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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Buck Denver asks…Why Do We Call It Christmas? DVD Review & Giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
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A fun and exciting way to teach my children about popular Christmas traditions as well as the Birth of Christ has been through the “Buck Denver asks…Why Do We Call It Christmas?” DVD. This DVD as well as the rest of the series is created by Phil Vischer creator of the VeggieTales! There’s puppets, flash animations, catchy songs, and a clever story line that meshes everything one would wonder about the Holiday season altogether in an easy to understand way!

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On this DVD, viewers will learn about Christmas and the many traditional things we partake in during the month of December. Some of the things covered include where we get the word Christmas from, where Jesus was born, the story behind the Christmas tree, about St. Nicholas, and much more! I’ll admit that even I learned a thing or two!

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I’m so glad my 6 1/2 year old sat and watched the whole film. She said she liked the movie and learned a lot. I imagine though we’ll watch it a few more times before Christmas day and bring it out again next year. I will say that it’s somewhat fast paced which is right up her alley. My nearly four year old son didn’t sit through the whole thing but we’ll try again with him next year. Total runtime of the DVD is 60 minutes. Aside from the main feature there’s bonuses which include sing-a-longs, outtakes, and Christmas poems to watch.

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In addition to the DVD, there some fabulous extras found on the What’s in the Bible website to use and incorporate with watching the DVD. There’s coloring sheets, family discussion guide to back up what was learned and covered on the DVD, printable invitations, ornaments, cards, and more to print out absolutely free!

I think this DVD is best suited for children age 4-10 years old and it’s really great for the whole family to enjoy together during this time of the year.We’ve been fan of this series for several years now and recommend this title as well as the others available highly.

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“Quilted by Christmas” by Jodie Bailey {Book Review}

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Quilted By Christmas is a story I throughly enjoyed. This book wasn’t what I was expecting and for that I am glad.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into thinking it would be full of Christmas, Quilts, Holiday Magic, warm fuzzies, & romance. Don’t get me wrong the setting is as it should be and there are many of those factors but there’s one I wasn’t expecting, believable characters with everyday issues and with that, Jodie Bailey has made me a fan of her work!

What I love is that the characters in this story are so human, as in the emotions of each of them are extremely believable. They could be you or me or someone you know. The innermost feelings are raw and very relate-able. I enjoyed seeing this side as I don’t often in books I’ve read.

The wrestling of thoughts within the main character Taryrn kept me glued and I loved getting to know her sweet Grandma. Taryn we see struggling with living with guilt for so many years and doesn’t know if she can be forgiven from it or if she should just keep holding onto her secret by sweeping it under the rug. But when an unexpected turn of events happens, things start unraveling in one way or another in an unexpected way.

This is a story of forgiveness, living with guilt, seeing your self-worth, family, friendship, and love. There were a few twist in there that I didn’t expect which was good. It didn’t feel rushed in the least and I feel everything came together perfectly.The unconditional love and forgiveness of God is present in this story. He’s right there always with open arms it’s just sometimes hard to except that but far better than to be living with guilt.

I enjoyed the story thoroughly and believe others will be blessed by it as well. Even though the story of this book revolves around the Christmas season, it can be read anytime.  Also I thought it was really sweet that the story though about the characters revolved around a quilt as do the others in this series.

See what others are saying: http://litfusegroup.com/author/jbailey
Learn more about the Quilts of Love serieshttp://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com/

Purchase a copy and learn more at the Quilts of Love website: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com/products/37/Quilted-by-Christmas

 


 

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Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to a devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does.

Connect with Jodie: website, Facebook, Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada

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Christmas is a magical time of year! This collection of 101 festive holiday stories will warm your heart and spread holiday cheer with its tales of family, fun, and traditions from across Canada. A fantastic holiday gift and a great way to start the season!

From mummering and caroling, to winter lights festivals and crèche displays, to feasts and cookie-baking parties, Christmastime in Canada is full of fun and special traditions. You will delight in reading the 101 merry and heartwarming stories about family, goodwill, and holiday traditions across Canada’s provinces. Remember, all our stories are “Santa safe” so they can be enjoyed by the whole family.

My Thoughts…

Chicken Soup for the Soul:Christmas in Canada 101 Stories about the Joy and Wonder of the Holidays is an enjoyable to read collection during the month of November as well as December. The stories all being true are from people just like you and I. I believe these stories will not just get you in the spirit of the season but encourage you to spread cheer among family, friends, and complete strangers.

I really like reading stories from all sorts of different people with very different as well as similar backgrounds to my own. I believe we all have story such as these to share perhaps this book would be a very inspiration to share a little about yourself with others face to face or through a blog post!

There are 101 stories, each is about about 3-4 pages each. There’s a title followed by a quote that goes with the story at hand. There’s stories of ice storms and losing power, dressing up as Rudolph, a First Christmas, Christmas Trees, Not So Fancy dressing, stories of toys such as a red wagon as well as Barbie, and many more! There are ten chapters with about 10 stories each. The chapter titles are:

  • The Spirit of Christmas
  • Holiday Celebrations & Traditions
  • Holiday Memories
  • O Christmas Tree!
  • The Santa Files
  • A Winter Wonderland
  • Taking Care of Each Other
  • Angels in Our Midst
  • The True Meaning of Christmas
  • The Spirit of Giving

It’s been a joy to read these Christmas as well as Hanukkah stories. I found most to be quite moving and leaving me with a feeling of happiness and hope! Sometimes especially during this time of the year, I feel people sometimes lose sight a bit of why we celebrate and how we should be kind and generous toward each other. Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men, ya know?

These stories are kid friendly and Santa safe. Santa safe as in there’s no story that would cause a child to lose belief. I would encourage you to pick up a book for yourself and instead of just reading it on your own perhaps read it amongst loved ones or get them a copy too!

Interested in Purchasing?  Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada: 101 Stories about the Joy and Wonder of the Holidays can be found at at Amazon.com right now for $8.89 Kindle format & $11.71 for a paperback copy as well as at other retailers!

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Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

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If you are looking for a new tradition during the month of December to embark upon with your whole family, chances are you’ll be interested in Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voscamp. In this book, you’ll be learning about the people in Jesus’ family tree as well as encouraged to examine your own life in Him. I think this book is a great resource and reminder of why we truly celebrate the season.

As I opened the book, I was captivated by the beautiful illustrations! The images represent certain biblical things and the colors are vibrant being completely seasonally appropriate. The first few pages of the book feature an introduction to unwrapping the greatest gift, the instructions of compiling your own Jesse tree, and followed by the daily readings from the 1st of December and ending with the 25th of the month. There are free downloads of Voskamp’s cut paper ornaments you can add to your tree during the season per recommendation of following through this book. I plan on having these printed, laminating them, and hanging them on our tree with a piece of ribbon every year starting at this one!

The daily readings begin with a single scripture, a title for the day, a reading of scripture which is more than one or two verses taken from the Bible, the reading and how it applies to us, and an ending page with several thoughts to discuss as well as a family activity or two. I would say setting down at least half an hour if not more to read this book each day specified will suffice. I would also suggest looking over the book and readings before starting so as to prepare if following the activities pertaining to the daily reading with your family.

I feel strongly that this book can be used every Christmas season. The truths will apply to everyone at anytime in their lives and the questions though the same will reap different replies as the years go by. I would suggest if reading this book to children that ages 5 and up would be best suited. It’s written in a way that is easy to understand, I just question the attention span of a younger child. Though I would still read it with the family even if younger children are present. Chances are children will still love to participate in the suggested activity that applies to the reading. As good rule of thumb I feel it best to know that each of the daily readings is about 6 pages of those, two are the reading and the others feature full page color illustrations.

After browsing through and reading a few of the days myself already, I’m excited about sharing this book with my family. I really like the approach of seeing that in even Jesus’ family tree there weren’t perfect people and God still used them in a big way leading up to the birth of our Saviour! There are scripture readings taken from both the old and new testament of the Bible.

This book would make a wonderful gift for anyone wanting to embrace a new Christmas tradition this season. The book is 160 pages long and hardcover ensuring it will probably last for years to come. I haven’t really done any sort of advent countdown to the days of Christmas but am certainly eager to start by following the authors presentation of the Jesse Tree with my family.

Interested in Purchasing? Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmascan be purchased on Amazon.com for $15.74 as of this posting.

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Yuletide Ice Cube Fair {Book Review}

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I admit, it’s certainly fun to get swept into all the activities and gift giving and receiving but as long as we don’t forget the true meaning of the season. The Veggie tale book Yuletide Ice Cube Fair reminds us of the greatest gift of all. It’s not what appears to be the best, biggest or brightest but in fact the greatest gift is Christ Jesus who gives us life eternally.

My nearly four year old son and six year old daughter are getting older and getting excited for the Holidays and I certainly want to make sure they are reminded often of why we truly celebrate. I prefer to have books such as this one around to read to them and have them read on their own as a reminder. They really like the Veggie Tales so this book is must have for us.

In this story, the town is having a Ice Cube Carving Contest. In this contest they are instructed to carve what Christmas means to each of them. Each turn of the page kept my kids captivated. The story is written in rhyme and that kept the story flowing quite well.

My children liked seeing the different sculptures that were created by each of the Veggie characters. None of the sculptures were bad things such as Christmas feasts, trees, and the like. My kids piped up that they enjoyed many of those things themselves. Though only one sculpture truly captured why we celebrate the season!

In how the story ended, it’s a truly humbling reminder that the greatest gift came into the world in way that wasn’t elaborate in the worlds eyes. This book can be a wonderful conversation starter about sharing the love of Christ the greatest gift of all and living with a servants heart not just during the season but everyday!

This book is 24 pages long and it’s soft cover format and size of 8×8 makes it easy to bring along when out and about. I’m sure we’ll be bringing this book out every Christmas season!

Interested in Purchasing? Yuletide Ice Cube Fair (Big Idea Books / VeggieTales) can be purchased on Amazon.com for $3.00 as of this posting.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggersbook review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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The Legend of the Candy Cane

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The Legend of the Candy Cane written by Lori Walburg & Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey is a classic you’ll want to pull out every Christmas season. The story beautifully and inspirationally takes an item associated with the Holiday season and uses it to tie Jesus Christ to Season. I’ll admit that after reading this story, I’m reminded of the great sacrifice that was made any time I see a Candy Cane.

The illustrations are gorgeous and do an exceptional job of drawing you in. My kids were both truly captivated with every turn of the page. The story starts when a man comes to town to open a store and with his arrival he is able to share the true meaning of Christmas with the town in a delightful and creative way. I didn’t believe the book was over my 3 or 6 year olds head. In fact, they’ve gone around telling other all about the candy cane from the shape to the colors on how it relates to the greatest gift they’ve received.

The story isn’t too long. There are 30 pages in this board book and it’s easy enough for my six year old to read all by herself. I’ll be putting this book out on the coffee table to be read every holiday season as a reminder of why we do truly celebrate Christmas. Ideal for 3-7 year old children but I feel anyone can be blessed by the story.

Interested in Purchasing?  The Legend of the Candy Cane can be bought in board book  version on Amazon.com for $9.99. There are however a variety of other versions ranging from $2.99-$12.00 that might work best for your own family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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