Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chance to Win a Couple of Christmas Books


Do you like Christmas stories? 

Rose Allen McCauley visited my blog on Sunday and we're giving a free download of her new book to someone who comments on her guest post or tonight's post. I'll draw for the winner Sunday, and so far the odds are very good. Along with Rose's book, you can win a copy of my Christmas Shaker book, Christmas at Harmony Hill. (An autographed print copy.) If you don't have an e-reader, Rose says her book will soon be available in print as well. So answer one of the questions on the post tonight and join in the giveaway fun.

The Greatest Christmas Story

The greatest Christmas story is straight from the Bible in Luke and Matthew. Luke tells about the angels giving the Good News to the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks about the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger and Matthew has the story of the visit of the Wise Men. In spite of every church Christmas pageant you've ever seen, the Bible doesn't say how many wise men came to visit Jesus, only that they brought three gifts. But three works pretty well when you're assigning parts for those Christmas plays at church. 

Did you ever have a part in a Christmas play at your church?

Maybe you were a shepherd or a wise man or an angel in a Christmas play. Could be you were picked to be Mary or Joseph or even one of the sheep or other animals. I love Christmas pageants. I don't think I was ever an actor in one, but I've helped with a lot of them with my kids and the other kids in the church. 

I want the kids to tell the old, old story every year wearing those fuzzy, too long wise men and shepherd robes. I want to see the angels draped in white sheets with tinsel halos and cardboard wings that always end up a little crooked before the great announcement is finished. At our church gathering tonight, we were saying how little girls were always the angels. Yet in the Bible any time an angel is actually named, it's a man's name and often described as men, like the men Abraham fed in the Old Testament before they told him he would have a child in the next year and Sarah, eavesdropping, laughed. In spite of all that, we decided we couldn't imagine little boys doing the angels' parts in our Christmas pageants. They much prefer the shepherd role or bringing the gifts. 

What's your favorite carol?

My husband says all the carols are hard to sing and I guess he's right. He's the singer in the family. I just try to make a joyful noise and maybe that's why I like "Joy to the World." It probably is the easiest carol to sing. You can belt that one out pretty good.  But I like them all. They tell the Christmas story in song. 

I hope you get the privilege of having the Christmas story told to you by a cast of children. I've seen many and I have never been disappointed in the story they tell. 

Remember, leave a comment to have a chance to win Rose's download and a paper copy of my book. And make sure to include a way to contact you. 

As always, thanks for reading.


33 comments:

  1. I absolutely love Christmas stories, Ann. I always feel so good after I read them. Winter Wonderland is one of my favorite Christmas carols. Thank you for what you do!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  2. Thanks for chiming in, Melanie. Aren't there so many wonderful Christmas songs? I love the newer songs too, like "Mary, Did You Know?"

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  3. Hard to pick one, but I'll say Little Town of Bethlehem, it was my grandma's favorite :-)

    (gerows@juno.com)

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    1. I love all the old carols too, but one you know a grandmother or mother loves somehow gets even more special to you. One of my mother's favorite hymns was "Higher Ground." Not Christmas, but I can never sing it at church without thinking about her.

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  4. I sang in church choirs when I was a young girl and had pieces in Sunday School, and as an adult I have sung in the choir. When I was young I would freeze up when I sang a solo, so I have always accepted that I was not meant to be the center of attention on stage. Carolann Ellmore barlenbay@comcast.net

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    1. You might have gotten better as you got older. I froze up in the only church play I can remember being in, but now I really enjoy speaking to groups. Not sure I like the center of attention. I just like people. I never sang in a choir. Singing is not my talent. :)

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  5. I love Christmas stories and I would love to win these. I played Mary in our Christmas program when I was in the third grade. Sure did feel it an honor.

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    1. That was an honor to be picked for Mary, Robin. Something you can always remember. I'm glad you like Christmas stories and wish you luck. You didn't leave your e-mail, but perhaps if you win I can locate you on my Facebook page. Or if you read this, let me know how to contact you should you win.

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  6. Love reading Christmas stories. Hopeful and happy! I enjoy the song O Beautiful Star of Bethleham.

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    1. I like stories to be hopeful and happy too, Gail. And that is a beautiful song you've picked.

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  7. I love Christmas stories, all kinds of carols, and I've never been in a pageant. :)

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    1. Hope you've had the fun of watching a few, Ann. So much fun seeing kids act out the Christmas story.

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  8. I loved the Christmas play at church!

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    1. What's not to love, right, Ola? The story is wonderful and the children always seem to glow on that night.

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  9. I was a shepherd at our church when I was a child. I like all the carols. When I was five, I got to sing a duet of Away in a Manger. That has always been a favorite of mine.

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    1. I bet you had the whole congregation smiling when you sang that duet. Away in the Manger is one of only 3 or 4 carols that I can play on the piano so it's a favorite of mine too, Annette. You need to come back and give me a way to contact you in case you win the books. I can message you with an e-mail address or if you're on my Facebook page but need more name to do that.

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  10. I don't think I have ever been in a Christmas pageant,but I love watching them. I like so many carols that I don't think there is any way for me to choose a favorite. And I love Christmas stories.

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    1. I forgot to leave my contact info.
      susanmsj at msn dot com

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    2. The Christmas songs are beautiful, Susan, as are so many of the hymns. It's sort of a joke at our church that just about every hymn we sing our pastor will say that's one of his favorites. We've decided he has about 500 hundred favorites! So that the way you can be with the carols.

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  11. I love reading Christmas stories. They are always so uplifting. Never was in a pageant. And I would have to say Silent Night is my favorite carol.

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    1. I want to read uplifting stories too, Lori. That doesn't mean they have to be all sunshine and roses, but I do like a happy ending. Silent Night is one a lot of people would surely pick as a favorite. Such a beautiful song.

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  12. I love Christmas stories & Christmas Carols.

    O Holy Night is incredibly beautiful, Most Carols make me misty eyed.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Always good to hear from you, Mary. O Holy Night is a much loved Christmas song that almost ever gospel singer has tried to sing at some time.

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  13. I love Christmas stories and would love to win these! Thanks so much for the opportunity! I love the song, O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're the second person who's mentioned that song, Britney. I think I need to hunt it up and listen to it again. Might get me moving on Christmas things.

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  14. I was to be Mary because I was the oldest girl at the time ~ eleven ~ to carry the baby Jesus to the manger crib. My dad did not take me two towns over where we went to church. Silent Night was played softly in the background at rehearsal ~ so... I did get to do it! and I still close my eyes while listening to Joseph Mohr|Franz Gruber's instrumental/vocal.
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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    1. So there are some perks to being the oldest girl in the pageant, Kathleen. I love that Mark Lowry song "Mary, Did You know?"

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  15. I never had a Christmas play at church or school seems that the church we went to was a small little house in a rural area and no pagent but was great to go to. The elem school went to was on the coast and the teachers drove far to go there and teach so no extra time for a pagent there. But Yeahhh I do have a favorite Christmas Carol and it is Mary Did You Know wow sung by Kathy Matea so good!

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    1. I love that song too, Peggy. It's one that starts the imagination up about what Mary might have been thinking as she held baby Jesus. When I autograph a copy of my Christmas novel, Christmas at Harmony Hill, I put the Scripture reference Luke 2:19, because you have to wonder about what Mary knew.

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  16. I like the Christmas lights and snacks. Happy Holidays. :-)

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    1. It is fun driving around town and neighborhoods to see what everybody else has done to pretty up their houses. I'm hoping to get some lights up inside my house this week, but I just enjoy everybody else's outside lights, Deb.

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.