notebooks' started by zchristy, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. zchristy

    zchristy Santa's Elves

    By far the most popular discussion I ever created was on the OC Notebook forum in Mar 2006 about the "how to's" of starting your own Christmas notebook. So I'm posting it for the benefit of the ladies here! ~ Christy

    I've seen several people comment here recently that they are just starting out and didn't know where to begin or what kind of notebook they even want. So I've been reflecting on my own recent journey with a notebook in the hopes that it will inspire some of the other beginners who want to organize a holiday notebook.

    When I started reading about Christmas Notebooks here in the fall, my own stuff never seemed to fit what other people were using and the idea didn't seem to suit me at all.

    Then the board was down, and I decided to counter-act the Christmas discussion detox I was going through. I decided to sit down with all my Christmas stuff and found my stuff was more condusive to a notebook that I first thought, because I gave up the idea that it had to look like someone else's. Now I have a notebook that is very different from many around here, but that I love flipping through and jotting in!

    Your holiday notebook is yours. It doesn't have to fit anybody else's mold and it will only be practical or useful to you if it suits your needs and purposes. If it makes sense to you, your notebook is a success!

    First: Ask yourself a few questions.

    - Do I want to refer to this notebook often (once a week or more), or do I want to refer to it occasionally as an archive or reference? A bit of both?

    - Do an inventory. Start just flipping through your current Christmas stuff and on a piece of paper write down the categories these things might fall under. Something in there not fit a category here? Make your own.

    Some examples to kickstart your imagination:

    Rudolph Club
    Advent Activites
    Shopping/ To Buy
    Gift Closet Inventory
    Schedules and To Do lists
    Grocery List
    Gift Lists/Ideas
    Christmas Countdown
    Future ideas
    Poems and Craft ideas
    Website Listings
    Magazine inspirations
    Evaluation Page
    Christmas Cards/ Addresses
    Kids activities (crafts, colouring pages etc)

    Some of these sections might be best used for you by breaking them down even more...for example...really serious decorators might want to do a decorating section for each room of the house. People with lots of future ideas might want to break them down again (entertaining ideas, decor ideas) etc.


    Ok, so you have your sections. Now go through each section and decide what makes the most sense for you in terms of set up. Things like a schedule section or the Christmas Countdown can be done in a chronological order, but other things like decor can have some reference pages. Do you want to have all reference pages in the back of each section they pertain to, or in a section of their own?

    Along with this, brainstorm what would make those sections more efficient or durable.

    If you want it to be a working notebook, make sure to add lots of hole-punched paper to make jot notes and additions. If you want it as an archive (or even if it's not!), you might want to check the dollar store and see if you can find some clear plastic paper pockets or liners to preserve your pages in. Other useful items that may suit your notebook: Pencil case, hole punch, post it notes or post it flags. Accessories can be a fun addition to your notebook.

    If you have lists in some of your sections, you can make some choices based on how you use them:

    - You can write them by hand on paper and update them frequently.
    - You can print them up on a printer to make them neat and uniform (but you need to be ok with re-printing them fairly often or adding pages if you jot and update often).

    Third: Some sections looking empty? Get to work on those! Get ideas from family members for presents (or check out the gift threads on the forum). Peruse websites for inspiration on decor and cooking ideas. Ask family members or co-workers for their favorite Christmas traditions and it might inspire you even more.

    Last, Keep in mind that your notebook can evolve...just as your Christmas celebrations do! Make changes or alter it so it makes sense and you'll never be sorry.

    HAVE FUN! Your notebook will start with fun memories if you make up your mind that this isn't a task, but a neat way to channel your love of Christmas! Fill up a cup of cocoa (Some Christmas tunes if you're so inclined!) and enjoy the process of beginning your Christmas experience with this new perspective! Then your notebook will become something you treasure.
  2. jackfrosty

    jackfrosty Santa's Elves

    Thanks so much for starting this, zchristy! I have printed it off so I can work on it tonight in my office!(in bed! :grin: )
  3. coffeenut

    coffeenut Santa's Elves

    Thanks for bringing this over. I remember reading it. I will also copy it this time so I have it. :bigsnow:
  4. Gingerbug

    Gingerbug Administrator

    zchristy...thanks so much for posting this. It's one of the best Beginner's Guides I've ever read.
  5. jackfrosty

    jackfrosty Santa's Elves

    I read it last night and now will use it as a guide on rudy day to re-organize my notebook. I decided to work toward getting my notebook prettier!
  6. jodilee10128

    jodilee10128 New Member

    I scrapbook each month and have a complete scrapbook of our year together. I have a page that is a calendar of each month with special events we did written on the dates and then pages with picuters etc of those activities. I think this year I will combine the two (Notebook and Scrapbook) . I'll keep you all posted.
  7. jackfrosty

    jackfrosty Santa's Elves

    please do! It sounds wonderful! :cloudnine:
  8. MissyToes

    MissyToes New Member

    On the pages that I want to archive and put in a plastic sleeve, I am now printing on cardstock because it will hold up longer. :flower:
  9. Rackandrollgal

    Rackandrollgal New Member

    I think I can, I think I can, I know I can - with your guidance. :pink:
  10. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Zchristy - wht a great thread!!! I will start small -- and try to create sections on Calendars and Rudolph Day on Rudolph Day!!!!!
  11. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    This is such a great thread!!! And - EVEN GREATER - are the people here at MHH who never get mad at us (me) for being slackers and never punish us or give us "time outs" - or say mean things or anything!! Just keep being loving - and giving us chance after chance after chance!!!! How did you all get to be so good? I guess the love of Christmas has something to do with it!! LOL

    OK - my Notebook is out - with new 2008 pages printed! Here we go!
  12. Ahorsesoul

    Ahorsesoul Santa's Elves

    You a great job!!!!! You will be so ready for Christmas.
  13. Lolwlias

    Lolwlias Active Member

    Although my notebook is ALWAYS out and ready, it's UNDER my cd player!!!!!! How can I have access to it that way?? Okay, moved it.
    The first RUDY DAY I do for 2011 will be for Feb, but that's okay. I'm getting myself back into this forum as well as OC. I've missed reading the posts and all the stuff we share about our holiday preps.
  14. snowqueen

    snowqueen Member

    Lolwlias - Welcome back to the forum. There have been a lot of busy people here as you will see if you get a chance to read the past posts. Good luck with your notebook. I'm having fun getting mine ready. I'm doing more decorating on mine and I've also sarted notebooks for other holidays and household needs. I'm having fun with it.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  15. Christmaslvr

    Christmaslvr Active Member

    Welcome back Lolwlias!
  16. MaryE

    MaryE New Member

    I have created a "Christmas Meals" notebook which will have all my menus, recipes and pictures of Christmas tablescapes that I like looking at. I worked on it a bit last fall and dropped the ball, so I am working on it for Rudy Day in May. I did get the divider pages finished (the cover was already finished). I am using a scrapbooking kit from Gooseberry Patch and other papers from Michaels. Come take a look at my progress! Mary in VA
  17. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    Very nice notebook MaryE!
  18. housewife2

    housewife2 Well-Known Member

    tfs love the notebook.
  19. AnnieClaus

    AnnieClaus Active Member

    MaryE- You should attach your blog link to your signature here.

    I would like to pop in and check out what Christmas things you are doing!


  20. DebbiGall

    DebbiGall Santa's Elves

    Bumpping up for newbies

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