27 November 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

4.5 Stars****

Reviewed by Teresa Mathews

                                                  
When I received this beautiful Christmas Novella in the mail I was in awe at the beauty of the cover. The train on the front took me back in time to when my oldest son was just a boy and his love of trains. So it was with that fond memory I started Liz’s book.

Liz has taken us to the beautiful snow covered Isle of Scotland where we are introduced to Margaret Campbell, a bonnie lass of twenty six years. Meg was so hoping this Christmas she would be able to have a pleasant visit with her family but alas that was not to be. Alan her brother that was injured as a child in a freak accident that left him unable to walk without help has become very bitter and angry at the world. Blaming Meg for things that were beyond her control and being unbearably rude Meg feels she has to flee her parent’s home and her brother's wrath. Intending to travel back to her quiet home in Edinburgh on this snowy Christmas Eve Meg finds God has a different plan. Instead of heading home Meg begins a journey that will find her walking in a snowstorm to get back to the station after the train has been stopped by a huge snowdrift. While walking back Meg interacts with the weary travelers that were on the train with her. The one that has caught her attention the most is the handsome young man that seems to have noticed her as well. Is he someone God has sent to ease her loneliness or will he bring even more sorrow to Meg’s life?

Gordon Shaw is a young man guilt-ridden by things in his past, even though he has changed his life and he knows God has forgiven him, he still carries the weight from it with him. Gordon now works for a newspaper in Glasgow and he is on his way home when he too is stranded on the train. It didn’t take Gordon long to notice the beautiful, quiet young lady sitting across the aisle from him, of course at the time he has no clue that she is linked to the horror from his past that still haunts him. Will meeting Meg be the key that God uses to free Gordon from his past? Does God intend to bring joy and happiness from the sorrow Gordon caused those many years ago?

Liz does a remarkable job with this story that goes from sorrow and deception to joy and redemption. Since it is a novella it’s a quick read but a very enjoyable one that you won’t want to put down. Thank you Liz for taking me back in time to a beautiful place that has left me with lovely thoughts of the real meaning of Christmas.

Question; Do you have one favorite Christmas memory you would like to share with us?

You can find Liz's books at AmazonCBD, B&N and other bookstores.

Giveaway:  We are giving away a hardcover copy of this book to one lucky commenter this week. And a second giveaway for the week for any of Liz's books, choice of format, including choice of her "The Girl's Still Got It" reviewed by Diana Flowers on Monday!



75 comments:

  1. Great review, TERESA! Can't wait to read this book. It sounds so good!!

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    1. Thanks Marian...I know you'll love this great book.

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  2. Such a beautiful book!! And sounds like a beautiful story to match, really looking forward to reading it! Thanks for that great review TERESA!

    One favourite Christmas memory was the time we decided to escape the stress and relentless work around Christmas Day and spent a couple of nights in a gorgeous unit in Brisbane with 2 of our kids. Our eldest daughter and her fiance travelled up on Christmas Day and after we'd eaten we all played the game Scattergories! We had the best time and all laughed so hard we were nearly crying, but it was the perfect way to get to know our son-in-law better and vice-versa!!

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    1. NOELA this was a beautiful story, for it to be a small book it really has a lot in it. And the cover is just marvelous.

      I love your Christmas memory...nothing better than a stress-free fun time at Christmas.

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    2. Would you believe it was just delivered today from Amazon?! Good timing! :)

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    3. Sounds like a lot of fun, Noela! Do you mean you got your copy of aWoS? I finished mine, from Liz, last night!

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    4. CARRIE I couldn't resist ordering a hard copy of AWoS, along with a few other books I wasn't able to find here in Aus, and a secret book surprise for hubby for Christmas!! All came today! :)

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  3. Question; Do you have one favorite Christmas memory you would like to share with us?

    Yes! The day the mailman delivered a package on Christmas morning. My little daughter and I sat looking at the Christmas tree in the dim light and the sparkling glow from the tree illuminating. A knock at the door. The mailman ~ on Christmas morning! A package from my parents with warm gloves, tootsie roll pops, juicy fruit gum and nuts and candy loosely in the box on top of the tissue paper. It was a slim Christmas that year with coloring books and new crayons, and a love of Jesus for a momma and her little girl.
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. KATHLEEN thank you for sharing your sweet memory with us. What a great surprise that must have been for the postman to show up on Christmas morning. Sounds like you and your daughter had a Christmas Miracle.

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  4. TERESA, what a great review! Love that line "from sorrow and deception to joy and redemption." That's what He can do for each one of us!

    My fav Christmas memory was when my son was about 4 and we went to Tucson, AZ to have Christmas with my mom. My sister and her hubby and kids all came, as a matter of fact all my siblings were together on that day. Now my mom is gone, and my siblings estranged from one another. Sooo sad for me, so I try to concentrate on what I DO have every Christmas, which is alot! And I have Jesus which is the best anyone can have all year round!

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    1. DIANA thank you my sweet! And YES isn't it wonderful what Jesus can do for us...He can turn our Sorrows into Joy.

      So glad you have that beautiful memory where all of your family were together for Christmas. I have a few like that from years ago..it's very heart-rending now that part of our family won't come be with us.

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  5. My favorite memory is of my last Christmas with my Grandpa. He had Alzheimer's when he passed. He was quite a character and even when he didn't know what he was doing or saying, he kept us laughing. I miss that man.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  6. AMY what a sweet memory of your Grandpa, so sorry he's not here with you anymore. I only remember one of my grandparents and she passed when I was fourteen. Im glad you had time with your Grandpa.

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  7. Great review! I love the cover. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. I loved when my whole family would gather for Christmas to celebrate with the children. vernetlh(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. LOLLIPOPS thank you and I'm wit you that Christmas is my favorite holiday too. Thanks for sharing your favorite memory. That's the part I love too...my mom is almost 86 and I try to push it every year for all of our family to get together.

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  8. Wow, this is one book I will definitely have to read! Lovely cover!
    I think my favorite Christmas memory is probably the three Christmases living near my Great Grandma. Because we (my Dad and I) had to ski from our cabin to the road and from there drive to town we would come out on Saturday afternoon so we could go to church the next day. We would stay overnight at my Great Grandma's house and I would sleep on the floor next to her heater, wrapped in blankets snugly. During the Christmas season she would make Noder a Scandanavian bread-like cookie that is about the size of a nickle, it was a recipe handed down from her Grandmother who had brought it from Denmark. On those dark winter night Great Grandma would say "let's have a midnight snack" and she would warm up a bowl of Noder and we would sit there and eat it. Great Grandma died in September and even though I haven't gotten to see her often over the last years (my family moved) I miss her a lot and treasure the handwritten recipe for Noder that she gave me a few years ago...

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    1. JASMINE what a sweet sweet memory you have of your great grandma. Thank you sharing your story, it made me smile.

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    2. Just figured out I forgot to add my email.
      montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I was fascinated by this review and would love to read this book.
    One of my favorite Christmas memories was spending part of our Christmas holiday from teaching school by visiting our oldest daughter in Ithaca, NY and then the other half in Houston, TX. We had two really different climates to pack for and had a wonderful time with grandchildren in both places!

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    1. KAYE what fun that must have been going from one side of the USA to the other. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  10. One Christmas we had extra money so we went hog wild on our 4 kids. The week before Christmas my pastor husband asked the church to share their favorite memory. Old Mrs. Winters (she was 94, young Mrs. Winters was 65) shared how she received one gift - a corncob doll & it was the best gift ever. That night my husband & I made the decision to return most of the gifts & from then on we spent only $50 for each kid, remembering the true Gift of Christmas was Jesus Christ. Now that we're missionaries - it's $20.

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    1. MELODY that is a beautiful story it is so easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas. I hope my family never forgets what we've taught them. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. I got so into writing I forgot to include my email...

      missionwife@hotmail.com

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  11. As an only child I always wondered about Christmas at homes where there where lots of gifts and people. At age 13 I went to live at a catholic home for girls. I will never forget my first christmas each group had 20 girls in it and for each girl in our group they would give us 4 gifts each. Imagine my delight when I saw the tree with so many gifts underneath it. It something that will always stay with me.

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    1. LOURDES thank you for sharing your sweet memory, I'm glad you have that. Is always a blessing to be able to think back over our lives and we have fond memories. Please come back and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

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  12. A great review. Very captivating cover.
    Looking forward to reading this book.
    Would love to win it.
    Cheryl Baranski
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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    1. CHERYL thank you for stopping by and we would love to hear one of your Christmas memories if you would like to share one.

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  13. This story is wonderful and a kindly reminder of what Christmas is really about. One Christmas as a young mother with no money my children were sad they had no gifts. We decided to pray that God would miraculously provide for them to have gifts. That same week, one night after dark, a knock came at the door. We all ran to the door. There was a woman there we didn't know. She handed us an envelope and said it was from God. Then she ran down the street until we could see her no more. We opened it to find $200 in it with a note that it was for presents. My children have never forgotten the Christmas that God bought our presents by a miracle!!

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    1. DIXIE thank you so much for sharing your story it gives me goosebumps. Isn't it great we serve a God of miracles? What a wonderful testimony you have.

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    2. Wow, DIXIE, that is so cool. I love stories of God's provision in such unexpected ways and I love when God's people hear Him speak and obey!

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  14. One of my favorite Christmas memories is from my childhood. Dad would always read the Christmas story from the Bible to us on Christmas Eve.
    A Wreath of Snow is a beautiful book. It sounds like a wonderful story I'd enjoy reading, so it's on my "want to read" list.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. PAM that is a beautiful thing to remember, reading the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  15. Beautiful cover !!! I love Victorian Christmas in England and Scotland !!! Lots of vision such as snow falling down, people strolling at the park or seeing the Christmas villages and characters at the window displays at the department stores, sleigh rides and wassail and hot chocolate and singing Christmas carols at the Midnight service especially Silent Night. It is like an old fashioned Christmas. I saw Liz Curtis Higgs at the Women of Fairh in Kansas City. She had a wonderful testimony. I would love to win this book. Hesrtwsrminh review !!! There is Hope and dreams come true and
    heartwarming stories.
    Christmas memories - there is a famous saying "Over the hills through the woods to Grandma's house" where I spent with both of two grandparents when I was small in the 60's. All of us had turkey dinner in the formal dining room and also opened the preesents in front of the beautiful lighted Christmas tree. Family gatherings are a special quality of time to spend. I look back with
    so many wonderful memories in my heart. Also I watched Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and Fristy the Snowman. and I do still watch on TV.
    Happy Holidays !!!
    Kim
    JKTerrazas09@aol.com
    JK
    Kim
    JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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    1. KIM thank you so much so sharing your memories with us... I always loved to watch Rudolph and Frosty too. Merry Christmas!!

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  16. Beautiful review and I am LOVING these comments. Which is why I posted about it on FB.

    My favorite Christmas memory, or one of them--We had Christmas dinner at my Great Aunt Alkie's house, which was unusual, but that year she made it. And my uncle Fred made plum pudding. I kid you not. the cool thing was that I had always wondered about plum pudding. And to realize that was a family tradition in their own home growing up connected me in a cool way with my grandmother, after whom I'd been named. She'd died when my dad was 12. But one of the reasons it was so memorable was that Uncle Fred chewed his tobacco while making the plum pudding. And some of it dripped down onto his chin. And the plum pudding was the same color as the chew, lol! So my siblings and I decided that Uncle Fred spit his chewing tobacco into the plum pudding. And of course we wouldn't eat it. and laughed about it at the table. Thankfully we were seated away from the adults! What do you think, T, is this touching, lol?

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    1. Well CARRIE, it 'touched' my funny bone! That was hilarious!! :) It's these funny moments that make such good memories though!

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    2. CARRIE you have me ROTFL...I love what the mind of kids can come up with. Sure glad Uncle Fred didn't hear the giggles and figure it out. Or knows maybe you kids were right! YUM YUM!! :D

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    3. HAHA T, I think we might have been right! My great-uncle Fred was a veteran of WWI, a bachelor, served as a medic--was a conscientious objector because of his religious faith. also a crack shot. didn't know till a couple of years ago that the medics often had to fire on the enemy, too. Which explains some of Uncle Fred's issues after the war.

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    4. Bless his heart it sounds like he went through a lot so I guess he was entitled to a little "tobaccie" juice in the pudding! :D

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    5. Oh, you have me LOL, CARRIE! How old were you then?

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    6. LOL! That is sooo funny, CARRIE! I can just see you giggling away! What a touching Christmas memory. haha

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  17. I'd love to win a copy of this Christmas book. It sounds wonderful!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. NANCEE this is a beautiful story inside and out. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. Sounds like a great Christmas read--I would love to win this book! A favorite Christmas memory--I have so many! Christmas is one of our favorite holidays in our family, and we love to decorate our home & have plenty of lights both outside as well as inside, usually at least 2 Christmas trees! Thinking about the lights reminded me of a fond memory I have as a child. My dad was a mail carrier and he knew all the best places to go look at the lights. He would pile the kids (me, & my 2 brothers & all the cousins) into the car to look at Lights (this was before the seatbelt laws lol) & while we were gone all the moms (my mom had several sisters) would finish up the prep for the evening and we would come back to family presents under the tree! Also, since my dad was a mmail carrier, he knew many names and address's & would play a game with us--we would choose a name from the phone book and he would tell us their address! My dad has been gone now for almost 20 months, and we were going to have a burial of his ashes today, that got postponed, so remembering these Christmas memories was nice...
    vmarney at hotmail dot com

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    1. VICKI thank you so much for sharing your precious memory of your dad and your childhood. I am so sorry for your loss but I'm glad you got to remember pleasant thoughts of your dad during such a difficult time. Again thank you!

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  19. One other thing--we always enjoyed all the many Christmas goodies that my dad's customers made as a gift to "their mailman". My 1st Christmas away from home (at college w/ my hubby & we didn't have eough money to go home for the holiday), the things I said we had to have was a full size tree (like we always had) and for my dad to send me some of the yummy toffee that one of his customers made every year, which was my fave! LOL

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    1. VICKI Christmas goodies are one of my favorite things too. One of my most favorite goodie is the Chocolate drops and it's my MIL's too and every year since she found out how much I like them I always find a bag from "Santa" under her tree. :)

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  20. A favorite childhood memory of mine was in 1945 when I was 10 and we were living in Houston because my dad was working in the shipyard during the war. One of my older sisters got me a little red trunk with a beautiful girl doll, and had made her a bunch of clothes. Of course they were from Santa. I thought I was the luckiest little girl. You see it was very special to me for my dad had 8 kids and not much money, so I'd never gotten anything like this. I'd love to win this book of Liz Higgs. It sounds really good. I don't have one of her books yet. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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    1. MAXIE that is so sweet, I'm sure you treasured that baby for years and you still have a beautiful memory of her and your family. Thank you so much for sharing.
      Good Luck in the drawing. :)

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  21. I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR EVERYONE THAT HAS SHARED ONE OF THEIR PRECIOUS CHRISTMAS MEMORIES. EVERYONE HERE ON OWG IS PLEASED AND HONORED YOU SHARED YOUR STORIES WITH US. EACH ONE TOUCHED OUR HEARTS AND HELPED US REMEMBER FOND THINGS FROM OUR PAST. GOD BLESS YOU!!

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  22. I'll share another story for another entry! I thought I had shared this already but couldn't find it listed.

    One year (as a pastors family)we had asked our church to sponsor Christmas presents for a family whose father was in prison. One deacon said...let him (prisoner)figure out how to give them gifts, he got himself put in there. I sat there shocked, not believing a Christian could be so hard hearted. When we got home our 4 kids asked if they could speak to us. (Since I was a stay at home mom, money was tight). They suggested that we take the $100 we used to fill their stockings and use it to buy the gifts. My kids are adopted & all came from abusive situations & were broken that these other kids would receive nothing for Christmas. We agreed to do so. We took the list of gift requests & realized it was for big ticket items...nintendo, games, etc. We prayed about what to do. The very next day a family comes over to our house & said that every year they give $100 to a family they feel the Lord leading them to - & it was us! The very next day a lady called & said that she worked at cleaning HUD appartments & was allowed to keep anything left behind. She wanted to know if we could use a new nintendo with several kid games? The next day a guy came by with day old holiday cakes all decorated fancy & gave us several. The Lord had given us everything those children had asked for plus more. The $100 was used to fill our kids stockings. Even now it brings me such JOY to share as - my kids learned so much from this experience, much more than some of the church members in that small church.

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. MELODY isn't that just like the great GOD we serve??? HE is always watching out of us...HE knows just what we need even before we ask HIM. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story..I know your children have never forgotten this.

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  23. Christmas is always spent with my beloved family, and I don't remember many significant things from one to the other. I do remember as a child coming from MI to visit my Grandparents in SC, and it was 75 degrees on Christmas day! For a Michigan girl born and raised that was unheard of=)

    I think I'm going to buy this book this coming weekend, the local christian bookstore has it on sale, but if I win a copy I know a certain aunt of mine who would love it!

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. PATTY I can feel your pain about the heat on Christmas Day here in SC! There are more high temps than low ones here in Columbia, SC at Christmas. This past December (2011) it was unusually warm. One of my brothers was born on January 1 and I always try to make him a Coconut Cake with the fluffy whipped icing made with egg whites. This type of icing will not get to the proper stage if the humidity is too high and that was what happened this past year. We had the heat and the humidity to go with it! That's always fun..fall and winter are supposed to be the months we get relief from all that, but that's not always the case. :)

      BTW by the time I got the cake to his house the layers were going in diferent directions. It was a good thing they all knew my cakes don't normally look like that. It was so FUNNY!! Luckily it didn't hurt the taste! YUM!

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  24. It's been a long time that I couldn't stop reading about the A Wreath of Snow. I just have to find out how it ends. What a wonderful story and one that I know I won't want to put down.

    I lived 6 years of my life in an orphanage in St. Louis, MO and even through I wasn't with a family the other children at the home were my family. I can remember receiving a Panda bear and another girl wanted it so we traded the gifts and this made her very happy. Blessings others at the Christmas season still makes me happy. God bless you dear.
    Sandi Borgens
    anchored@swbell.net

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    1. SANDI thank you for sharing your memory, it made me sad and happy at the same time. It's wonderful that you and the other children bonded and it was so precious that you had learned the true meaning of Christmas and traded your bear to her. You have made my day sharing this.

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  25. I can remember one Christmas, there were 4 of us children and my mom and dad.. my dad was in the Navy and away a lot, for long periods of time.. I remember hearing mom cry at night, and this one year, dad wasn't going to be home and mom's heart was broken, and she wanted to wait Christmas for him, but couldn't because we were all so young.. Larry 11, Chicki 9, Robin 4, and Christy 1.. Well, Christy got very sick with such a high fever and was having seizures, so the Red Cross went and sent for my dad, and they got my dad off the ship and sent him home to us.. That was the closest we ever came to not having daddy home, it was bittersweet, happy to be home, but for such a sad reason.. Christy got better, his fever broke and we got to have our Christmas as a family.. I would love to read this story, and I thank you for the chance to win the book.. have a blessed day.. Rosemary rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. ROSEMARY thank you for sharing your memory with us... I am so glad your dad got to come home and I'm glad your sibling recovered and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Good Luck in the drawing. :)

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  27. One Christmas morning when I was about 6 or 7 years old I woke my brother from sleep thinking that it was time to see if "Santa" had arrived yet. We woke our parents only to discover that it was 3:30 a.m. LOL! My parents were so dear! They decided that since we were all up anyway we might as well enjoy an early morning together. I hadn't thought of this story for quite a long time. Thanks for jarring my memory, and thanks for offering this great review and giveaway!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. NANCEE that story is sooo sweet. I'm sure mommy and daddy needed a long winter nap after that early awakening. :) Had that been me I would have just gotten to bed from wrapping the last minute presents. lol Thanks for sharing with us, glad the question helped you remember that dear time. There is nothing like the excitement of Christmas from a child's view.

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  28. Thanks for the wonderful review, Teresa, well done! Your comments have definitely enhanced this already wonderfully written story.

    Please don't enter me in the giveaway, I already own this book. Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my fave authors and her books embrace my attention every time!

    Hmmmm, favorite Christmas memory....celebrating with my family since childhood. However, Christmas has become even more special since my nephew came along (he's 8 now). Spending Christmas with him and my sister-in-law is something I treasure :)

    Hugs and blessings, Teresa!

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    1. Thank you KARA it's always a blessing when you come on the blog and encourage us. LIZ CURTIS HIGGS is fast becoming one of my favs also.

      Isn't it great when kids come along? It's always so much fun to see or hear their reaction to Christmas. My oldest son Daniel was 9 months his first Christmas, by then he was trying to take a few steps holding on to things, I always thought he was born half grown! LOL
      My inlaws found out that "someone" might have let Daniel play with one or two of his presents ahead of time and to this day "she" has never lived that down. :D

      Thanks for sharing your memory with us! :)

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  29. Thanks for the great review. Fascinated by the cover of the book and the story sounds great. Very touching!

    My favorite Christmas memory is the year after hubby and I were married. He was in the Navy when we got married and the following year he went on a 7 month Med cruise. He came home from the cruise on December 22nd a few days after our daughter's first daughter and just in time for Christmas.

    Blessings,
    Jo

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    1. JO how blessed you were that your husband was there for you and your daughter. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with us.
      IF YOU STOP BACK BY PLEASE GIVE US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! THANKS!

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  30. My favorite Christmas memory and still do with my grandsons was started by my father, who told us His grandfather did for them...we fish for our gifts...instead of wrapping gifts I have a pillow case on the end of a cane pole and I put a sheet in a door frame and we fish for our gifts...each grandson gets to fish 5 times...they love to fish for their gifts...and hope the tradition continues as they get older.

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    1. LINDA that is a cute story...nothing like fishing with grandpa! Thank you for sharing your sweet memory.

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  31. A favorite memory of mine is getting up Christmas morning and watching my kids faces as they opened their presents from Santa. It was such a joy to see all their excitement and happy little faces.

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    1. JUANITA thank you for sharing your memory, there is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. Would you please come back and leave your email address. :)

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  32. My favorite memory is the year I was expecting our first child. My husband and I were poor college students with nothing. We tramped through the snow for a perfect tree and then trimmed it with popcorn garlands, paper snow flakes, bows and yarn dolls we made ourselves. It was cozy and wonderful.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. MERRY now that is what Christmas is all about...it doesn't need to be about seeing who can spend the most money. Thank you for sharing with us. :)

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  33. My favorite Christmas memory was when I was six and I received a doll baby for Christmas. The neat part was, I also received a baby buggy to stroll her around in.

    Loved your review!

    Blessings!
    Judy
    sweetpea.judy(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. Oh JUDY that a great memory. I have a story like that, the year I was twelve mom thought I was too old to get a baby doll. I have always been big for my age...so when my mom wouldn't buy me one my brother Steve got me one. That doll was treasured more than all others because my brother bought it. :)

    Thank you for sharing your sweet story with us! :)

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  35. I loved when we would go visit both sides of our families. It was fun to see relatives you didn't get to see very often, and eat all the great food they prepared, not to mention open presents! I really miss those times.

    shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. Definitely want to read this one.
    Favorite Christmas memory--The one that stands out the most is when I was 7 or 8 years old. There was a large box under the tree, but my great aunt and uncle said that I could open it early--even before dinner. Present before Christmas dinner never happened. When I opened the box, there was the sweetest, cutest little puppy in the box. I was so excited and it was just one of my favorite Christmas'.
    debbie(at)taulman(dot)org

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