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9th Day of Christmas Giveaways with Alicia Bruxvoort

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12 Days of Christmas at KarenEhman.com

Welcome to the 9th Day of Christmas Giveaways!!!

Today my friend Aliciaoverflow pictures Alicia bench002 Bruxvoort is sharing her thoughts on the Christmas Party that you won’t want to miss!  She will be giving away a Christmas party basket brimming with goodies for you and yours to enjoy! Alicia Bruxvoort is a writer, speaker, and abundant life seeker. She lives with her husband and five children in western Michigan where laundry piles high and laughter rings loud. A member of the Proverbs 31 writing team, Alicia is passionate about helping women experience the life Jesus promised when he declared, “I’ve come so that you might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). When she’s not managing mini-van mayhem, Alicia can be found scribbling hope at The Overflow or speaking at women’s ministry events.

To join in on the fun and be entered to win the various prizes, simply leave a comment on the post answering the question of the day. ALSO—one grand prize will be given to one person who comments on all 12 days.

The Grand Prize is a $50 gift certificate to Proverbs 31 Ministries store and a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com!!!

Here is Alicia for today’s post…


The One Party You Won’t Want to Miss This Christmas

It was a simple conversation in the grocery store that first sparked the idea for my favorite Christmas tradition.

A mom with a cart full of little ones was standing ahead of me in the long winding check-out line.

The clerk in the fuzzy red Santa was listening to a customer complain about the price of the Barbie doll that should have rung up on sale, and my preschooler was tugging on my arm begging for that jumbo candy cane that had been placed strategically at a four-year-old’s eye-level.

The speakers overhead cackled a tinny version of Jingle Bells, but it was evident that our line wasn’t going to move as fast as a one-horse-open sleigh anytime soon.

The mom in front of me offered an empathetic smile as she bounced her fussing baby on her hip. “I’d get out of this line if I didn’t have to make cookies for the office Christmas party tonight,” she confided.

She exhaled a weary sigh and muttered, “Funny how Christmas parties just kill my holiday spirit…”

She shrugged her shoulders and ended the conversation with a high-pitched laugh, but I could see the tears pooling quiet along the brim of her weary eyes.

I didn’t think much about that conversation until later that day when I tucked my kids into their beds for nap time and sat down on the couch with my Bible and a cup of coffee.

I opened the Word to Luke 2 and read the Christmas story like I’d been doing each day of Advent for the entire month.

But this time, I saw something new—

The “holiday spirit” on that very first Christmas wasn’t fueled by sale prices or Santa hats, by office parties or tinseled trees; it was propelled by praise.

After the Heavenly Messenger announced the “good news of great joy,” the silent night was pierced with a chorus of praise (Luke 2:13).

And after those wide-eyed shepherds found Jesus lying in the manger, they “returned to their flocks, praising God for all they had seen and heard” (Luke 2:20).

The holiday spirit for which we’re all searching flows from a heart of gratitude.

Suddenly, I knew what I need most that Christmas.

I needed a praise party.

I needed to gather my friends and applaud God’s faithfulness.

I needed to linger near the manger with my peeps and marvel at the greatest gift we’d ever been given.

I needed to remember that Christmas is about a Promise kept and Kingdom that’s coming.

I needed to proclaim the good news of great joy to myself!

And so began my favorite Christmas tradition.

Days later, I gathered a handful of friends to the one party I knew they wouldn’t want to miss!

We gathered in my living room in the light of the Christmas tree, and I gave each friend a little piece of paper filled with “praise prompts.”

And while our kids played at our feet, we fanned into flame some serious Christmas spirit.

We cupped mugs of hot coffee in our hands, nibbled bites of gooey chocolate and swapped stories of God’s faithfulness.

We told tales of His tender mercies and put words to His with-ness.

In short, we gave gratitude a voice.

We laughed until our sides ached and cried until our cheeks were streaked with mascara. And when we finished our simple celebration, our hearts were filled with a joy that couldn’t be quenched.

That was ten years ago, and this simple tradition continues to be one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.

For me, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a praise party.

Praise makes room in our hearts for that stable-born King we celebrate on the 25th of December.

And praise opens our eyes to the true glory of the Christmas story.

By the way, it’s not too late for you to host a praise party of your own.

Just gather your family or a handful of friends and use the praise prompts I’ve provided below.

Keep it simple. Keep it real.

And plan on your guests begging you to do it all again next year.

Because this is one party nobody will want to miss!


Praise Party Prompts

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. – Psalm 16:18
Praise Prompt #1: Consider a time you experienced God’s presence in a special way this year. Thank Him for making Himself known to you!

Praise Prompt #2: For what “unexpected gift” or answered prayer would you like to thank God this year?

Praise Prompt #3: Name one person whom God has used as His hands and feet this year to encourage you or your family.
Praise Prompt #4: How has God grown you or challenged you since last Christmas?
Praise Prompt #5: What do you love most about your Savior this Christmas? Praise Him for who He is. Always.

We’re holding our own party right here today. Leave a comment in response to any of the five praise prompts above and you will be entered to win a party basket filled with everything you need to host a praise party this Christmas season (or in the new year).

The party basket includes…

*a bag of Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee,

*a package of beautiful Christmas napkins that say, “Christmas Begins with Jesus”

*star of Christmas coasters

*a Give Thanks plaque to remind you to praise all year round,

*and plenty of Ghirardelli and Lindt chocolate to share.

Here is a printable PDF containing the praise prompts to keep your party focused on Christ! praise party prompts

All winners will be announced December 22nd!


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  1. This is an awesome idea that I think we should incorporate into the entire year!! Monthly Praise Parties would be awesome!!!

  2. Unexpected blessing? Little damage during a car accident. Although it was rather traumatic for me, it didn’t turn out to be the financial disaster I feared when it happened, and the physical damage was minor. Felt SO cared for!

  3. Dr. Alwin has encouraged me this year. She has pushed me to be the best me that I can be. She reminds me often that I can’t be perfect because no one is perfect. Christ came to this earth to take care of that for me.

  4. I am thankful for my dear friend Laurie who has helped me so much since I moved back to her area this summer. My husband has been gone a lot and she has been so helpful to me with my kids!!

  5. My SISTER has been a ROCK this year!! Coming to Arkansas from California several times the last few months to help with my mom who is going thru chemo treatments .. And my sister loves to PRAISE the LORD! Music is her thing and she gets her Godly groove on daily!

  6. #2 My son had his fourth set of tubes put in his ears this year and they have stayed in place longer than any others and he is talking more clearly. He passed his hearing test!

  7. Praising God for His perfect plan and for giving us His One and only Son, Jesus, Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. My life is nothing without Him. Immanuel, God with us.

  8. prompts # 1/#2..totally unexpected job change for hubby..he was informed on a Tues ..that Friday would be his last day back in April of this yr..& 2 wks later God had set him up w/another opportunity in the same location..dif company..blew our minds.. & then we both came down w/colds in Oct..his was usual symptoms..but mine took on a dif turn..caused a spinning of the room affect..in turn..lightheadedness longer than expected.. ended up getting a CT scan to make sure no issues in my head.. alot of people prob said..there was nothing up there to start with..very very scary for me..i thought it was bad…very bad,.but had prayers going like crazy ..hubby knew everything was ok..he had that much faith,,..& trust in God…i tried…end result…..all is good…possible pre-diabetes…sorry such a long story..but no other way to explain…I thank God everyday..for a great husband & marriage to enjoy…by the Grace of God…..thanks…
    we are just thankful everyday to still be alive….

  9. Praise Prompt #3: Name one person whom God has used as His hands and feet this year to encourage you or your family. I have met a dear friend, Angela, who has been a great friend this year. She is so encouraging and there when you need help. She is such a blessing in my life.

  10. A friend of the family was on her deathbed and I felt an overwhelming sense to pray for her… she’s now slowly healing and I know that it was only through the power of God that she’s doing better.. he’s still in the miracle business and want to thank Him for bringing her through..

  11. Over the last year, God used circumstances to teach me radical trust, pressing into Him despite fear and shame, and learning to love like He does. Looking back, it’s amazing.

  12. Once again, I am a day late with this post, but I still wanted to share. These passages each day have been speaking to me and even though I see them a day later, or post a day late; I can’t help but see God’s hand in the timing as it speaks to something relevant to each day I do get to read and post. There are so many things I love about our Savior, but one of those things that constantly blows my mind, is how he doesn’t give up on me, on any of us! He is always faithful, even if we falter — He is always right there with an outstretched arm to lift us up again. and again. His mercies are new each morning — how else could we ever stand? Thank you Lord for not giving up on us and making us stronger each day!
    Nancy Ericsson – Massachusetts

  13. I want to thank the Lord for healing my hubby’s heart this year- 24 years of marriage with my very best friend!! xoxo

  14. A verse that spoke to me this year was Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. As a mom with young children this spoke to me in a new way, especially the part about whatever you say. Am I representing Christ to my children in what I am saying to them and how I am saying it? What a verse to pray each day for God’s help to apply.

  15. I Love that Christ has made me flawless – as the song says. I love the amazingness of his gift. That He is so very gracious!


    I can’t say one person, but I will say my “Hearts at Home” group. This year mosthe of us had someone graduate high school. My story about launching my daughter into the world was not at all how I wanted or expected it. She rebelled and continues to make not so great choices. Heartbreaking. But these friends in this group have hugged me, cried with me, shouted to God with me and when I couldn’t, they still pray, remind me of events and give me grace when I show up with nothing to share because my mind wasn’t with it. They grab my kids if needed, give them encouragement as we all find a new normal. I did do a “10 box birthday party” where we filled 15 shoeboxes (goal was 10) for Samaritans purse. They all came and brought stuff, money for shipping and their great funny energized selves. We all felt blessed to be a small part of something so big. They have also adopted a child with me through compassion. We all are feeling it-when we help others, our troubles are less…..I’m so glad they were beside me for the last year being hands and feet for me when I couldn’t and with me as I climbed out of my pit.

  17. My coworker Kristine, has been a blessing during my rough year, sending me messages that she is thinking about me and praying for me. sometimes she surprises me with a treat in the morning before we start work, just to start off the day with a positive note. She also invites me to special events at our church so I won’t go alone!

  18. I love how Jesus shows himself in the actions of other, especially during the Christmas season. Last year we were tired and worn out, it was late and we had a toddler who was up way past bedtime. We had spent all evening Christmas shopping and stopped at Ihop to finally eat dinner. My son was surprising well behaved even though he was tired and only 2. My husband and i were also exhausted. Apparently someon in that resturant saw us and saw the weariness. They paid our food bill. We felt so blessed and it even lifted a little bit of the weariness. We prayed and thanked God for that small blessing.

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