Ho, Ho, Ho! December Giveaway!

Are you wondering if I’m planning on doing a giveaway every month now? Well, the answer is “no”, but I just couldn’t let the month of giving go by without doing a giveaway! My girls will tell you that I love playing Santa so let’s just say that this one’s from Santa :)

This month I will be giving away another one of the books on my Books That Will Bless list. This time it’s The One Year Life Verse Devotional (the book that has a devotion in it that I wrote!) If you’ve already run out and bought one for yourself since you know one of the contributors :), try the giveaway anyway and bless someone with it as a gift.

To be included in the drawing, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post by midnight Dec. 15th and follow these guidelines: Be sure to include your name as well as an email address if I don’t know you personally. If you have time and since it’s the month for giving and receiving gifts, tell me about one of the most memorable gifts you received as a child. (Be sure and comment by the 15th — I thought I would cut it off early this month so I can get the book to the winner before Christmas.)

If you’re like me, you can probably remember several gifts you received during your growing up years. Chances are, though, one or two stand out in your memory above the others. I’ll never forget the year I opened a tiny little package from my dad, and inside was an English walnut. He said, “A nut for a nut!” (yes, I was crazy back then, too!) Everyone roared, of course. He insisted that I go ahead open it and eat the nut so I played along trying to be a good sport. Guess what I found when I cracked it open? A five-dollar bill! I thought I had hit the jackpot. The neighbors probably heard all my whooping and hollering. Come to find out, Dad had very carefully taken the nut apart, cleaned out the inside so he could put a surprise in it for me, and glued it back together. What looked very ordinary at first glance actually held something quite extraordinary. I’ll never forget that gift.

Another gift given over 2,000 years ago looked very ordinary as well. A baby boy was born to an ordinary couple in a very ordinary stable in Bethlehem. At first glance, some might have thought He was just an ordinary baby, but there was nothing ordinary about Him. He was the Savior of the world. And the world has never forgotten that Gift.

“…I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10b-11 NIV


  1. Good Morning!

    In a twist of fate, I was Kristin’s neighbor our sophomore year of college. Until that year, I had never really celebrated christmas with any enthusiasm. It was absolutely impossible not to get into the spirit with Kristin around. She had to deal with a lot of Scrooges but successfully put up a beautiful tree, passed out treats, and generally made our drab Dorm Suite a spectacular christmas event. I can speak for everyone, Kristin’s christmas enthuasism is very contagious and I sincerely miss now that we’re all so far apart. Her spirit is truly one of the greatest Christmas gifts I have ever received. Cheers and Merry Christmas! =)

  2. Sarah, you almost made me cry with your sweet words about Kristin! I remember that Christmas — she loved her dorm family so much she almost didn’t want to come home! I think that may have had something to do with the suite full of guys living across the hall, though :)

  3. One of my most memorable moments of Christmas was the year I thought I had all my gifts figured out. I was so excited to open those gifts. Well, imagine my surprise when after I had handed out the gifts, my mom told me and my brother to change places. I looked at her like WHAT!!!!! She knew I had a little problem with checking out the gifts, so she switch our names. Everything with the tag for my brother was actually mine. As the whole family laughed, I can only remember being so mad, as I thought I had figured out those gifts. I guess that proves maybe parents are smarter than the kids!

  4. One Christmas I had the smallest, lightest package under the tree, and I just couldn’t imagine what could be so light. To my stunned, amazement it was a dried up sponge that my sister, who shall remain nameless – Cheryl, had wrapped up and put under the tree. I think that was the year that there was a note for me that said my real gift was in my room, and it was a bulletin board. I was very excited to find that there was a “real” present somewhere. Carolyn

  5. Lisa, your story was great — your mom was very clever :) And Carolyn, your memory made me laugh out loud. I remember it well and even have a picture of you looking at that sponge after you opened it. The look on your face was priceless.

    Thanks to all who left a comment today. This is fun! As for all the rest of you who are reading these comments and not leaving one of your own, come on and join the fun! I’m loving reading each one!

  6. One of my most exciting childhood Christmas gifts was my electronic keyboard, and grown-up gifts I was thrilled about were the wedding things I received for Christmas!

    But one of my most memorable gifts was during the Christmas when Dad and I were down with the flu. Dad was sick on Christmas Eve I think, and the next morning I woke up with the flu. Mom and Sis went on to meet the family for Christmas, and Dad and I stayed home and it was not very Christmasy at all. Later in the day I think we were feeling slightly better, and a surprise came to us as well – Grandpa and Uncle Keith drove to our house an hour or so away and picked Dad and I up to take us to Christmas! It is so wonderful to know that you are wanted and loved by your family!

  7. Let me add something to Kristin’s story so you won’t think I’m an unfit mother for leaving half my family at home while they were sick on Christmas :) Don insisted that I go because Debbie, Keith, and family were visiting from across the country, and I had half of Christmas dinner at our house. He was feeling better and knew he could take care of Kristin, but I felt terrible about leaving. It was fun for all when Dad announced, “Keith, let’s go get them!”

  8. When thinking of my favorite gift from the past as a child… the first thing that came to mind was my doll house. I had wanted one for years and yet never got it. Finally around the 6th grade, I got it! I remember it was 2 story and pink. It was all I wanted and more! Thanks for allowing me to share my memory with you!
    Hugs…Cindy cindy_dillon@yahoo.com

  9. Hello Everyone!

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs since Mom told me about your site when you all went to supper a few weeks ago. It is refreshing to see how the Lord works in others. I am going to use your gift of the nut shell with a $5.00 in it (something ordinary containing something extraordinary) and the gift of our baby Jesus (something that looks ordinary but was actually something very extraordinary) for our children’s moment at church in a week and a half.

    Thanks so much for everything you do, and keep up the great work!


  10. Cindy, welcome to the blog & thanks for sharing your memory with us. I’m enjoying each and every one!

    And Matthew! So glad you found the blog and are enjoying reading. Was happy to hear that you will be sharing the extraordinary nut gift story in your children’s lesson. Such a blessing to hear from you!

  11. Cheryl,

    I have trouble remembering gifts I received as a child but what sticks out in my mind is the first Christmas gift I every gave someone. It was two chocolate covered marshmallow Santas that I gave Mom and Dad which I purchased at Ben Franklin. When I think back on it now I wondered what Mom and Dad really thought about my gift. I know they seemed pleased and I was so excited to be able to give them something I bought with my own money. It makes me think “It really is more blessed to give than to receive.”

  12. Debbie, believe it or not, that was the first Christmas gift I ever gave Mom & Dad, too — and I got mine at Ben Franklin as well! I remember going in and shopping through the candy aisle. I bet we did that at the same time. Chances are, I just copied you :)

  13. When I was young we were far from wealthy. My Mom even worked full time and that was extremely unusual in the 1950s. For several Christmases my Dad had to refurbish used gifts for his four little girls.

    When I was five I remember watching him night after night repairing and repainting a little kitchen stove that would “really bake”. I was fascinated and terribly disappointed when Daddy told me he was fixing it for my cousin so her Daddy could surprise her on Christmas.

    I also remember my absolute delight when I woke up Christmas morning and found that little stove under our tree with my name on it.

    Jean Hall

  14. I wanted to share this Christmas memory because it makes me laugh every time I think about it. I woke up Christmas morning one year, I was probably in the 5th Grade, and my two sisters were already up as well as my parents. I walked down the hallway towards the living room where there was quite a ruckus occurring because they knew I was up and moving that way. I look over at the tree and see a shiny new Mongoose-brand mountain bike sitting there and my sisters out in front flailing about acting out what they think a Mongoose would do… I saw where they were coming from but look up What is a Mongoose? and you’ll find out they were definitely way off :)

    Looking back it delights me to remember that moment though, not only because they were dancing around looking pretty silly but because they were overjoyed to see the reaction on their younger brother’s face in seeing him receive a gift they knew he’d love. And so, a shout out to my two sisters who helped me learn how to ride a bike (training wheel-less) several years before that morning and for your Mongeese dance skills.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  15. Here’s the link fixed:

    What is a Mongoose?

  16. Jean & Shawn, I LOVED your stories! It’s a Christmas gift in itself for me just getting to read the great memories everyone is sharing.

    Shawn, I never dreamed in my wildest imagination that I would find a link to info on a mongoose on my blog comments! :)

  17. Okay, I’m in…I remember the mongoose thing too (since I am one of the sisters who was doing it)! We had a blast with that goofy dance. That was the year that we all woke up WAY before Shawn, who was the youngest, and we couldn’t believe it. He was usually the first one up by a mile. Anyway, while we waited for him, Megan and I danced ourselves silly.

    As for my own favorite Christmas gift, I think my favorite is the little 13 inch tv I got when I was 13. It wasn’t the tv itself, though that was very exciting! It was the packaging — my parents wrapped up a tv guide and hid the tv elsewhere. I think there was a scavenger hunt involved too! I was pretty puzzled when I saw the tv guide in the box I unwrapped. I liked tv guide, but it wasn’t a new copy; it was just the one that had been lying around the house, so it was a sort of an odd present. But then we “hunted” for the real present as a family. I still have that tv AND that tv guide!

  18. Thanks for joining in and sharing your memories, Amy. A 13-in tv for a 13-yr. old on Christmas — very cool of your parents! I also think it’s pretty cool that you still have that tv guide!

  19. teri irwin – The Christmas I remember the most,
    is the one where my Dad came home one evening after working all day with the farmers- he was a pilot who did ag-spraying on fields. He had his hand in one of his big
    jacket pockets ( which was really
    large ) for some reason & the pocket was very wiggly. He’d brought home the most precious little puppy for myself & my 3 younger sisters. I’ll never forget that. I’m sure he
    got it from one of the farmers.
    What a little bundle of Christmas
    joy that was enjoyed by all! I’m sure he loved the lit-up faces of his daughters when the puppy emerged from the pocket.
    Merry Christmas!

  20. Teri, thanks for joining in and sharing your memory! You and your sisters must have gone crazy with excitement over that puppy. So fun to learn a new piece of history about you after all these years of our friendship :)

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