June Rudolph Club Meeting

Rudolph Club

Recipe Round-Up!

Welcome to the Rudolph Club: your once-a-month meeting to simplify your holidays and get organized for Christmas!

At Organized Christmas, we know that the holiday season can be fast and furious. Solution? Take a day once each month throughout the year to plan and prepare for a more-organized holiday season.

On the 25th of each month, we'll bring simple assignments and easy tips to try now for a simpler, more joyous season.

Over the year, you'll tackle planning and preparations to make the season lighter, brighter and less stressful come December.

June Assignment: Recipe Round Up!

Holiday foods are so much a part of the holiday season that it's hard to imagine a Christmas without them. No turkey, cookies, even fruitcake? Impossible!

As if the cooking weren't enough, finding and organizing favorite holiday recipes can be a chore. We're going to begin now to gather and organize holiday recipes! Goal: holiday cooking sessions will be just that, cooking--not a game of Hunt-the-Clipping.

Organizing recipes promotes creativity and enhances the spirit of the season. Bringing together all the family's tried-and-true recipes is a springboard to more exciting cooking. After all, if you're already making three kinds of chocolate cookies (brownies, chocolate chip cookies and Gramps' Goodies, in my case), new recipes based on fruit fillings will be a welcome addition to your cookie trays.

Finally, there's another reason for compiling favorite holiday recipes in one place: gift-giving. Home-published recipe books are a delight to receive, and easy and inexpensive to give.

This month, gather together the special recipes that your family enjoys during the holiday season. Don't restrict yourself to sweets! Do you make a special appetizer? Where is Grandmother's stuffing recipe? Collect all the stained cookbooks, slips of paper and scraps of index cards.

Next step: list and organize. We've got a free printable recipe planner to get you started. Use our form, or create your own computer file or planner page. List special recipes, and note their source by title and page. File your list away for the holidays inside your Christmas Countdown notebook. You'll be ready for cookie season!

But what if you're like most of us, with holiday recipes scattered among drawers and used as bookmarks in unrelated recipe books? Consider going one step farther, and organizing your recipes.

Computer-savvy users may enter holiday recipes into a recipe database software program. Or, if you have an eye to creating a recipe booklet for gift giving, you may choose to scan or type recipes into a word processor file. Then there's the old-fashioned way to organize: recipe cards written by hand.

Whatever method you use, the goal is the same: to record holiday recipes in a single location where they're easy to find, easy to read and easy to follow. Hint: many computer recipe software programs print recipes onto various size pages or index cards. Most versatile, 4"-by-6" index cards can be printed on many printers and slipped inside photo album pockets for an instant, easy recipe notebook. Pull them out of the sleeve to make notes or share with a friend!

Ready? June is a great month for a Recipe Round-Up! See you next month in the Rudolph Club!

June Rudolph Club Reminders:

Craft check! Have you planned craft gifts and decor items? Summer vacations, kid sports practices and lazy summer evenings are a great time to add crafted gifts to your stash, so haul out April's Gifts to Make printable planner form and get crafting.

Keep adding to your Holiday Letter. As outlined in the February Rudolph Club assignment, open a computer word processing file labeled "Holiday Letter". Once a month, add a quick summary of the latest month's events, memories and achievements. When November rolls around, you'll have a complete and contemporary record of the year's high points to include with your holiday cards. Set aside any photos that you may wish to include with your cards or letters.

Keep up with the Christmas Club Savings Plan. Check with your local bank; many financial institutions offer "Christmas Club" accounts that make saving easier. If not, begin your own Christmas Club by writing a check, however small, to yourself on the 25th of each month. Deducted from the running balance in your checking account, but not cashed, this practice can help create a welcome cushion for holiday expenses.

Monitor the progress of the Gift Closet. Have you added gifts this month? Record them on the free printable Printable Gift Closet Inventory Form in your Household Notebook or Holiday Organizer notebook. It's a one-page reminder of what's tucked away for the coming holiday season.

Frugal Finds for June

Creative crafts for 4th of July

Independence Day is on the horizon! Bring sparkle to your 4th of July celebration with patriotic gifts and crafts. Try some American Blessings Mix to bring the meaning of the season home to family and friends.

Gifts and Crafts for Independence Day

Hunt summer's best bargains!

Keep a sharp eye out for "summer clearance" sales at craft, department and discount stores in the weeks to come.

Usually, summer merchandise goes on sale for the July Fourth holiday, and is sent to the clearance table shortly thereafter.

Summer toys like jacks, jump ropes and lawn games make great stocking stuffers for kids. Add a matched set of colorful plastic glasses and dishes to a picnic basket for a welcome gift for adults.

Don't miss the garden section: gardeners need gloves, small tools, and organizer buckets all year round, so stock up for gift giving when these seasonal items go on sale. And what child wouldn't enjoy receiving a bird feeding station and bird food?

Buy canning jars now!

Will your Christmas gift list include gifts in a jar? These popular layered baking mixes or journal companions require quart-sized canning jars. Buy canning jars now, while stocks are readily available for garden season.

Need more information about these popular make-it-yourself gifts? Find recipes, printable tags and tips here: Gifts In A Jar.