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Business first and then the countdown is on!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I have found a site that teaches you to declutter your life and your home.
Today is Wednesday. It is always anti-procrastination day! Start a new morning routine and declutter your day. For example:
1. Get up and weigh
2. Shower and get dressed to lace up shoes, fix your hair and face
3. While you are in the bathroom Swish and Swipe (Swish the toilet and swipe the counter)
4. Grab a load of laundry and start the washer
5. Check your calendar for today’s activities
6. Empty dishwasher to start your day
7. Eat something good for you and take your medicine and vitamins
8. Drink your water.
9. Today set a timer and spend 15 minutes in your kitchen decluttering. I am cleaning under my kitchen sink and shining my sink.

These are from www.flylady.net/ I love this site already and I just started on it last night.
Now it is time for the countdown! I have received a few requests about how I make these calendars so I thought instead of emailing everyone that wants it I would just put it in a blog.

I bought all the supplies I needed at WalMart. I used thick posterboard and cardstock paper. I found a picture by doing a google search for an outline of a gift tag. Mine are 2.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches tall.

I use Microsoft Publisher for a lot of my crafting needs. I put several outlines of the gift tags on one sheet and typed what I wanted each day to say and printed them out. Then I measured the width and height of the gift tag and made pockets for each one. Before folding the pockets are 3 inches wide and 7 inches tall. I alternated green paper and red paper for the pockets.

I glued each of the pockets to the poster board. I made it to resemble a calendar. There is really no wrong or right way to do it. I just winged it last year.
Here is a list of what I am using for each day this year. If you do not have Christmas movies on DVD then you might need to change a few things around to reflect when the shows are airing in your area.
Day 1: Watch 'The year without a Santa Claus'
Day 2: Polar Express Night
Day 3: Operation Soldier
Day 4: Do something nice for Mom
Day 5: Operation Goodwill
Day 6: Play Christmas bingo
Day 7: Write a story or draw a picture about what Christmas means to them.
Day 8: Make marshmallow snowmen and watch Frosty
Day 9: Watch Rudolph and make Reindeer food
Day 10: Make Christmas ornaments
Day 11: Take a picture in front of the Christmas Tree
Day 12: Operation Candy cane & Operation M&Ms
Day 13: Play the alphabet thanks game
Day 14: Hot chocolate and a movie
Day 15: Make decorations for the door and windows
Day 16: Make candy and deliver to someone
Day 17: Deliver candy to local police department or fire station
Day 18: Kid’s choice – They get to choose an activity
Day 19: Decorate white lunch sacks – the white sacks are for Operation White Sack
Day 20: Make a Christmas present for parents
Day 21: Do 1 chore for Mom without being asked
Day 22: Operation ‘You’ve been Rack’d’
Day 23: Drink hot cocoa and go look at Christmas lights
Day 24: Operation White Sack and watch ‘Twas the night before Christmas’
Day 25: Merry Christmas!

Polar Express Night
I make movie tickets and put them into the pocket for this day. It is just something cute but not necessary. We then pop popcorn, make hot chocolate and I read the book and then we watch the movie.

Operation Soldier
The kids each make a Christmas card for a soldier that is deployed and we mail them

Operation Goodwill
With the help of their Mom’s (she has to approve everything) They gather some clothes that no longer fit and are in good condition and donate to either Goodwill or a local shelter.

Christmas Bingo
You can find free Christmas Bingo cards online that you can print out and use. Here is the sight I like to use.

Reindeer food
Mix 1 cup Old fashioned Rolled Oats, ¼ cup raisins and 2 tablespoons edible glitter or red and green sugar crystals. One batch makes 4 baggies. I make labels for them that say ‘Official North Pole Reindeer Food’ and has a poem on it. We do a couple extra batches to put in the sacks for Operation White Sack.

Operation Candy Cane
I take the kids to the mall and let them hand out these cards. I print the following story on a card and attach a
candy cane. I just used scotch tape.
A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness,
so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols
for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of
pure white, hard candy: white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless
nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the Foundation of the
Church and firmness of the promises of God.
The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious
name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the
staff of the Good Shepherd with which He reaches down into the ditches of the
world to lift out the fallen lambs who like all sheep have gone astray. Thinking
that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes.
He used three small stripes for the blood shed by Christ on the cross. So that
we could have the promise of eternal life.

Operation M&Ms
This is the same as Operation candy cane. We take both to the mall and the kids
hand out 4 of each kind of card to random strangers. I put about ¼ to 1/3 of a cup of M&Ms in a snack size baggie
and make a label that says…
As you hold these candies in your hand
And turn them, you will see
The M becomes a W, and E and then a 3
They tell the Christmas Story
It’s one, I’m sure you know
It took place in a stable
A long long time ago.
The E is for the East
Where the star shone O so bright
the M is for the Manger
Where the baby Jesus slept that night.
The 3 is for the wise men
Bearing gifts, they say they came.
W is for worship, Hallelujah
Praise to His name.
So as you eat these candies
Or share them with a friend
Remember the Spirit of Christmas
And never let it end.

Alphabet Thanks game
I cut out circles with different Christmas patterns on them. Each one has a letter of the alphabet.
I mix them up and put them in something like a paper lunch sack or a bowl. The kids take turns drawing a card.
They have to name something they are thankful for that starts with the letter on the card they drew.
We play this a few times. The kids love it.

Make candy and take to someone
The kids help me make different kinds of candy or you could make cookies. We divide what we make into 4 groups.
One dish to give to someone you choose either a neighbor or a family member that is a shut in.
One batch goes to the police/fire department the next day
One batch goes in the bags for Operation White Sack and the fourth group is for the kids themselves.

Operation You’ve been Rack’d
The kids each have to do two Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Once they do this they hand the person a card
that I make that says…
You’ve been RACK’d!
This Christmas season we are
Counting down the days
by sharing
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
with precious people like you!
We pray amazing blessings on
You today. Please enjoy this act of
Christmas kindness and know that
You matter!

Operation White Sack
We fill the sacks that they previously decorated with goodies. We made snowman soup which is hot chocolate and mini marshmallows in a baggie with a label that says ‘Snowman Soup’ and has the directions for mixing. We also put a cheap mug from the Dollar Tree, a piece of fruit and some of the candy we made. We include reindeer food, a candy cane card from Operation Candy Cane, a M&M card from Operation M&M and a card from Operation You’ve been Rack’d. I take the kids around during the day on Christmas Eve and they hand them out to people that are having to work.

Well that is my calendar. I hope each of you that do this enjoy it as much as we do. My grandkids already cannot wait to get started!
God bless you and keep you on your journey! Have a fabulous day!
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