Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anniversary Week: Giveaway #2


Happy Tuesday everyone! I had so much fun reading all of your comments yesterday and now I have lots of new stuff I want to check out on iTunes. Thank you!


Alright, today I'm giving away a copy of my husband's book, Touching Wonder. (You knew this was coming, right?)




John has taken several of the characters in the Nativity story--Mary, Joseph, Gabriel, Zachariah, and more-- and told the story of Jesus' birth from their perspective. You can read the first chapter here. I personally think it's a brilliant book, but others are giving it great reviews too. I am so incredibly proud of John.


To enter the book giveaway, I want you to leave a comment telling me one thing that just makes Christmas feel like Christmas for you. Maybe it's the music, maybe it is certain smells or all the delicious food or the Christmas tree or your nativity scene. Maybe you're Jewish and you celebrate Hannukah. Share something that makes that special for you. There is no right or wrong answer!


For me...it's our Advent wreath. We keep it on the table, read the designated scriptures, light the candles, and eat by candlelight each night at dinner. It is a deliberate time at the end of our day to slow down and focus on what the season is about. I love it so much.


I know that many of you have already bought a copy of Touching Wonder. Thank you! Please feel free to enter the giveaway though. I'm sure there is someone you can gift with this book!


I also want to mention that Touching Wonder was illustrated by our dear friend, Amanda. John is giving away a print of one of Amanda's sketches (cool!!!) along with a copy of his book over on his blog this week. You can click here to see the print and to enter his giveaway.


The fine print: Giveaway will close at 10pm on Saturday, October 31. Winners will be chosen at random and posted on Sunday, November 1. Contest is open to US and international residents. You don't have to have a blog to enter, but you must leave a way to be contacted should you win.

49 comments:

jeanie@mageditor.blogspot.com said...

My birthday is Christmas Eve so I always had such a convuluted idea of Christmas. I figured Jesus and I were pretty important people! LOL
So my favorite childhood memories all are mixed up with my birthday too.
My favorite memories since becoming a wife and Mom surround our Christmas tree. We almost always put it up the day after Thanksgiving (yes...it's fake because of asthmatic children) and decorating it is a family event. We've collected ornaments over the years that mean alot to each of us and so it is very special. This year I can't wait to put up the tree with my soon to be 18 year old. The years have FLOWN by and I think it will be very bittersweet.

The other thing that I adore about Christmas is something I made many years ago. I took stiff irridescent paper and with a gold glitter pen wrote the different names for Jesus (Wonderful, Savior, etc.) then I attached them to a lighted garland with pretty gold ribbon and I always use that on my archway into the living room. The stars hang down from the arch. I found a crown ornament that I attach to the center of the arch. It's probably hokey but I love it.
For many years I had such high expectations of Christmas and wanting it to be perfect for my kids that I was always inevitably disappointed. Finally, I gave it up and was able to just relax and enjoy all the little things.
I know this is WAY too long but one other thing that my kids have always loved is loading up in the car with hot cocoa (usually Starbucks) and cookies and heading out to look at Christmas lights. VERY FUN!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

For me, it's our tree. There won't be any presents under it this year, but starting my morning with the Lord by the light of our tree is a truly special time I look forward to each day.

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

I have way too many favorites for Christmas to pick just one. I love sending and receiving cards. I love that each year that I do even just a little Advent activities (reading of Scriptures) with my girls it goes a better. I love Christmas Eve services and matching jammies for girls that night. I love Christmas movies.

Is that enough? :) And I'm looking forward to reviewing his book in a few weeks on the blog tour that I am part of!

Tree Frog Creations... said...

I love simply sitting around the Christmas tree with my family...in the dark with nothing but the tree lights sparkling!

Lauren Kelly said...

Count me in, would love to read this.

What makes Christmas so special to me is just taking the focus totally off of myself and putting it on to others. Spreading kindness just in hopes that other people will pay it forward. Taking in all the wonder that the season has to offer when you put aside all the holiday craziness.
And of course, great times with family and friends and great food!!! :)

Amber said...

John's book is so great!! Kirk and I were just talking about how many copies we are going to buy for gifts this year!

I love everything about the Christmas season. But my favorite thing would have to be our tree. I love to turn every light off in the house and just sit by the lights of our tree. We also love to read books and play games as a family by the light of that tree.
Such special memories.

JenB said...

It feels like Christmas to me when my house is decorated. It just looks and feels different and I LOVE it. My favorite time of year has always been from Thanksgiving through Christmas (so basically all of December!) I especially love being at my mom's and drinking Russian tea. When she makes that, I know it's Christmas!

Gretchen said...

First, I have to say that your "fine print" makes me chuckle.

Would love an opportunity to win this book. Can't wait to reread it as I celebrate Advent.

I think the aromas of the season are important. Candles, special foods baked/cooked only this time of year. Also, sometimes, I drive around by myself at night in our neighborhood and look at the lights. I never get tired of them.

Sitesx6 said...

It makes Christmas so meaningful when my family goes to Christmas eve service at church. It is a candle light service and it is PACKED...all of our church friends go, everyone dresses up, and we sing hymns as we hold candles. We also have communion. I can't imagine Christmas without it. It keeps Christ as the center of our celebration and we feel united-One nation under God during this wonderful church service and family time.

Midway Records said...

Santa on an antique fire truck on Christmas Eve handing out stockings full of fruit, nuts, & candy. Every year the volunteer fire department at Jacksboro, TX drive all over town with Santa & it's just not Christmas until we see Santa! There have been several years the weather is not great, but they always come through! My girls love it and now my grandchildren do also!

Carpool Queen said...

It's officially Christmas when I take out Toilet Paper Mary and Joseph and set them in the place of honor.

My J made them for me in preschool, and they mean the world to me.

Tiffani said...

I can't believe it's time to talk about Christmas...

I "feel" Christmas the day after Thanksgiving...that's when I officially will listen to Christmas music...I start pulling out the decorations...I reminisce about each ornament that has a story as I place it on the tree...I love that time of year.

I cannot WAIT to get my hands on John's book...I'm trying to win in both places!!!

Elizabeth said...

I am SO ready for Christmas! It's been so cold and rainy here for weeks that it just hasn't felt like fall. I finally got the Christmas music out and I am working on our card, but I need some new ideas for making the season extra meaningful this year. I will get and read John's book either way, but I would love to win a copy.

petrii said...

Meredith,
I have LOVED reading this post and all the comments about CHRISTmas. There are many things about CHRISTmas that I love. One thing is the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. I have always wanted to do this and maybe I will be able to soon. I also LOVE to listen to CHRISTmas music and light candles and let it permeate the air. So beautiful. Several years ago my son (who is now 17) wrote the CHRISTmas story out on brown shipping paper and rolled it like a scroll, so on CHRISTmas morning we read the CHRISTmas story either out of the Bible or from his "scroll" before we open presents. It is a precious time to me.

Thank you for letting us share.

Have a Blessed day,
Dawn

Janna Widdifield said...

Christmas music, our advent box, baby Jesus in his manger and the three gifts around him (a bay doll version that the kids play with), White Christmas.

Lindsay said...

Christmas is made all the more special by the handcrafted decorations on my little tabletop tree. Each one has a story that brings with it many memories. Just writing about it makes me want to put it up a wee bit earlier this year.

Rae said...

Every Monday evening during the month of December our family plays "Secret Santa" to a family from church that are in need. It is so much fun to sneak around and deliver treats and presents without getting caught! My most sacred Christmas memory each year is when the kids come bounding into my room and as a family we read Luke 2 and say a prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for the birth of His Son, our Savior and Redeemer.

Melissa Stover said...

i think it's all the planning. when the kids start rehearsing for the christmas play, when the choir practices their music, when my husband starts plotting our christmas lights, it feels like christmas then.

Cathy said...

I've been wanting to read his book! So to win it would be just dandy!:)

Christmas...what doesn't make me think of Christmas? Going and cutting down our tree and then THE SMELL of it. I LOVE it!! The glow of the lights....I don't even mind vacumming up all the falling needles! But I can't forget Christmas music either. My hubby could play it year around, but there's something about listening to it while your SMELLING Christmas that makes it all the better.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Yay! I was hoping his book would be included in your giveaway! Whenever I see it on Amazon or at B&N, I get so excited. :)

Christmas feels like Christmas when I put out my Christmas village, make a pumpkin roll, and play "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas". Just thinking about it makes me all dreamy.

Thanks, Mer!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Christmas music, cold weather outside while is warm and toasty inside, sharing a big dinner with friends & family, reading Christmas picture books with my kids... I love it all EXCEPT the presents.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Christmas isn't Christmas without Christmas music. That was the first thing I thought of, because Christmas music ALWAYS puts me in the holiday mood.

That said, I can't imagine Christmas without a tree. It would feel so wrong.

Jillian, Inc said...

Many special things remind me of Christmas - but the most special is my sweet son born on December 16. The greatest Christmas gift a mom could hope for! Thanks for entering me!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Mmm, Christmas. Spiced tea and Swedish coffee buns. And all manner of holiday music.

Can't wait to read it!!

*carrie* said...

Mer,

I nocticed you mentioned "reading the designated Scriptures" for Advent--what resource do you use?

Rosey Pollen said...

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without making gingerbread men and gingerbread houses and trying to not eat all the candy while we are doing it. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my deck decorated with lights by my loving children who never argue when we do this. :)
Rosey

Kendra said...

We used to have a wonderful candlelight Christmas Eve service at Central Baptist, and it never felt like Christmas was really there until we sang Silent Night, without music, and only by candlelight. Because in that moment of quiet and peace you could really feel the wonder that is Christmas. After that, I knew I was really ready to celebrate the day, both spiritually and commercially.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Going caroling with our church ladies is one of my favorite Christmas memories and I love adding to those memories every year. :-)

Robin said...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the music. It just makes the season for me. I can remember when I was a little girl and my mom would pull our her Christmas records and play them. That was when I knew it was close to the best day!

2cats said...

There are several things that say Christmas at my house.
First I get out all of the Chirstmas music the day after Thanksgiving. All of the radios are tuned to All Christmas All The Time stations.
Second we get out all of the Christmas movies. There are many, and I keep finding more titles we must have. My husband can do without the musicals but they are my favorites.
Third I start decorating the house shortly after Thanksgiving. I don't put the tree up that early but other things. I have a Christmas village that I have painted. It contains 16 buildings, 27 people, too many trees to count (these aren't painted), and many lights. It is a Victorian town. It takes many days to set up, I love doing it.
Last year I was having a pity party and never did get the village in place and it never did feel like Christmas.
I love the anticipation of holiday company, good food and cookies.
I would really love to read this book. What a great prespective it will be.

Deena said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one! Looks great!

I can't really narrow it down to any one thing.

I love the music! Christmas is the one time of year when I have music constantly playing.

I love to decorate the tree. I enjoy pulling out our ornaments that we've collected from all our travels. We add new meaningful ornaments each year, so it's fun to remember special places and special events.

Watching our daughter act out the Christmas story is good for my heart, and watching her excitement as we work through the advent calendar every night brings joy to my Christmas season.

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

I love watching the old classic movies like "It's a wonderful life" and "White Christmas," and now, introducing them to my daughter.

Kathy said...

Christmas music is what makes the season for me..."White Christmas," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Jingle Bells"...crooned by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Johnny Cash. My husband's a pastor, and we have a Christmas Eve service at church. We decided several years ago not to travel on Christmas day. So we can't be home for Christmas. But these songs are so full of memories that take me back--hopefully my kids' Christmas memories will include them too, because I love to listen to them all season long!

Trish said...

ahhh, my first Christmas away from "home".....

for me it's Chirstmas when the nativity scene is out. I have about 5 nativities, including one that my son built out of Lego's last year. We set them all up, except the main one we don't put the Baby Jesus in. He arrives under our tree on Christmas morning and He is always wrapped in the most beautiful package and it is the first one opened. It is a wonderful reminder of the GIFT that we have been given.

The Harper Family said...

For me it has to the sitting near the Christmas tree with all the lights off except the twinkling tree lights with my husband reading the birth of Jesus from the bible as our children sit on the floor and listen, drinking hot cocoa and stringing popcorn for the outdoor tree.

O Mom said...

The decorations and thinking about special gifts for special people. Reading and talking about Jesus being born with our kids.

Christy said...

Our Advent activities always focus me on the real meaning of Christmas, we do lots of stuff leading up to Christmas. It takes time but it is so worth it.

Christy (Gilbert) Laster said...

My favorite thing about Christmas is finding creative ways to give to other families. I absolutely love my kids seeing other kids (especially) receive a gift and being so appreciative of our act of kindness. I love my Jesus and want to share His love to others any time I can. :)

Marilyn said...

Christmas feels like Christmas after church on Christmas Eve. Candlelight during Silent Night. Dinner with family. Enjoying the flicker of the fire and reading favorite Christmas books. Thanks for being so generous!

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Decorating the tree and also the Christmas music!
I so hope I win this, if not I need to buy his book~been wanting to read it since I heard about it!!

New Every Morning said...

Oh! Just one? That's too hard. :)
I have to say... our annual Christmas tree search. We head to the NC mountains for Thanksgiving and search for the perfect tree.

Carlee said...

Chrsitmas is all about famly for me. I will not take for granted that we will all be together every year as kids get older so I am going to cherish that. The first signs of christmas are already here for me- shopping! Carol Sanders

Amy said...

I love putting up the christmas tree...I love the lights, the decorations, the nativity and how each year gets more fun as my daughter gets older. I just love christmas!!

John's book sounds great! I'd love to win a copy! :)

Holly said...

Our family gathered around the tree on Christmas eve, reading the Christmas story together.

Amyb99 said...

I love going to my in-law's church for Christmas Eve service with my husband's entire family. The best part is the candlelight singing of Silent Night...Watching my boys' faces as they hold their candles and sing (or try to) just makes me teary-eyed each and every year. I love it!

Amy

stacey said...

watching our christmas tree lights at night really makes it feel like that special time of year.

Kellie said...

For me it's baking with spicey things: Cinnamon, clove, molasses, ginger...just to name a few. I LOVE christmas baking.

I also love the sound of my elliptical....no just kidding...well, maybe not...but I LOVE Christmas music. From Handel's Messiah to The Muppets Christmas and all things in between I love it!

Kristi said...

Spending the time of Advent preparing for Christmas is what makes Christmas truly special for me. We are intentional about Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany - even celebrating St Nicholas Day Dec 6th to still have a Santa piece without having it be a part of Advent/Christmas.

Amy Fulmer said...

Opening special ornaments on Christmas Eve, reading the nativity story by light of the Christmas tree. Those times MAKE my season.