Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Eve treat for you! One of the Heavenly Christmas Film Classics films, "Christmas is Magic."  Enjoy!




I was given an extra copy of the DVD of the Heavenly Christmas Film Classics by Lost and Rare Films so guess what's going into the box of books for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge giveaway?  You guessed it!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a safe day of celebration with friends and family!

Always in spirit....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cupid's Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway


I'm welcoming Bette Lee Crosby to the blog today as she shares her essentials for Christmas all year.  Now this is a girl after my own heart.  She's certainly at home on this blog, right?  Stay tuned after Bette's guest spot for my review of her novel, Cupid's Christmas, and a giveaway!

Christmas is no doubt the most wonderful time of the year, we say it in song and we celebrate it in our heart. Christmas is a time when people are kinder, food is tastier and good deeds start appearing from out of nowhere. We start getting ready for Christmas when the first chill tickles our nose and we are saddened when the tree comes down and all the joy is packed away to wait for another year. But wait…why let go of Christmas? I don’t. I have ten fun ways that I carry Christmas with me throughout the year and I’m here to share them with you right now…
  1. Christmas Mugs – I collect them and use them every day, I start the day with my coffee in a Christmas cup.
  2. Night light – I have a bubbling Elf night light in the hall bath, and it remains there year-round.
  3. Christmas Countdown App on my iPhone – Starting on December 26th, one click and I’m reminded of exactly how many days, hours and minutes until the next Christmas.
  4. All year I collect pictures of people I love, because at Christmas I make personalized calendars for family and friends. Each calendar is customized with their family pictures and birthdays.
  5. When the clocks get turned back and days grow shorter, I celebrate the coming of Christmas by lighting a fat red candle and having a glass of spiced wine. (you have to buy it around Christmas and keep it in the fridge until the following fall)
  6. A pick up dollar store stocking stuffers all year long and fill shopping bags with each person name on it – plus two extras for the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes we do every year.
  7. I freeze slices of fruitcake to have with cinnamon tea on a rainy afternoon.
  8. I buy red tee shirts whenever I see them on sale, in all sizes so there’s always a spare for visitors.
  9. I try to do occasional kindnesses for strangers and act as we all do at Christmastime.
  10. And most importantly, I go to church every Sunday (okay almost every Sunday) to celebrate what Christmas is all about.
My thoughts on Cupid's Christmas:
What a sweet book! I really enjoyed reading it so much.  What a clever idea to have Cupid telling some of the story and about his involvement in the inner workings of romantic relationships.  And I really enjoyed the characters in the book.  I started getting emotionally invested in them and when Cupid started talking about Life Management (they're the ones that make all the bad things happen in life like accidents, mishaps, etc.) meddling in the characters' lives, I was on the edge of my seat.  I simply did not want anything bad to happen to them.

Bette has told a heartwarming story here and even worked in a rescue dog being sought by one of the characters (a Bichon Frise who resembles Bette's own rescued Bichon, Katie).  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a story to warm the heart during the holidays.

About the book:
CUPID’S CHRISTMAS…A love story for both the young and the young at heart. In a spot somewhere between Heaven and Earth, Cupid is trying to overcome the forces of lust, jealousy and the events brought on by his nemeses — Life Management. 

Cupid matched John and Eleanor thirty years ago, but Life Management stepped in and fouled things up. Now they are both single and back together again, but before Cupid can give them the happiness they deserve, he’s got to come up with some magic, a few miracles and a dog for John’s daughter.


About the author:
Bette Lee Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006, when she won the National League of American Pen Women Award for unpublished fiction with What Matters Most. Her novel, Cracks in the Sidewalk, received the 2009 Royal Palm Literary Award and then went on to win the 2011 FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal. In 2011 Spare Change received the Reviewer's Choice Awards and it garnered a second Royal Palm Literary Award. Her books have earned numerous five-star ratings with readers acclaiming them as heartwarming and captivating.

Most recently, Bette completed a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as The World’s Longest Living Quadriplegic.

Giveaway:
Bette has generously provided me with one paperback copy of Cupid's Christmas to give away.  It will be coming from me so I'm sorry to say, but I have to make it U.S. only (my budget is even worse off than ever).  To enter, please leave me a comment telling whether you keep Christmas all year or not, along with your email address.  Last day to enter giveaway will be Sunday, January 6, 2013 Jan. 13, 2013 at 11:59pm CST.  Good luck!

This post is part of....


Always in spirit....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Book Review: Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts


This book review was supposed to be part of a tour for Pump Up Your Book at the end of November, but due to the issues in my personal life, Dorothy was kind enough to give me more time.  It took me longer than I planned, but I'm finally finished.

My thoughts:
What a book for me to be reading when I'm going through a marital separation myself.  That being said, the book was very entertaining.  I kind of felt that the book implies that a woman can't be happy without a man in her life which I firmly disagree with.  However, it also made some good points about getting along with your ex for the sake of the kids; that it's better for them if the mom and dad can remain friends or, at least, remain civil toward each other.  I most identified with Cass.  I think because she was the one with the kids.  I could really relate to her frustration because I'm already experiencing a bit of that myself.  A lot of her problem it seemed was her in-laws...something I can totally relate to.  I laughed out loud at this quote, "Talk turned to the wedding and they made it to Samantha's without Cass having to stop the car and bitch-slap her ex sister-in-law."  Too funny!

Merry Ex-Mas is a nice, lighthearted holiday read that explores the various situations of women and their ex-husbands. I enjoyed it and especially enjoyed the parts about the food and baking.  Perfect for Christmas time.  There are some nice recipes from Cass at the end of the book.

About the book:
Cass Wilkes, owner of the Gingerbread Haus bakery, was looking forward to her daughter Danielle's wedding-until Dani announced that she wants her father, Cass's ex, to walk her down the aisle. Seriously?

Her friend Charlene Albach arrives at their weekly chick-flick night in shock. She's just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant, Zelda's. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!

And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren't easy for Ella O'Brien, either. Ella, newly divorced, is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Isn't it?  Merry Ex-mas, ladies!

About the author:
Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She's happily married and has three children.Her books have been printed in several different languages and have been chosen for book clubs such as Doubleday as well as for Readers Digest Condensed books. Her best-selling novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a movie and appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network. Her novel ANGEL LANE was named one of Amazon's Top Ten Romances for 2009.

When she's not making public appearances or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women's hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

You can visit the author's website at www.sheilasplace.com .

Always in spirit....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Christmas Magic--A guest post from K H


With everything going on in my life right now, I had almost forgotten that the lovely K H from the blog, inflammation of, had offered me a guest post to share.  I do apologize, K H.  My life is in such a transition right now.  Anyway, here it is.  I hope you all enjoy it!



The first thing I think of when my mind settles on Christmas time is magic. I know maybe that sounds odd, as one's first thoughts might be coin tricks or neverending hankies being pulled out of a sleeve, especially during a time of the year when those whom are religious try to keep the focus on Christ. But it is true, I think of the wonderful fun of magic....Christmas Magic.
Snowmen dance in the minds of children, an abundance of cookie smells waft through just about every house, and the man in the big red suite that somehow manages to make a stop for each and every child around the world. That Christmas Magic.
We can all remember back to our own childhoods and how we tossed and turned in our beds Christmas Eve, anxious for Santa to come and fill our stockings, and half hoping we'd catch him red-handed. Now as a mother I also have many more new memories that fill my mind of my daughters standing back with a look of awe upon their innocent faces while gazing upon our Christmas tree. Hearing their squeals when they rush down the stairs in the early morning on that long awaited day to see the tree surrounded in magic and wonderment. That is Christmas Magic.
The Christmas that stands out the most for me, mainly because it was a life changing time for me and my family, occured a couple of years ago. This Christmas was filled with sadness, but stepping back in the shoes I now wear, I know there was Christmas Magic sprinkled within.
My oldest daughter was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at age 7 and was put on a new medicine regimen. Unknown to us, this new regimen was not helping to heal and calm my daughter's autoimmune disease. For 8 months my daughter was on this medicine, gradually getting worse and worse as her body continued to attack itself within. October of that year, her health really began to decline, and by the end of December she was in so much pain I was panicking and grieving. This was all ocurring while my husband was deployed, so I was really panicking. During all of this gradual decline into the misery of what true suffering is, her doctor continued to ignore classic symptoms of serious issues by telling me nothing could be done for her. I remember that my daughter was spending most of her days and nights either sitting in a warm bath or on an ice pack to help sooth her pain, and spiralling into despair. By the beginning of Januray I took her into the children's hospital only to discover that my daughter also has peri-rectal disease. Her pain and suffering was due to an abscess and several fistulas that had broken through skin.
I know this must sound like a horrible Christmas to remember, and in all reality it is. I wouldn't wish what my daughter goes through on anyone, nor would I wish what I experience as her mother upon any other parent. I share this experience because Christmas Magic even existed during that time, entangled amongst the pain and sorrow. Even though I can recall every heartbreaking word my oldest daughter spoke to me during that time, I also remember seeing my youngest push a kitchen chair up beside our recliner where her sister sat on an ice pack, just so that she could be with her. I watched my oldest stroke her new doll's hair with a smile on her face, even through her pain. I remember sitting in the bathroom with my oldest in the bathtub, trying to help ease her pain, with my youngest on the floor in the doorway with all her new Christmas gifts to remain by her sister's side. I remember being overwhelmed with gratitude for the GI doctor we met while my oldest was hospitalized, and how she did such wonderful things to help get my daughter feeling better. That is also when we were introduced to the goodness of Remicade Infusions.
You see, Christmas Magic can be much more than the fantastical icons that our children love so much, it is also our humanity. The way we love eachother, even through the toughest times. The way we help eachother, the way we stick by one another, the way we continue to be for another person, selflessly. That is Christmas Magic in it's rawest form. I saw Christmas Magic weave its way into our house through my youngest daughter and her sweet nature to constantly be by her sister in her time of need. I saw Christmas Magic shining brightly through a wonderful new doctor that worked that magic to help my oldest daughter feel better. There is a magic bigger than what Santa or Frosty the Snowman hold, and it lies within our own souls, waiting to be released to those in need. When I think back on this Christmas experience, I may shed a few tears as I remember all that my daughter went through, but my heart swells with being able to see the goodness that surrounded us...that beautiful Christmas Magic.
 
Thank you for sharing, K H! Be sure to visit her blog where she shares her experiences with her daughter's Crohn's Disease, as well as her creative endeavors, etc.

Always in spirit....


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Weekend Crafting

 

This is such a great craft! Stylish and economical.  Found on favecrafts.


Materials:
Tissue paper: white, red, green (or other colors of your choice)
STYROFOAM Brand Foam: Balls, 3", 5" (or size of your choice)
Gold markers, medium and narrow tip
Wooden skewer, chopsticks, or other pointed tool
Paintbrush brush with wide, firm bristles
Thick, white craft glue

Steps:
Insert skewer, chopstick or other pointed tool into ball to use as a handle.

Tear tissue paper into small rectangles (do not cut).

Using paintbrush, spread glue on portion of ball. Place torn tissue squares on glue; cover with more glue. Continue, overlapping edges of tissue, until entire ball is covered. Let dry.

Remove chopstick. Following instructions in Step 3, cover hole with tissue paper.

Using gold markers, draw simple, repetitive designs on ball. Models shown include swirls, stars and dots.

Christmas Freebie Alert: A Christmas Feral

I am so behind on everything and just came across an email from Mary Matthews regarding her Christmas eBook, A Christmas Feral.  It's free on Amazon through today.  Here's a little bit about it and some praise:



A cute story to warm your heart for Christmas. Judge Scrooge won't even heat his home for Christmas. He says that when you pay the bill, you don't feel the cold. When Judge Scrooge rules incorrectly in a cat dispute, Magical white cat Tatania and her companion Zeus teach him the meaning of keeping Christmas and cats.

Praise for A Christmas Feral:

"A story that would do Charles Dickens proud."

"Heart warming and pawsome."

"If you love cats, you will love this!"

Get your copy free from Amazon today!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Friday Baking and Movies


I'm late with this post.  Sorry about that.  Busy times right now!

Tonight I'm sharing with you a recipe from Woman's Day magazine, the December 2012 issue.


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp liquid red food coloring
1/2 cup buttermilk
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup marshmallow cream (such as Fluff)
Red and white pearlized sanding sugars, for decorating

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla and food coloring.  Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Drop level Tbsp of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 in. apart.  Bake until the tops are set and spring back when lightly pressed, 6 to 8 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. While the cookies cool, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the marshmallow cream and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Spread 1 level Tbsp of filling onto half of the cookies, then sandwich with the remaining cookies.  Sprinkle sanding sugar around the edges of the whoopie pies.  Serve immediately or refrigerate, in a single layer, covered, for up to 5 days.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Christmas movies on TV this weekend

Hallmark Channel



 Baby's First Christmas--Saturday, December 15 at 8pm EST


Christmas with Holly--Sunday, December 16 at 8pm EST

Lifetime

Saturday, December 15


The Merry In-Laws--8pm EST


The Real St. Nick--10pm EST

ION



Christmas Twister--Sunday, December 16 at 8pm EST

Don't forget to visit my friends at It's a Wonderful Movie for all the Christmas movie news and for the Christmas TV Schedule.

I'll have a new craft for you tomorrow and hopefully some weekend lit for you on Sunday.

Always in spirit....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Movie review--The Mistle-Tones


If you watch one Christmas movie on TV this year, make it The Mistle-Tones on ABCFamily.  I watched it last night and I loved it! Of course, it had all the elements of the Christmas TV movies I love and then add in the singing and the Christmas music and it was a winner for me.  The movie starred Tia Mowry (Holly) and Tori Spelling (Marci) and there was this cute guy who played Holly's boss, Nick (Jonathan Patrick Moore).  Great singing voice too.  Would love to see him in more.  Here's the official blurb about the movie:


Blessed with an extraordinary singing voice, Holly is all set to audition for the newly vacated place in the famous Ridgefield, Connecticut, Christmas group The Snow Belles, which was founded by her late mother forty years ago. Shocked and upset when the slot goes to someone else, the barely talented best friend of the group's de facto leader, Marci, Holly winds up convincing the local mall manager to hold a competition for the best Christmas group to host the yearly Christmas festival at the mall. Putting together a hodgepodge group of her own with a few quirky members of her office, Holly finds herself on a journey to the real meaning of Christmas – with a new singing group and a new love thrown in for good measure.

You can catch The Mistle-Tones again on:

Thursday, December 13 at 5pm EST
Monday, December 17 at 12am EST
Thursday, December 20 at 3pm EST

or you can watch it online at ABCFamily HERE

Check out It's A Wonderful Movie and their Christmas TV Schedule for all the shows and movies airing this season.

Don't forget to watch the Michael Buble : Home for the Holidays special tonight at 10pm EST on NBC.  That man sure can sing Christmas music!

Always in spirit....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Weekend Crafting


This is a cute craft to re-purpose those Christmas cards and homework papers and they would make great stocking stuffers or filler for a teacher gift basket, etc.

This tutorial was featured on Hope Studios.  For images of the entire project, click HERE.

Image credit:  Hope Studios

Christmas Card Note Pads

Supplies:
Old Christmas Cards (or how about those junk mail postcards?)
Homework pages that are blank on one side
Stapler
Scissors or paper cutter
Ruler

Cut out the portion of the card you'd like to showcase then fold the inside cover up about 1/2 inch. You will then need to trim some of the "cover" accordingly, so that it will tuck neatly into the fold.

Cut your homework papers about 1/4 inches smaller than the cover in width and length. Here, the measurement is 3 1/2 x 4 inches. 20 papers per cover is about right.

Insert the papers into the cover and staple near the bottom of the fold.

Tuck the cover into the fold (trim as necessary to let it lay flat) and you're finished! Recycle, Re purpose, Reuse...

Always in spirit....

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Friday Baking



I LOVE anything pumpkin.  This recipe is from Holiday Recipes: 150 Easy Recipes and Gifts From Your Kitchen by Bonnie Scott, which I got free for my Kindle on Amazon.  It's still free today so be sure to stop by and grab a copy.



Holiday Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts

Combine flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Blend in eggs and beat.  Add dry ingredients alternately with pumpkin in the butter and sugar mixture.  Mix in the chocolate chips and just 1/2 cup of the nuts.  Grease bottom of 9x5 inch loaf pan and pour batter in pan.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup nuts on top.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 65 to 70 minutes.  Cool then drizzle with glaze.

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 to 2 tbsp. cream

Mix all glaze ingredients together, then microwave for about 20 seconds.  Mix well, then drizzle on bread.  Yield:  1 loaf

This recipe will also make 4 mini-loaves (fill pans 3/4 full with batter) baked for 40 to 45 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.  Great for gift giving!

Have a lovely weekend and stay tuned tomorrow for Weekend Crafting.

Always in spirit....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

{Guest Post} Holiday Magazines--Kai from Fiction State of Mind


Well, we are moved in at my mom's house, but everything is still in disarray.  We're still trying to get stuff arranged and it's going to take me weeks to get my books shelved and organized.  We're hoping to have a lot done so we can put up the Christmas tree on Friday.  Have to keep Christmas good for the boys.  Anyway, I'm hoping I'm finally back on track with Sharing the Joy.  *fingers crossed*  Today my guest is Kai from Fiction State of Mind and she's sharing her favorite magazines for holiday ideas.  Enjoy!

HOLIDAY MAGAZINES

Hello Everyone! I’m so happy to be on Michelle’s blog today. In so many ways Michelle is my Blogger Soul mate...we love so many of the same things, especially Christmas!

One of my favorite sources for Holiday ideas is through the Holiday editions of magazines. So today I want to share with you some of my favorite magazines and some tips I learned from them as well as some gift ideas.

Real Simple
www.realsimple.com

One of my favorite magazines! Not only does the December issue have some great tips for the Holidays but I also discovered the company Kikkerland: www.kikkerland.com where I found this amazing Robot tea Infuser.

Victoria

I really enjoy everything about the Victorian Era especially all the little details they added to their holiday celebrations. In this issue I discovered the company Ashgrove Press: www.ashgrovepress.com  They make board games based on A Christmas Carol and Pride & Prejudice. Wonderful holiday gift ideas:



Victoria also had a great article about Terrariums that inspired me to visit www.terrariums.com and plan to make my own terrarium.

Family Fun

In the November issue there is a great Recipe for Blockbuster Cookies and Parsley pesto Vegetables. There is also a great guide on spending time together during the Holidays and gift ideas.

Whole Living

I have good intentions towards baking, especially during the Holidays. I found a review of this book, which I definitely will be getting:

I also found a unique recipe using Sweet Potatoes for breakfast 

That’s just a sampling of the magazines that are full of Holiday inspiration and Recipes. Hope your Holidays are Merry!

**********

Such great ideas to be found! I love holiday magazines myself.  There is usually so much inspiration in them.  A big thanks to Kai for being my guest today!

Always in spirit....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sharing the Joy: A Call for Help


The Sharing the Joy event has got off to a rocky start due to some circumstances in my personal life.  My sons and I are moving in with my mom this weekend and it's a big move.  The honest truth is that my husband and I are separating.  It's a tough time of year for this, but I'm trying to keep my spirits up.  I look to Christmas to help me with that, but this move is putting a damper on my posting for Sharing the Joy so....

I need help with some guest posts.  Spread the word to your friends and/or submit one yourself.  Authors, bloggers, non-bloggers alike...all will be welcome.  Write about anything Christmas related:  recipes, family traditions/memories, stories, top ten lists, etc., etc.  All and any help will be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to help, please send me an email at truebookaddict AT gmail DOT com

Always in spirit....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sharing the Joy: Weekend Crafting


Of course, we all know that this blog is the blog of a book addict and when I came across this wreath project...well, fireworks went off! LOL!

Book Leaf Wreath

Materials:
~foam wreath
~a book (a cheap paperback would work well) 
~hot glue gun/glue sticks 
~scissors 
~pencil 
~ribbon 
~straight pins

Step 1:
Tear out a page from your book, and fold it in half width-wise.  Fold the page again in half.

Step 2:
Draw a leaf shape onto the folded paper. You could cut out a cardboard template if you want, but I just freehanded mine. I like the variety of shapes and sizes from drawing them by hand.  Then cut out the leaf. You will get 4 leaves from one sheet of paper.

Step 3:
Cut out a bunch of leaves and fold them in half down the middle.  I don't know how many leaves I used for the wreath, (maybe 100?) because I cut them out as I needed them.

Step 4:
Get out your hot glue gun and extra glue sticks. You might want to lay some newspaper under your work surface so the glue doesn't get all over. You'll run a line of glue across the foam wreath and layer 4-5 leaves across it.  I used the eraser end of a pencil to push the paper onto the hot glue.  Once the glue dries a bit, you can add another layer about an inch further up on the wreath, making sure the ends of the leaves are all pointing in the same direction. You'll be overlapping them.

Step 5:
When you come to the end of your wreath, you'll need to put glue on the tips of individual leaves and tuck them into the gap.  Use the pencil eraser again to fill in the gaps and push leaves in place. You can also add more leaves around the edges to hide any of the foam circle that may be showing.  As long as all the leaves are going in the same direction, it will look great!

Step 6:
Make a hanger for the back of the wreath by pinning a scrap of ribbon into the foam on the back.  There are other ways you can hang the wreath, like wrapping a ribbon around it and hanging it that way. I opted for a hidden hanger.

Step 7:
If you'd like to add a simple bow, here's what I did. I took a 2 foot length of red grosgrain ribbon, a wire twist tie and two straight pins folded the ribbon into loops and wound the twist tie around them in the middle.  I covered the twist tie with some of the end of the ribbon and wound the tie around it to keep it in place. Then I fluffed up the bow and pinned it to the front of the wreath with the pins. Easy!

To see the full project, including images that show each step and ideas for how to display your wreath, visit Katydid and Kid:  Adventures in Making and Doing.

Part of....


Always in spirit....

TuesBookTalk December Book Selection: Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb



TuesBookTalk Read-a-Longs on Twitter (@tuesbooktalk  #tuesbooktalk) and on Goodreads will be reading a Christmas book in December.  Our first discussion will be on Tuesday, December 4.  Our chats take place on Twitter at 9:30pm ET/8:30pm CT on Tuesday nights.  If you can't join us on Twitter, feel free to share your thoughts in the Goodreads group.  Get the full reading schedule for Wishin' and Hopin' HERE.

This would be a terrific read for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.  Hope you will join us!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Movie {DVD} Review: Heavenly Christmas Film Classics


Welcome to the first day of the Sharing the Joy event here at The Christmas Spirit.  For full details of what I have in store during the event this season, visit this POST.  As promised, today I have for you a Christmas movie (DVD) review.  Enjoy!

**********

I was sent this wonderful DVD for review from Festival Films.  Here are the details:



The spirit of Christmas is gloriously captured in six inspiring stories of faith, family and friendship.
Note the choice of two covers -- classic Nativity scene or fatherly Santa Claus! Content in each is identical. Enjoy these trailers for the six films:


Silent Night: Story of the Christmas Carol
(1953) 13 min., color. Beautifully told true story of how Franz Gruber created the iconic 1818 Christmas carol.

Christmas is Magic
(1953) 24 min. Robert Hutton plays a war vet with amnesia who is taken in by widow Frances Rafferty and her son on Christmas Eve.

Star of Bethlehem
(1956) 12 min., color. Story of the Nativity beautifully narrated from the Gospels and told using the silhouette animation style of Lotte Reiniger. The film opens with the Holy Family traveling to Bethlehem and closes with the Wise Men bearing rich gifts, while a host of angels descend from the heavens.

Three Young Kings
(1956) 28 min. Episode of “DuPont Theater.” In Latin America three young boys follow a village tradition of carrying Christmas gifts to the mission church children in the costumes of the Three Wise Men. When they ride through the poor section of town, the boys decide to give the presents to the ragged children instead, causing a crisis in conscience in the community over the true meaning of giving.

Star of Bethlehem
(1954) 26 min. Produced, directed by and starring James Mason, with the participation of his wife, daughter Portland and other child actors. Mason and his wife first read sections from the bible that lead up to the birth of Jesus. He visits his daughter in bed and their discussion leads into an enactment of the Nativity starring a cast of children. Jerry Mathers plays Joseph. A heartfelt, inventive and personal religious project by a Hollywood star at the height of his fame.

Starlight Night
(1939) 30 min. Opulent British docu-drama about the creation of the famous Christmas carol centers on a stern father estranged from his daughter.

My thoughts:
This DVD is perfect for people like me who love Christmas.  It is for people who don't mind a little sentiment and also for people who believe the reason for the season.  These are rare film classics brought back for people to enjoy.  Each film is more like a short episode, instead of a full length film.  My favorites were Christmas is Magic, where a war veteran with amnesia meets a widow and her son and finds himself through the magic of Christmas, and Starlight Night, where a father estranged from his daughter learns to recognize what really matters.  They are all wonderful and would be a great way to introduce children to the story of the Nativity with the wonderful silhouette animation of Star of Bethlehem and to also teach them the secret of giving to those who are less fortunate with Three Young Kings.

The DVD is available on Amazon via this link:
A warm thank you to Festival Films for providing the DVD for review.  It will now take its permanent place among my Christmas DVD collection.

Always in spirit....

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