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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Advent/Christmas/Epiphany Binder - in 5 easy steps

Did I sound all uber-organized when I mentioned the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany binder?  Hmm.  Let's correct that....because I'm really not *that* organized.

Over the past few years I've been collecting resources for the holiday season.  I have a great make-ahead Thanksgiving menu that I clipped out of the newspaper in 2007 and have used ever since with a few adjustments to suit my family.  A Santa Lucia bread recipe.  Several cookie recipes.  Lists of books and movies we own (so I won't forget them).  A large stack of activity pages I found on various websites to keep the kids occupied while I wrap gifts.  Lots of scraps of ideas scribbled down. A plan for an Epiphany house blessing.

I bet you have some of this bits and pieces, too.

Mine were all stuffed in a folder and dropped in the Advent box.  It was good to have them in one place, but they got pretty mussed up in that folder.  Last year, I decided they needed to be organized so that they would be more useful.  It was easy and certainly has made this Advent start off more organized.

Here's how you can have a binder, too:

Step 1.  Gather all your bits of paper, clippings, print-outs, inspirational photos, recipes, etc.  Sort them into piles that make sense to you.  (Mine are: the current year's calendar, activity sheets, special instructions (wreath, jesse tree, etc), TV/events, Recipes, previous years' ideas/plans, lesson plan ideas, and poetry - see the bottom of this post for some links.)

Any old binder will do, no need
 for a new one! Save your money
for those stocking stuffers.
Step 2. Find a binder and binder dividers.  If you are like me, you have plenty of these around the house.  They just need to be gathered and cleaned out.  Label your dividers to match your piles.

Step 3. Hole punch your pages.  If you have something smaller than a full page, you can paste it onto a piece of paper.

Step 4.  Make a calendar for this year: Nov 30 - Jan 6.  Donna Young has tons of blank calendars.  This year I'm using her one-page month calendar (full-sized).   Mark your calendar with important dates (parties, local events, feast days, etc).

Step 5. Use it and then don't forget to store it in your Advent box for next year, or whatever box will be the first you open to get ready for Christmas.

Some links to things we have in our binder:

:-: Highlights Kids has fun winter and Christmas Hidden Pictures (you'll have to search a bit through the 2 pages of pictures, but there are a good number of them for this season!)

:-: has lots of coloring and activity pages to go along with her books, many of which are perfect for winter and Christmas.

I just love the old claymation TV specials!
:-: A Jesse Tree coloring page

:-: "Company is Coming" crossword puzzle  (there are probably updated files for this year - dig around there are many more resources here!)

:-: Rosetti's seasonal poems

See, wasn't that easy?


DebD said...

You're so organized, it's inspiring. I think Advent is going to be mostly a washout for us this year. It's been very stressful leading up to it and now I'm sick (again). There's no time in the morning before my younger 2 go off to school and evenings have been sucked away with tutoring, Karate and swimming. I feel bad that the only thing we've done for Advent this year is fast...somehow that doesn't seem like the right way to go about preparing.

Kerry said...

Oh, don't be inspired - I'm really NOT that organized. It is funny you say the only thing you've done is is the one thing I've still not been able to pull off with my family, or personally. But maybe next year.

I will pray for your health, Deb.