It’s within a few months of the holidays and your mind turns to Christmas shopping…only you don’t want to think about Christmas shopping because that means spending a TON of money, and you don’t have a ton of money. You have some crafting and cooking skills, but it seems so overwhelming to make everyone’s gifts. What would I make? Do I have the time? How will I get everything done? Your solution is a holiday planner.
It seems like every single year I wonder why I didn’t get my Christmas gifts started earlier in the year. By the time I get to Christmas planning in November, there is NO way I have any time to make any substantial number of gifts.
Sound familiar? No worries. I’m going to share with you how to make a holiday planner for yourself with any notebook you have on hand today. You are still in time for a handmade holiday!
Christmas Holiday Planner
Making a holiday planner isn’t difficult, you’ll just need some time and a notebook with a few pages in it.
Make Your Planner
Once you gather the items you need and plan a time to think about the holidays, follow these instructions:
- Grab a notebook with plenty of pages in it, or just some lined paper and a binder if that’s what you have.
- On the first page, start jotting down all of the skills you have, and which ones could yield decent gifts (or partial gifts) for your friends and family. Make sure to write down anything you can think of that will yield a nice gift, or part of one.
|crochet||dishcloths, washrags, soap cozies, skillet handle cozies|
|canning/kitchen||fruit jams and butters, salsa, homemade vanilla extract|
|sewing||pajama pants, face masks, hot pads|
|soap making||goat milk, melt and pour, sweet orange|
|wine making||strawberry, fig, other fruit wines|
- Turn the page. Observing what time of year it is and how much time you would need to make each type of gift, choose gift ideas that you can accomplish between now and Christmas, and write those down. Next to those, estimate how long it will take for you to finish each item.
|Gift Project||How long?|
|soap cozies||2 days (for all)|
|goat milk soap||4-6 weeks (8 bars)|
|wine||30-90 days (4+ gallons)|
|strawberry jam||1 day (5-6 half pints)|
|face masks (fun fabrics)||1 week (for all)|
- On the next page, make a grid with enough boxes for each month that is left before Christmas (so, if it’s early August, you will want to make a 4-box grid). Label each box with the next 4 months, including the one you are presently in. (NOTE: Schedule things in where they make sense time wise, but also according to openings in your grid. For example, even though jam doesn’t take but one day to finish, you don’t want to schedule all of the 1-2 day projects for the month of November because of the holidays.Try not to schedule any crafting for December, as it could be quite stressful if you don’t get everything finished.)
- Write out your gift list with all the names you plan to give Christmas gifts to, then write next to their name the gift you want to make for them. Count how many times you wrote down each gift idea. (i.e., if you wrote down handmade soap for 5 people, decide how many bars of soap you want to gift to each person, then multiply that by 5–this is how many bars of soap you will need to make). This will also give you an idea of whether or not you need to add another gift-making session to your monthly schedule (see #4).
|Grandpa Bob||jam, soap/cozy|
|Greg & Dalia||wine, fun face masks|
|Frank||men’s soap/wash rag|
|Billy||fun face mask, kids’ soap/wash rag|
- For each project item, make a page. Write the name of the project on the top of the page, then write down how many of each project item you will need to make. Based on that number, write down all the supplies you will need to make that number of each particular project.
- Repeat for as many projects as you are planning to make.
|6 lb strawberries|
|4 lb sugar|
|8 half pint jars|
|lemon juice, 1 bottle|
|pectin, 1 pouch|
- Schedule each project on your monthly calendar for specific days in the months you plan to work on your gifts, then follow your schedule! You can do this!
Don’t want to make your own planner?
If you are looking for something already created, I invite you to check out my Handmade Holidays Planner. Take all the steps described in this post PLUS track cost per item/project/gift per person. Great if you are on a holiday budget! Printable PDF, usable every year.