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As soon as I turn the wall calendar page to November, I kick the Christmas preparation into high gear. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love Thanksgiving and plan to enjoy this month preparing for it, celebrating it, and expressing my gratitude for God’s blessings in many ways — such as our 30 Days of Thanks challenge. The straw harvest characters and fall leaves wreath will stay out on the doorstep, and I’ll keep burning the pumpkin spice candle. The Christmas decorations will stay in the basement.

However, in order to have a stress-free Christmas, I find that planning ahead is critical. Whether it’s keeping the budget under control or minimizing last-minute purchases and projects, the more you plan ahead, the more you can enjoy the holidays. And if you know me, you know I am a huge fan of beautiful, practical and organized planners!


As you might imagine, I was thrilled to get an advance review copy of a new 2013 Simple Christmas Countdown Planner (with bonus 2014 pages!) designed by Jill Craft of The Sassy Slow Cooker. For only $3.99, you receive 50 pages of planning tips and printables to cover all your Christmas planning needs this year AND next year! As part of her new planner launch, Jill is also giving away THREE copies of her planner to NextGen Homeschool readers this week — see our giveaway below.

ChristmasPlanner2013JillIf you are a binder planner, you will LOVE the organization and flexible qualities of the Simple Christmas Planner. If you are not a fan of binders, don’t be intimidated: I still think this set of planning pages can be extremely valuable to you — even if you don’t use every page or print out a daily action plan each day, as Jill suggests. Here’s why:

  • The planner includes five pages of valuable planning tips from a skilled Christmas planner like Jill! She’s been using this system for 10 years, and you can quickly learn a lot from Jill’s insightful suggestions.
  • Many important tasks are covered in this planner that I haven’t seen in other planners, such as a Stocking Stuffer plan, Christmas sales tracker, and page to keep track of this year’s favorite memories as you celebrate your family’s Christmas traditions. For a list of all the pages types included in this planner, click here.
  • The planner’s content is very flexible and customizable. If the idea of having a Christmas binder scares you, then you can easily create a Christmas folder with the most important planning pages on one side, and blank consumable pages that you do plan to use (such as cleaning lists, recipe pages, daily plans) on the other side to pull out and use as needed. It can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be.
  • There are many tasks included in the binder that can be delegated to your children. If you decide to delegate some planning tasks, you can print out those specific pages for them to keep on a clipboard.
  • Last but not least, the price is VERY reasonable for a planner with this level of detail and quality. Jill has taken all the guesswork out of how to organize and prepare for a stress-free Christmas, and she’s done all the work to make clean, well-designed pages for you to use many times over.

The Simple Christmas Countdown Planner for 2013 & 2014 is now available for digital download for just $3.99. This week, Jill is giving away THREE copies of a Simple Christmas Planner to readers of NextGen Homeschool who enter our giveaway below (ends Sunday, Nov. 10):
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12 Replies to “Simple Christmas Planner Review & Giveaway”

  1. I definitely plan ahead! With 6 brothers and sisters, 11 nieces and nephews, and a family of my own, I’d forget someone if I didn’t!

  2. Love this idea! This is my first year homeschooling and I’ve had the thought that I want to get myself organized and get all of my shopping done so I can enjoy the Christmas season with my family!

  3. I don’t drop very much planning ahead so I definitely need this eBook. So often important stuff gets missed!

  4. This is a great idea! This year will be the first time in a long while that I have to REALLY watch what I am doing for the holidays. Since my husband lost his job last Summer we are trying to learn how to be especially frugal. This would help me out tremendously.

  5. Planning ahead definitely makes the holidays go more smoothly. I have used ideas from Organized Home in the past to help me get things done early so I can have a more relaxing December.

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