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Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas {Review}

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All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas is a great book to use during the Advent season whether alone or with the family! It features  glossy gold stars that shine on the cover that welcomes one in. The devotional content in this book focuses fully on the birth of Christ starting with God’s promise for a Saviour and ending with Paul’s message of pressing on into the future. This devotional runs not just through the Christmas season but from December 1st to December 31st.

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Holiday Slow Cooker Delicious Recipes for a Year of Hassle-Free Celebrations

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Something we all can’t deny if that holidays can sometimes be hassle to get through! It seems like they sneak up on us and then we are a little scatterbrained getting all the details down. One of the most important things to manage during these times is the planning and preparations of delicious and nutritious meals to share among our family, friends, and neighbors.  This is the time I often am searching the internet and my cookbooks for delicious recipes that 1. Won’t break the Bank with the ingredients, 2. Don’t Require a lot of babysitting, and 3. That likely will be welcome additions to a meal or served as an entire meal.

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Celebrating God’s Greatest Gift: Christmas Reads for Children from Zonderkidz!

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It’s December and during this time of the month, I like pulling out all of our favorite Christmas & Holiday titles to read with my family. This year I’m excited to have three new additions added to our collection from Zonderkidz. Why not check them out and see if you might want to share these with your family too!

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The Legend of St. Nicholas
The true story behind the legend of Santa Claus
Ages 4-8

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.

Our Thoughts…

This is a wonderful book that explains and illustrates the Legend of Santa Claus well! My daughter recognized the art by Richard Cowdrey from recently having read The Legend of the Candy Cane and having enjoyed that tale, was eager to read this one too!

We meet a young boy and his father out doing some last minute Christmas shopping. The young boy was not entirely eager to get shopping done for his siblings. He was busy pondering the idea of getting himself  something with whatever money he had left over. He however comes across a mall Santa telling other kids the legend of St. Nicholas and rethinks his choice.

The story kept my whole family captivated from start to finish. The message that it’s better to give than receive is very present and also that of the greatest gift we could ever receive, Christ Jesus.

The Bible verse James 1:17 is included at the ending of the book which reads, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.

I would certainly recommend this title and plan on pulling it out to re-read every Christmas season!


firstchristmasThe First Christmas Ever
Retelling of the Christmas Story
Ages 6-10

A simple retelling of the Christmas story, from the angel’s visit to Mary to the shepherds’ joyful praise of the new born Baby, this small format paperback, The First Christmas Ever is sure to be popular with young readers. Using the vibrant and popular artwork of Dennis Jones, families can share this timeless story of God’s love each holiday season.

Our Thoughts…

This retelling of the very first Christmas is done well. The illustrations are very kid-appealing! The colors aren’t dull but not overly vibrant either. I found the imagery to be rich and satisfying! There are full pages of illustrations, 4 panels on one page, and other variations.  All done quite well and kept the story moving along.

I appreciate the accurateness of the story. For example, it’s accurate as in the sense that the wise men didn’t show up to visit Jesus as soon as he was born. Often we see the shepherds along with the Wise men all at the stable together.  It was nice to see this done right!

This book is great for reading to children or having a child read it on their own. My six year old daughter read this book with ease all by herself. I will be pulling this one out to read during Christmas this month as well as for years to come for my children!


xmasstoryThe Christmas Story for Children
by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee and Karen Davis Hill
Ages 5 and up

Follow the events of Jesus’ birth as you read this lovely picture book written by Max Lucado with Randy Frazee and Karen Hill and illustrated by Fausto. The Christmas Story for Children tells readers about the birth of a special baby whose story is filled with love for us all. Young readers as well as their parents will appreciate the beautiful words and artwork that convey the message that we are loved and cherished.

Our Thoughts…

This book doesn’t just follow the event of the birth of Jesus but goes well beyond that. I frankly was quite surprised but over all delighted. The story begins with introducing us to the people of God, the Jews whom had been awaiting a Savior. It ends shortly after Jesus gets baptized and begins his ministry.

The illustrations are very attractive and the story written quite elegantly. The book paraphrases Biblical text . I feel the three people involved in creating this book did an excellent job.

The age recommendation for this story is ages five and up. I would possibly recommend it for children a little older than that. There’s quite a bit of text, and I question attention spans. Though you could break up reading this book into parts over several days.

I like that we see Christ’s birth, baptism, and beginning of His ministry. This displays who Christ was and is to us. It gives children more than the journey of Mary & Jospeh and baby Jesus being born. I feel this makes it an excellent  choice for reading during the Advent season.


Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of Zonderkidz Christmas books  for this posting. I was not financially compensated for this post.

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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.

-The Trailer-

Official Website: Click here!

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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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