40-Day Challenge – Day 1


You probably would not add a family room to your home without a blueprint, knit a sweater without a pattern, or head off on a cross-country vacation without a map. But when it comes to preparing for Christmas, most of us hit the ground running the day after Thanksgiving—without a blueprint, pattern, or map. We get caught up in all the emotions of the season, and before we know it, we’re taking Christmas three stairs at a time.

Winston Churchill once said: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Mary Hunt (yes, that’s me) has learned the hard way: Plans not written are only daydreams.

Today, your challenge is to address Christmases past and reduce your dreams to a simple written Holiday Plan. Get the family involved. Get out the calendar to make sure the season is evenly paced. It’s a great time to reaffirm that you probably can’t do it all, be you can do enough. Make those choices now while the pressure’s off.

Care to comment, share or discuss? We’d love for you to do that in the comments area below.



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9 replies
  1. Karin says:

    As an older woman on my own, Christmas is a discouraging time for me. This year, I’m going to check out the Gingerbread Displays. I got tickets to a Holiday Pops concert and invited a friend. Planning is so important to get me to attend enjoyable events. I have more items on my agenda that are fun, positive and I’m happier for it!

  2. Susan says:

    I am interested in some tips to not feel guilty when I’m overwhelmed and can’t do it all. I try every year and haven’t learned the answer yet. Lol. I always decide to make some crafts for gifts too late and don’t have time to get them done….again. But…we’re starting early for decorating as my husband is having surgery in a week and won’t be able to do things he usually does after that. So starting early and being “tied down” may help!?

  3. Chris Stevens says:


    This fall my husband and I were fortunate enough to enjoy a beautiful trip to Hawaii. Because of the cost, I suggested we forgo Christmas gifts to each other, but he still wants to exchange gifts. His income is about 4 times higher than what I make. Should I go along with his wishes and exchange gifts, or follow with what has always worked for me, based on my income and bow out? I believe Christmas should be for children and those less fortunate.
    Please advise.

  4. Vivian Freppon says:

    This year during Halloween pumpkin carving time, our extended family decided that the 6 kids and their significant others draw names and give each other a gift card for $20. That way some do not feel badly if those who drew their names went crazy or just barely hit the $20 mark (all cousins except significant others of course :)) We decided also that for the pass the gift game, the adults will give a well loved, appropriate 🙂 gift or make something. For the little kids (aged 4 months to 10 years) all get a gift purchased by myself and my sister (for our grandchildren). Everyone is having cash flow problems, like the rest of the world, and we decided when 22 people get together the packages take up more room than the people and we wanted to work on that.

  5. Beth says:

    I have decided on a few things that are must-do items for me, and have given up all the rest. I was to enjoy the season. It really help.

  6. Deb says:

    Our family scaled back a few years ago and we all love it. We draw names of us parents and the 3 kids and DIL but get stuff for grandson. We put out “wish lists” to pick from. We are fortunate that the kids are stable and have good jobs and we really don’t “need” a lot of stuff to celebrate the season. I make one kind of cookie, dipped pretzels (easy) and chocolate peanuts(easy). Somebody might make something else they want to bring but we don’t go crazy. They let mom (me) slip something in the stockings cause it’s mom :)) Every year we vote to keep it going cause it relieves stress and money crunch. Makes for Happy Holidays!!

  7. Alice Dean says:

    When I first retired, I made 10 different Christmas cookies because I finally had lots of time! That was 7years ago. I now make 4. My family voted on their favs. We decided to save the money(& calories). The money now goes to the Toy Drive!


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