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

~foam wreath
~a book (a cheap paperback would work well) 
~hot glue gun/glue sticks 
~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....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Sharing the Joy Event and Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

My favorite time of year is here again! Time for us to share the joy of Christmas.  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.  Just seeing my sons' eyes light up at the sites is enough to make my season bright! Every year, I try to do my small part in spreading the spirit around with Sharing the Joy here on The Christmas Spirit.  I really hope you enjoy it this year!

I'm kicking off Friday with a review of the Heavenly Christmas Film Classics DVD, which I received from Festival Films for review.

What else do I have 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, my Christmas Around the World posts will be back this year to continue sharing 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, etc., etc.  If you would like to contribute, just drop me an email at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom.

Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 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.

I'm participating, of course! What will I be what levels, etc.?  Let's hope I can do the Christmas Tree level! What I'll be reading:
  • A Winter Dream by Richard Paul Evans
  • Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb
  • Cupid's Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby (for review)
  • North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus by Candace Jane Kringle (for review)
  • Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts (for tour)
  • The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman, Illustrated by, none other than, Maurice Sendak (for review)
  • A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid (for review)
I'm also doing Fa La La La Films and Visions of Sugar Plums (I'm hoping to pin my boys down for at least The Nutcracker--see above).

Here's hoping the holiday season will be merry and bright!

Always in spirit....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Top Favorite Christmas Themed Products from Zazzle

Okay, hilarious...but I better be careful who I send these to.  LOL!

christmas rum balls card
christmas rum balls card
View other funny christmas cards

Who doesn't love the "Keep Calm" saying?  This is perfect!

I'm hoping to have a small open house this year.  These would be perfect!Red White Christmas Celebration RSVP Card

Another invite that would be perfect for my open house.  Which one?

I need to get this for my mom.  She IS the best Grandma and yes, Great Grandma, ever!

Always in spirit....

I received a small gift certificate as compensation for this post from Zazzle.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2012--Sign Up Here!

It's the fourth year of the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge! Like last year, there are multiple levels for participation, like children's books and watching Christmas movies.  So, something for everyone!

Now, on to the details and sign up:
  • challenge will run from Monday, November 19, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013 (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 children's Christmas books level!
  • visit this POST for a list of new Christmas books for 2012.  There are a lot of good ones coming out this year, including the new Richard Paul Evans novel, A Winter Dream (I just got it yesterday!).
  • 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 left 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).
One final note:  I am going to do a giveaway of a mystery box of Christmas books to participants in the U.S. (At the moment, I'm not sure on an International prize because of finances, but if I find that I can afford it, I will pick an International winner and they can choose a Christmas book (under $10 or three bargain books for $10, if they're running the promo at the time) from Better World Books.  Giveaway will end at the end of the challenge.

I hope you will join me!

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