A few weeks ago I was a guest on the Okayest Mom’s Summer Series. We chatted a bit about planning on paper and why that is better for your brain. And in our webinar, I talked a little about The Nice List, my Christmas planner. Thanks to the Okayest Moms who wanted to know a little more about The Nice List, so here it goes! And we are doing a giveaway this week, too. You could win a copy of the 2019 edition of The Nice List! Read on…
Let me begin with a little bit about me… I started off as a high school English teacher. Then I went to work for a large church which meant a VERY busy December. And my favorite season of the year is Christmas. But as the years went by I found that I enjoyed Christmas less and less. I was busy, too busy, and the things I loved about Christmas fell to the wayside as I hurried through the season. By Christmas Day, after a long nap, I was finally ready to enjoy my holiday … and it was nearly over. I had missed so much joy.
That is when I created The Nice List. At first it was just for me, but I realized that I was not the only one who feels this frantic, harried craziness as the holidays arrive. So many of us want to enjoy the season, and maybe it is fun here and there, but it is hard to focus with all of the demands put upon us — a Pinterest-worthy house, parties and concerts and school programs, volunteering, church events, family traditions, baking and cooking and cleaning… the list goes on and on and on. And then there’s the shopping — finding just the right gift for what seems like an ever-growing list — and spending that can easily spin out of control. It can be overwhelming. And many people find themselves dreading the holidays.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be this way.
That is why I created The Nice List, and if you use it and all of the planning tools available both in The Nice List and on my website, you will give yourself the best gift ever — the merriest Christmas!
How does The Nice List help you enjoy make planning your Christmas season a breeze?
The Nice List includes all kinds of tools that help you plan from November through the New Year, and it helps you to set priorities so that you spend your time doing the parts of Christmas that you love — and say “no thanks” to the things you don’t. You start by sitting down with a cup of coffee in a quiet place, and answer a few questions:
- What are your favorite parts of the Christmas season?
- Who is important to include in your Christmas celebrations and traditions?
- What traditions do you want to continue?
- What sparks joy for you at Christmas time?
- What memories do you hope to create this year?
Every person answers those questions differently, but your reflections on the season will help you get to New Years Day with a smile and joy in your heart having maintained what is important for you and celebrated the Christmas season with intentionality and integrity. It’s a bit like KonMari-ing Christmas. Keep the things that spark joy. Eliminate the rest.
The Nice List isn’t for the person who finishes their Christmas shopping by November 1. I am not that person, and I didn’t create this book for people like that. It is for people like me. It is for you — the mom or dad who does most of the shopping and planning for your family. Maybe you are juggling complicated family schedules. Perhaps you have stepchildren and shared custody to balance. Maybe, like I did, you have a job that is particularly demanding in November and December. Or maybe it is demanding all year. Perhaps you struggle with depression or sadness at the holidays anyway which can make meeting demands even harder. Or maybe you love to plan, and you are looking for a tool to help make it a little easier.
Whoever you are, The Nice List has tools to help you:
- Plan a Christmas budget and stick to it
- Manage your calendar and save time
- Plan important meals
- Make time for decorating your house or baking traditional recipes
- Find thoughtful Christmas gifts for everyone on your list
- Budget worksheets: to establish a budget for your Christmas season — and for each gift, too
- A gift category system to help you prioritize where you spend your money and on whom
- Weekly and monthly calendars for November and December as well as scheduling tools to help plan the season
- To Do Lists for each week that help you stay on task
- A thank you note tracker to record the gifts you receive and the thank you notes you send
- Tips and ideas for staying on budget and sane
- Blank pages for notes, meal planning, recipes, photos, journaling, bullet journaling… and anything else you might need
- A back pocket for receipts
- And more!
Why on paper? Well, brain research indicates that the physical act of writing something down — as opposed to typing — aids in learning, retention, and decision making. Remember, I was a teacher! In other words, if you write it down, you are more likely to make a good decision — and to remember what you need to do.
So, I created The Nice List as a planner — it is the perfect size for a purse or backpack. I carry mine in my purse as soon as I get it. It is printed on archival paper and has a durable, vegan-leather cover. It can take some abuse and keep going! And if you keep it year after year, you’ll have a record of every gift you have ever given. Before I begin my shopping, I go through past years of The Nice List to get ideas for all of my gift giving.
Not only is The Nice List a paper planner, but I also provide tools, downloads, advice, and support all through the holiday season. Through my Facebook page, Instagram, and weekly emails, I will be your cheerleader. The last thing I want is for The Nice List to sit on a shelf in your house — it is a tool to be used.
So give yourself the gift of an organized, joyful, sane Christmas this year. Order a copy of The Nice List for yourself — and one for a friend, too. It makes a wonderful gift, and there’s nothing nicer than sitting with a friend and planning your Christmas season and gift giving together. It’s a perfect mom’s-night-out activity!
You can order The Nice List for $29 shipped directly to you. It is only available by pre-order and only until September 15. After that, you will be out of luck! The books will arrive by the first of November in your mailbox!
Angela K. Nickerson has lots of plans and executes most of them on her two websites: PiningForRome and MidModernMama. She loves planning so much that she has even written her own Christmas planner: The Nice List. The 2019 edition is available to order now. For a list of Angela’s favorite planners as well as the stickers and washi that make planning fun, check out her planner guide: midmodernmama.com/planners.