A Christmas Holiday Notebook
Gather your recipes, menus and ideas in one great-to-have notebook

By Lea Schneider, Professional Organizer

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Lea Schneider

©2009 Professional Organizer - Lea Schneider is the author of Growing-Up Organized: A Mom to Mom Guide available at Amazon.com.

Lea provides one-on-one organizing advice via phone and email through Organize Online division at her company website, Organize Right Now.

Her advice is featured here at What's Cooking America in a monthly column. You may have read her expert organizing ideas in Woman’s Day, Natural Health, College News, and Better Homes and Gardens Kids’ Rooms magazines and newspapers. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the Association of Food Journalists.

Growing-Up Organized:
A Mom to Mom Guide

by Lea Schneider

Crazed by clutter? Frustrated because the kids can’t find things? Getting out the door in the morning drives you mad? You need:
Growing-Up Organized: A Mom to Mom Guide

Growing Up Organized will help you get started, map out a plan, and learn how to stay organized with everything from bedrooms to closets to homework time.

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Contact Information:
Lea Schneider
Organize Right Now LLC
Member National Association of Professional Organizers
Pensacola, Florida

Website: Organize Right Now

Tele:  1-850-477-2582



Check out all of Lea Schneider's helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.

Gather your recipes, menus and ideas in one great-to-have notebook

Watching a cooking show the other day, I began to wonder what I was going to make this holiday season.

I’m sure you have the same experience. Something triggers a train of thought and soon you’re are trying to plan a holiday party menu, figure out what to bake for the neighbors, wondering what to have for Christmas day brunch and trying to think of appetizers to carry to various events.

During the month of December, the amount of food events can be staggering, even for those of us who love to cook, and especially so for those of us who only cook a lot during this time of year.

A great way to feel confident about this month’s cooking extravaganza, tweak your memory and give you great ideas is to create a holiday notebook. A notebook is just the place to store all those once-a-year recipes, party menus, decorating and invitation ideas and more. Having your party and holiday recipes in one spot is a great time saver. If you need an appetizer recipe during the coming year, you’ll know right where to find it.

For this Christmas Holiday Notebook project, you will need:

One 3-ring binder, clear pocket sheet protectors and printer paper.

Place the clear pocket sheet protectors into your binder. You can use them to hold all your menus, recipes and ideas.

Create dividers for the sections of your notebook. This will help you find what you need, when you need it. You can print out titles for your notebook division on your computer printer or just hand print them. Slip the paper into the pockets to divide the notebook.

Following are some of the divisions in my notebook and a list of what each contains. You should customize your notebook to suit you.

It’s That Time:


To-Do Lists

Each year we repeat tasks. This year, keep all your to-do lists for decorating, entertaining and household chores in the notebook. Next year, they will serve as great checklists for you.

Yummy Food:

Holiday Menus - What you served for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas Breakfast or Brunch, family gatherings and New Year’s. Note the traditional or favorites. Try something new? Make a note of where you found the recipe.

Party Planning

Copies of Menus

Guest List

Copies of invitations

Any to-do lists you made to get read for the party- such as polish the silver, mail the invitations, order the flowers and so forth.

Any ideas that you wrote down or tore from a magazine for entertainin

Holiday Recipes – Family favorites, traditional recipes, recipes printed from What’s Cooking America or torn from magazines or newspapers

Holiday Baking

List of what you usually bake and the quantity.

List of anyone you take baked goods to.

Baking recipes or list of cookbook and pages.

Reminder checklist for pantry baking staples

Home Sweet Home:

Household Chore List - for getting ready for the holidays.

Decorating- any to-do lists for decorating and any ideas you gather from magazines can be filed here.

Traditions- record of family traditions.

Gifts and Cards:

Christmas card mailing list

Master Gift List- keeps your list of what you give each year

Stocking Stuffer list

Wrapping- ideas or information for wrapping

Holiday Budget

Travel - Going or Coming:

Arriving guest information - To-do list to prepare for guests

Travel plans - Dates, directions or reservation for going away

Master checklist - Going out-of-town? Create a checklist for the house for before you leave.

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