Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Twelve Favorite Things I Love About Christmas by Tamera L Kraft
A Warm Welcome to a Favorite Author and good friend!
1. Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love it so much that I tend to drive my family crazy with all of my Holiday Cheer. Here are my 12 favorite things I absolutely LOVE about Christmas.
2. The Nativity Story: Christ, who is fully God, was born to a humble family in a lowly stable - the true meaning of Christmas. He came to Earth to die for us, for our sins. I sometimes think about how awestruck Mary must have been holding the Son of God in her arms and knowing He would become her savior.
3. The Celebration: Christmas isn't just another holiday without significance. It celebrates the birth of Christ. I know He wasn't born on Christmas, but until we know for certain which day He was born, that's a good day to celebrate.
4. Children's Christmas Program: I love children's Christmas programs. When I was a children's pastor for 20 years, this was the highlight of my Christmas. My favorite program was "Santa Bowed at Christmas". My daughter had a starring role, and my husband was Santa. Earlier that year, he had given his heart to Jesus. In the play, at the end, Santa gets saved and bows at the Nativity manger. That year, there was not a dry eye in the church. My pastor called my daughter forward and talked about how she always asked him to pray for her daddy's salvation. The pastor pointed to Rick. "This year, her daddy got saved."
5. This year, I'm excited because my church's children's pastor asked me to be in charge of the Christmas Program. I'm doing a happy dance here.
6. Christmas Trees: I love Christmas trees. My husband occasionally asks me if I would like to downsize to a smaller tree, and I always give him that look. My tree is 6 1/2 foot tall and has ornaments I've collected over the years. Each ornament reminds me of a different season of my life and of past Christmases.
7. Christmas Music: I love Christmas music. For the sake of everyone around me, I limit myself to playing it between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I make good use of that time. I like all kinds of Christmas music including Christmas classics like White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby and Silent Night sung by Frank Sinatra, modern Christian songs like Mary Did You Know, fun songs like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, and different types of renditions like what is done by the Tran-Siberian Orchestra. I love them all.
8. Presents: No gift cards for me. I love presents I can wrap and place under the tree. I can barely wait to watch my friends and family tear into the wrapping paper and react to what I got them. The presents don't have to be expensive, but they do express the personality and wants of the recipient. I also love to get presents. My favorite part is not knowing what's under the wrappings. My husband knows I'm impatient and likes to torment me by putting wrapped gifts under the tree.
9. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: I love Christmas Eve services. It disappoints me that many churches have discontinued this. I'm blessed that the church I'm attending is still having them.
10. Christmas Movies: Every year, I get to get out my favorite classic Christmas movies and watch them all over again. Occasionally I'll add a new favorite, but the classics are the best. My favorite Christmas movie is It's a Wonderful Life. I still get goosebumps when I watch it.
11. Decorations: I love Christmas decorations. Red is my favorite color, and this time of year, it is everywhere.
12. Saying Merry Christmas: I don't care how people greet me. Sometimes their just following orders. But I love to say, "Merry Christmas". I find most clerks who had offered a timid "Happy Holidays" grin and wish me a "Merry Christmas" back. Because I wish them one first, they now have permission to do the same.
And Tamera's bonus loves!
Christmas Dinner: No shortcuts for me. My husband and I love to make everything from scratch and have
a feast with our family. First on the menu is Roast Beast (roast beef). Then the list goes on: mashed potatoes and gravy or Duchess potatoes, Grandma's Jell-O salad, noodles, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and other goodies. A chocolate birthday cake and homemade pie top off the meal.
I also love to get out my grandmother's china and Christmas tablecloth and set a beautiful table for Christmas.
Christmas Cards: I love Christmas cards. Unfortunately not as many send them anymore. A generic greeting on FaceBook has replaced them. But I love having friends and family I don't get to see very often send me a card to let me know they're thinking of me. And I love to send them out.
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history.
She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.
Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. Her third novella, A Resurrection of Hope, will be released in March.
A Christmas Promise
A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773
During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises
he’ll be back by Christmas Day.
When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.
Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.
"Revel in the spirit of a Colonial Christmas with this achingly tender love story that will warm both your heart and your faith. With rich historical detail and characters who live and breathe on the page, Tamera Lynn Kraft has penned a haunting tale of Moravian missionaries who selflessly bring the promise of Christ to the Lenape Indians. A beautiful way to set your season aglow, A Christmas Promise is truly a promise kept for a heartwarming holiday tale." -- Julie Lessman
Available at these online stores:
· Barnes and Noble
Wonderful loves, Tamera, and so many of my own! We truly must be sisters! :)
Blessings for a wonderful Christmas.
Merry Christmas, my friends!