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Journey into the Lives of Women, One Story at a Time

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas Giveaway

Just Christmas?

My title may say Christmas, but last night was the first night of Hanukkah, so a very happy Hanukkah to all my readers who celebrate this festival of lights. Kwanzaa, which begins on December 26th is on its way, and the Winter Solstice, marking the calendar day with the longest night of the year, will be celebrated on the 21st. My warmest wishes to everyone who celebrates a winter holiday.

Today, though, we’re referring to a song. You know, the one that starts “On the first day of Christmas. . .” Actually the first day the popular carol refers to is Christmas Day, and the song goes through twelve days, ending on Twelfth Night, the night the wise men were said to arrive at the manger in Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Baby Jesus.

That’s a lot of holidays, right?

twelve gifts of christmas

Um, did you mention a giveaway?

This week I began sorting through books in my study and discovered I have a box of The Christmas Wedding Quilt, an anthology with three novellas by me and authors Janice Johnson and Sarah Mayberry. The novellas follow the lives of three cousins who are trying to finish a quilt for their fourth cousin, who will be married at Christmas. Janice, Sarah and I had fun doing this, and we liked the result. You will, too. I have twelve copies to give away, one for each day in the song. My twelve gifts of Christmas.

What do I have to do?

First, this giveaway is only for my U.S. readers.* To enter for a chance to win, anyone with a U.S. mailing address must comment on this blog by telling us one thing they’re doing over the holidays to celebrate. Whether it’s a making a favorite recipe, hanging ornaments, lighting candles on your menorah, sharing wassail with friends? Or even just staying home to read a favorite novel or watch a favorite holiday show on television. Everyone who tells us one thing they’ll be doing to celebrate–or more–will be entered once.

I’ll let the website random.org choose six winners on Tuesday the 19th and I will announce those winners on next week’s blog. Then. . .

Next week, six new winners.

So if you don’t win this week’s drawing? Good news. You’ll have a chance to comment again and enter next week on my Wednesday blog by correctly commenting once more. (Next week I’ll ask a different question.) Then I’ll choose the final six winners, using comments from that blog.

Okay, just to be sure I made this clear?
  • Comment on this blog by sharing one thing (or more) you will do to celebrate the holiday season this year
  • Be sure you have a U.S. mailing address
  • For this first of two six copy giveaways, be sure to comment by next Tuesday, the 19th. Comment as often as you like but only one per person will be entered.
  • Check next Wednesday’s blog to see who the six lucky winners were.
  • Then, if random.org didn’t pick you the first time, correctly comment on next week’s blog for another chance at the final six books. (You may comment as often as you choose, but winners in the first round won’t be considered in the second.)
Got it? Twelve chances to win twelve copies of The Christmas Wedding Quilt. My twelve gifts of Christmas to you. I can’t wait to find out how you celebrate the holidays. 

*I love my non-U.S. readers, too, and when possible I try to include them. My monthly book giveaway through my newsletter is for everyone everywhere. Sign up for the newsletter here.

59 Comments

  1. Shanna on December 13, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    My husband and I stay home on Christmas Eve and open one package an hour though out the evening.

  2. Kim Akers on December 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I am looking forward to hosting one side of our family on Christmas Even and traveling to a family member’s home for the other side on Christmas Day. We always enjoy being with family no matter where we are – plus there is always A LOT of food! Presents seem to fall to a distant third place, at least for the adults. It’s more important that we be with family and count our blessings.

  3. Sue Johnson on December 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    We will be listening to my adult daughter’s Christmas voice recital this Friday. So excited! She has a beautiful voice.

  4. Judy Varner on December 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    First, a real Christmas tree, a gorgeous Fraser Fir, decorated the day after Thanksgiving, the mantel filled with lighted garland and my Santa collection. Hallmark Christmas movies in the background. Baking cookies, maybe some fudge. Face timing with my 5 grandchildren since they are in Minnesota and we will not be celebrating with them in person. I display a framed photo of each of them with Santa from past Christmases. Cookie exchange with neighbors!

  5. Kate Vale on December 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I’m cleaning out closets of things that have collected, but remained unused for too many years. This year, I decided that if I haven’t used something in a year, I don’t need it, won’t miss it, so am going to donate it to a worthy cause, charity, the Salvation Army, or Good will. My hope is that what I don’t need and haven’t used will be just the ticket to put a smile on someone else’s face!

  6. Connie Richards on December 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I write a poem for my Christmas “letter.”

  7. Penny A L Prichard on December 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Our church has a tradition of a Christmas Eve Lovefeast. It is a very popular service and we consider it an outreach for the community. There are many non-Moravian who consider Christmas Eve Lovefeast part of their tradition. There is one family that I’ve seen children born, grow, fall in love and have children of their own.

  8. Lisa Reigel on December 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I’m doing all the traditional decorating and baking. New this year, my husband and I are having a date weekend in Washington, DC. this weekend. One stop will be the National Zoo for their annual Zoo Lights. I’ve never been but it always looks amazing on the news.

  9. Debi Waldron on December 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    For the first time in many years, I got to help decorate the tree and spend time with family. It was awesome and really put me in the holiday sprite.

  10. Terri Chlapek on December 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    All three of my grown sons will be home and we will spend time together working Christmas puzzles and playing games together. When they’re not playing video games together, that is.

  11. Audrey Bonnell on December 13, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I will spend time with my daughter and her family which includes my great granddaughter that is 6 months old. I am making fudge and chocolate dipped pretzel rods.

  12. Susan Heim on December 13, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    We’ll go to church on Christmas Eve and then spend Christmas day with my kids and parents at our house, opening gifts and having a delicious dinner!

  13. Monica Massanyi on December 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    To celebrate I make my own Christmas cards, decorate, attend the Cleveland orchestra Christmas concert and try to read at least one Christmas novel.

  14. Jean DeFrances on December 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I’ll be watching as many of the new Hallmark Christmas movies as I can this season.

  15. Sandra Logar on December 13, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    My family usually rents a small hall in our neighborhood because our house is too small to house all of us. We bring our old aluminum tree and each relative hangs their family bulb while reflecting on the past year as they do on Days of Our Lives. Then we eat the food everyone has brought. We top off Christmas Day by opening gifts and playing games.

  16. Eloise Breidenbaugh on December 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Staying home, relaxing and reading novels.

  17. Catherine Ojalvo on December 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I look forward to going to church on Christmas Eve.We sing carols and hear the story of the birth of Jesus.It reminds me what Christmas is all about!

  18. Jo Agnew on December 13, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    My husband and I have always followed his Grandma’s tradition of making breads (pumpkin, banana and zucchini), having cheese & meats and lots of yummy munchies ALL day Christmas. We snuggle up and open presents together and then just veg all day eating the yumminess.
    Merry Christmas, Emilie!!

  19. Lori R on December 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I am baking and decorating Christmas cookies. My favorites are the mitten and cap that I make.

  20. Debbie on December 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Every year I hang Christmas ornaments that my mother and father got the first year they were married (1948) that have their name and date and hang them on the tree. Over the years with small children and grandchildren around, it has been hard at times to hide and secure them to avoid breaking them, but they are still with me and as long as I can, I will continue to hang them on my tree.

  21. Dell Martinez on December 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I am working on making Skype available to all the members of my family for a Christmas “meeting”.
    Otherwise I shall be alone again this holiday season.
    I also will continue watching the films on Hallmark TV.

  22. Beth Bricker on December 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Making Christmas dinner for my hubby & a friend who no longer has any family living…so we will spend the day with her!

  23. Connie Kauffman on December 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Baking Christmas cookies of course!

  24. Joni on December 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    We usually play Bingo to pass the time Thanksgiving but this year my little girls travelled to Tennessee to the other grandma’s – so we saved Bingo for Christmas Day this year!
    So B9 it is!!
    Merry Christmas

  25. Nancy Lepri on December 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I have a lot of ornaments my mom made which always grace my tree. Underneath is a lovely, red, white, green, and pink afghan she knitted as my tree skirt. Also, when I was a child, she took a ceramics class and make 13 figures for her creche, which I also have. In addition to that, most of my other Christmas decorations are handmade by my mom, my great aunt, and my husband’s aunt. How awesome is that to have one-of-a-kind decorations filled with love and lots of great memories?

    • Emilie Richards on December 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Oh, wow! Not only did she make all those lovely things, but you had the good sense to keep them. What a treasure.

  26. Nita Voleski on December 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Christmas Eve is our favorite holiday, not only because it’s Christmas, but our oldest grandson was born at 5:10 pm on Christmas Eve 18 years ago. So it’s always a double celebration. He gets to open his birthday presents first and then the Christmas festivities start. We end the evening with his birthday cake. We have always tried to make it special for him so his birthday doesn’t get lost in the Christmas rush. And then when everyone leaves, the quiet is extra special!

  27. Joah Garland on December 13, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    WE started lighting the menorah last night. Then a week before x’mas we trim the tree. yes, we’re a 2 religion family. it all works out.

    • Emilie Richards on December 13, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      I think that’s wonderful and those who celebrate with you are lucky.

  28. Rita Tellier on December 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    I have a friend who has worked at our local hospital for 36 years. I worked with her for 31 of those years before retiring. The hospital is now closing. She is losing her job that she loved. If I win this book I will give it to her to maybe brighten her day a little. She loves to read. Thanks for the chance.

  29. Mary Lou on December 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    I will make my son’s favorite recipes for Peanut Butter Balls, Almond Bark Crunch, and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies…a long tradition in our family (but NOT Weight Watchers recipes)?‼️

  30. Brenda on December 13, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Baking date but swirl cookies from my great grandmother and I am in my 60’s.

  31. Emily Cole on December 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    We recently moved to be closer to family and are looking forward to having a family Christmas for the first time in a lot of years. Getter nag ready to go to a middle school concert and 2nd grade pageant. Feeling blessed to be able to go to these events.

  32. Brenda Adams on December 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I look forward to hosting Christmas Eve dinner and using the Christmas china and glassware. The grandkids have been able to use the stemmed glasses for several years now and it makes them feel more special than usual. I love making memories to last their lifetimes.

  33. Marsha Markham on December 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    It’s fun to hear what everyone’s favorite things about Christmas are. I’m finding it hard to choose just one but I think taking treats around to people then visiting with them for awhile is pretty close to the top (of course the grandsons might nudge that out of the way). 🙂 Happy holidays to everyone, however you choose to spend them.

  34. Linda Topp on December 13, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I’ll be meeting up with most of my family in Old Town (Alexandria, VA) the week after Christmas. We always have fun together–and apparently we have a new tradition of seeing the newest Star Wars movie together.

  35. Lucy Reynolds on December 13, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    We will attend Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with family. Thank you for the chance. Merry Christmas ??

  36. Jane Dougherty on December 13, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Our daughter , our grandson and his girlfriend and our granddaughter and this year our daughter’s 2 year old foster son will arrive next week, and will stay 10 days. I have been making casseroles and breakfast breads and cookies like crazy this week. Our granddaughter has many friends here and they will be around for meals as well. We play lots of cards and Mexican Train.

  37. DIANE Willard on December 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    I am having a pajama day with grandchildren and we will make popcorn and watch Frosty the Snowman and Santa is coming to town. Then we will make a Gingerbread house. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the season.

  38. Nancy J Wilson on December 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    This weekend I will turn into the cookie lady and distribute them, along with my famous cinnamon-sugar pecans, to all my neighbors. I have to give them all away because I’ve lost almost 50 lbs this year and I dont want to gain them all back!

  39. Coelle on December 13, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    …Making personal notes on each of my handmade Christmas cards (paper crafter) ….and most have already made it to the post office. Tomorrow baking and taking a mac n cheese casserole into a pot luck with my team of volunteer Navigators at the Phoenix airport. And then getting ready for the arrival of my oldest son and his family this weekend for the holidays. Love this time of year!

  40. Halyna Tester on December 13, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Will be visiting my son and his family. The best part is seeing my beautiful granddaughter’s and getting lots of hugs. I can’t wait for them to open their presents. We’ll share a beautiful meal and I always make a cheesecake for dessert. My daugher-in-laws favorite. Now to bake goodies to mail out to family.

  41. Charolette on December 13, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    We are celebrating Christmas by being together & eating our traditional food

  42. Jean Ann Lemon on December 13, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    The five ladies that I taught with for over 30 years meet to share the joy of knowing and working together. We raised our children together offering advice and encouragement, we cheered for accomplishments, new babies, and graduations, and we consoled each other as sadness and loss touched our lives. Today we felt gratitude for the blessings of having each other.

  43. Sandy Ellison on December 13, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    I’ll be re-reading “The Christmas Mouse” by Miss Read (Dora Saint), again. I enjoy this lovely story every year over Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Cheers!

  44. Melody Brown on December 14, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I will be making cookies with my daughter, sister, 2 nieces and 2 friends. It’s out tradition, we make about 1300 cookies in 2 days!!! Everyone sleeps over at my house and we have a great time!

  45. Pam Reed on December 14, 2017 at 9:40 am

    For the first time we are spending Christmas in Florida (actually the entire winter) and will be with friends. We have decorated the palm trees and shrubs and have a small ceramic tree – still trying to get used to this ‘southern’ Christmas.

  46. Rosemary Geisler on December 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I love reading Christmas novels at this time of year. I also like to watch Christmas movies. The problem is that I have so many other things to do to get ready for Christmas that I am just busy. But I try to take time to read and watch a movie. (i usually find or make the time)

  47. Emma Wilson on December 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    I am going to see brothers and cousins (one who is battling lung cancer). They all live in my hometown in the Tennessee mountains.

  48. Adelyn Grudier on December 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    My three children are at the corners of our country so I won’t be with any of them. Gifts for everyone are completed and on their way so now it is my time. Hmmm, that’s not much fun. Will be joining others at the clubhouse for Christmas dinner and that is always fun and wonderful food.

  49. Rebecca Rookey on December 15, 2017 at 6:52 am

    This year we are celebrating by hosting the whole family in our home for a Christmas Eve dinner.

  50. Shawn Garrison on December 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Both of my adult children will be joining us this year so I’ll be busy baking cookies and finishing last minute gifts! We are also excited to be seeing the new Star Wars film together!

  51. Donalene S. Poduska on December 15, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I am enjoying looking at the nativities that are displayed this year and at the ornaments on the tree. The nativities help me remember why we celebrate Christmas — and each is unique. The oldest is the Holy Family that we bought our first Christmas in 1958 — from the dimestore with prices marked as 29 and 39 cents! Ornaments bring back happy memories of places where purchased them or the people who gave them to me. The family will come on the 26th so that they can enjoy seeing everything. I have already shared them with my hosting my book club.

  52. Kelly Grace on December 16, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Tomorrow is our annual cookie making day, my sister and I spend the day making cookies for gifts and the rest of the holidays. Xmas eve we will watch the Pilat Express with the kids, another tradition the kids love!

  53. Susan W on December 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

    This Christmas is difficult as our family members all have budget cuts. So we dropped the big spending sprees in leu of purchasing one present at $20-25 . That’s it. No gift giving to anyone else. We will play a Christmas game where everyone piles their one gift on the floor. Everyone draws numbers and the first person opens one gift. Then the next, and so on with each person having a chance to open a gift or steal one from someone else. Does anyone know the name of this game? Of our three adults children: 1. just had a baby,2. Lost their job and 3. Is a student at a very expensive grad school and no one can afford to buy presents ? for anyone else as they are all struggling to make ends meet. We will have fun with various games and treasure being together with a wonderful dinner. Merry Christmas all!

  54. Leslie R on December 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Our family enjoys gathering for Christmas brunch after each of our sons families have their own “wake-up” at their home. I encourage them to make their own memories before coming over to be together. We love to eat, toss the football, play games and sometimes we have a gingerbread house competition. Such blessings and memories!

  55. Jen Karalfa on December 16, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    My family always attends Christmas Eve candlelight services together. It’s the real one constant tradition that we have.

  56. Becky Rabalais on December 19, 2017 at 7:15 am

    We buy many bags of different type of dried beans, mix them together, repackage and add a bean soup recipe. Since the year we married, thirty years ago. We have given these packages of bean soup mix to friends at Christmas time. It’s a fun tradition.

  57. Kristin G on December 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I’m going to be spending time with my family. We are going to be baking and watching the kids play together.

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