(This Post is sponsored by The Gift Giver. I received a Free copy of the book The Gift Giver to facilitate my review as well as compensation to thank me for my time. As always the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own. You can view my full disclosure here. )
One of my favorite Christmas traditions every year is to collect a new Christmas book to add to my collection.
My kids are always soo excited when it’s time to set up our Christmas decorations and pull out our treasured Christmas books and discover what this year’s new Christmas book is going to be. We end up reading them over and over throughout the days and night leading up to Christmas. There is a reason I box them up and only bring them out for a few weeks a year 😉
Due to how often we read our Christmas books during the Holiday season, I choose my Christmas books each year with care. They need to have a great message, have an engaging story line, be well written, and have quality illustrations.
Each year I have looked forward to picking out my new Christmas book to introduce to my family. However, this year it didn’t look like it would happen. My husband calls me his little security breach, so in that light I’ll share a little of my world with you for understanding. My husband was laid off on September 11th of last year just less than 3 months after my youngest child was born. After spending months searching and applying for countless jobs to no avail (even though he is an extremely talented illustrator/graphic designer) we decided to use the savings we had to start our own business.
And so I started this blog (TheQuietGrove.Com) and an Etsy store, and my husband began working with his best friend (who is a programmer) to design games, which is honestly something they had wanted to do for a long while
As anyone who has ever had the experience of starting their own business understands, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to happen long before you ever bring in money. This is especially when you are doing so without much capital. The good news is they are about ready to launch a kickstarter campaign (they just need to film the video) for a fun and educational card game that my husband has worked hard to design with its accompanying app version (I’ll share more about that later so stay tuned). They also have two really fun app games less than a month away from releasing. So things are definitely coming together.. they just haven’t come about yet.
Because of all this, I didn’t see how I could justify getting myself a Christmas book this year. I wanted one very much, but couldn’t justify the expense. I was saddened that my special Christmas tradition would be broken this year, but buried that sadness for I didn’t want to add to the heavy load on my husband’s shoulders.
Then a prayer I didn’t know I had offered was answered in an unexpected way. I was offered the opportunity to be given a FREE Christmas book (that just came out this year) in return for an honest review on my blog.
I am glad I said yes for The Gift Giver met every one of my Christmas Book requirements and then some.
As I giddily opened the package that my book came in (it totally felt like Christmas had come early for me) the first thing I noticed were the gorgeous illustrations. They were vibrant, and detailed and so old school feeling.
Because the book came before Thanksgiving I hid it away until the Day after Thanksgiving (as per tradition) when we set up our Christmas decorations. When I showed my children this year’s Christmas book, they literally shouted for joy and begged for me to sit down and read it to them right away.
As I read I found myself caught up in the beautifully told story and noticed that my children were as well. They loved how it started with a little boy who approaches Santa as he is about to leave (the young boys home) asking why Santa didn’t give him more presents. After all, he had been such a good boy this year. Santa (or the elderly man, with a beard long and full, dressed in red from head to toe) asks the young boy, “What do you believe Christmas is?…Have you ever wondered how I came to be, or why I bring you gifts?”
I loved how the story drew the picture of the humble beginnings of Santa (alluding to the story of the real St. Nicholas) and how his love for Christ led him to be a gift-giver whose sole mission is to point everyone to Christ. The Gift Giver truly keeps the magic of Christmas alive in the hearts of young and old while not sacrificing or detracting from the true meaning of Christmas. I can honestly say that this is now one of my favorite Christmas stories. I was not surprised when my oldest (who is 5 1/2) requested The Gift Giver later that night for her bedtime story. Loving the message it shares I was only too happy to comply.
A few days ago while visiting at my parents home, I was telling my mother (who is very big on keeping Christmas Christ-centered) and my younger sister of my new Christmas book. They quickly asked if they could borrow it. Since my mother also has the tradition of collecting Christmas books, I have a feeling I will soon find The Gift Giver amongst her collection as well.
If you are looking for a beautifully illustrated Christ-centered Christmas book that also includes Santa Claus and has the power to touch your heart, I highly recommend The Gift Giver! Right now the proceeds of the paperback version of this book will be donated to The Nazarene Fund to aid in the resettlement of Christian and other religious minority refugees of the middle east which I think is GREAT!