365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bible Explorer

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Since we’re heading into the Christmas season, I thought you might like to know about this FREE piece of software for PC or Mac users. It’s called Bible Explorer and is a sweet study tool. It comes with over 200 free Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, and more.The software includes the American Standard Version (ASV), New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB) Bundle, King James Version (KJV), and the Bible in Basic English (BBE), just to list a few.

It doesn’t matter whether you follow the Catholic, Church of Christ, Dispensational, Lutheran, Mainline, Pentecostal, Puritan, Reformed, or Wesleyan doctrine, there is study material to help you out. There are also study aids written from Jewish Christian perspectives.

I can think of oodles of people who may enjoy this as a gift including ministers, church leaders, grandma (who can’t see well), parents, and kids, and the list goes on. Part of the broad range appeal is due to the special libraries you can add according to your needs. For example, there is a library for preachers and discipleships, etc .

There are just so many features and possibilities with this software, I can’t list them all. To find out if this software is a good fit for your needs, you can click here to discover more about Bible Explorer.

Get Bible Explorer!

The Cards That Give Twice

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This holiday season, send cards that mean more.

We donate ten percent of card sales to well respected nonprofit organizations working throughout the world.

Good Cause Greetings is proud to support nonprofit organizations throughout the world through the sale of our unique line of holiday greeting cards. The purchase of Good Cause Greetings helps end hunger, provide housing, medical care and education for world citizens and improve the environment for people and animals worldwide. At the site, click on a charity logo to be linked to the collection of cards supporting that particular organization.

Seeds of Hope

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This holiday season, there is one gift – a piece of beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry - that is helping to give back: the Seeds of Hope Pin. The Seeds of Hope Pin is donating 25% of its proceeds to the National Foundation for Cancer Research (www.NFCR.org). Each Seeds of Hope pin is made of sterling silver with individually hand-set stones and signed by renowned artist, Robert Coogan, creating an heirloom-quality piece, made in the USA. Unlike other pins, the Seed of Hope pins can be personalized to reflect an individual's particular sentiment: White - Hope; Red - Honor; Blue - Triumph. 25% of the gross proceeds from each Seeds of Hope pin supports cancer research. Visit http://www.hopepin.com for more information.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stay Grounded

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Remember to make time to alone. It'll keep you grounded, centered, and calm during this busy Christmas season.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Thought of the Day - 11/20/09

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Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
~~ Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas ~~

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Bingo

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Christmas is the time of year to gather with your loved ones. Families congregate anticipating laughter, good food, gift exchange, Christmas music, and good holiday entertainment.

Holiday games are a great way to entertain all of your family members. Put on some Christmas music, whip up some eggnog, and throw on some Santa hats. Then gather everyone up and play games like Charades, Christmas Trivia, and Christmas Bingo.

Check this out, a new bingo version, Christmas style.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recipe for Joy

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Help donate 1 million meals to the hungry this holiday season. Simply send FREE holiday e-cards from American Greetings to your friends and family. For each card sent, Kraft Foods will donate 10 meals to Feeding America. Be among the first to experience the joy of giving and spread the word about this program. Visit Recipe For Joy and send a FREE holiday e-card today and every day through December 31, 2009. For more information about Feeding America, visit Feeding America.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Calendar

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If your looking for fun activities to occupy your kids then this interactive Christmas calendar will probably be of interest.

The Christmas advent calendar that's counting down the days with FREE games and activities that are great for kids and the whole family!

Here are just some of the board games and activities that are on the calendar:

  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Trivia Games
  • Coloring Pages
  • Word Searches
  • Word Scrambles
  • Ornament Templates
See the advent at: http://www.optimalprint.co.uk/christmas-advent-calendar

All games are downloadable, printable, and easy to be laminated and reused!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Unexpected Christmas

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We were well over half way to our farm in East Texas when the storm broke. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and a tree fell with a great ripping noise. When the rain poured in such a flood that we could not see the road, my husband drove on to what seemed to be a bit of clearing deep in the piney woods.

As we waited I sensed we would not get to the farm that night to celebrate Christmas with our family. We were sitting there, miserable and dejected, when I heard a knocking on my window. A man with a lantern stood there beckoning us to follow him. My husband and I splashed after him up the path to his house.

A woman with a lamp in her hand stood in the doorway of an old house; a boy of about twelve and a little girl stood beside her. We went in soaked and dripping, and the family moved aside in order that we might have the warmth of the fire. With the volubility of city people, my husband and I began to talk, explaining our plans. And with the quietness of people who live in the silence of the woods, they listened. "The bridge on Caney Creek is out. You are welcome to spend the night with us," the man said. And though we told them we thought it was an imposition, especially on Christmas Eve, they insisted. After we had visited a while longer, the man got up and took the Bible from the mantle. "It's our custom to read the story from St. Luke on Christmas Eve," he said, and without another word he began: "And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger ... "

The children sat up eagerly, their eyes bright in anticipation, while their father read on: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night." I looked at his strong face. He could have been one of them. When he finished reading and closed the Bible, the little children knelt by their chairs. The mother and father were kneeling, and without any conscious will of my own I found myself joining them. Then I saw my husband, without any embarrassment at all, kneel also. When we arose, I looked around the room. There were no bright-wrapped packages or cards, only a small, unadorned holly tree on the mantle. Yet the spirit of Christmas was never more real to me.

The little boy broke the silence. "We always feed the cattle at 12 o'clock on Christmas Eve. Come with us."

The barn was warm and fragrant with the smell of hay and dried corn. A cow and a horse greeted us, and there was a goat with a tiny, wooly kid that came up to be petted. This is like the stable where the Baby was born, I thought. Here is the manger, and the gentle animals keep watch.

When we returned to the house there was an air of festivity and the serving of juice and fruitcake. Later, we bedded down on a mattress made of corn shucks. As I turned into a comfortable position, they rustled under me and sent up a faint fragrance exactly like that in the barn. My heart said, "You are sleeping in the stable like the Christ Child did."

As I drifted into a profound sleep, I knew that the light coming through the old pine shutters was the Star shining on that quiet house.

The family all walked down the path to the car with us the next morning. I was so filled with the Spirit of Christmas they had given me that I could find no words. Suddenly I thought of the gifts in the back seat of our car for our family.

I began to hand them out. My husband's gray woolen socks went to the man. The red sweater I had bought for my sister went to the mother. I gave away two boxes of candy, the white mittens and the leather gloves while my husband nodded approval.

And when I was breathless from reaching in and out of the car and the family stood there loaded with the gaiety of Christmas packages, the mother spoke for all of them. "We thank you," she said simply. And then she said, "Wait."

She hurried up the path to the house and came back with a quilt folded across her arms. It was beautifully handmade; the pattern was the Star of Bethlehem. I looked up at the tall beautiful pines because my throat hurt and I could not speak. It was indeed Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve since then, I sleep under that quilt, the Star of Bethlehem, and in memory I visit the stable and smell again the corn shucks, and the meaning of Christmas abides with me once more.

Written by Marguerite Nixon.

Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas

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Check out this wonderful devotional journal for women. It features scripture-based reflections and journal pages for gratitude, intention, and to-do lists. Written by a Christian mom and beginning on Thanksgiving Day and ending on the Feast of the Epiphany, the book is an insightful prayer companion for busy moms!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Celebrate the 26 Days of Advent

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Here are some fun family time activities to help your child learn the meaning of Christmas and remind them of how important they are to the world.

Whether you’re trying to reclaim peace, joy, love, or faith, these fun Advent guides may help.

The first is a 26-day guide for older children and adults. Each week begins with an article on the significance of that week’s theme, followed by seven days of thought-provoking questions for your reflection and written response through journaling. Together these lessons and exercises will take you through the 26 days of Advent and can help you find what you are seeking.

The second guide is great for family discussions and offers fun activities for younger children. It too is based around themes. It has articles to read as a family and a daily activity such as creating paper snowflakes, bird feeders, and more to help children learn the meaning of Christmas and to remind them of how important they are to the world.

Grab these two great resources here.