Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Christmas Village/Melissa Ann Goodwin Charity Event--A Thank You!

I am pleased to report that Melissa sold 5 paperbacks and 12 e-books of The Christmas Village! So she will be donating a total of $16 to Make a Wish Foundation.   Melissa, and I, would like to thank those of you who made a purchase to help us donate to this worthy cause.  I hope you enjoy The Christmas Village as much as I did and I hope you will share your thoughts on the book with me at a later date.  Thanks again for your generosity during this holiday season!

Always in spirit....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Christmas Village/Melissa Ann Goodwin Charity Event UPDATE!

Help us reach our goal of a $25 donation to the Make a Wish Foundation.  Melissa has upped the ante and will now donate $2 to the foundation for each paperback sold (e-books will still be 50 cents per copy sold).  That means we need a sale of 10 more paperbacks and 10 e-books.  The Christmas Village would make a wonderful gift for the middle grade kids in your family.  Let's give a little back this season and share a love of reading while we're at it! Click the banner to check it out on Amazon.

Thank you to everyone who has helped out so far this weekend.  We have sold 3 paperbacks and 9 e-books with a total of $9.75 raised so far.  Help spread the word so we can reach our $25 goal!  =O)

Always in spirit....

Sharing the Joy: Weekend Crafting

Here are a few cute craft projects I came across in my new book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

crafted by

Gift Card Holders
A felt envelope makes opening the gift card as much fun as unwrapping the gift.  To fashion an envelope, cut a strip of felt about 1/2-inch wider than the card and twice as long plus 1 inch.  Place the card approximately in the middle of the strip.  Fold up the bottom end of the strip and fold down the top end, adjusting the card so the top of the strip overlaps the bottom; crease the folds with your fingers.  Unfold the top, remove the card, and hot-glue the bottom pocket together along the left and right side edges.  Cut a vertical slit opening in the top flap for a buttonhole; affix a pretty, fabric-covered button to the pocket, opposite the slit.

TIP:  Use pinking shears or scissors with another decorative edge to cut the felt.

Holiday Yarn-Ball Wreath
This wreath is fun to make with friends or your kids; use whatever colors of yarn you like:  Wrap a 12-inch round Styrofoam wreath form with yarn or fabric strips until completely covered.  Make a hanger from the same fabric or two lengths of yarn, cutting and tying around the top of the wreath.  Wrap twelve 4-inch and twelve 3-inch Styrofoam balls with yarn in a random pattern until completely covered; tuck the end of the yarn under the wraps.  Then, using a hot-glue gun, randomly glue the 4-inch balls onto the wreath.  Allow to dry until firm.  Randomly glue the 3-inch balls onto the wreath, filling in any gaps.

Cone trees
Note:  Image from is an example and is not from the Farm Chicks book

Colorful Cone Trees
Handmade Christmas trees like these are so colorful.  Group them together for a fun and cute display.  They're a snap to create:  Simply cover Styrofoam cones with pretty paper, yarns, greenery, or fabric strips, and hot glue in place.

All craft ideas were obtained from the Country Living The Farm Chicks Christmas by Serena Thompson

Always in spirit....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sharing the Joy Kick-Off--Guest Post and Charity Event with Melissa Ann Goodwin

Please welcome author Melissa Ann Goodwin as our official guest for the kick-off of the 2011 Sharing the Joy event on The Christmas Spirit.  Be sure to read on after the post for info on the charity event.

Keeping the Spirit
Melissa Ann Goodwin

Here we go! It’s officially the holiday season, and there’s no better place to kick it off than here on Michelle’s Christmas Spirit blog. I mean, who has more Spirit than Michelle?? What a warm-hearted, generous person she is. I can definitely add “I’m grateful for having met Michelle this year,” to my list of thankful things.

I’ve been thinking so much about gratitude lately – because of Thanksgiving, of course – but also just because I have so much for which to be grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of sadness in recent times. Both my parents passed away during the last two years – my mom just this past March. But good things have happened too. I published my book and the response has been wonderful. I’ve reconnected with old friends whom I hadn’t seen or talked to in years (we’re talking 30-plus years here, folks!) I’m healthy, safe and loved. Many blessings indeed.

I’ve been thinking about those blessings as the Christmas season begins. To me, this thing we call The Christmas Spirit reflects our desire to be more selfless, patient, kind and giving – to be, in essence, our very best selves. Most of us try to rise to the occasion, we really do. But sometimes the stresses of the season make it difficult to maintain that Spirit. Because I feel so especially blessed, I want to try extra hard to keep my own Christmas Spirit alive this year. Here are a few things I came up with to help me do that:

Sincerely revel in someone else’s joy: The bounty of the universe is limitless. I think that when we can be sincerely happy for someone else’s joy, we open ourselves up to receiving more good into our own lives.

Remember that small gestures can have a huge impact: During a casual conversation with a woman today, I mentioned that my mom used to knit and that I’d always wanted to, but never got the hang of it. The lady offered to teach me. Her offer seemed like a small thing to her, but it touched me in a big way.

Appreciate the little things: When I begin my gratitude list with small things like soft pillows, warm socks or a really good cup of coffee, the abundance of my life becomes so clear. There are so many small things that make life easier, more comfortable and pleasant, and they really add up. 

Do something nice for someone else every day: I can be for someone else what the lady who offered to teach me to knit was for me. 

These are just a few ideas I have for keeping the Christmas Spirit alive. I hope to add to my list over the next month. I’d love to hear your ideas for helping the Spirit thrive in your heart this season.

Thank you so much, Melissa...for your kind words about me and for these lovely tips for keeping the Christmas spirit.  Words to live by at Christmas and all year long, to be sure!

Melissa is the author of the middle grade novel, The Christmas Village.  Read my review of this heartwarming novel that is a book the whole family can share.

***Turn off music player located at the bottom of the blog
 before watching the video***

From today through Monday morning, November 28, Melissa will donate $1.75 for every paperback copy and 50 cents for every Kindle copy of her book sold during the weekend to the charity we chose in the poll (top right sidebar) and that was the Make a Wish Foundation! A big thanks to Melissa for doing this! Giving back at Christmas rocks!

You can click the banner above to check the book out on Amazon...or go HERE.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a happy and joyous holiday season, keeping the spirit all season long and beyond!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Reading Challenges!

Okay, so although I've already started reading my Christmas books, I'm just now officially signing up for my own reading challenge! Yeah, I'm pretty much late for everything.  It's the cross I bear. =O(

Here are the levels for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.  You can read all the rest of the details HERE.
            --Candy Cane:  read 1 book

            --Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
            --Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
          Additional levels:
            --Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas's up to you!
            --Visions of Sugar Plums:  read books with your children this season and share what you read
          *the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

I'll be reading at the Christmas tree level and will be doing Fa la la la films and Visions of sugar plums levels too! Here are some of the books I'll be reading:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

I actually already finished and reviewed The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts today.  Read my review HERE.

There will probably be other selections added to this list or swapped out.  Never know where the mood will take me!

I'm also overlapping with this challenge:

christmas in july
Christmas in July in Dec., hosted by Wall-to-Wall Books  Here are the details:

So here's the challenge -
*During the month of December to read only Christmas books (or as many as you can) there is no set number as to how many Christmas books you have to read. Read at least one and post about it.
*To do giveaways involving Christmas books (I have quite a few planned!) Please do at least one Christmas book giveaway for the challenge.

My first giveaway - is any Christmas book from Amazon under $10.00 - I will have it shipped to your house! You have till Nov. 30th to sign up.
Winner will be chosen and announced on Dec. 1st.
And Reading Challenge will begin Dec. 1st.
*This giveaway is for Bloggers only!
*Any Blogger who signs up to do "Christmas in July, in Dec.", and posts about it, will be entered!

Sign up HERE.

Since I'm already doing a giveaway for my challenge and I'm doing another Christmas event with another blogger with a giveaway, I have that covered! However, I will not be able to read only Christmas books, as I have a few review obligations.  But, as you can see above, I'm still planning on doing a lot of holiday reading. =O)

Always in spirit....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sharing the Joy 2011...Kicks Off Friday!

It's my favorite time of year again! Time for us to share the joy of what Christmas is about.  It's not just the presents and what people deem to be the commercial side of things.  If we can look past all that, we can recognize the truth of giving, sharing friendship, the love of our families and spending time with them and all the fun that goes along with it.  The sites and sounds of Christmas.  And you don't have to be rich or spend a lot of money to enjoy it.  There's free holiday music on the radio and on the online stations and there are plenty of free Christmas light displays in our local neighborhoods to marvel at.  Oh, the look in childrens' eyes when they see them! Sharing the Joy here on The Christmas Spirit is my small way of spreading that joy around a little more and I really hope you enjoy it this year!

To kick-off, on Friday I will have Melissa Ann Goodwin, author of the new middle grade novel, The Christmas Village, as a guest and we have an extra special something planned.  Melissa's book just came out in October and it is a lovely book to share with the family (read my REVIEW).  So, from this Friday, November 25 through Monday morning, November 28, she will donate $1.75 for every paperback copy and 50 cents for every Kindle copy of her book sold during the weekend to a charity! And guess what the best part is?  You get to choose the charity she will donate too! There is a little poll located toward the top of the right sidebar.  Please vote for the charity to which Melissa will donate.  A big thanks to Melissa for doing this! Giving back at Christmas rocks!

What else is in store this year?  Giveaways, guest posts, book reviews, movie reviews, recipes, poems, literature, music, crafts...if it's Christmas, it will be here! Also, I'll be doing Christmas Around the World posts to share Christmas traditions and customs of foreign countries.

I invite any authors or bloggers out there who love Christmas to contribute a guest post, if you would like.  It can be anything Christmasy...a story, poem, top ten lists, favorite things, share pics of your Christmas decor (hey, I'm going to this year) etc., etc.  If you think you would like to contribute, just drop me an email at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom.

And, of course, don't forget The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge, which started today.  You can still sign-up and runs all the way through January 6, 2012 (Epiphany/Twelfth Night).  Find out the details and sign-up HERE.

So looking forward to this, as always! Hope you are too!

Always in spirit....

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2011

Welcome to the third year of hosting my Christmas reading challenge! This is the second year that I'm hosting the challenge here at The Christmas Spirit.  I've added some fun levels to The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge this year, including additional levels for watching Christmas movies and for reading childrens books for those of you who like to read with your kids.  I hope you like the new additions!

Now, on to the details and sign up:
  • challenge will run from Monday, November 21, 2011 through Friday, January 6, 2011 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).
  • cross over with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!
  • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and for the first time...a childrens Christmas books level!
  • visit this POST for a list of new Christmas books for 2011.  Two books I highly recommend for this season that I have read and reviewed...The Christmas Village by Melissa Ann Goodwin and The Reindeer Keeper by Barbara Briggs Ward (click the titles to read my reviews).
  • Levels:
            --Candy Cane:  read 1 book
            --Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
            --Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
          Additional levels:
            --Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas's up to you!
            --Visions of Sugar Plums:  read books with your children this season and share what you read
          *the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

  • the most important rule?  Have fun!!!
  • I will have a review linky posted as a page the day the challenge starts.  You will find it at the top of the right sidebar.
  • Sign up in the linky below (link to your post with your reading can change up your list during the challenge...I just want to be able to stop by to welcome you and see what you plan to read).

All challenge participants in the U.S. will be entered to win a mystery box of Christmas titles handpicked by me (these will be gently used books).  I will pick an additional winner from any International participants and I will purchase a book or eBook of your choice under $5.00 (U.S.) from Book Depository or Better World Books and have it shipped to you.  I will verify that these retailers do indeed ship free to your country.  If they do not, you will have to choose an eBook or I will choose another winner.  All challenge participants will be asked to complete a wrap-up post, share it in the wrap-up linky, and include your country of residence with your name to be eligible for the giveaway.  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below.

Grab a button:

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

Sign Up Linky: