Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas planning with the Dodo book of Christmas and my Filofax

I started thinking about Christmas a couple of weeks ago.  Well that's to say I started seriously thinking about Christmas, it has been flitting around my mind since September when the Christmas stock started appearing in the shops!  I took my Dodo Book Of Christmas off the bookcase and flicked through the pages, invoking memories of seasons past.  I love that as well as helping me plan the book also records each year from when my children were very young.

My well loved Dodo Book Of Christmas

I brought the planner in 2007 and have used it every Christmas since then.  It had a little wear on the spine so I used some washi tape to cover it and it looks as good as new now.

Inside the planner are eight sections.  These are Holiday Planner - tasks and lists, Cards, Gifts, Festive Fare, Decoration, Children, Parties and Events and Traditions.  

View inside

Each divider also acts as a clever "stuff and store pouch".

Stuff and store pouch divider 

The pouches are great for keeping bits of paper safe like lists, recipes and gift receipts.

Christmas card list

In the Card section there are pages for your Christmas card lists and they let you keep track of who you have sent cards to and received them from.  

Gifts section

The Gifts section is my favourite.  I have all the presents I have brought people in the last six years listed on these pages.  A quick glance in this section means I don't repeat presents and a leisurely read brings back memories of lots of Christmas days and makes me smile.

Festive Fare section

Festive Fare is my most useful section.  I have a detailed list in here of everything I need to know to prepare our Christmas dinner.  This includes dates when I can make things in advance and freeze them and a cooking timetable so everything will be ready at the same time.  I also keep a lot of recipe cards that I have found in the supermarket over the years in the stuff and store pouch. 

I keep an inventory list in the Decoration section so I can keep track of what I have and what I still need (and by need I mean want!).  It is also useful to list anything that gets broken or stops working.  I once spent days looking for a rope light only to realise I had thrown it away the previous December when it had stopped working.  Lessons were learned!

Children is where I write my Elf on the Shelf ideas.  We have an elf called Nipper who visits our home in December and gets up to mischief every night before returning home with Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.  It takes a lot of planning to make sure you have plenty of things for the elf to do so you aren't repeating things.  

In Traditions I have a couple of lists.  One is the things we like to do as a family and the other is a shopping list so I don't forget any goodies that we like to have each year.  It just wouldn't be Christmas without a box of Turkish delight and some marzipan fruits!

Dodo pages in my Filofax

The Dodo Book Of Christmas does not leave my house.  There are too many precious memories contained inside it and things in the stuff and store pouches that could fall out.  This year I have cut down some of the dodo pages and punched them so they will fit in my Filofax.  At the moment I have a Christmas to do list and a list of films I want to watch with the children in my filo.  I also have a page for gift ideas in case I see something when I am out and need to note it down before I get home or if I am suddenly struck by inspiration.

My Christmas to do list

Now I am using a Filofax I could realistically do all my Christmas planning in there but I don't want to.  I like to be able to keep everything together from over the years and when my children get older I can pass it on to them so they can see what I did and how I did it and it will keep our family traditions alive.  I feel that as well as a planning tool my Dodo Book Of Christmas is also a record of our family life spanning the years and it has become part of my Christmas routine to sit down in the evenings and fill it full of lists and memories. It is like a journal I didn't realise I was writing until I looked back through it a couple of years later.

The perfect pair

Thanks for reading and good luck with your planning!


  1. What a lovely thing to have! I spent years searching for the *perfect* Christmas planner, something I could keep year after year and look back on. It hasn't happened, so I have the next best thing; my puter has all my past lists and my photos from years past. One day I'll get it right, but for now it works for me!

    1. Thanks Angel Jem, I'm really happy with it! I do keep all my photos on the computer (and backed up on USB sticks) but if I'm writing a list it just has to be on paper for me ;)

  2. Amanda - your Book of Christmas operates just like mine! For years I kept scraps of paper with gift lists and when I got mine suddenly it all settled happily in place. You are so right about it becoming like a journal you didn't know you were writing. Thanks for a really lovely review :) x

  3. What a lovely post. I like the idea of keeping your Christmas present lists, so you don't repeat any gifts. This planner is such a great memory keeper for you and your family. X

  4. I like my system: ...

    ...but...I don't get a record for Christmas. :( The Dodo does that very well...hmmm.

    1. I love your tip for wrapping presents in colours depending on where they are going, that's a great idea!