Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

Early Christmas Shopping: A Book Giveaway


yosefNormally I’m dead-set against putting up Christmas decorations early, playing Christmas music in stores in November, or anything that rushes the season and makes people stress about buying Christmas gifts while the leaves are still turning colour.

However, apparently I’m a hypocrite, because when I have a Christmas product to push, I’m more than happy to bring up the subject.

I just got the comp copies of my new book from Review and Herald: Yosef’s Story. It’s the first in a planned annual series of gift books called That First Christmas, each of which will tell the story of some character from the Nativity tale. 

Yosef’s Story is my attempt to imagine how Yosef the carpenter, husband of Miryam, might have felt about his wife-to-be’s strange insistence that she was about to have a miraculous virgin birth.  It’s aimed at adult readers, although it could probably be enjoyed by older kids too, and the interior design is quite beautiful, just as a gift book should be.

I highly recommend you buy one, or possibly one for everyone on your Christmas list — at least, everyone who likes to read and enjoys the traditional Biblical Christmas story.  But I also have three to give away to my faithful blog-readers, just to whet your appetite. 

If you want one, please post here in the comments and tell me something Christmassy — your favourite Christmas tradition, the most unusual ornament on your tree, a great holiday memory from the past — anything to put us in the mood for the season FAR TOO EARLY.  If I get more than three replies I’ll have a random draw and get the three winners’ books in the mail in time for you to look it over, decide you love it, and buy a few more copies for gifts, OK??

Merry October!


22 thoughts on “Early Christmas Shopping: A Book Giveaway

  1. Hi Trudy, I am a person who very much loves Christmas! I just enjoy so many different aspects of it. I shop throughout the year, for bargains of course, so I guess I’m one of these people that always has Christmas on my mind. One of my favorite things to do is find a new tree ornament while on holidays as a momentum of places we have visited. It’s so much fun to put up the tree and be able to say hey remember when we went there. I love Christmas music, the baking, church services, get-togethers with family and friends, winter activiies over the break and most of all the Babe in the manger! I’d love to win one of your books … to add to my Christmas Stories.

  2. Hey, Trudy

    I’m one of those annoying very early Christmas people that nauseate you! I start playing music as early as November! The earliest I could convince my family to decorate is December 1st, which just happens to be Christopher’s birthday. So every year we put up the tree as our tradition on my son’s birthday.

    New book sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

  3. I love Christmas. I’m not into carols in October, but certainly by the end of November!

    Lately though, especially since we’ve had children, I find the joy of Christmas, the magic and awe, have been sideswiped by the commercial side. The feeling like I must get more and better toys for my children or equal relatives gifts has becoming the stress of my life in mid-December.

    So, this year, in an attempt to really FEEL Christmas and to get back to its spiritual and cultural roots we’ve decided to have a buy-nothing Christmas.

    We will not be buying new decorations for the house. We will be cutting our own tree. And I am handmaking all the gifts. I’ll still have to buy some crafting supplies and, of course, food. I’m hoping that not only will it help me give with joy to those I love but also teach my children that Christmas is not about the latest toys and fun things they see in the flyers.

    Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping this doesn’t cause even more stress as I try to sew 6 princess rag dolls and put-together 7 science builder kits! If it does, though, it’ll be a much better kind of stress than the rush to Zellers to get the limited quantity toy you didn’t know you planned to buy until you saw the flyer that morning!

  4. Ooo! Christmas music! Great idea!

    Don’t put me in. I just wanted to say — holey moley, that looks fantastic!!

  5. I’ve collected Christmas ornaments from all over the world – Mexican cardboard shapes covered with bright yarn, bamboo fish from the Philippines, filigreed gold stars from India, a silken tasseled fish and butterfly from China, wooden Danish angels, red-white-and-blue soldiers made from clothes pins, and many others. But my favorite ornament was given to me one Christmas by my middle son. It was a beautiful quilted ball. I knew he was thinking of me and my love for quilting when he bought it.

  6. Christmas is my very favorite season ever! And, that is saying a lot since I have tubs of stuff for each season: Back to school, Easter, Fourth of July, my love of fall has several tubs. But, Christmas is when we pull out all the stops.

    My favorite Childhood memory is puting up the nativity scene. It was all white porecelain, which I liked because I could pretend the robes were whatever color I wanted. Every year, they all had to go to their same spots to watch over the baby Jesus.

    Merry Christmas. (in October…)

  7. Thanks for all the comments, folks! Keep ’em coming … I just realized I didn’t set any deadline for this, so I’ll say that whatever comments I get by midnight Saturday night (Newfoundland time of course!) will go into the drawing for the three free copies. Loving everyone’s Christmas memories and decorations, and Dara, I really admire the buy-nothing Christmas! I’ll be interested to hear how it goes.

  8. My favourite Christmas memory happened just moments ago when I read above where Catherine pretended that she doesn’t put on her Christmas music until November.

    I *know* better!!! 🙂

    • Ha Ha!

      But the BULK of the Christmas music won’t be heard until November…really!

      • I don’t know how you can take it that early. I really do love Christmas music, but if it starts too soon I’m tired of it before Christmas. I like to phase it in gradually over the week or so before Christmas, then keep it going at least till New Year’s, ideally till Jan. 6 or whenever I have to go back to work, when the season is officially over.

      • I can start early with Christmas music (though I seem to start later all the time now). But December 25 is pretty much the LAST day of Christmas music for me. On December 26 I want none of it.

  9. Another neat tradition we have is “extended Christmas.” The stores and media start celebrating Christmas on Nov. 01, so we go along with that. But we don’t get our Christmas tree until Dec. 23. Then we decorate it on Christmas Eve and leave it up until Old Christmas Day when we have our family Christmas day complete with more presents and another great meal!
    It lets us celebrate Christmas longer. And it gives us a chance to celebrate Christmas without all the hype that comes with Dec 25th.
    This year we’re thinking we’ll have little celebrations on St. Nicholas and St. Lucia days as well.
    Do I get entered for a book twice now? 🙂

  10. Hey Trudy,
    Love your idea of a Christmas series.
    My family is quite traditional. We always have a Christmas Eve Smorgasbord – sometimes a few items vary, but usually it is the same special dishes. We gather round, eat, then open presents with the youngest starting with one gift and we work up to the oldest and start over again. Since my Mom and I are both in healthcare, it is rare that we celebrate on the day of, but rather when we can all be together and that is the best thing of all. All Being Together.

  11. Hey Trudy, congratulations on your new book, still only part way thru your last book which is actually the first book of yours I’ve ever read. Its a very interesting read and as I expected very well written.
    I want to share my favorite Christmas memory. When my son was in Primary school it was discovered he had many learning disabilities but, was still intergrated with the rest of his schoolmates ( side note he has mastered his disabilities and actually has made them his abilities. ) As a result he felt different from his school mates which made him very shy and timid. His Grade 2 teacher took a special liking to him and when it came around to the school Christmas play she gave him like everyone else a part to play. He was to play the Donkey in “The Friendly Beast” song. His job was to dress in a brown blanket and crawl out on the stage and sing his part. It was a big job for him. The lyrics were so difficult for him to learn, as well as him inheriting his fathers lack of ability to sing. So for 3 weeks his teacher and I spent many countless (and somewhat frustrating) hours trying to prepare him and encourage him that it was going to be okay and all he had to do was do his best.

    I was so scared that he would not want to participate the day of the concert because in dress rehersal he performed for his classmates and lost track and forgot the lyrics. He felt he let the class down as well as was very embarassed because of the kids laughing at his mistakes. His teacher told him good job CJ. but, CJ knew he messed up.

    The night of the concert I was proud of him no matter how he performed because he didn’t shy away and make a fuss in going to the school. Once at the school I left him in his classroom and he said to me before I left, ” I’m just gonna do my best right mommy” I was ever so proud that he didn’t quit.

    His time to perform came and he belted out in his loudest, totally tone deaf voice “I said the donkey shaggy and brown I carried His mother uphill and down I carried her safely to Bethlehem town, I said the Donkey shaggy and brown” once finished he jumped up from all fours and looked out for me and his sister in the audience and yelled “I done it right mom!” while his blanket fell off his back and to his ankles.
    The whole audience erupted in laughter and CJ’s face turned to shock and horror for a brief moment till the teachers and then the whole audience stood and clapped for him.

    To this day I credit this teacher and this play for turning my sons feelings of inferiority and inadequacy into knowledge of his ability in doing anything he put his mind too. I love Christmas and have many other wonderful memories but, this one I will never forget!

  12. Cathy, that’s such a great story!!

  13. I’ll throw my name into the hat too 🙂 I’m afraid I’m a last-minute Christmas type too, so it’s not coming totally naturally right now to think about it!

    We’re a relatively new old married couple (coming up to 2 years) with no kids, but I think we’ve developed a few Christmas traditions already. We go to the midnight service at church, then have a lie-in on Christmas morning (I do realise that if we ever have kids we might have to give up on that particular bit of our tradition, sadly!). We have vegetarian haggis for our Christmas dinner (it goes surprisingly well with roast veg), and after the meal when we’re groaning because we’ve eaten too much, we sit on the sofa with a laptop and read through icanhascheezburger.com. Last year we also read through a fabulous blog called “Cute Things Falling Asleep”, so I have set a challenge of finding a different cute blog every Christmas for our Christmas afternoon delectation.

    As for our tree, we only have a small (probably 50cm tall) artificial tree, but our tree tradition is to have a new animal from around the world to hang on the tree every year. Instead of a star or fairy we have an alpaca finger puppet there at the top of the tree (we got an alpaca for a family in Peru as a wedding gift, and got the finger puppet with the certificate from the charity), and a friend from Tasmania sent us a kookaburra to hang on it too last year. I’m not sure what particular critter will be joining them this year yet.

    I hope if we have kids that we’ll develop some traditions that they can enjoy and carry on themselves. With any luck we’ll still be chuckling at lolcats when we’re in the old folks’ home 🙂

  14. Thanks for playing everyone; I’m almost in the Christmas spirit!! 🙂

    Congrats to Alymra, Catherine T and Cathy Myers, whose names I picked out of a shiny container to win copies of Yosef. Your books will be on the way soon!

  15. Holy Yosef!! Am I too late???
    Oh well, I’ll be happy to purchase a copy 🙂

    Cheers~Mike (who only ever got in the Christmas mood on Dec 24th.)(and still does)

  16. Sorry Mike, you just missed the cut-off. But thanks!

  17. Oh how nice! I won something. Yay me! LOL Actually thanks so much Trudy I love sharing that story and I am so glad you liked it. Can’t wait to read more from you! I’ve been loving you blog for months now and always too shy to comment. Your blogs are so easy to read and filled with the right amount of humour to keep me coming back.

  18. Cool! Thanks so much. I’m going to buy one for someone on my Christmas list too, but this way I get to read it earlier!

    By the way, very touching story about your son, Cathy. What a wonderful memory for you both.

    Thanks again, Trudy. I’ll be reading the book and listening to my Christmas music way to early for your taste, but I’ll be loving every minute!

  19. Wow…I won and didn’t even realize it until you delivered the book Trudy! Thanks so much, I am looking forward to this book and the others in this series….for me and others I can share it with. Thanks again and I have enjoyed hearing everyone’s Christmas stories. Have always wanted to do a home-made gift year but ususllly ends up with half and half.

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