How to Organize your Holidays…

October 10, 2013



Every year,  I say I’m going to stick to a budget for the holidays, that we will go to all of the holiday events in our town, and that I will plan my holiday dinner & have it all prepared days ahead of time.  But then the holidays sneak up on me, and before I know it, nothing is done and Christmas is in 3 days.  Does this sound like you too?  I’m tired of the holiday chaos so I came up with a holiday planner that will keep me on track and in charge of my holidays, instead of the holidays taking charge of me!


A Bowl Full of Lemons Holiday Planner 4w



The Holiday Planner comes with 12 printable pdf sheets (including the cover).  Everything you need to get your holidays organized is in this 8.5 x 11  planner.

  • Stylish Cover Page
  • Holiday Events
  • Christmas Wish list
  • Holiday Budget (2)
  • Holiday Shopping List
  • Holiday Card List
  • Gift Giving List
  • Black Friday Shopping List
  • Cyber Monday Shopping List
  • Holiday Menu Plan
  • Holiday Grocery List


A Bowl Full of Lemons Holiday Planner 1w


*I purchased the Post It tabs at Staples & labeled each section using my label maker (Brother P Touch 2730).  The Arc planner is from Staples as well.


The Holiday Planner by A Bowl Full of Lemons

*To view a close up of each page, click on the image above, then click on it again, in the new window. It will expand.


I Arc’d my Holiday Planner and put it in this cute quilted 8.5×11 ARC planner.  During the months of November & December, I will keep this planner with me at all times.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Holiday Planner 3w



This year I vow to stay on budget with my holiday spending. I’ve been known to go a little over board, and un-necessarily so! So I devised a plan to help me.  I am going to use cash envelopes.  Once I begin shopping, I will take out the budgeted amount of money for each person/category, and place it in the designated envelope.  Once the money is gone, there will be no more spending.  I will keep the envelopes in the left pocket of my planner.  How do you budget and stay on track for the holidays? I would love to hear.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Holiday Planner 2w


If you would like to purchase the Holiday Planner, Click here.  Happy Holidays!


45 comments on “How to Organize your Holidays…

  1. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE IT! I will be putting your Rainbow Planner Month (December) page right behind the cover to write in all the events/extended family dinners we will be attending so they will be easy to see at a glance. Perfect! Thank you Toni!

  2. I love the idea of separate envelopes for each person you buy for. So simple, so easy – why didn’t I think of that? LOL

  3. Anonymous says:

    ❤ Your new holiday planner. I use a cash system as well for Christmas shopping. I save a little each payday all year and when Christmas shopping time comes I keep that cash with me. It really helps me to stay on budget, but sometimes I do go over also. Sometimes there are just TOO MANY awesome deals!

  4. Regina Hill says:

    I use a cash system as well for Christmas shopping. We set aside money every payday and when it’s time to shop I pull this money out and the fun begins!! ❤❤ your new holiday planner!

  5. Megan says:

    What envelopes did you use here??

  6. Kim Jemmott says:

    Thanks for this post. Last year I got the flu a week before Xmas and wished I had planned ahead. Love your blog by the way .

  7. This is fabulous! I have such a hard time sticking to the Christmas budget and remembering what I’ve gotten everyone. I already have a few things under my bed and receipts flying around. Need this today!
    Your stuff is so great!
    Ashley Rane Sparks

  8. meredith says:

    This is a great idea! Silly question, though – what does “Arc’d” mean?

  9. Eileen says:

    The holiday planner is so cute. I wish the it came with the month of December calendar page too so I can see all my events in a calendar format instead of a list.

  10. Shana says:

    Beautiful Toni. I just love the polka-dots!

  11. Shana says:

    Btw, cash envelopes..genius 🙂

  12. Cristiana says:

    Do you offer this in personal size? If not do you see offering it in the future?

  13. Jennifer Brammell says:

    Staples is out of stock in all versions of the larger ARC notebooks. Any chance you will offer a shrunk down set soon?

    • Amanda says:

      Do you have one close by that you can go in to? The website is not the most accurate I’ve come to noticed. I just went into my local one just a couple days ago and they were fully stocked.
      I also went in once and found the Martha Stewart notetabs and post-it notes in her 50 cent bin when the site said then been out for months (i stocked up of course :P)

    • Kate says:

      Just print 2 sheets per page on the holiday planner and it should fit ok with some trimming. If not just play with page percentage and margins til they come out the right size.

  14. Tammy says:

    I know that not everyone believes the same, but I have to admit, I wish it said Christmas. So many things are getting away from that.

  15. Anya says:

    HI Toni,

    Will it be possible in the future to get the holiday planner in 8.5X 5.5 size? Thanks!!!

  16. kate marrin says:

    What a great idea with the envelopes, and I also love including the Black Friday/Cyber Monday pages!

  17. Sophie says:

    What à great idea! Thank you for sharing! I cannot find this planer In Europe. What do you suggest we use instead? What enveloppes are they?

    As usuall, you are a genius!


  18. Natasha says:

    I like the idea of using cash envelopes but how does it work if you’re at one store buying for more than one person? Make several transactions? …when it’s busy in the store…?

    I used to use cash envelopes to stay on budget for everything (groceries,…) but we live in Canada and we have coins for $1 as well as $2 and it became a big pain! lol I just started keeping track on paper.

  19. Julie says:

    This is great, thanks for sharing your system! I so appreciate how your pictures are always well set up and well lit. These are beautiful. Although I don’t have children, my husband and I still manage to go overboard on our budget every Christmas, for each other as well as extended family and friends. I used the “cash envelope system” years ago and it was MY BEST CHRISTMAS BUDGET EVER! I had an envelope of cash with me and a spreadsheet where I’d keep track of how much I spent on each person. When the cash was gone, shopping was done! I have also, for many years, used my own spreadsheet to keep track of my Christmas cards sent and received. People/businesses have been added to and removed from the list over the years, and I find it very helpful as each new holiday season comes around to have all the addresses handy. If I send someone a Christmas card two years in a row, but do not receive a card in return, they are removed from my list. It is too expensive and time-consuming for me to keep people on who don’t want to participate in this age old tradition of snail-mailing beautiful keepsakes to family and friends. Just my two cents! Thanks again Toni!

  20. Summer says:

    I looove your holiday binder–it’s so clean and simple! However, I was just wondering how you used the ARC binder with your customized pages…I can’t seem to find a hole puncher for the product anywhere, but I’d love to use the system.

    Thank you for sharing it! I know this holiday season will go a lot smoother after using these ideas!

    • Amanda T says:

      Staples sells the hole puncher for the Arc system. You could probably order it online from their site 🙂
      Good luck!!!

  21. April says:

    I have a quick question – how do I assemble the Arc Planner. I purchased your pages for the Holiday Budget but not sure how to get them in there. Do I take the images to Staples and do they do it?

  22. Kellie says:

    I need help…I’m very non-techy, but very interested in starting a holiday plan. I LOVE the looks of yours. What does it mean to Arc plan it? Could I do this while printing it off at Staples? What else do you have in your arc planner? It looks as tho it’s more than 12 print offs… I’m sorry for silly questions, just getting started here in KY =)

  23. Michelle says:

    Where can you buy cash envelopes?

  24. Tammy says:

    Is there a way to print this to fit the smaller arc planner? I wanted the small one so I could easily put it away where my children can’t see it but I want nice printables also.

    • Rachel says:

      You can look into adjusting the printing size using your home printer. Some have settings which allow for adjusting to either a larger or smaller size.

  25. Shirl says:

    Hi, silly question but is there a limit on printing? Can I print new pages from the file every year? Is it dated?

    • Rachel says:

      Once you’ve downloaded them, you can print as many times as you need to.

      • Shirley Easley says:

        What type of paper is everyone using to print these on so that it is nice and sturdy?

        • Rachel says:

          I’ve used regular printer paper for the holiday planner but for the other ‘rainbow planners’ Toni suggests 32# printer paper.

  26. Kim Zanatta says:

    tried ordering your holiday planner with a 25% coupon code I received from Organizedjen and it said it was invalid, please advise..thank you Kim Zanatta

  27. Susanna M. says:

    What font size and tape size did you use on the tabs. I have the the exact labeler, but I don’t want to waste the tape trying to figure it out. Thanks.

  28. Cynthia says:

    I really like these pages and the colors, but I don’t celebrate the holidays. Would you consider creating a generic “Event Planner”; Or even selling this with Blank headings so that we can fill it in?

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