Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sharing the Joy: Weekend Crafting - Snowmen

This super easy craft uses wood rulers which are very cheap pretty much anywhere, or you might just have some lying around your house. These make great pokes for plants or goody baskets, or attach something to hang them from your Christmas tree.


  • Wood rulers
  • craft sticks (trimmed to 1 1/2" length for hat brims)
  • white acrylic paint
  • black acrylic paint, or black glitter paint for hats (or paint hats and then add glitter)
  • use Sharpie markers for face (black for eyes and mouth, orange for carrot nose)
  • narrow ribbon for snowman's bowtie
  • embellishments, if desired, for hat
  • craft glue
Paint rulers with white paint (small roller works well). I would paint both sides if you're planning on hanging these on a tree. Paint trimmed craft stick with black and the top of ruler for black top hat.

Allow paint to dry completely and then glue hat brim on. Draw face with Sharpie markers. Glue embellishment to hat. (Original crafter added a wooden heart, but you can add what you like).

I modified this craft slightly. Original details and instructions (and image credit) can be found at Megpie Designs.

This post is part of...

Always in spirit....

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sharing the Joy: MK McClintock's A Home for Christmas - Review and {Giveaway}

My thoughts
One theme shined through with this lovely short story beginnings. If it's one thing that we all start thinking about as the holidays and the end of a year approaches, it's new beginnings. And, for me, new beginnings mean hope which is another message that is very important at Christmas time.

In Christmas Mountain, Katherine finally comes to her sister's home out west, only after her sister has died. But she finally gets to meet her sister's family and it turns out to be a new beginning for her.

In Teton Christmas, two sisters move to Wyoming after their parents die. It's a different world for them, but they soon learn how magical a new life can be. There is a wonderful coffee cake recipe from this story at the end of  the book, The Wycliffe Hotel's Famous Coffee Cake.

In Lily's Christmas Wish, orphans from New York are taken out west to Colorado to be placed with families. Lily is rescued from a potential hard fate and her and her teacher, Charlotte, learn what new beginnings really are.

The author has truly captured the world out west in the 19th century and mixed it with some festive Christmas stories from the era. This book of short stories is a perfect read for the holiday season.

About the book
Publication Date: November 5, 2014
Trappers Peak Publishing
eBook; 74 pages
Settings: 19th Century Montana, Wyoming, & Colorado
Genre: Christmas Short Stories/Western/Sweet Romance

Includes three historical fiction short stories to delight and entertain this holiday season.

In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.

Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.

Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?

Watch the Book Trailer

Praise for A Home for Christmas

“5 stars! I have just finished reading three short stories written by M.K. McClintock, part of her collection A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. I really enjoyed these charming historical fictions CHRISTMAS MOUNTAIN, TETON CHRISTMAS and LILY’S CHRISTMAS WISH!” – Nicole Laverdure

“Heart-warming and inspiring.” – Kat Cambron

“A delightful collection of stories sure to warm any reader’s heart.” – Elizabeth Loftus

Order the eBook
Amazon | Kobo

About the Author
MK McClintock is the author bestselling historical western romance and award-nominated historical romantic mystery. She spins tales of romance and adventure inspired by the heather-covered hills of Scotland and the majestic mountains of home. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana.

Learn more about MK by visiting her website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #AHomeForChristmasBlogTour #Historical #ShortStory #Western #SweetRomance #Christmas
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @MKMcClintock

Leave a comment to enter for a chance to win $5 Amazon Gift Card and an eBook of A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Last day to enter is Friday, December 19. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rudolph Day and Sharing the Joy 2014 Kick Off! #sharingjoy2014

The season is here again! Are you as excited as I am!? Every year I feel like a kid again. It's not about the presents or the "commercial" side of things. It's about recognizing 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 sights and sounds of don't have to be rich or spend a lot of money to enjoy them. There's free holiday music on the radio and on online stations (check out The Sounds of Christmas in the right sidebar) and there are plenty of free Christmas light displays in our local neighborhoods to marvel upon. Seeing my sons' eyes light up at the sights 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!

What do I have in store for you 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.

Be sure to check the sidebar menu for the Everything Christmas Daily Advent link, as I'll be adding to that this year. I'll also be adding more to the menu so keep checking.

I invite any authors or bloggers out there who love Christmas to contribute a guest post, if you would like.  It can be anything Christmas-y...a story, poem, top ten lists, favorite things, share pics of your Christmas decor, etc., etc.  If you would like to contribute, please contact me via the form which can be accessed in the menu at the top of the right sidebar.

 Don't forget about the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. It just started today so you still have time to sign up. You can get all the details at this POST. The Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon is also going on this week through Sunday. You can still sign up and join us HERE.

For those of you already participating in the challenge, there is a page with a review linky that you can access via the menu at the top of the right sidebar. I would like to try something new this year. I would love to feature a review (or two) from each one of you this year here on The Christmas Spirit. Please contact me via the form (top right sidebar) and let me know which review you would like me to feature from the linky. Of course, I will link back to you and give you full credit. 

Also, new this year for the reading challenge...we have a Pinterest group board! Access it at the link in the right sidebar menu. Follow me on Pinterest ( so I can follow you back and invite you to the board. You can pin your goals posts and reviews there too, if you like.

I created a hashtag for Sharing the Joy this year. #sharingjoy2014  So, if you feel like sharing any of my posts, be sure to use the hashtag.

Happy joyful holiday season!!!

Always in spirit....

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge - Details and Sign Up!

I had mistakenly thought that last year was the 5th year, but it's actually this year. Yay! Are you ready!?

Like last year, there are multiple levels for participation, like children's books and watching Christmas movies AND the Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon is back again this year. Keep reading for details!

Details and sign up:
  • challenge will run from Monday, November 24, 2014 through Tuesday, January 6, 2014 (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!
  • 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).
One final note:  The giveaway this year will be a first prize of a $10 digital Amazon gift card and a second prize of a $5 digital Amazon gift card. This giveaway is open internationally.

I hope you will join me!

Grab a button...check the right sidebar...there's a grab code. And don't forget to check out the Read-a-Thon details at Seasons of Reading!

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Always in spirit....