Wouldn’t you LOVE for this Christmas to be your BEST Christmas EVER?

Wouldn't you LOVE for this Christmas to be your BEST Christmas EVER?


Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Colossians 3:16-17

When you realize that there are just 29 sleeps until Christmas does it excite you, not phase you, or stress you out?

After my more than 29 years of anticipating Christmas, I finally have some advice that will truly change everything about your Christmas.

Actually, it’s not my advice… it’s Paul’s advice.

ONE THING you can do

to make this your BEST Christmas EVER!


Thank God every step of the way.

Having an attitude of gratitude is a game-changer for the Christmas season.

Here are just a five ways you’ll experience what gratitude can do for you…



  • helps you get a better night’s sleep.
  • kills stress.
  • positively impacts your relationships.
  • helps you bounce back emotionally.
  • improves brain function.

What does all of this have to do with Christmas?

God sent his only son Jesus to earth as a humble babe to free you from the tyranny of this world.

He didn’t send Jesus to make your to-do list longer, to empty your bank account, or to make you feel miserable.

Quite the opposite.


ONE Thing to Make this Christmas the BEST


Today was a good example.

This morning I was headed out the door shortly after 8 o’clock.  My eleven-year-old neighbor greeted me as I opened the door.  It shocked both of us. For a moment.

When I returned several hours later, she crossed my path again and wanted to know if we could do something together.  I was just coming home to get my long-handled pruners for snipping some American Holly branches I spotted on the side of the road.  She got permission and then jumped in the car with me.  For her, this little jaunt was an adventure.

As I drove, she talked and I listened.  And I wondered how many times someone actually listens to her.

When I got back home, she carried my loppers up the stairs for me as my hands were full of berry branches and offered to pick all the leaves from the branches for me. That, to me, is a gift.  So, I asked her if she would like to come back in a half an hour and she did.

While she picked dried up leaves from the branches, I started fluffing my Christmas tree.

I confess, fluffing Christmas trees is torture for me.  But, it was made easier by two things.  One, a pair of well-fitting, lightweight work gloves Tim picked up for me a few days before and two, the opportunity to listen and pour into a needy young girl.

And yes… I realized the blessing and had a grateful heart in the midst of it all.

After the berry branches were plucked clean of leaves, she then asked, “Do you have something else for me to do?”

I gave her a gingerbread donut and then realizing that I have a helper, I quickly left the room for a couple bags of pine cones.

Last fall she and her brother went on a nature hike with us.  They had the BEST of times.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe how two kids could have so much fun walking through the nearby fields and woods.

I asked her if she remembered our nature walk and she did.  “These bags of pine cones are those we collected that day,” I told her.

Oh my goodness, she was so excited to look at them all again.  And happily went to work sorting the pine cones by shape, size, and color.


Wouldn't you like to know how to have the best Christmas EVER?


Sometime along the way her brother came up to see when Tim was going to be home.  And then asked if he could join us.  Actually, he might have asked if I had any work he could do.  These kids LIKE to work.

I put him to work, alongside his sister, sorting through the pine cones as I went from fluffing the tree to stringing lights on my tree.

With Christmas music playing, I sang along, and they laughed and giggled, and talked about their sorting and so much more. There might even have been little breaks for silly activities like doing planks for the count of 40.  And all the while my fingers flew across the needles on the tree, weaving in more and more lights until I was finished and their hero came home.

That could be Tim.

They like me.

A lot.

But, Tim is their hero.


How to Make this Your Best Christmas Ever _ Do One Thing


Recently I decided to embark on this Christmas season with an attitude of gratitude.

Had I not, I would have told the kids I was busy.

And that would be true.  Too true.

You see, although I am grateful for the work, I have some unexpected work that will take a lion’s share of my time in the next few weeks and my plans and schedule got totally upended.

I could very easily have chosen to get swallowed up by my to-do list, but instead, I made a conscious decision a few days ago to choose thankfulness.

Now, in this season, it will be very easy to allow myself to get off-track and sucked into the rat-race of the season.  Instead, I’m daily choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to be my check and press on with an attitude of gratitude.

How do you get an attitude of gratitude?


You can keep a journal and write five or ten things down each day.  You could mentally count at the end of the day when you pray.  You could share your gratefulness with the world on Facebook.

What makes this exercise critical, is that our thankfulness should focus first and foremost on God and who he is and what he does for us.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be thankful for the people, events, and good things that take place in your life.  Obviously, I just wrote about two blonde-haired kids who spent a few hours of their afternoon, hanging out and helping me.  What I am saying is that when we focus first on God, we are able to set the compass of our lives so that everything we do and experience will be oriented by our compass (the Lord).

This focus is especially important at Christmas.

The one thing we want to do is to make our observation of Christmas more meaningful.  Not just for us individually, but also for those in our lives and those with whom we cross paths.

I would love to have you check in throughout the season and just before the  New Year to share how you found this simple, but the purposeful action of choosing gratitude to be life-changing for your Christmas season.

Let’s be thankful people and impact our world this Christmas with our attitude of gratitude.

And in the process…

You can make this your best Christmas EVER!

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Wouldn't you LOVE for this Christmas to be your BEST Christmas EVER - AnExtraordinaryDay.net


The one thing you can do to make this your best Christmas ever - It's Joy Day!

It’s JoyDay!

Start here to take back Christmas and get your joy meter soaring!

Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful.

This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space resets our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord. And ultimately fills our hearts with JOY!

I’ll start…

Thank you, God for…

  1. scripture and how you show me new and wonderful things each day that help me live a more vital and vibrant life.
  2. Your amazing love and grace and how this season of Christmas reminds me of Your wonderful gift in new and fresh ways.
  3. my small group and our wonderful “Thanksgiving” dinner on Tuesday evening.
  4. an extra job this week.
  5. laughter and happy kiddos who love hanging out with us.
  6. Jesus and the amazing sacrifice that was made on my behalf.
  7. all the extra work that awaits us this week.  What a blessing.

Now…it’s YOUR turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below.  You’ll be glad you did.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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  1. Lucy Beautiful says

    I am thankful for
    1. A wonderful Lord who never gives up on me! Bless him!
    2. For all of Diane’s posts I receive every evening! They bring with them thoughts that are healthy and good for me!
    3. The medication Guy shares with me when I have run out.
    4. Our lovely Puppy Marcell!! He makes me so happy!! I love him!!!
    5. The beautiful drives we have taken this week! The river and mountain are so lovely!!
    6. Our wonderful evening out! We had a date for Thanksgiving!!! It was spectacular!!!
    7. Our brand new Christmas Tree! It’s only 4 feet tall but it’s perfect!!!

    • Oh, Lucy, I love the joy and happiness in your “voice.” Your apartment is going to be darling this Christmas. I’ve never been in your neck of the woods… but nearby on the American side of things and it is gorgeous. So glad you’re getting out and enjoying some spectacular views.
      May your week be filled with JOY and blessing and healing and health.

  2. Minnie McCoy says

    Joy Day my friend!
    Love the pics, everything looking like Christmas should!
    I thank you Lord for,
    1. We had a lovely Thanksgiving with the kids and grandkids.
    2. My dishwasher.
    3. This week it has been raining but not so cold that I shiver all day.
    4. Husband now has surgery scheduled. It will not cure him but his doctors hope to relieve some of his pain.
    5. Christmas decorating this week. Yea! It always brings joy to my heart.
    6.My family knows you Lord. As I walked passed my youngest son’s car I spotted his bible on the dash board. I did not know he took it to work with him.
    7. Quite moments with you Lord. I hear you.
    Diane, thank you so much for this place you have provided. We have fun and a good time but even more importantly we have Christian gathering. The fact that we will never meet face to face on this side of Glory I think of you, pray for you and I am grateful for you.
    Blessings to you Dear Friend!

    • My dear sweet friend I cannot tell you how meaningful those closing thoughts were to me tonight. You encouraged my heart more than you will ever know.
      I’ll be praying for your husband’s surgery and for God to give the surgeons amazing success and your husband relief WAY beyond what is expected. Thank you for sharing your blessings with us here in our little community. God bless you and fill your heart JOY! xo

  3. Gwen says

    Joy Day
    It’s the wee hours of the morn and I should be asleep. This is becoming a poor habit several times a week.
    1. God you heard my cries and You answered me
    2. You allowed me to share You with two people. Help me to let my light shine and not concern myself with what others think or say
    3. I love to sing to You Lord and read Your Word. I’m amazed how much I learn every day.
    4. Thank you Lord for Curt’s job and good cancer check up
    5. Thank you Lord for time tomorrow.
    6. Thank you Lord for loving me as I am
    7. You Lord thank you for the shield about me

    • I’m so sorry, Gwen, that you’re having trouble sleeping. Whenever I go through patches like that I take some Calm. It’s a powdered magnesium that you stir into water and drink. You can find it online at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BmYQGF or at your health food store, I’m sure. Praying that you return to a good sleep pattern tonight.
      Praising God for Curt’s job and a good cancer check up.
      Rejoicing with you at the goodness of the Lord. May your week overflow with JOY and unexpected God moments. xoxo

  4. What a beautiful, mindful post. Thank you. I love how available you are to these two young hearts who so desperately need you. I’m thankful for 3 wonderful days with our son and daughter-in-law; for God providing this gift of a young woman to our son; for peace in the midst of whatever comes our way; for the Holy Spirit who convicts and moves and encourages; for a house (even if it isn’t located where I’d like to be!); for a God who uses sinners like me to serve Him.

    • Thank you, Lauren, you are so encouraging!
      Praise God for all the good ways he moves and guides and ministers to us. May your grateful heart overflow with JOY and splash others this Christmas season with God’s goodness and grace.
      Have a blessed week, my friend!! xo

  5. Kim Neely says

    Thank you for your post. It’s wonderful and such an encouraging reminder to keep our focus on what really matters during this Christmas season!

    I love your joy pillow and the flower pillow. Do you have a tutorial for that DIY?

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


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