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Much of the joy of Christmas comes with the countdown to the final event.  My children love their advent calendars with a little chocolate to eat each morning as they mark off the days.  
We are in what my granddaddy would call “short rows” when he was farming.  Those were the rows on the periphery of the field, which are shorter than the rest so when you get to the short rows your work is almost finished.
How about you?  Are you finished?  I still have things to do.  Call me totally crazy, but I have had painters at my house for the past week and a half.  That definitely put a monkey wrench in my preparations, but it makes me happy to see my freshly painted house.  (if you follow me on instagram you can see my house’s new paint job) I can finally hang my greenery today.  I know it’s last minute but that’s ok with me, because I typically use fresh greens and fruits, and I like it to be fresh for Christmas Eve so the later the better.  I sat down to make a list of all that is left to do.  I thought I would share my list, as well as some great last minute gift ideas.  (continue reading after clicking the header for my list….)
1.  Entertaining? No one beats Annette Joseph in the party planning department.  Entertaining for the holidays? Check out her “Holiday Party Planning and Tool Box Essentials”.  Also, if you need a gift for someone who entertains or likes to cook make sure you buy her book “Picture Perfect Parties“.  It will be a favorite gift for sure. ( Available at your local bookstore or if you order today on Amazon, it can be on your doorstep for Christmas.)
2.  Stock the Bar. Phoebe Howard gives us the bones for stocking the bar on Southern Living here.  If you want to know what to put in the bar Real Simple gives great advice here
Whatever you do, make sure you come up with a signature drink like “Santa’s Little Helper”, “The Merry, Merry”, “Elf Cheer” or “Jingle Juice”.  Here is a guide for 15 great ones.  Just pick one and name it!
3. Holiday Lights Drive By – Gather up the kids or your neighbors and take a drive around town to see the lights.  Play Christmas music and enjoy.  If you are in the Charlotte area, here is my list of recommendations for your drive by :  
The Lights of McAdenvilleHoliday Lights at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens,  Speedway Christmas,(you get to drive on the track at the end), Make sure to check out these address while you are out 501 Mammoth Oaks Drive, Hillside Drive, and 10732 Honeynut Drive 28277(Adrey Kell) 
5. Music – Make a festive holiday playlist if you haven’t already.  You can do a quick one like I did here…
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6. My secret tip….if you still have things to do, make sure you wait til dinner hour, people stop to eat, or close to closing time for the stores, the lines aren’t as long then. 

      Last Minute Gift Ideas that will warm hearts and provide for the Needy!
Still have names on your list that you haven’t bought for?  Chances are great that those people really don’t need anything hence the reason you are at a loss as to what to buy, right?  Here’s what I suggest….give a donation in their name!  Don’t worry that you are late sending it just do it!  If you need a little boost on donating read the post on my friend Leslie Wood’s blog from yesterday called The White Envelope  There will be a white envelope on my tree, how bout you?
Here Are My Favorite Charities:
1) ShowHope – Started by Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman after the loss of their adopted daughter, Maria, ShowHope provides orphan care and adoption aid to families world wide.  It’s a beautiful story.
2) World Vision – purchase a goat for a woman, chickens to feed a family or provide a well for a village.  This charity is a favorite of my children’s 
3) Amazima Ministries – Katie Davis is amazing.  Read how in her twenties, she made the decision to moved to Uganda, start this ministry to feed, educate and encourage the orphan poor, then also adopted 13 girls  whom she parents on her own.  Buy Katie’s book Kisses from Katie and give to her cause!  
4. Dwell with Dignity –  Go to their Jingle Dwell site here  pick out a rug, chest or another piece of furniture to donate to in honor of the person on your list.  Spend $50 and provide a first night meal for a family in their new home. 
5. Beds 4 Kids – providing families with their first home beds so that they aren’t sleeping on the floor of their new home. 
6. Danita’s Orphanage in Haiti – Providing for the children of Haiti.  You can adopt a child for the year through a monthly partnership and the orphanage will send you details about the child you are sponsoring.  If school age, the children will write you letters.   You can also make a one time donation. 

7. St Judes Childrens Hospital – they take care of children and families who have sick children.

       If you are in the Charlotte Area shop Bedside Manor
 for a discount and a good cause!


Bedside Manor at Specialty Shops is offering a 20% discount and donating 10% to one of my favorite local charity,Beds for Kids

Last Minute Gift Guide

Bedside Manor has the perfect gifts for everyone on your list and right now you can
save 20%!
















December 21-23

Receive 20% off your total purchase*
and Bedside Manor will 

Give 10% of sales to Beds For Kids





Remember those less fortunate this holiday season! 
P.S. I made a donation in the name of my readers!  Merry Christmas!
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