24 Days of Christmas! What’s going on in the Empty Nest today as we count down to Christmas?

Got My Reservations 25 Days of Christmas 2013 Medium ButtonI’m making lists — but I’m taking it one better and making a Christmas binder.

I have some friends in my life who laugh at my list-making. I also have some friends who laugh at my penchant for putting important papers in sheet protectors and then collecting them in ring binders.

Laugh all you want, nay-sayers, because at Christmas time everyone needs to make a list and keep it safe.

I do this by creating a Christmas binder. I have thousands of sheet protectors left over from purging my school files, and although I gave away about one hundred binders to friends and to charity organizations, I still have a few left. Yeah, laugh all you want; I’ll be the one that’s organized and have all my Bed Bath and Beyond coupons with me when I go to the store.

Since we can’t have an undressed view binder, I needed to make a cover for my Christmas gem. First I went to a web site featuring Christmas backgrounds called — this was totally random, but had what I wanted. Exactly. I am having British Christmas, remember?


I saved the file to my computer, but it was the wrong size — it was landscape rather than portrait. I opened it in (my go-to free photo editing site), and chose the resize button in the cropping menu. The resizing window shows you how many pixels your photo is, and in this case, I just reversed the sizes. It didn’t affect the photo perspective enough to worry about. Then I went to the text editor and added the title, as well as my name and phone number (in small print) in case I leave the binder somewhere.

Binder Cover 2

Now that I look at that telephone booth, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to fit into it, but who cares? At Christmas, it’s the thought that counts.

It’s only December 2, and already my binder holds the recipe for my Christmas Eve cocktail from Nan at Silver Magpies, and an inspiration for a beautiful floating centerpiece for my Christmas table. I’ve a got a section for those all-important receipts, and one for coupons. I’ve got the gift lists, of course, and my personal lists of to-dos for me and honey-dos for Music Man. All in one place and easy to find with the bright cover on the binder. It’s a win-win, and maybe you want to try it for yourself!

I hope that you will follow along on our journey as Music Man and I prepare for Christmas in the Empty Nest. We’re glad you decided to visit with us today!

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)



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  1. I wouldn’t survive without my Christmas notebook! My favorite section includes my notes for each year (since the late 1990s) listing the activities I planned to do and those I actually did. It’s great fun to read each November as I start thinking about Christmas plans. I also include copies of our annual Christmas letter and spreadsheets (I’m geeky that way) of gifts given in past years. And, of course, recipes! I used to include photos, but since starting to blog, that’s where photos of my decor reside. Have fun with your Christmas plans! So glad you’re going to post each day!

    • Yes, we are also “those people” with spreadsheets of Christmas card recipients and senders. We have been derelict the last two years and didn’t do a letter, but I’m planning a January letter this year. Tricia, I knew I liked you even before I found out you share this Christmas organizing gene with me!

  2. Hi jenny, I just bookmarked pic monkey. Maybe I can use it to tone done and warm up the red colors in my pictures. This is the most helpful tip I’ve had for a while. I re-size my photos on Visual Watermark but I don’t think I can do anything else. I would love to crop and edit my pictures before I post. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!


  3. I won’t laugh at your list making, Jennie. I’m the same way. These days I kind of HAVE to be. I forget a lot. I’ve always been an avid list maker, and I probably always will be. You just hang in there, sister!!! 🙂

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