It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Reflecting on Christmas Past

Posted November 30, 2023 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, devotional, giveaway, Heather Greer, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2023 / 18 Comments


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Reads 2023

today’s 1st book: Reflecting on Christmas Past

We are continuing this year’s blog series spotlighting (over 70 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! This is the 7th year for the Christmas Reads Giveaway series, and I think I get more excited about it every year 🙂 Christmas is only 25 days away, according to Google! So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage (wassail anyone?) and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! And no doubt you know the drill by now – there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

REFLECTING ON CHRISTMAS PAST by Heather Greer
GENRE: Devotional (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2023
PAGES: 174

31 Daily Devotions with Annual Reflections and Journaling Pages.

Each December starts with hope. This year the peace and joy promised in every Christmas song will finally be ours throughout the season.

By mid-December, we’re worn out, weighed down by our to-do lists. Decorating the tree was rushed, crammed between baking and visiting relatives. Our card list grew. So did the gift list. Now that the kids (or grandkids) are all in school, we have more than one Christmas program to attend. We can’t skip the office party. Oh, and did we forget caroling again?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to slow down and focus on the traditions that make Christmas meaningful to us? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could remember what those are?

With thirty-one devotions and ample space for reflection and memories, we can enter each Christmas season with renewed focus on what matters most to us and leave behind the extras that usher in disappointment and fatigue. Ending this holiday season with the same hope, love, and joy we entered it with is what Reflecting on Christmas Past is all about.

 

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the power of a christmas story

by Heather Greer, author of Reflecting on Christmas Past

Stories are powerful. With words on a page, a reader can travel through time or visit new places. They can meet new people and experience unique cultures. Their lives can be touched and their faith strengthened through the work of the author’s imagination.

I believe Christmas stories are some of the most powerful. Whether light-hearted rom-coms, cozy mysteries, or deeply emotional tales, these stories combine all the strengths of the everyday stories with the hope of Christmas. They touch on our need for nostalgia and family. They offer as much comfort as a steaming cup of cocoa. And they tell us how much God loved us two thousand years ago in Bethlehem and remind us that His love for us hasn’t ever wavered.

As an author’s fictional Christmas story points to the real Christmas story, their holiday tales are infused with power that draws us into the stable to worship the newborn King. While they entertain us, they gift us with reminders of God’s love again and again, pointing us to everything that gives Christmas meaning.

Though not fiction, our own stories of Christmases past can also add depth and worship to our current Christmas season. Pausing for a moment to reflect on the memories of meaningful celebrations and what made them special can help us focus our attention on what matters most.

Sometimes, we act like it will be the ideal present or decorations fit for a photo shoot that we’ll remember fondly in years to come. Not that any of us actually think that, but our insistence on trying to create a perfect Christmas experience would suggest otherwise. And nothing could be further from the truth.

When I look back, laughter and love fill my memories. I know there were disagreements. I’m sure the turkey was dry some years. And I’ve given and received less than winning gifts at times. But I couldn’t tell you about a single one of those times.

I remember my children, brothers, and nephews gathered around the table playing board games and laughing until it hurt. I can still recall how much my church felt like family as we practiced and performed the annual Christmas plays when I was growing up. And I remember the reality of God’s love moving me to tears and worship as I took time to really listen to the words of so many different Christmas songs through the years.

They’re my stories. As I consider them each year, they have power. They have power to remind me that decorations and traditions are fun, but they’re just the gift wrap. What’s really important is the gift inside. Emmanuel. God with us. God with me.

When others look at the story I leave this Christmas, I want them to see Him first. I’m sure they’ll see my holiday baking, Christmas movie watching, and my collection of singing snowmen too. But before they see those things, I want what I do and say this Christmas to point them to God’s perfect love for us, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. That’s the only story with eternal power at Christmas.

A Little Extra: Transforming the ordinary to Christmas worthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Memories can be made with minimal time and effort, leaving you time to focus on the most important aspects of Christmas. I like to use little cheats throughout the season to save time and still make things special. One of my favorite holiday time savers can be used at your next staff or church Christmas party. Instead of spending hours baking, grab an ordinary box of fudge brownie mix. Make them according to the directions, with one addition. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to the batter before you pour it into the pan. The combination of chocolate and peppermint give your ordinary brownies a festive twist without additional work for you.


Heather Greer

Heather Greer loves growing in her relationship with God and helping others do the same. While she’s served in ministries dealing with toddlers through adults, her focus is on encouraging and challenging teen and adult believers to go further in their faith. She is blessed to be able to use her God-given passion for writing to do this, both in her books and blog.

Heather is a pastor’s kid from southern Illinois. While she never intended to marry a pastor, she became a pastor’s wife when her husband answered the call to preach five years into their marriage. Now that three of her four kids have flown the nest, Heather enjoys more time for reading and writing and writing about reading. And when she’s not doing any of those things, you’ll probably find her in the kitchen baking for her friends and family. Connect with Heather at her website.


Reflecting on Christmas Past giveaway

Heather Greer is offering a signed, print copy of Reflecting on Christmas Past to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Reflecting on Christmas Past by Heather Greer?

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