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Countdown To Christmas Week One

Countdown to Christmas

Week One

 

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

Also, be thankful that Thanksgiving was early this year. You have a little extra time to prepare.

Advent calendar:

We always put up an Advent calendar that I bought when our kids were little and now, we also hang it for their children. It’s a fun way to count down the days until Jesus’ birthday. Here’s a link with a few ideas for making your own Advent calendar: http://bit.ly/1LnXXtm

Shopping and shipping:

Take stock of where you are on your food and gifts shopping lists. Do you have things to order and ship? Make sure to allow shipping time so everything is ready before Christmas. Here’s the schedule and link: https://www.usps.com/holiday/holiday-shipping-dates.htm

2018 Holiday Shipping Dates for Contiguous U.S.

Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before December 251

Domestic Mail Class/Product       Date (excluding Alaska & Hawaii)

First-Class Mail Service® Dec. 20

Priority Mail Service®      Dec. 20

Priority Mail Express® Service2  Dec. 22

USPS Retail Ground®     Dec. 14

Buy ahead as much as possible. This results in spreading out the cost and the frustration of having so much to do later.

Decorating:

When do you decorate the house?

Make it special.

It can be with 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 the tree and house. They had a blast. I got the step stool out so they could reach a little higher with the ornaments. 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. They were so proud of themselves for all of their hard work. I left the tree decorated the way it was, bare spots and all.

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

Enjoy:

When you are done turn off the lamps and enjoy the Christmas lights. Read the 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 https://amzn.to/2ACdwlI , The Christmas Story  http://amzn.to/2AbOdsA  , Away in a Manger Paperback http://amzn.to/2ncqmnw , This Babe, So Small http://amzn.to/2hVr1Uw

Dinner by the tree:

One night, when our girls were little and we were living in Michigan, my husband was in charge of dinner. He decided to have a winter picnic realizing it would be an easy dinner for him to prepare. We spread out a blanket and used paper plates. We cooked hot dogs on sticks 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.

Relax and enjoy:

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 do you do when you are decorating?