Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables

Hard to believe it’s time to plan for the holidays already!  With Thanksgiving just about here and only a few weeks left until Christmas, I decided to share my Holiday Planning Guide with free Printables with you early this year.  Not to stress you out about the impending holiday season, but to help you get organized early!!

Entertaining is so, so stressful.  But you know, in a good way.  As in, I-wouldn’t-have-it-any-other-way.  I LOVE entertaining.  I love that we made the executive decision that {since we made the grandkids} everyone can come to us for the holidays.  Not to mention our Christmas Eve Brunch that we do for the neighbors each year.  But, the joy of entertaining also means the stress of cleaning, cooking and planning.

Holiday tradition of footy pajamas on Christmas Eve! Palmettos and Pigtails

Last year, I finally got smart and wrote everything down.  I basically make the same food every year, but I always struggle to remember what I make, and fumble to find the recipes.  So last year I got organized.  And I made a bunch of documents that will go straight into our House Manager Binder.  Although, with the amount of entertaining we do, it may need it’s own binder soon!

Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables to Keep Your Holiday Organized! Palmettos and Pigtails


Because I’m making this for my own personal use, I’m gonna give you access to the files.  However, you won’t be able to edit them.  But feel free to print them out and use them for yourself!  I got all the little buttons as free downloads from the digital scrapbooking site, Shabby Princess.  And I got the fonts (Pea Carol) from Kevin & Amanda…also free.  So technically, you can make your own version of these as well!  And if you decide to pin any of these images, please remember link them back to this page!! Thanks!

I’m telling you, there are a lot of printables in this file, but it’s really everything you need for planning your whole Christmas week.  Here’s a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.  See below for the links to each document.

Holiday Planning Guide from Palmettos and Pigtails: Free printables to keep you organized!

Click on each link to get to the Google Drive Document.  You’ll be able to download, but not edit.  You’ll see some items have two pages…they are the same document, but with different graphics in case you want to print two different sets!

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page AND Table of Contents

December Calendar

Gift Planner

Christmas Card List

Party Planner 1

Party Planner 2

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 1

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 2

Event Planner

Christmas Eve Meal Planning

Christmas Day Meal Planning

Christmas Eve Shopping List

Christmas Day Shopping List

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 1

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 2

Thank You Note List

I’d love your feedback on this guide…did I miss anything?  What was the most helpful page for you?  Happy Planning!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

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Pamper Holiday Guests with a DIY Welcome Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HostingHacks #CollectiveBias

One of my favorite things about the holidays is a full house.  With both sets of grandparents, a great-grandma, and a couple of aunts and uncles coming into town to join our family circus, a “full house” is an understatement.  But I love every second of the chaos!

Although over the holidays we stash people on any free surface we can find, we do have one “official” guest room.  It’s ideal, really, because it’s in our F.R.O.G. {Finished Room Over Garage}, which means it’s completely separate from the rest of the house, with its own staircase and bathroom.  It’s the perfect amount of privacy for our guests.

But once they arrive in our guest room, I want them to be able to make themselves at home.  There is nothing more awkward than settling into your guest room just to realize that you’ve forgotten some essential packing item….especially when your host family has already retired to their quarters on the other side of the house!  So I like to make sure there are a few essential items in our guest room ready for our VIPs.

Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoTowels and Pillows.  We have extra towels stocked in the bathroom, and more pillows in a spare drawer in the dresser.  I also make sure there are lots of pillows on the bed, and the pillows are all different types {soft and firm}, to cater to even the most discerning sleeper.  And my secret trick with keeping my towels and linens smelling extra good is washing them with Downy Unstopables.  Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoI get the best deal by buying it in bulk at Costco, and I use it on all of my linens.  And since the scent lasts for 12 weeks, it’s perfect for a guest room…your sheets and towels will automatically smell fresh for the next visitor who shows up! Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoToiletries.  Since my guests have decided to take their vacation in my home, I want to pamper them as much as possible.  And, the difference is in the details!  I splurge on the bulk packs of Charmin’ at Costco for extra soft toilet paper.  I love that although they arrive in bulk, I can split up the packs of toilet paper for storage in all of the bathrooms in the house.Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoI also keep tissues in the bedroom as well as the bathroom.  I make sure there is shampoo, conditioner and soap in the shower.  I stock up for all of my household and guest needs in one complete trip to Costco.  And since I’m buying everything in bulk, it’s cheaper AND I don’t have to worry about running out of anything while I’m entertaining guests!Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoWater.  Bottles of water, at least 2 per person.  I’ve found that the small 8oz. Kirkland brand bottles from Costco are the perfect size for a guest room stash.

Snacks.  My favorite thing to leave for my guests is a little jarred mix of chocolate, peanuts, raisins, M&M’s, peanut butter chips and Heaven.  And I found that if I used the left over small jelly mason jars from Lincoln’s Cowboy birthday party, it’s just the right amount for a midnight snack!Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoSpace.  I make sure that our spare dresser has an empty drawer for our guests to use, and there are hangers and space in the closet for any hanging garments.  I also make sure the physical space is comfortable for everyone: by keeping the dog out {in case someone is sensitive to animal hair}, having the temperature set at 72, and having flowers and house plants decorating the room.  I also check that the alarm clock is NOT set {no surprise wake ups!}, but the time IS accurate.Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoEntertainment.  I stock a variety of magazines and books in our guest room {everything from Southern Living to Parents, to tourist pamphlets}.  It’s also nice to leave a house key, or at least the code for your garage so your guests can come and go as they please.Free printables and tutorials on how to go above and beyond for Holiday Guests #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoWe have a television for them to use too, but we don’t have traditional cable, so a little cheat sheet on how to work our Netflix and the remote is nice to include, as well.   
I also have our Wi-Fi information framed so our guests can use the internet easily.  If you like this idea, feel free to download a blank copy of it for yourself {save it to your computer and then upload it in PicMonkey to add your own info in a fancy print!}#DIY Welcome Basket with tutorial, free printables and a list of essentials! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoDIY Welcome Basket of Personal Items.  These items kind of depend on the guests that are staying with us.  For example, I add diapers, creme, baby shampoo and wipes to the basket when our visitors include little ones.  But some of my staples are: toothbrush, toothpaste, flossing sticks, makeup remover, Q tips, cotton balls, nail file, band-aids, razor, deodorant, feminine products, hairbrush, etc.  I buy all of these one-time use items in travel-size so I can easily replace them, and my guests can feel comfortable about taking {and keeping!} what they need.

And don’t you just love my little basket?  It was the perfect size, but kind of plain, originally.  So I used some scrap fabric and some rope to make a super simple DIY Welcome Basket.

#DIY Welcome Basket with tutorial, free printables and a list of essentials! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @Costco

First, you want to make sure your fabric is big enough to cover the bottom and the sides of your basket all the way around, plus about 2 inches extra on each side {to account for seams and the drawstring}.  Your drawstring can be made out of anything that is long enough to fit snugly around the outside of the basket, with enough left over to tie in a knot.

Then, you want to round your corners for easier sewing.  Fold over your raw edge with wrong sides together and sew about a half-inch seam {or big enough to pull your drawstring through}.  It does not have to be a pretty, straight sewn line, as it will be gathered and on the inside of the basket!  Make sure you leave a small opening to pull your drawstring through.

Pull your drawstring through the seam.  I do this by tying my string to a large closed safety-pin and slowly working it through the “tube” that was created when you sewed the seam.

When you have both ends sticking out of the opening, place the fabric in your basket with the pattern side up, and pull the edges of the fabric over the sides of the basket.  Your drawstring {inside the fabric} should fit snuggly around the outside of the basket.  Pull your drawstring ends tight toward each other and tie together.  Arrange the fabric so that all of the gathers are spread evenly over the basket, and then tuck the drawstring and the knot under the fabric so it’s all hidden.

And stock your basket!
#DIY Welcome Basket with tutorial, free printables and a list of essentials! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @Costco

Your guests should have everything that they need for a relaxing vacation in your home!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

What do you stock up on from Costco to make your guests feel special?

Linking up here this week!


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