For the last several years I've kept a Christmas Binder.  What is a Christmas Binder, you ask?  It's a book where I keep records of Christmas gifts and receipts, lists of where my decorations are stored and what goes where, recipes, pictures for inspiration, and anything else that I want to keep and remember.

Would you like to see it?  I thought you might.  Here's the front:

It needs something decorative on the front.  Obviously. 

On the inside, I have tabbed dividers:

Gifts: I keep a list of who I'm buying for, what I'm buying, and how much to spend.  I also put an extra page protector in this section so that I can stick receipts down in there.

Recipes: While the whole binder is a work in progress, the recipe section is the one that needs the most work.  I've been compiling recipes for the last several years of my family's traditional Christmas goodies (including what my grandmothers always made), as well as the recipes that I like to make myself.  I'd eventually like to include menus for Thanksgiving, a Christmas party menu, and a Christmas breakfast menu. 

Decorating: One of the things that I used to find the most frustrating about decorating for Christmas was remembering what I did the year before.  Particularly regarding my Dickens Village, which only works a certain way on the table.  I finally took detailed pictures of it and put them in the book, so that whenever it comes time to put the village up, I know exactly how it's supposed to go.

I also have pictures that I've torn out of magazines of Christmas trees and decorations that I use for inspiration.  Or, you know, for future reference when I finally get a tree in every room like I've always wanted.  (Don't mention this to my husband.  He starts to get the shakes.)

I'm thinking about either combining this section with another or eliminating it entirely.  All it is has in it right now are lists of our favorite Christmas movies and TV specials.  It's not really all that useful. 

Christmas Past: This is where I put each year's Christmas gift lists when the year is over.  That way, I can go back through and see exactly what we bought everyone in years past.  Very handy.

 In case you're wondering, I got the divider sections from the Christmas Countdown website.  You'll see that the Christmas Countdown has a lot more divider sections available than I've used.  That's the great thing about a Christmas Binder-- anyone can customize it according to what will work for them best.

I'll show you my binder progress as we go.

Binders make me happy.



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