As some of you will already know I purchased The Organised Housewife’s Christmas Planner a few weeks ago and was asked by a reader to do a review of the planner. This review was not requested by The Organised Housewife’s blog and I am not getting anything out of this review I just like to share good products/ideas when I find them.
I purchased the planner for a few reasons, one was that it was on sale (always appealing), the next was that we are having Christmas at my place this year and I also just wanted to be much more organised with presents and budgets than I have in previous years.
The Christmas Planner is a downloadable file which you print off yourself and which you can reprint each year to make Christmas planning easier. I was very excited and went out and bought a lovely green folder to place it in.
The sections contained in the planner include: Planning (Calenders, checklist, to do list), Budget, Gifts (Family gift list, friends gift list, stocking stuffers etc), Christmas Cards, Meal Plan, Traditions, and Travel.
As mentioned before the Budget section was important to me so it was the first section I filled out. It has four columns with Name, Budget, Actual and Difference. I found this helpful as too often at Christmas I spend more on gifts than I plan to. Now I can have a record of where this is happening and by how much I am overspending. It also has sections for budgeting Cards, Decorations, Food and Events however I am yet to fill these sections out.
The next most important section to me was the Gifts section. I found this section a little confusing as it has three sections each with “Name” written above and for each name it has gift ideas with budget, actual and a tick box for purchased. I am not sure whether it is supposed to be Family name ( i.e Smith Family) or for each family member (eg Emily). I have still found it very useful but I am not sure I am using it correctly and it also seems to be a double up with the budget pages.
It has a great page for keeping track of online purchases made and a place to list ideas for stocking stuffers, advent calendar gifts and a shopping list with what items you are going to buy from which shop. As we are often asked for gift ideas for the kids and for us from relatives, I would have liked to see a “wish list” page for the family members.
My favourite section is the Meal Plan which begins with a place to record your favourite Christmas recipes and where they are located. Mine are in many cookbooks and Magazines so this will help me greatly in planning the meal. Then it has each course and other important additions (snacks, drinks, bread etc), what they are and who is bringing them. The section also includes a baking and cooking plan and a grocery list.
I don’t generally send cards but I have decided to send a few so have made use of the Cards Section which will help me know who I have sent them to and received them from.
Finally there is a Travel section which is pretty basic and not all that useful for those who have to pack for children but is great to remind us mums to actually pack stuff for ourselves.
Would I recommend it? Yes! I have already been using it well with the gifts/budget sections and the meal planner part will be great. It is also something that you can use year after year so you get your money’s worth. I generally have a scrap of paper lying around the house with ideas for gifts and documents on the computer for meal plans for Christmas so this keeps it all in the one place and won’t get lost. It is only $14.95 and it emailed to you as soon as payment goes through. I paid with PayPal so it was pretty quick.
If this sounds like something you would like it can be found at http://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/christmas-planner/
If you have any other questions or if you have one and want to tell us what you think please feel free to comment.
Enjoy your Christmas Planning!