willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

A Life’s Patina Christmas Blog Series: Part One ~ The Planning


I am a confirmed Christmas addict. Once Thanksgiving passes, my focus turns to the upcoming season. I LOVE every minute of it and have confessed this before in prior posts. Nothing has changed since my years as a youngster decorating my room from holiday items that I had carefully collected in my shoeboxes, except that the boxes are bigger!  I have had quite a few years on this planet now to fine tune and organize a bit more so that it is not total mass chaos and confusion and more time is spent doing what we love to celebrate during the Christmas season. The years of staying up until 3 am to complete crafts and “get it all done” when the kids were small are gone… now I can only make it until 2 am! One of my goals when I started Life’s Patina was to share with all of you, many of the ideas that swim around in my head as well as the “how to’s”. One of the realizations that soon occurred though, was that in doing the business of Life’s Patina, the ideas and how to’s were extremely difficult to orchestrate. Being a one woman show, with my part time sidekick Chris, who helped to manage the operations, the creative ideas were completed in the barn in the vignettes that are a necessary part of a Barn Sale at Life’s Patina in the wee hours of the night. Being that I only have two hands… darn…I could not complete the creative ideas, document how I did them and meet my deadlines.

In came Maggie…my full time employee who I hired a year and a half ago. With the extra pair of needed and talented hands, we are getting better at chronicling the creative aspects of a creative business. In Maggie, I have also found my match in someone who loves handmade papers, luxurious ribbons, simple rustic twine, vintage books, silver and china and…  Christmas as much as I do! Together, we are going to bring you over the next four weeks our first Blog Series entitled,

A Life’s Patina Christmas. 

It will be presented in 5 parts entitled :

The Planning, The Meaning and the Fun, The Decor, The Gifting and Wrapping, and The Table

We are so excited to share with you some of our favorite ideas for wrapping Christmas in all the things we love in the hopes that you might embrace some inspiration or ideas. Let’s start with The Planning. I would like to share something that has helped me in organizing the Holidays for the last several years… my Christmas planner. They have taken many shapes, sizes and formats over the last few years but this year, I have reconfigured and updated mine and would love to introduce it to you. It is easy to put together and I have outlined and suggested ways for you to make one as well.


To create this binder I cut a piece of Kraft paper to the size of the front of a plastic 2 inch binder. After cutting it to size, I embellished the piece of Kraft paper with paper tape and two tags that I had hand written, ” Holiday Planner 2016″ on.


To adhere the paper to the plastic binder cover I used spray adhesive.


The other supplies I used besides the Kraft paper and a scissors were assorted rolls of paper tape, ribbon and trim.


After making a cover for the front, I also made a small cover for the spine of the binder as well, again using 2 different rolls of paper tape and adhered it in the same fashion.


For the inside of the binder, the first thing that I assembled were 4 Kraft paper pocket folders . I hole punched them and then used a red precut gift tag to write Week #1 on it. I hole punched a hole through the first page of the pocket folder and tied the tag on with a decorative piece of ribbon. These pieces of ribbon will make it easy to find the pocket folders when the binder is full.


I did this again for Weeks 2-4. You can make your Christmas planner for as many weeks as you would like. I embellished each folder a little differently as well.


I have printed off these organizational pages for a few years now from a website whose ideas and lists I have found very helpful. You can click the link below to print them for yourself as well:



The worksheets break down lists of tasks to at least put on your radar screen. This particular organizational sheet starts in October so you can start as early as your little heart desires! What I love about them is that they give you many options including a Values worksheet where it really helps you examine what it is that you want to focus in on during your Christmas preparation. I added a little strip of paper tape at the bottom of each page to snazz them up. Totally optional!


Based on your Values Week checklist, you can then select the weeks that you want to focus in on and assign each week a checklist. Put that checklist into the pocket folder for the weeks you have assigned up until Christmas.


There are all sorts of activity sheets that will help you plan various celebrations around the holidays that you can print as well. Add anything to this binder that you will use or the season; recipes, menus, Christmas card list books, gift lists.



Once you have selected and printed your checklist sheets, you can put them into the binder along with a couple rolls of the paper tape that you can secure around the ring binder clips for easy access.


In the front of the plastic binder, I like to keep supplies that I might use on a more regular basis, such as colored pens, small festive envelopes, stamps, my favorite looseleaf from SugarBoo designs, small paper bags that can easily be transformed into gift card bags and a Christmas card record book. Put whatever you would like to keep close at hand. You can even add a plastic zipper pocket to the binder with more supplies in it so that everything you might use for wrapping, cards and your calendar is in one place.


Small bags can easily be transformed into a gift bag with festive stickers.


Pop a printed December calendar in the front and add special activities and dates on the calendar.


As you can see, my pages have not been filled out yet but they will be in the next couple of days until December 1st. I have filled out my large scale calendar where the major elements and events of this Christmas month are highlighted and planned out so as not to slip by. More on this in our first installment of the series later this week.


Christmas…that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance…a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.

 Augusta E Rundell quotes 

As you prepare for this holiday may you embrace the parts of it that make your heart sing and let go of what does not.


share to:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Caryn Vertigan says:

    I am loving you TODAY!! I really enjoyed your blog and advice and organizational tool! Gonna be a great holiday this year.


    • Meg Veno says:

      Dear Caryn, I am so thrilled that you enjoyed this post and will be using this idea!!! It truly helps me keep everything organized!
      Best wishes for the best of the season with your family!
      xx Meg

  2. Judy Doyle says:

    I needed this post a month ago….but will certainly try to catch up….!! (sighing)!! You make it look so easy 🙂

    • Meg Veno says:

      Ha! Ha! Judy! I too needed to do it a month ago…not finishing up as my husband was pushing us out the door to leave for his parents house for thanksgiving! I squeak it in when I can but I always wish I had more time!! Make it now for next year and just let it help you organize your mind in what needs to be done. Good luck, enjoy and celebrate the season! ~Meg