I hope you’ve been enjoying The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt! I’m loving it! And I’m LOVING learning about these wonderful authors! Have you seen their articles at Write Integrity Press? Amazing recipes! (Even I have been tempted to don an apron!) And peeking into their favorite Christmas memories has been a delight. Not to mention all of the articles, tips, pics, and recipes at the Magnificent Hope Christmas Party. Along those lines, I have something new to share with you!
(No great mystery, since that’s the title here.) 🙂 Hee!
Chapter 1 belonged to Joan Campbell. I got a kick out of her South African traditions, but I don’t know if I could embrace summer like weather during December – oh wait, I’m in Texas. Her wish: “I’ve had such fun working on The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt with our wonderful publisher, Tracy Ruckman, and 8 other authors. Of course, everything was done via e-mail, websites and social media. Although I got to know the authors through this interaction and their individual writing styles, what I’d really love is to meet them all in person. So this is my Christmas Wish. That we all fly in to the final destination of Grace’s adventure (you’ll all have to read chapter 10 to find out just where that is) and spend a delightful afternoon getting to know each other. There’s plenty to do in that part of the world of course, so maybe we’d do a little sightseeing. But the main part of the afternoon would involve eating and chatting. I can just imagine the lively conversation the ten of us would have since we all share a faith in Christ and a love of writing. Maybe one day…
Chapter 2 came from Ruth O’Neil and I’m SO going to try her German Coffee Braid! She says: “Christmas wishes are easy for me as they are about the same each year. My wish is to just be with my family and spend time celebrating with them. We are spread out enough that it’s hard to get us all together. My siblings were my first friends and my sisters are my best friends. The Cuzzy-wuzzies (or cousins as normal people call them) are always looking for opportunities to get together. Looking forward to spending time with them.”
Chapter 4 belonged to Deanna Klingel. She says: “My Christmas wish for 2012 is that my new-born great granddaughter will be able to celebrate Jesus’ birthday through all her lifetime in a world of reason and understanding. That the joy, beauty, hope that Christmas has brought to me all my life, will be there for her future.”now she wrote one either! Too funny! Her wish: “This Christmas, may Heaven kiss earth with peace and joy. And I pray you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of the encounter and changed forever.”
Chapter 5 is mine. I feel so privileged to be numbered with these ladies! And truth be told, with my name actually on the cover of a book, my Christmas is made! But since the others have been so accommodating … I wish for the daily stress and worries to disintegrate and allow my family and friends to truly worship this holy season.
Chapter 6 came from Sheryl Holmes. It’s amazing how hers follows mine so seamlessly! I hope you get the chance to read it! She says, “My first wish is that I would be brave enough to step out of my comfort zone and be open to hearing and doing the work of the LORD without conditions: when I am done with this project, when I am out of debt., when I can see where this might lead….But, instead wholly lean on Jesus name and trust Him. My second wish is that the Holy Spirit would draw my unsaved loved ones….and open the eyes of their hearts, like He did mine 23 years ago. My third wish, is that God would continue to heal me from my cancer experience and allow me grace enough to find my new normal with contentment and HOPE.”
Chapter 7 opened yesterday. Did you read it? Fay Lamb wrote it and I LOVE her wish: “I have a confession to make. Christmas is the one time each year that I wish I lived in a simpler time—before the stores began to gear up for Black Friday pre-Halloween, before the retailers gave up all pretentions and confessed the very reason they celebrate this special day. Black Friday screams, Christmas is all about the profits. So for Christmas each year, I struggle to pull out the ornaments, the lights, and the tinsel. I hold my breath until the inevitable time comes when my husband announces it’s time to move the furniture, change the décor, and purchase the live Christmas tree. It isn’t that I don’t want to celebrate Christmas. I really do. I want a Christmas from the heart. I don’t want to think of my children running out and fighting the crowds to get just the perfect gift at a great price. I simply want my children to celebrate the family that God has given us. So my deep wish is that the world would stop allowing the retailers to dictate what should provide us with a Merry Christmas. Instead, I’d like Christians to take a collective breath and spend Christmas Day in reflection about the Babe in that manger that far off day and about the sacrifice that His Father—our Heavenly Father—made to gift us. And then we could all remember that there is no other gift so valuable.”
Chapter 8 blossomed just today! Debbie Roome penned this wonderful chapter. If you’ve gotten this far, then I know you’ve noticed as I did how amazing the chapters blend together so well. This is truly a blessing! I bet you’ve noticed the variations in the voice of each chapter, but overall, with a smooth character arch and consistency of mood and plot line, it’s easy to forget that 9 different people contributed to this story – AND our editor!
Chapter 9, also by Joan Campbell, will come out tomorrow. Her wish is under Chapter 1. Can’t wait to see the recipe she shares with us!
Chapter 10 is only in the book, but you can get it as a free download on Friday. The author, Jennifer Fromke has a special presentation on her blog Friday. She says: “My wish this Christmas is for connection. I’m hoping my husband and I can foster a space for my kids, and all the extended family passing through our four walls to truly connect with each other in a way that is greater than the everyday distracted interaction. I’m hoping dreams will be discussed, future plans laid, happy laughs bellowed, and heart-felt understandings reached. It’s not like there’s anything wrong that must be addressed, I’m just so tired of the fast-paced life we lead, cell phones always in hand. If we can find some time to slow down and just enjoy our time together, my Christmas wish will come true.”