Home HolidaysVery Merry Countdown to Christmas 2016 | Celebrating with Intention

Countdown to Christmas 2016 | Celebrating with Intention

by Maria

Christmas can be the most magical time of the year. Glittering lights and the smell of Eucalyptus Trees. It might be too early in November to start shopping, but it might not. It is never to early to countdown! Here is our countdown and some of the things we want to do this year – and we will do our best to celebrate with intention this year.

Living with intention is being present and thoughtful about how you spend your time.  If you are here, you love the holidays like we do! However, there is only so much time in the day.  How will you spend it? We hope not frazzled, broke and tired. Here is our list.

1. Share holiday cards

My long row of holiday cards, is my cherished decoration for Christmas.  It displays photos of all the people we love, their toothy pets and their adorable kids.

Years ago I would shop cards based on stylish design and plop a picture of my family into it. Now I like to find an amazing picture and let the card make the message stronger. When I saw this photo of my daughters, it was the year we brought home Bella. She uprooted our lives and we were all so tired and adjusting.  All that said, the love of her smile filled every room. Her sister could not have loved her more!  So I scrapped my design and made the card all about love.

What is the primary theme or amazing event from this year for your family?  Think about how to bring that alive to share with your friends in your holiday card.


2. Shop for thoughtful gifts, memories and experiences

We have come to a point where it can be hard to find a gift for our parents or siblings. We have what we need, and we don’t see each other enough to know the longing for a new set of baking dishes. My favorite  love is to get trips, season passes or babysitting.  This year my goal this year is to enjoy the process of shopping, browsing and reflecting on those we care about. I will give the gift of adventure whenever possible.

Is there a play or an event coming up after the holidays and you can surprise the whole crew with as a gift? What about getting everyone a year’s subscription to a magazine that talks about their favorite interests.

“What one does is what counts. Not what one had intention of doing.” – Pablo Picasso

3. Celebrate with those you love

Think gingerbread houses, caroling, cookie parties, decorating and candy cane lanes. Put on the calendar some dates to celebrate with your favorite people. Have you ever filled up your calendar with events you were invited to, and missed entirely the people you care about most? I have! That won’t happen to me this year.

Get out your calendars early and plan a few things with the people you want to spend time with the most.

4. Create some amazing food

I am looking forward to ham, green beans, cranberry sauce and pies… and more pies. Cooking ,visiting and drinking wine are all my holiday favs. Check out this recipe for Brown Sugar Bacon Roasted Sweet Potatoes. I may even bake pies or make candy for our friends or for the shelter.


Does cooking or baking make you happy? If so, can you commit to making something for charity?

Brown Sugar Bacon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

5. Decorate a Christmas tree

Maybe your shimmering gold and red glass tree is finally sparkling with lights,  or you have created the best popcorn garland there ever was. When we put up the tree we ignite the past and look into the future. Sometime doing all the choosing, hauling and decorating on the same day can take the fun out. Try getting your tree early and setting it up. You can come back that night to decorate after a big brunch and a trip to the park.


What is the best day to put up your tree?



6. Talk about what is important about the holiday to you

Whether this is an opportunity to learn about Christ, the legend of Santa or a time to talk about charity, put a great discussion your list. What are the values you want to remember this holiday season?


7. Be with those you love

It is the most important thing to say, and yet it is also the most obvious.  Don’t schedule to much, so you can be really present to see these little faces, hug your mom and send a card to your aunt in Ohio. Christmas is the moment we think of others and cherish them.

I remember my grandmother who has passed away now for many years. She used to sit at the table when we all spoke of gratitude. She was always grateful for something really huge like Mother Theresa or the efforts to end world hunger.  We kinda giggled at the time, and yet it’s a beautiful memory. She left her mark and we remember. Any moment of reflection can seem small in that minute, and yet can stay with us forever.



Giant Origami Christmas Tree DIY – So cute

Capturing Christmas Tree photos with lights – DSLR no-fail instructions

Mix and Match your Christmas Gift Wrap – dont’ be matchy this year

Breaking the news about Santa, the magical way



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