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December 13

“Christmas, Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!”
~Charles Dickens 

Do you know a Christmas Curmudgeon? You know, the person who doesn't like Christmas?
We do. And we've learned there is only one power strong enough to soften the hardened heart of a Christmas Curmudgeon... Love. 

Not just any kind of love but the special kind of love that says, “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” and means it. The love that turns down the Christmas music when the Curmudgeon growls, “Christmas, Bah! Humbug!” 

Little by little this kind of love softens the hardened crust of the staunchest Curmudgeons. How do we know?  
Because we’ve seen the tears a Curmudgeon tried to blink away when we turned off the Christmas music and then brought them a warm baked cookie with a little kiss for their forehead. 

Who is the Christmas Curmudgeon I know, who could use some kindness? 

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What people are saying...

You have put together an amazing product.  It has been such a blessing in our lives.  Jan

So far my husband and two boys have been interested, but tonight there is a football game on (Civil War) and there was a little chaos and grumpies when it was time to sit down to light our candle.  We sort of grumped through the lighting and were a bit sarcastic about what goal needs more hope and then, we pulled the "I appreciate you" card and the entire family came away feeling so much better, reminded of how much we love eachother and how much we depend on one another.  It changed the whole tone of the evening, maybe the season!  Thanks for introducing me to this!  Warmly, Donna

I love, love, love the book and cards.
Thanks so much for sharing this idea with me and our readers. Kate

I wish you'd been around when my kids were little.  While I don't come from a religious tradition, you are full of wonderful ideas for making the season meaningful -- in it's essence, which I see as love and sharing and caring.  Carolyn

Just the other day, my 5 year old, Tate, asked if
we could "do that thing where we read and light candles and have a card in the box".  I said next week and he said "but I want to do it now!".  I am glad he is looking forward to it without me having mentioned it yet.  It's like he knows that it is coming!  Angie

I am looking forward to doing this again this year with my family.  We had a lot of fun last year and it got our family together every night.  Thanks for sharing this with us!  Laurie

We are still enjoying this tradition so much and I’ve found the focus really has shifted this year to our daily Advent activities and not to stress.  At least it’s greatly reduced it.  I have had to change plans as you predicted but it’s all working out fine.  Also I really appreciated reading the book too.  Your stories about how your Advent was rarely “perfect” and to just go with it anyway really helped me.  It’s enabled me to just let it be what it is and not control it too much.  I am so thankful for this gift. Judy

Thank you so very much for the grounding you provided me throughout this Holiday Season.  My morning 'visit' with you set the tone and pace for my day and I found myself less stressed and more joyful as a result. Thank you for sharing your gifts so freely.  Joyce

I gave the books along with many helpful tools to two of my admins, so they could experience your tradition with their family. It has changed their lives and they are so enjoying the family time. They also were so grateful for the honesty in the book, as far as, nothing is perfect, to just go with it. It was very helpful to them, with young children. You should  be so proud of this, it is warming families in sunny south Florida. Much love, joy and peace, Kelly

Hope you had a great Christmas!  Mine was good thanks to all your Advent Readings. Sure helped me stay on the important stuff!  Mike

I'm happy to have occasion to be in touch with you to reinforce how much we love this activity. Tonight's discussion about love vs. gifts was wonderful. Avery (my son) said that he's connecting to the Christmas season much more deeply and in a meaningful way. Thank you, Bonnie

I am thoroughly enjoying your Daily Readings. They are exactly what I need in the midst of the flurry of activity that can overtake this time of year.  Thank you so much for sharing those. JJ

I always love getting your newsletters.  They are so warm hearted. Lisa

The boys are really glad it's finally time to do the Advent Box before bed each night.  My 7 yr old wanted to go to bed early last night (to avoid cleaning his room) but he decided he would stay up once he remembered we were doing the tradition.  He didn't want to miss it.  Leanne

Just wanted to let you know how much we're looking forward to Advent. Just having family conversations to prepare for this has been wonderful. We wish you and yours the very happiest of season! Justin

Thank you for these My 4 year old son Jack really took to
the advent activities and looked forward to seeing what the activity for the day was. In fact he was still asking to open the advent calendar box in mid January ( it may have been the sweet treats inside! ) Any tasks that involved secrecy and sneaking around were my son's favorites. His friends at preschool loved the candy canes they found in their name pockets in the lead up to christmas and my son smiled throughout the week at their reactions. Something so simple really brought the spirit of giving home to him. Sharlene

I just wanted to let you know I read your whole Advent book
last night and I think that it is wonderful. It was so cute to read all the stories about you and Bill and the kids. It is definitely something that I would love to try to start doing. Thank you!"  Ashley

I love when the stores start stocking Christmas gear and
commercials break out with Christmas jingles. I love these things because they bring Christmas with them and with Christmas comes my family's Advent Tradition. In a year when money was tight and my father was out of work, my mother found a way to turn our attention from things and stress and commercialism to giving, togetherness and spirituality. Since then, December has become a special month for our family. Because of the Advent Tradition, we take time every day of the month to sit together and get in touch with what the holiday is all about: the things that light us up on the inside. I'm so thankful to my mother for gifting us with this tradition that gets us in touch with what the Holiday Season is really about.

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