My 25 day countdown to a happy Christmas challenge #1

An advent calendar with a difference…..

Week 1: Days 1-9

Do you have an Advent Calendar?  There seems to be a plethora of different types of advent calendars these days. It’s something I’ve never really done, but this year, for something different, I have joined with Sue at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond in her quest for a more relaxing and stress free countdown to Christmas.

She’s called it My 25 day countdown to a happy Christmas using the hashtag: #my25daycountdowntoahappychristmas on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

How it works

Every day Sue opens a new drawer on her advent calendar and shares the prompt inside with us.  We are then to take and share a photograph of something to do with the prompt. It’s been fun so far and I’m really enjoying the process of being creative, but then I do love a challenge!

Every week we will update our blogs with our posts for you to share the fun with us.  Feel free to join in!

Day 1: Reassess to reduce the stress

Reassess to reduce the stress
Reassess to reduce the stress

So for today’s prompt I found an old notebook and repurposed it for my Christmas lists and ideas.  I find that writing things down helps to clear my head and I must admit I do love a good list!

Day 2: Celebrate friendships

Celebrate friendships
Celebrate friendships

I caught up with my Book Club ladies for Christmas lunch today but this shot was taken just the other day with two good friends who also share December birthdays with me. Every year we try to get together to talk, laugh, reminisce and unwind before the silly season takes over.  We had a delightful long lunch and celebrated our friendship with pure joy and happiness.

Day 3: Deck the halls


My take on this prompt was a bit different but a good message nonetheless.  At this time of year we can get so caught up with FOMO (fear of missing out), that we forget there is joy in missing out too.  This is an excellent poem by Australian cartoonist Leunig about JOMO (Joy of missing out).

Day 4: Celebrate Traditions

Family tradition

Every year when we’re together at Christmas we try to play a game of Kubb, a Scandinavian game (and we also play cricket of course).  This particular year the girls were victors over the boys, so we were looking happy for a reason.  I’m always happy to spend time with my three daughters!

Day 5: Get Back to Nature

Get back to nature

After a lovely day of self care, a facial and a massage, I went for a quiet walk in the forest and paused to look around at what I often take for granted.  I’m so lucky to have this forest literally on my doorstep.  Today I crossed paths with a fox, kangaroos and beautiful parrots.  Also the pinecones added a nice Christmas touch.  Just a lovely walk and a wonderful way to de-stress at this time of the year.

Day 6: Memories of Christmas Past

These photos are from Christmas 2007 when our family met up and spent the Christmas week in the ski fields of Livigno in the Italian Alps, instead of our usual Australian summer spent at the beach.  There’s story there! These are fabulous memories and it was probably one of the best Christmas weeks I’ve ever had.  So much fun to reminisce.

Day 7: Don’t wrap gifts, wrap someone in a hug

Granny hugs are the best

How lucky am I to get Granny hugs and cuddles today while out Christmas shopping? I much prefer wrapping someone in a hug than wrapping presents – I’m a shocking wrapper!

Day 8: Embrace your creativity

Creative handmade markets

Spending time and $ at the Canberra Handmade Markets was a great way to embrace creativity today.  I may have bought this beautiful dress to celebrate the creative spirit within me (and my upcoming birthday).  So pretty!

Day 9: Do an activity that makes you feel happy

Well today was the perfect day for this prompt!!  I nailed this one well and truly 🙂

After cuddles with Emilia we went to the shops for some last minute items and my daughter and I had a pedicure (she got ruby red nails, while I went with sparkly gold glitter, because it is the sparkly season when all is said and done!).  I finally got to the movies and saw Bohemian Rhapsody – I loved it!!

The main reason I was in Canberra at all this weekend was to see Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb do their Chat10Looks3 show, live on stage.  It was a fun filled few hours listening to them talk books, movies, TV shows and nonsense.   One of the highlights was their performance of another hilariously clever version of  The 12 Days of Christmas, with lots of references to current affairs during the year.  The whole evening was a hoot – they are so clever, articulate and interesting.  They were exactly as they sound on their podcasts, but better because they were sitting there talking to 1000 of us!!  I even wore my new dress 🙂

I know I am very lucky to have been able to do so many things that made me happy today and I am ever so grateful.

So that’s a wrap on the first 9 days of the #my25daycountdowntoahappychristmas challenge.  It’s always fun to see how others are interpreting the daily prompts. You can read Sue’s wrap up of her week 1 here.


The whole idea is to take the stress out of Christmas and to enjoy the festive season and I’m all for that!

Are you feeling stressed by it all?  If you are, then take a few deep breaths and look at what you can do to de-stress.  Wishing you all the best.

Feel free to leave me a comment,  always love hearing from you and try to answer all your comments 🙂

Deb xx

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25 day countdown wk1

Linking up for Denyse’s #Lifethisweek  and Esme’s Salon

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21 Replies to “My 25 day countdown to a happy Christmas challenge #1”

  1. I’m trying to follow along with Sue’s advent calendar as well. Day 7 was the best as my granddaughters arrived (with their parents!) for a weeklong visit. Lots of hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great lead in to Christmas and such a creative take on the Advent Calendar. Your first 9 days look like so much fun Deb. Hope the rest of the season is just as festive. Enjoy xx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely idea. I’m a December girl too Debbie. 29th! Great month. I was trying to decide which of your 9 is my favourite. But I love them all. Perhaps I’ll write a list of all the things I love doing and pick one to do every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Gloria! That would be a great idea to make a list and pick one to do every day. I’m having fun with Sue’s challenge and thinking outside the square a bit. So happy you enjoyed my photos in response to the daily prompts. 🙂


    1. Hi Donna, it’s been such a good fun challenge to do with Sue and it is helping me to think outside my normal stressy Christmas square. Thanks again for reading and commenting, I always love hearing from you 🙂


  4. Loved this…and only a little bit jealous about your Annabel and Leigh show. What a year you have had…downs I know but some wonderful ups. Really glad we have connected on line too! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek .Next week’s optional prompt is….wait for it…Christmas! 2nd last one for 2018. Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

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