‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

1 dayWe started at 100 and have counted our way down to the very day before Christmas. Today is the final day to do what needs to be done, but above all, to enjoy the beautiful and meaningful moments of this holiday.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to sit around the Christmas tree as a family and read your favorite Christmas story, whether that be the story from Luke about the birth of baby Jesus or “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Feel the magic of Christmas. Absorb it. Commit it to memory. And finally, don’t forget to leave out cookies and milk for Santa (and a carrot for Rudolph, too)!

Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and let us know how you have done on this journey of 100 days. Was there something that wasn’t covered that you feel should have been covered? Your feedback is invaluable to how we organize our 100 days for 2013.

100 Days of a New Year 2014 eBook | 100DaysofaNewYear.com.Are you ready for the New Year?  100 Days of a New Year 2014 eBook is a journey to a more focused, more productive YOU.  Beginning January 1 through April 10, get inspired to set goals and find motivation for making 2014 your best year yet!  As a bonus, you get 75 lists and worksheets from ListPlanIt.com to guide and motivate you to set goals, better manage your health and finances, and clean and organize your home.

Find out more here.

Christmas Eve Eve

2 daysIf you’re planning for your Christmas Eve or Christmas day dinner and have pie or bread on the menu, locate your recipes and break out the flour because today is a great day for baking.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to finish the task of baking so that tomorrow can be saved for the busyness that accompanies the day before Christmas. Do whatever can be done today. For a little extra fun, camp out under your Christmas tree tonight in your sleeping bags. Savor the tree and its beautiful decorations and soak up the chance to create new Christmas traditions for your family.

Christmas Lights & Hot Cocoa

Day 3: See some Christmas lights & bring along some hot cocoa | 100DaystoChristmas.comAfter a long week of down-to-the-wire Christmas preparations, it is time to have a holiday evening off with the family.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to tell your family to get in their warm and cozy jammies. While they are doing that, fill a thermos with some hot chocolate. Pack your thermos and enough mugs for everyone and head out to drive around and check out the Christmas lights. Sing Christmas carols, sip hot chocolate (but not too hot), and enjoy the sights of the season.

Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and tell us about your favorite outdoor Christmas decorations. Do they involve synchronized blinking lights set to music? Ours do.

A Christmas Story

Day 5: Watch a Christmas movie | ListPlanIt.comMany of my favorite childhood and parenthood Christmas memories are of watching holiday movies with family. We laugh together, gasp together, and sometimes cry together.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to introduce your family to a Christmas classic. Find one a good one on Netflix, check out what Redbox has to offer this season, make a trip to the library, or dig a Christmas movie out of your stash of DVDs. For an extra-special movie experience today, start early and watch a Christmas movie marathon with 2 or 3 of your favorites!

List of Favorite Christmas Movies for Your Family Movie Night

Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and tell us what you and/or your family are watching tonight. Which Christmas movies are your favorites?

Old-Fashioned with a Modern Twist

6 Days: Old-Fashioned with a Modern Twist | 100DaystoChristmas.comPopcorn strings are a traditional decoration that links your family’s Christmas tree to a simpler time. Popcorn is a snack, an activity, and quaint decoration for your tree.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comToday’s Countdown to Christmas Challenge is to pop a giant bowl of popcorn. This can be cheap and easy by adding a quarter cup of popcorn kernels to a brown paper lunch bag. Fold the top of the bag over two or three times and then microwave for about two minutes. Using a quilting needle and a heavy-duty string, begin to thread kernels one by one onto the string. I would suggest putting one person on each end of the string to finish faster. Add some color by intermittently stringing cranberries. Keep popping until you can string enough to make a nice garland for the tree in your home or a tree in your yard.

Pop extra for tomorrow’s family movie.

Cleaning for Christmas

Day 7: Cleaning for Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comOnce again, we have reached a crucial cleaning period of the season. Christmas is officially NEXT WEEK and there is still much to do to be ready for any Christmas festivities you may be having in your home. This week we will be focusing on cleaning different areas, beginning from the top.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to plan your cleaning schedule using your calendar or ListPlanIt’s Week of Christmas*. Pencil in the remainder of your Christmas obligations to coincide with dinner preparations, houseguests, end-ofschool happenings, and everything else that takes place during the last week before Christmas. While it’s not necessary to spring clean, some tasks to include are dusting, cleaning bathroom(s), vacuuming, mopping, changing sheets for guests, and cleaning out your refrigerator to make room for make-ahead dishes and holiday leftovers.

Are visions of a clean house for Christmas dancing through your head? How do you work in cleaning to your busy holiday schedule? Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and let us know.

Mom’s Store

Day 8: Mom's Store opens today | 100DaystoChristmas.comUp until a few years ago, I had a dilemma concerning sibling gifts. I wanted my children to know the joy of giving to their siblings, but I had a terrible time trying to figure out how to work out the shopping trips with each kid alone and control the cost of the gifts. I read in a magazine how one mom set up Mom’s Store every Christmas with low-cost objects she had been collecting throughout the year that she knew would interest her children. She would designate a place in her room as Mom’s Store, set out a number of items appropriate to one child, and then would bring in one child at a time to “buy” a gift from that selection for their brother or sister. Then, she cleared those items and prepared to do another round for the next child.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to take some time to consider gifts for siblings. Maybe you want your children to make gifts for each other. Maybe you have a special night when you take each of them shopping alone. Maybe you’d like to try Mom’s Store. Whatever the case, preparation is a priority. You’ll need to be sure you have the materials you need on hand.

How do you handle sibling gifts? Visit 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and share.

Spread Some Christmas Cheer

Day 9: Spread some Christmas cheer | 100DaystoChristmas.comWhile you may be in the midst of a busy Christmas season, rushing between seasonal events and family get-togethers, remember that there are many who are either alone or unable get out easily.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Christmas Countdown Challenge for today is to consider ways to spread Christmas cheer to those whom cheer seems unfathomable.  This year alone, there are many people who have lost family members or suffered from illness. Many others have lost jobs and have felt a lot of stress over caring for the basic needs of their families. There are still others who are resigned to spending their remaining years in a hospital or nursing home. Most of us have a lot to be thankful for.

Who in your world could use a little Christmas cheer today? Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and tell us how you plan to make this season sparkle a little more.

Ode to Gingerbread

Day 10: Make a gingerbread house or cookies today | 100DaystoChristmas.comGingerbread has long been associated as a winter treat, especially at Christmas-time. European bakers have produced scores of varieties including everything from a hard gingery cookie to a soft gingerbread or ginger cake. People have been using gingerbread to create sweet, elaborate, miniature dwellings since it first arrived in Europe in the 11th century.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comThe Countdown to Christmas Challenge for today is to renew your appreciation for gingerbread. Whether you bake a batch of gingerbread cookies, a moist gingerbread cake, or the walls and roof of a gingerbread house, have fun with this delicious activity.

Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and tell us about your family’s favorite gingerbread recipe. Post a photo of this year’s gingerbread house.

Wrappin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Day 12: Wrap Christmas presents | 100DaystoChristmas.comIn my house, presents are not placed under the tree until Christmas Eve. I fill the empty space with a new stuffed Christmas creature each year and some empty decorative storage boxes. When I used to place presents under the tree throughout December, I grew tired of my children picking up the wrapped packages and asking me how many days until they could open them. That does not mean that I don’t wrap as early as possible. Once they are covered by paper, I can relax a little more.

Countdown to Christmas | 100DaystoChristmas.comToday’s Countdown to Christmas Challenge is to lock yourself in a bedroom or private space and get as much wrapping done as possible. For some added fun, call some of the girls over and make it a Gift Wrap Party! Some can wrap and some can accessorize. Be sure to label each present.

How do you handle presents under the tree? When do you begin wrapping presents? Visit the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page and weigh in.