Archive for the ‘Gift Ideas’ Category

The Man Who Invented Christmas

December 18, 2009

Standing outside an airport bookstore last month killing time before boarding, my eyes scanned the new books on display…Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue, Glenn Beck’s Arguing With Idiots, Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny…so many books, so little time.

Then, a few inches above floor level on the bottom shelf I spotted a small book with a beautiful cover…but the title is what grabbed me: The Man Who Invented Christmas.

“Another attack on Christmas,” I thought, assuming it was a story about some evil capitalist pig responsible for the commercialization of Christmas and rendering it nothing more than any other holiday.

Curiosity got the best of me, so I picked it up and read as much as I could in the 10-15 minutes before my flight.  Not near enough time, but what I was able to read certainly convinced me that I need to get this book and read it.

Not some toy company CEO, or Macy’s board of directors, or ad agency is the subject of Les Standiford’s latest book.  The subject is no less than Charles Dickens: the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and one of the most popular of all time.  Standiford describes…

…how a struggling Charles Dickens came to write the small book that would transform a somber, faded holiday into the celebration of charity and good cheer we know today.

Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist.

The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all.

I still haven’t had the time to read the book, but I will (famous last words).  If you’ve read it, please comment and share your review with the rest of us.


December 17, 2009

Visit the website of this customer-focused rate-a-retailer campaign conducted by “Stand for Christmas” (by Focus on the Family Action), where consumers can post their ratings based on their shopping experiences.  The clear message is: don’t spend your Christmas dollars at the stores owned by Naughty retailers who don’t acknowledge Christmas.

TOY SWAP $2 Toys at Sandals Church

November 23, 2009

Here’s a church in Riverside, CA that’s raising money for its building project by providing low-cost toys for Christmas.  They’re accepting donations of any new and “lightly loved, outgrown and unwanted toys”.  Then, on December 12th, they will sell them for $2.00 each at their TOY SWAP.

TOY SWAP needs toys!  You can drop off your toy donations at any of the drop off locations.  Then on December 12th people in the community can purchase these toys for 2 dollars each.  All proceeds will be given to Sandals Church to benefit the building fund.

Lenox Celebrates Christmas!

December 9, 2008


Here’s a company that celebrates Christmas: Lenox!

“It is my will and desire that Lenox, Incorporated shall at all times manufacture the highest possible grades of porcelain, that the standard of excellence already attained shall ever be advanced…”
Walter Scott Lenox

Walter Scott LenoxSince 1889 the vision of Walter Scott Lenox has guided the company he founded to set the highest standards for quality, artistry, and beauty.  Today Lenox is among the world’s oldest and most respected names in fine tableware and giftware — favored by presidents, displayed in museums, honored with awards, and enjoyed in homes across America.  Come explore the story of Lenox as it grows from one man’s conviction into the country’s foremost maker of china, crystal and metal gifts.


Christmas Ornaments, Christmas Figurines, Christmas Entertaining, a Nativity set, Christmas Cheer, 12 Days of Christmas…all make Lenox a Nice manufacturer and retailer!

Famous for their beautiful annual Christmas Tree Ornaments, china patterns, vases, crystal ware, giftware, metal gifts and collectible figures – Lenox has been one of America’s favorite collectibles for well over a hundred years now.

Merry Christmas Lenox!

Bass Pro Shops Celebrates Christmas

December 2, 2008

wwwbassprocom_p_1000This is the most aggressive retailer I’ve found in advertising the reason for the season.  Unfortunately, the dynamic content of the main panel filling the top portion of Bass Pro Shops’ online ad doesn’t show-up in this screen shot, so be sure to click through to see their ad in it’s full glory.

From November 9th through December 24th, they offer shoppers free pictures with Santa and free weekend activities for the kids:

  • test drive RC cars
  • hit 3 out of 5 targets at the Soft Gun or Red Ryder laser arcade and win a prize
  • write and mail a letter to Santa
  • color a Christmas picture
  • make fun crafts every weekend
  • see old-time trains run through Santa’s Village

www.bassTheir slogan is, “Time passes, hold on to Christmas.”

Now here’s a retailer that knows how to celebrate!  I’ve never been to a Bass Pro Shop, but since one opened-up just a few miles from my house in recent months, I’m going to have to go see this for myself, and spend some Christmas dollars there for sure!

Amazing Grace for Christmas

December 17, 2007

Thanks to Ripple Effects for this recommendation for Christmas.


December 4, 2007

Here’s an up and coming Christian group: Offering, featuring the vocal talents of Jeanine Guidry.  They recorded a Christmas CD called Comfort and Joy, and you can hear samples of it here.

Offering has an extensive performance schedule this Christmas, including lots of community-oriented events:

This coming Friday (12-7-07) they perform at Fort Lee military base in VA.  They raised enough funds to do a special printing of their Christmas CD to give to each soldier in attendance.

They’re doing the same at their local Veteran’s Hospital a week later, and they’re also playing at the Hospital Hospitality House in Richmond.

On top of that, they’re organizing several toy drives!

Show your support for this talented and generous ministry.  Take a moment to click over to their site and buy a CD or two for Christmas gifts!

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Christmas Gift Idea 2

December 3, 2007

Here’s another great Christmas gift idea…Nicole Nordeman!  Check out her MySpace for songs and videos.

Christmas Gift Idea

December 3, 2007

Here’s a great idea for a Christmas present…David Wilcox! Have a look at his concert clips on his MySpace page, there are about 15 of them (

I have several of David’s CD’s and I cherish every one of them. My wife and daughters surprised me this year for my birthday by taking me to see David in concert. My 19-year-old said it was the best concert she’s ever been to (she’s gone to see several big name country acts, etc.).

He’s the most profound lyricist I’ve ever heard.  Buy CD’s from his website here:

Christmas Gift List for Liberals

November 28, 2007

I ran across this yesterday, and had to share my thoughts with you.

Read Denise Williams’ article What to Buy a Liberal for the, er, ‘The Holidays’.  Not to spoil anything, but “lump of coal” is not on the list.  I think you’ll get a kick out of it.  Be sure to read Brandon’s comment also.

Okay, so here are my thoughts I’ve been working on as I had time throughout the day:

A very clever and witty article…albeit, distressing, when one considers the depths to which the left has sunk. What a contrast Brandon provides in his comment: ad homonym, humorless, hateful, foul, devoid of facts and filled with distortions.

Denise Williams pointedly satirizes the left’s veneration of Che Guevara, Michael Moore, Al Gore, The NY Times, the antics of the leftists running San Francisco, movies like “Redacted”; as well as their hatred for George W. Bush, and all things Christian. (Okay, maybe she crossed the line with her suggestion to give liberals fruitcake for Christmas – that’s just evil).

Leftists proudly and routinely make their thoughts known regarding such things at every opportunity (at awards shows, in interviews, on their websites, while visiting Fidel…). But when a conservative addresses their nutty ideas, leftists like Brandon get offended, sling insults, and run from the truth like Sandy Berger leaving the National Archives reading room (recent example: Rosie v. Elisabeth).

Show me one conservative who venerates Hitler, or wants U.S. or Iraqi or any other children to die. And who is really stingy with their money? Conservatives donate a greater portion of their income to charity than do bleeding-heart liberals. Also, Brandon sees himself fit to judge a man who’s had the misfortune of becoming addicted to pain meds following surgery yet, ironically, liberals claim to be so compassionate. Because of his immature reaction, I’m led to conclude that Brandon is manifestly lacking in life experience. My bet is that Brandon is in college or graduate school, single, no children, no career, doesn’t volunteer or donate to charity, and has never read the Bible.

The question I have for Brandon, and those who would agree with his response, is: what are you so offended by that would cause you to react so virulently? If these are examples of issues you believe in and support, then defend yourself with all the reason you can muster to answer the right’s objections; if you believe you were misrepresented, then correct us and clarify your position. The hackneyed reactions of the left – accusing conservatives of being greedy, racist, bigots, hateful, homophobic, child-killers – have grown thin. Stop the name-calling and respond rationally.

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