The War on Christmas, a New Leaf Publishing Group Launch Team Review

 Book Reviews, Celebration, Christ, Church, Faith, Holidays  Comments Off on The War on Christmas, a New Leaf Publishing Group Launch Team Review
Oct 302013
 

I was given a copy of The War on Christmas edited by Bodie Hodges for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

Christmas.

Growing up I never realized that there could be so much controversy and raw emotion of the mention of celebrating such a thing. We always celebrated with a tree, presents, decorations, and a great meal. We would go to church and participate in the services and it was always great when we got to do the readings in the preceding Sundays for the lighting of the Advent candle on the wreath. It was a time filled with wonder and even some mystery.

I was an adult and married when I learned that more than one group of people chose not to celebrate Christmas at all. After doing some research, I wasn’t sure what to believe. I felt that both sides to the argument over whether or not to celebrate Christmas had some valid points and both sides were taking scriptures out of context to prove their point. I hate proof-texting.  And it really is bothersome when it is hard to draw your own conclusion because both sides are so compelling.

So, it was with great excitement that I got to review The War on Christmas, edited by Bodie Hodges. This book takes a good hard look at Christmas and the controversies surrounding it.

The War on Christmas takes a good long look at the origins of our modern celebration of the holiday, where did these particular decorations come from? What really happened the night Christ was born? What are the Greek translations of the words used in Scripture and do they line up with our modern words? Did the church hijack pagan celebrations in an attempt to “Christianize” them? Are we expressly forbidden from celebrating Christmas, or do we have the freedom to do so? Do we worship at the alter of consumerism or do we keep our focus on Christ, his Birth and ultimately the reason He was born? Do our Christmas celebrations point to the Savior, or do they point to self?

The War on Christmas is very easy to read and follow along with the major points. The text is set up in three columns, which I did find a bit choppy for the speed at which I read, but it works very well for the format of the book. The pages are a muted shade of pale blue and are thicker than most pages in other books. The book is full of gorgeous pictures which really add to the points being made. This would make an excellent gift book due to the design of it alone.  This book would make a superb gift for a pastor, teacher, lay person, and seeker. I would also highly suggest reading this book to understand the theological implications of Christmas and the reasons why you have chosen to celebrate or not.

Personally, we came to the conclusion years ago that Christmas is fine. It is fine to take a dedicated time to focus on the birth of our Savior, to dwell on what He has done for us from Creation to the Cross and beyond. Christmas is a great time of year to reach out and witness to our neighbors and point them to Christ and the reasons He came for us. It opens doors that may otherwise be closed to us. However, I won’t condemn those who have chosen to have no part in commemorating the Savior’s birth. As long as you have researched it for yourself, prayed over what you have found and are ready to give solid reasons for why you believe that. For us, it came down to the heart issue, as it should for everyone. We couldn’t find any place in scripture where it says not to commemorate our Savior’s birth or to do so. The Israelites had holidays commemorating their history (aside from the Biblically commanded feasts, they celebrate Hanukah among others, as a way to remember where they’ve come from, the miracles they were given and to celebrate their heritage), and as Christians I see no reason not to do the same. If it weren’t for Christ being born, none of us would be having this argument anyway.

 

Nov 082012
 

I love Melissa and Doug toys for my children. I have found them to be exceptionally made and they last a long time. The girls love everything they have ever been given from the Melissa and Doug line too. The eldest loves the vinyl sticker scene book she got this summer while on vacation and her HUGE fairy coloring book.

This year, Melissa and Doug has published their Terrific Twenty List for gift giving this holiday season. I can’t let the girls see this graphic because they will want it all….

Toys from Melissa and Doug for their Terrific Twenty List

I absolutely love the doorbell house. It has keys to lock and unlock the doors and poseable dolls to encourage fine motor skills. Though I think the girls would prefer the Bella Butterfly Tea Set. They’ve been begging for a new tea set for a while now and I think that this is what they would like the most.


If you want to win something from this list, go visit the Melissa and Doug Facebook page for your chance! Or you can enter to win here! I’m giving away a Bella Butterfly Tea Set thanks to the generous blogging opportunity from Melissa and Doug! Just fill out the easy rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! Contest is open to U.S. residents only and runs through 11/16/2012 at 10:00 p.m. Prize is furnished through Melissa and Doug and hosted by me. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me after notification of prize so I can send their address to Melissa and Doug. Failure to do so will get the prize awarded to an alternate winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are other Melissa and Doug giveaways, go visit the other bloggers on this list to increase your chance of winning and saving some money this holiday season! Please only link up if you are offering a Melissa and Doug giveaway on your blog.



I was given this opportunity to post about Melissa and Doug's Terrific Twenty in exchange for a toy off the list for myself and the giveaway.

A Great Deal for What’s In The Bible!

 Faith, family, Holidays  Comments Off on A Great Deal for What’s In The Bible!
Oct 302012
 

I just got word that right now, What’s in the Bible? is having a terrific sale, and I thought I would pass the information on to you. They currently are offering 20% off and free shipping on orders of over 15.00. My girls love Clive and Ian and have retained so much of what they have learned through watching these videos. Biblical concepts are taught in a very engaging and child friendly way. The girls beg to watch on a regular basis, and it is something that I can trust. Good, quality children’s programming is getting harder and harder to find. However, I think that What’s in the Bible is a great option for those of us who are concerned with what is put into our children through media.

So, beat the Christmas rush and order your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, next door neighbor’s and random strangers a What’s in the Bible? DVD!

What’s in the Bible? has given me a referral link for this post, thank you for considering using it when placing your order.

Happy New Year!

 family, Holidays  Comments Off on Happy New Year!
Jan 022012
 

Happy New Year!

Well, the hectic time of the holidays is past. We had company for nearly a week so I didn’t have a moment to myself at all to write. At one point, we had five adults plus the girls in our one-bathroom home. Thankfully that wasn’t as interesting as it could have been.

This year for Christmas HubbaHubba and I ended up deciding to let the Bugs get a guinea pig. So Grandma decided to buy the cage, some bedding, food, treats, treats and more treats for the girls. It was so funny watching Bugs opening the guinea pig paraphernalia. We got it all condensed to three boxes for her to open in order from the most confusing stuff to the least. As the boxes were being opened, she kept saying things like; “But I don’t have a pet to use this stuff…Why am I getting stuff for a pet? I don’t have one…” And the look on her face was absolutely priceless. Utter and sheer confusion. We finally got to the last box. This was a shoe box that I had wrapped that contained my loyalty card for the local pet store. She took the paper off the box and found the card wrapped inside. She got that unwrapped and was like, um, ok, now what? We told her that the card meant she was going to be able to go out and choose her guinea pig the following week. She was so surprised. We had told her not to get her hopes up to get one for months now. So on Monday night we went to the first pet store and they were totally out of pigs. We went to another one and the three they had were all so skittish and all three had patches of missing hair. The third pet store in town was closed for the evening (the one closest to our house and they have strange hours). So on Tuesday after supper we went to the third store. They had several pigs to choose from. Bugs chose a nearly all white pig with one brown ear and brown circles around his eyes. She named him Mr. Pig. We call him Pig for short. He’s been a lot of fun to have so far. He loves to be held and cuddled. If you’re scratching his favorite spot he chirrups at you. And he’ll just lay on your chest as you are sitting on the couch reading a book. He is so sweet. It’s almost like having a good tempermented cat, without it being a cat (we aren’t cat people, so no offense, but we love how a cat will just come for scratches and lay in your lap and purr when it’s happy. Pig is similar to that, without the headache of having a cat and me being allergic).

I’m trying to hammer out a lot of things for the new year. There is so much I am wanting to do, but I don’t want to get over ambitious and then feel like a failure when I don’t get half of it accomplished. I do have some practical goals for the home this year that I will share with you now. I will try to keep the dishes cleaned up daily. Laundry will be put away when it is washed (actually on week three of that and it’s going well.) We will keep the living areas picked up better daily instead of letting it all get to be a horrid mess before dealing with it.

I do want the girls to take a quiet rest time each weekday after lunch so I can have some time to work on the computer and write. I am so not a morning person at all and waking before the rest of the family for me to do anything that requires much thought doesn’t work too well. I can do routine things when I’m not fully awake yet, but if I have to think about it, forget it. And I don’t want to do my computer work at night so much because I like that time with my husband (yes, we’ve been accused of still flirting with each other and we’ll have been married for seven years in July).

More to come but I just thought that I would get this posted today to let you know that yes, I’m still alive, the insanity of the holidays didn’t kill me or get me committed J I pray that you have a blessed new year and are somehow ministered to through this blog..

Nov 222011
 

This year I was going to make Lottie Rolls for Thanksgiving. In tribute to a lady from our church growing up who made the absolute best from scratch, homemade rolls ever. Lottie, in her mid-nineties was called home at the end of last week. She was the sweetest lady imagineable. And one of the best cooks I’ve ever seen. So I was rather upset today when I couldn’t find the old church cookbook with her roll recipe in it. So I had to settle on Beef House Rolls instead. If I find Lottie’s recipe, I so will be making them in her memory.

There is a steak house back home that makes the second (aside from Lottie Rolls) best rolls ever. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’m going to try to replicate them. I’m using a copy cat recipe from the Middlefork United Methodist Women’s Cookbook which was submitted by Jeanie Prillaman.  I don’t have the fine Wondra flour it calls for (never heard of it actually) but I do have the extra fine Winnona which I’ll use instead.

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. Salt
3 Tbl. Margarine (I’ll use real butter, we don’t let margarine in the house)
1 egg slightly beaten
2 pkgs dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
5 cups Wondra flour

(Directions verbatum from the book)

Mix 3/4 cup water, sugar, salt and margerine. Bring to a boil and cool to lukewarm. When cool, mix yeast in 1 cup lukewarm water until disolved. Then add mixture, egg, and 3 cups flour (adding more to make it unsticky). Beat until smooth. Add rest of the flour and mix well. No kneading necessary. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hr. Punch down and form into balls, 2 per roll. Place in muffin tins and let rise again until desired rise. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes and cover with foil if getting too brown).

So, what rolls are you baking? Have a terrific recipe? If so, post it on your blog and leave the link in the comments. Don’t have a blog, try to post the recipe in the comments so you can join in the fun. I’m planning a recipe box meme coming up soon complete with linkies, so be on the lookout for that.

.