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21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge: Day 1

Join the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge

It’s December! And I am determined to have a peaceful, simple, memorable month. Not one filled with stress, busyness, and exhaustion.

With this in mind, I’m going to be holding a 21-Day Challenge here on For the next 21 days, I’ll be blogging about how to have a simple, memorable Christmas.

I’m not blogging about this because I have all the answers (believe me, I don’t!), but because I want to pursue peace instead of chaos this year. 🙂 It should be an interesting journey — and I’ll be sharing my mistakes, lessons learned, and successes along the way.

Would you like to join me? Here’s how it will work: Each morning, there will be a post with a few simple projects for you to complete, if you’d like to join me. And each evening, I’ll post my progress in completing those projects and how I’m doing at fulfilling my goal of having a calm Christmas season.

Day 1 Project

1. Download a copy of Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas (see below). It’s FREE!

2. Read the introduction of Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas. Write down a mission statement for yourself for this Christmas season. This should be more along the lines of what you hope to experience this Christmas season, not specific things you want to accomplish.

Come back here at 9 p.m. EST tonight and read my goals for this Christmas and share yours in the comments or blog link-up.

Get a FREE Copy of Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas

Get Your FREE Copy of Celebrating & Savoring A Simple Christmas

Psst! Be sure to download your FREE Christmas ebook. It’s my gift to you this year — and you’ll need it if you want to participate in this challenge!

To get a copy, just fill out your name and email address here. Then, click on the link in your inbox to confirm your email address. You’ll be emailed a download link as soon as you do so. It’s my gift to you this year — and you’ll need it if you want to participate in this challenge!

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

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  • Mrs. R. says:

    Thank you sooooooooo MUCH!

  • Kim says:

    I am so glad you are doing this! On top of the busyness of Christmas, our family of 5 has 4 birthdays during the months of December and January! Any advice on how to make birthdays special during this season without breaking the bank??

    • Shawna says:

      @ Kim regarding December birthdays. My birthday is 4 days before Christmas. As a young child my mom didn’t put the tree up til the day after my birthday. As a pre teen/teen I celebrate a half year birthday which was tons of fun. I still to this day refuse any gift that is wrapped in Christmas paper. I love gift certificates even if they are on paper for something to do or get later in the year! (That way my family can send the money later). Last off make sure their day is about them we don’t do anything holiday related on my birthday!

    • Stephanie says:

      We have a 3 birthdays this month, mine being one of them and the others are 2 of my 3 kids! I remember as a kid wanting my birthday to be special like the other kids who didn’t have it around a holiday. That means just that, make it seperate and special! Definitely no gifts wrapped in Christmas paper! Not breaking the bank is easy for me with these birthdays, with all the sales and deals, and keeping to a one gift limit is easier as well because in a couple of weeks they will get a lot more!

    • Ilyssa says:

      Wow! You’ve got your hands full!

      In our house, on your birthday you get to choose what meals will be made for the day. Anything goes! Spaghetti for breakfast… ice cream for lunch… pancakes for dinner…. we’ve done it all.

      You could print out coupons for “Extra Video Game Time” or “Staying Up 15 Minutes Past Bedtime,” or make a coupon book with a bunch of them.

      And to make the December birthdays special, what about making your Christmas tree into a “Birthday” tree. Just throw on some streamers and maybe some balloons.

  • Jessica says:

    My baby was born on 12/24/12 – and I have a 3 1/2 yo and a 7yo, so I expect lots of craziness in my house! Family can’t make it on her birthday, so we’re having a party on 12/28.

    • Monica says:

      One of my kids was born on the 27th and sadly, very few family members remember his special day. Wrapping his b-day gift in Christmas gift wrap is so cheesy and thoughtless of them! That bothers me so much.

      • Christine says:

        I share the same birthday as your child. I’ll be 45 this year – eek! When I was growing up, my birthday, too, got a little lost in all the excitement of Christmas. Once I got married, my husband announced that he would like to celebrate my birthday on the 27th of every month. Birthdays were really BIG in his family growing up, so his aim was to try to somehow “make up” for all the years my birthday was overlooked. Every month on the 27th he brings home a small gift. And, I have to admit it’s kind of fun!

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for this gift. I know myself, the holidays make me crazy with the busy of being busy, so I have already cleared off my calendar as much as I can to give me at least 3 mornings of nothing planned so I can enjoy the holiday with out the rushing of it all. Giving me time to breathe amongst the commitments. 🙂

  • Shelley says:

    Thank you Crystal
    I always enjoy your challenges.
    Merry Christmas

  • Jennifer Caswell says:

    My goal for 2013 overall was to “live intentionally” and I really think this applies to what I would like to experience this Christmas. We need to slow down and enjoy the moments we get as a family versus jamming too much into one day trying to make up for what we feel we have missed other weeks. Going to enjoy this book and challenge 🙂

  • Susan I says:

    @kim, some other ways to make birthdays special without breaking the bank regardless of the time of year is getting the “you are special today” red plate for their food. My mom had this for us kids growing up and I have it to this day and use it dor my girls, when I remember 😉 And I also purchased them yearly birtjday candles, just like I had, and they enjoy that as well, when I remember. we have hanukkah, one Dec. birthday, x-mas and a Jan 4 birthday and my girls are two years apart so in those early years the holiday season seemed especially hetic. And now we have a nephew with a dec. 27 birthday and I am making sure that I am not doing any sort of combined birthday/x-mas presents. Don’t want it for my kids, at least not now why they are still youngish.

  • Ilyssa says:

    Crystal, thank you so much for the free copy of your book… that is so generous of you! And thank you for hosting this giveaway! I will be following along each day for sure! I have found myself trying desperately to compete with other people this Christmas, and my family simply cannot handle the stress (emotionally and financially) that it will cause. I’m happy to catch myself before it gets out of hand. I am so excited to read your book and follow along on this challenge. I think it’s going to help me immensely.

  • Ruthie says:

    This sounds great. I believe it will help me enjoy Christmas. Thanks

  • Sandra Burnett says:

    Thank you!

  • Sandra Burnett says:

    This sounds wonderful!

  • Karen C says:

    Just stumbled onto this catching up with email. Thanks Money Saving Mom and Crystal Paine. I’ve recently become a fan of Crystals because I downloaded her book “21 days to a more disciplined life” and used it to get through our major Thanksgiving week long family reunion. I was so amazed at how much it helped that I started over again with my mega project “21 days to a stress free Xmas”. Just downloaded the free email so it probably won’t take me long to catch up with all of you because I’ve probably done some of it already.

    I love having a support group, so I’ll be checking back in. Good luck everyone.

  • Donna says:

    Looking forward to this!

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