My 25 Day Countdown to a Happy Christmas #2

An advent calendar with a difference…..

Week 2: Days 10 to 16

It’s time for Week 2 of my 25 Day Countdown to a Happy Christmas.  Sue at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond, is hosting the advent calendar with a difference challenge and I’ve joined her in her quest for a more relaxing and stress free countdown to Christmas.  My Week 1 responses can be found here – My 25 day countdown to a Happy Christmas #1

Sue’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 all about reducing the build up of stress at this busy time of the year.

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

Day 10: Bing or Buble – fill your home with Christmas songs

Going old school for Day 10 with Christmas music, happy to share a small part of my (dusty) Christmas CD collection!  CDs are almost a thing of the past with apps like Spotify taking over.  I have a playlist set up with my family’s Christmas favourites and like to play that on road trips to get in the holiday mood!  What’s your favourite Christmas song?  Mine is An Ode to Joy which to be honest, I’m not even sure is a Christmas song!!  I am partial to the Little Drummer Boy too.

Old school Christmas music
Old school Christmas music

Day 11: Pamper time – feel good inside and out

Today was all about pampering ourselves, so we feel good inside and out.  The Mathematician and I took in a cheeky matinee movie session and saw The Dawn Wall –  a lovely and inspiring way to spend a few hours with my husband celebrating my upcoming birthday. As we’re both working tomorrow I decided to celebrate a day early and so we had a nice time out at our local cinema/cafe. A meet-up with a blogging friend, time spent reading my book, Boy Swallows Universe, followed by a leisurely walk through the forest after a storm, rounded out the day perfectly. Consider myself pampered!

Matinee Movie - The Dawn Wall
Matinee Movie – The Dawn Wall

Day 12: Remember the pets in our lives

It’s Pet Day for Day 12 of the ‘advent calendar with a difference’ challenge.  I don’t have a pet myself but I do have two fur-babies belonging to my daughter in England. A gorgeous chunky black Labrador called Ozzy and a huge rabbit called Bruce. They are both super cute as is my daughter – naturally!!  This photo was taken on our recent visit to see her – Our Odyssey.

Melanie and Ozzy on the beach
Melanie and Ozzy on the beach

It was also my birthday today so I wrote this Birthday Letter to myself!

Day 13: A Random Act of Kindness

Anyone for a Christmas Mince Pie? A random act of kindness is the prompt for today.  I love a random act of kindness and have been the recipient of amazing kindnesses from strangers over the years!  After enjoying a mince pie and cup of tea with a friend I arranged to pay for a random stranger to be given this delicious treat at my local cafe today, along with my festive compliments of the season. It felt good too!! I hope they enjoyed it. Trying to minimise the stress at this time of the year and these daily prompts are such a fun way to think outside the square.

Mince pie
Mince pie

Day 14: Give the gift of your time

Give your time to someone else is the prompt on Day 14. Today I gave time to this little nugget. She’s all grown up now but still asks for her mother’s help from time to time (which I love). We don’t live close to each other but manage to stay in touch most days. We had a great chat and discussed a few things and hopefully I’ve been of help to her! It’s always such a pleasure to give time to her. Where has the time gone since she was this little??

Eliza as a little girl
Eliza as a little girl

Day 15: Take a mindfulness walk around your neighbourhood

Today I wandered our Main Street, called The Parade, and took in the busyness, the colour, the action, the people and, most importantly, the Christmas trees tied to poles along the street. Although this happens most years, I was trying to be mindful as I wandered along, as per today’s prompt and saw it with fresh eyes. The trees are usually placed by inmates from our nearby correctional centre (where I worked for 20+ years) and are an act of goodwill to the community. They add a certain festiveness to the town and some shop owners decorate the trees outside their businesses which adds even more colour and joy!! The trees are a unique custom that I have probably taken for granted in previous years. I thought I’d share it with you today 😊

Day 16: Unplug to reconnect

Today Anna, our Hungarian Rotary Exchange Student (who is living with us at the moment), and I put our phones away for most of the day and went Christmas shopping in Wagga Wagga.  It wasn’t as busy as I was expecting and so we had an extra nice time wandering around the shops without having to do battle with crowds of people.  We stopped for refreshments and Anna took the opportunity to taste test an iced coffee with (ice cream and cream) and we shared a yummy muffin.  We chatted most of the way there and back (over an hour each way) and enjoyed some unplugged time (it helps that there’s no reception for most of the way).  A lovely day together and it was great having time to connect without the pull of technology getting in the way.

Anna taking a break from Christmas shopping
Anna taking a break from Christmas shopping

So that’s a wrap on the second week of the #my25daycountdowntoahappychristmas challenge.  It’s always fun to see how others are interpreting the daily prompts.  I think this is a much nicer Advent Calendar idea than eating chocolate every morning, but maybe that’s just me 🙂


The whole idea of this challenge is to take the stress out of Christmas and to enjoy the festive season and I’m all for that! What are your suggestions for staying stress free at this time of the year?

Are you feeling stressed?  I hope you’re coping OK, I know it can be hard for many at this time of the year.  I know we’ll be missing my daughter in England this year and wishing  they were with us.  It will be hard for her too, knowing we’re all together. I think these prompts have helped me think of others, be more mindful and enjoy the festivities more

I always appreciate hearing from you 🙂 . Take care and try to stay stress free, we’re on the home run now!

Deb xx

Feel free to share on Pinterest:

25 day countdown to a Happy Christmas week 2

Linking up with Denyse’s #Lifethisweek and Terri’s Sunday Stills with the themes of Christmas and Festive.

All my Sunday Stills posts are here

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  One thought on “My 25 Day Countdown to a Happy Christmas #2

  1. Lise
    December 16, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    What a lovely and different kind of advent calendar! It’s a shame that Christmas CDs are kind of a thing of the past now, I used to have a massive collection that I would bring out each Christmas, I don’t even think I have anything except for my car that can play them anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Isn’t it a great idea! I’m really enjoying my thought processes clicking in each morning and wondering what I’ll come up with. Yes CDs are fast becoming a thing of the past and how to play them these days. I have so many in my collection too!!


    • December 17, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      We have masses of CDs which we’ve loaded onto our computer and then play through the stereo through Apple TV. I’m sure it was easier just playing the CD but at least we get to play them a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. December 17, 2018 at 12:36 am

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing, Deb!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. December 17, 2018 at 4:06 am

    I love this idea too, have to admit I’m quite stressed with Christmas, putting I’m the tree has been today’s stress.. next week I need to start baking.. mince pies.. all the final things to be done. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and your daughter does too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks so much Marian, it’s a stressful part of the year that’s for sure! Hoping you feel better soon and my advice is to just enjoy it as much as you can. I no longer bake or do too much other stuff as I don’t enjoy that or the stress involved. It all works out on the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • December 18, 2018 at 8:05 am

        I always bake my own mince pies, that’s enough looking forward to the children opening their presents. Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Unbound Roots
    December 17, 2018 at 4:48 am

    All great points, Deb! I especially can connect with the “unplug” section. Last night my son asked if I would watch a movie with him, but he also added “Can you leave your phone in the kitchen, so you can watch the whole movie with me?” Made me a little sad that I have ever made him feel less important due to my time on my phone. Unplugging is something I’m going to do more of this Christmas and in the future. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Yes unplugging is so necessary sometimes and isn’t it funny what kids pick up on?? Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. December 17, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Great ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jo
    December 17, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I love this whole mindful way of counting down to the big day – much healthier (in every way) than chocolate! Plus I always get a kick out of seeing pics of Tumba. All the best of the feeling of the season to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks heaps Jo, so happy I can share my photos and to hear you are enjoying them too. It’s a different way of thinking at times and I often wonder what I’ll come up with but it always seems to work. all the best to you too Jo. It’s been so good to connect with you this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. December 17, 2018 at 11:28 am

    If I had been paying attention, I could have participating in Sue’s countdown! I like what you did with the challenge, Debbie, and incorporated Sunday Stills into it! Some great traditions and festivities to enjoy for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks for commenting Terri, I decided to use the one post for both as they fit perfectly! It’s been a really fun challenge and I’m enjoying stretching my brain that little bit more each day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. December 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I’m loving what you’re doing with Sue’s challenge Deb – it gives me little snapshots into your life. Your daughter has a similar pet naming strategy to me – our last dog was named Ozzie and I had a budgie named Bruce at one stage – obviously we were on a Ocker theme there for a while! Hope all continues to be cruisy in your lead up to Christmas Day xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Oh that’s so sweet of you to say Leanne! I’m having fun sharing my thoughts every day and I suppose it does give little snapshots into my life at the same time. How funny that you had a dog called Ozzie and a budgie called Bruce. It’s Melanie’s connection to home 🙂 Hope you’re feeling relaxed about it all too. I sometimes feel like I’m in the calm before the storm.


      • December 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

        Hi Deb – just popping back to say thanks so much for being such a great friend and someone who always encourages me in this strange blogging adventure – also thanks for being a part of MLSTL this year – and I’ve shared your post on my SM – Happy Christmas! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • December 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm

          Thanks go to you Leanne and Sue for your encouragement and support. It’s been so good to connect with like minded bloggers and now we’re friends too 🙂


  9. December 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Hi, Deb – I love your takes on Sue’s prompts. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
    BTW – “The Little Drummer Boy” is also one of my favourite Christmas songs — especially the Bing Crosby/David Bowie version!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Donna, as always I appreciate your thoughts. I’ve really enjoyed this process and sharing them with everyone else is fun too! Great song 🙂


  10. December 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Great ideas Deb, especially love the random act of kindness and the technical unplugging. Anything that relieves the stress of life is worth doing isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 17, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Yes it’s so important to unplug every now and again isn’t it? I love the random acts of kindness too. I must admit it’s been fun thinking of my responses to these prompts every day 🙂 .

      Liked by 1 person

  11. December 17, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I do like this idea although I didn’t participate myself everyday. Mind you, I’m very relaxed at Christmas – bring it on!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. December 18, 2018 at 12:15 am

    I love the random acts of kindness day, and I am sure the person that received the gift loved it too. I also think it is a nice tradition that the inmates do something nice for the community. There is a lot of good to come from simple acts. Thanks for sharing Deb! (And Happy Almost Birthday!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 19, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Yes I agree Angela, it is always good to see the community benefit from inmates’ efforts. I enjoy seeing random acts of kindness done and helps me realise there is still compassion in the world. Many thanks for your lovely comment. X

      Liked by 1 person

  13. December 18, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Love your calendar! I’ve never been that organised. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. December 18, 2018 at 2:42 am

    Love how the inmates give back at Christmas time by putting up the trees and that the shop owners decorate them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Yes, it’s a great tradition and one they all enjoy.


  15. December 18, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Hi Deb – I love your takes on Sue’s prompts. So much nicer to enjoy the holiday season with some self-care and being mindful of the good things around us. I’m relaxed at Christmas. I look forward to my family gathering next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Natalie, it’s been a great challenge to help clear the air of stresses and be creative. being mindful is all important. Enjoy your family x


  16. December 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Deb I’ve been following your 25 days day countdown to a happy Christmas and have enjoyed your slant on the days instruction. I’m regretting not joining in but felt something had to give as this is a busy time at work for me. Looking Forward to your posts for the last few days #MLSTL Shared on SM

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 19, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks Jennifer, it’s good to know you’ve been following the countdown. Yes you’re right something has to give especially at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing. x


  17. Denyse
    December 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    What a lovely catch up here and I love the variety in your week(s). Have a wonderful festive time over the next days and week…Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Denyse! I’ve enjoyed the variety and thinking outside the square. It’s taken the focus off the season. Enjoy the festivities!


      • Denyse
        December 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm

        Thank you Debbie and I have loved getting to know you in 2018.
        Thank you for your connections & comments on #lifethisweek in 2018. It has been fun and I welcome you back in 2019. Next week’s optional prompt is “We Made It”. The last one in 2018. Denyse x

        Liked by 1 person

  18. December 20, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Hi Deb thank you so much for joining in my challenge and I hope you are enjoying it. I think I’m going to make it an annual tradition so watch out for next December! LOL:) I’ve looked forward to your photos each day and loved your interpretation of the prompts. Have a great Christmas and thank you for being a special member of our #MLSTL community. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 26, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks Sue, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and posted my final post today. I’m now officially on a blogging break.! All the best to you and I’ve loved getting to know you more this year. Your blog is a great inspiration and you should be very proud of your blogging community you’ve built. Take care xx


  19. December 22, 2018 at 5:20 am

    I love the idea of slowing down and paying attention to little things around the holidays. I used to get so caught up in all the busyness, but have learned to relax and treat myself well. Maybe I will join in this challenge next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 26, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Yes it’s a bit hectic at times isn’t it? I’m enjoying the slower pace and taking notice of what’s going on around me. Best wishes for the new year.


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