The 13th Day of Christmas–New book

Jason F. Wright, author of Christmas Jars (see Jeremy’s post on January 13), has a new book out this season, The 13th Day of Christmas.  I remember that when I read Christmas Jars, I felt the desire to get started on my own jar savings plan right away Will this new book live up to the national bestseller that his first story, Christmas Jars, became?

Released just a few days ago, this is Wright’s tenth book, and the plot, like the theme of all his books, centers around his deep faith in God and God’s plan for us on earth.  The title references the possibility of a lost verse in the famous “12 Days of Christmas” song.  Nine-year-old Charlee is critically ill, and her family has fallen on hard times.  On December 12, Charlee discovers a note that promises twelve days of gifts and stories that will reveal the truth behind the Christmas carol with the hint of a miracle to come.

I was skeptical about Christmas Jars and ended up reading it through to the end, even shedding some tears.  I’m looking forward to first reading the book myself and then sharing it with others.  Could be the best stocking stuffer this year!

Twelve Days of Christmas in. . .

A few years ago, I promised my niece a day trip to New York City to visit the American Girl store and see Time Square.  It was a terrific to see her sense of excitement and wonder on our whirlwind tour.  I just had a genius idea for a gift this season.

I saw a children’s series at the bookstore in New York City.  Each book was titled: 12 Days of Christmas in . . . There were states and major cities.  The twelve days cover famous tourist sites in each location to match the song.  For families planning a major vacation or expecting visiting cousins, one of these books with tickets to a venue in that city would make a great family gift.  For example, there’s a Christmas in Washington, D.C. which could be combined with Metro tickets, brochures to the National Zoo, and a gift certificate to a Washington restaurant.

Better yet, it would a fun activity for a child to write and illustrate his/her own 12 Days of Christmas centering around the family’s most cherished items and activities.  There are plenty of book publishers that specialize in small printings of children’s books–wouldn’t a gift like this make a wonderful present for aunts, uncles, grandparents and more?  This blog gives easy instructions and recommends lulu.com for publishing.

Five Gold Rings–Pineapple?

I was in the thrift store yesterday, and I saw four of the American Glass circa 1980’s  12 Days of Christmas glasses for sale, 50 cents each!  I was tempted to buy them and gift them to Jeremy, but on closer inspection, the decals were fairly worn, so I passed up five gold rings, and six geese a-laying, but now I’ve got my nose to the ground for a complete set of Christmas song glassware.

However, as I searched the internet for the glasses, I discovered many 12 Day of Christmas themed gifts, from costly Lennox and Waterford to inexpensive do-it-yourself gifts. A full set of the glasses I saw in the thrift store are an inexpensive purchase at shopgoodwill.com.

I found one website with suggestions for a Secret-Santa style gift extravaganza, beginning with a can of pears on the first day and progressing through the gifts to five gold rings (butterscotch Lifesavers) and eight swans a swimming (a recording of “Swan Lake”).  The entire list is here.  I think this is a genius idea for the adventurous.  I’m planning to try this next year to surprise my grandson.

Can you afford it?

The popular song the Twelve Days of Christmas outlines an interesting list of gifts from your true love.  Ever wonder just how much that thoughtful giving might set your love back?  Well it’s easy to find out the cost for 2011.  PNC bank has been calculating the cost in its annual Christmas Price Index.  2011 total cost is up a little from 2010.  All those birds, maids, and lords would rack up a bill of $24,263.18.  If you’re up for a little fun check out the PNC Christmas Price Index site.  It has a cool little train that makes stops collecting the items.  Lots of fun and educational!