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Countdown to Christmas 1

Christmas is just around the corner. Take a deep breath you can do this. It just takes a little planning.

We always put up an Advent calendar for the kids when they were young and now their children. It’s a fun way to count down the days until Jesus’ birthday. Here’s link where you can get many ideas for making your own Advent calendar: http://bit.ly/1LnXXtm

Take stock of where you are on your shopping lists, both food and gifts. Do you have things to order and ship? Make sure to allow enough time so everything is ready by Christmas. Remember to buy ahead as much as possible. It helps to spread out the cost and the frustration of having so much to do later.

When do you decorate the house?

Make it special.

It can be your immediate family or you can invite extended family, and friends. One year my husband was working on a renovation project and I had the two oldest grandchildren for the day. They were four and five at the time I had them help me decorate. They had a blast. I got the step stool out so they could reach a little higher with the ornaments, while I did the upper part where they couldn’t reach. My husband and I had gotten to a point where we didn’t get out all of the ornaments, but the kids had every single one out of the box. They were either on the tree or the bookshelf. I left the tree decorated the way it was, bare spots and all. They were so proud of themselves for all of their hard work.

Assign the decorating by age. Make sure the little ones feel part of all of it. Have a craft or coloring pages for them if they loose interest in the decorations. This will keep them busy while the others finish up.

When you are done turn off the lamps and enjoy the Christmas lights. Read a story of the nativity to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas. Here are some links for books: The Berenstain Bears, The Very First Christmas (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) Kindle Edition http://amzn.to/2zsYQU5 , The Christmas Story Hardcover http://amzn.to/2AbOdsA  , Away in a Manger Paperback http://amzn.to/2ncqmnw , This Babe, So Small http://amzn.to/2hVr1Uw

You can have dinner by the tree. When our girls were little we lived in Michigan. My husband was in charge of dinner one night and decided to have a winter picnic thinking it would be an easy dinner for him to prepare. We spread out a blanket and used paper plates. Cooked hot dogs on a stick in the fireplace, and had all of the regular picnic food. We continued this until the girls were adults. It became a fun tradition.

If you live in the south think of something wintery to do. Have hot comfort food and for dessert hot cocoa and cookies. If you have a fireplace light a fire and turn off the lights except for your decorations. If it’s warm you can always open the windows.

Make it a special time that is out of the ordinary for where you live. It will make it even more special.

Take things a little at a time. Write out a schedule for each week with your tasks. This way it won’t be so daunting. Relax this year and enjoy the season.

What special things you do when you are decorating?