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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways (2017) – Day 3

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.

*Give Away has Ended*


One of you WHO COMMENTS ON ALL TWELVE POSTS AND ALSO SHARES ABOUT THE SERIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA will win a grand prize from me, pictured here.

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.

REMEMBER…in order to win the grand prize, you must leave a comment on all 12 posts. You can start with Day One here.

OK, let’s get started with our third day’s guest, Sara Hagerty.


Hagerty Family Tradition

I have a four year-old who sleeps better after he has run hard. Dirt underneath his fingernails and beads of sweat clinging to the scraggly locks of blond hair around his ears as I tuck him in for a nap, and I can be assured the rest of the day will run smoothly.

So we get outside.

At 10:00am – the time when I once was most productive – we pull on our boots and tromp through the woods. We pick berries and pull back the branches of evergreen trees in search of robin’s nests, all while his eyes dart through the underbrush for snakes.

“Tell me a story, Mommy,” he asks. His little-boy mind feeds on story and it’s snack time. We live our own story as we explore the woods and I tell him another one to feed his mind.

God knew His people feast best on story. My little guy is like every other son of Adam that preceded him. He learns the world through story.

And though my bigger kids don’t say “Mommy, tell me a story,” they lean in when my husband talks about his college days. I sometimes hear them retelling with the same intonation as we do, creating legends out of our anecdotes.

While I feel more secure with the instruction from a Proverb or an epistle, the prodigal son’s father (the picture of my Father) ran with a pounding in his chest and sweat collecting in his ears to meet his son. A whore was in the lineage of Jesus. A virgin wore stretch-marks from the Son of God within her.

We are storied people and our God speaks in story.

As life barrels, even for those of us with an intentional eye for slow, tradition anchors the flitting life right back to home. And one of our favorite family traditions revolves around story.

Every Advent, we gift each one of our children with an Advent- or Christmas-related storybook. Throughout December, these books stay scattered under the tree and wedged between couch pillows. They’re well-loved. We read them for one month and package them up for the other eleven.

The thrill of re-discovering these books – though they’re not the divine story of Scripture, but are merely illuminating the beauty of our God-in-skin – is akin to the spark in my four year-old’s eye at ten in the morning on a weekday. With this traditional anchor we cultivate holy curiosity – hunger — in the minds of our storied children.

Day Three Giveaway

For the 12 Days of Christmas series, I am giving away the two books pictured below! I’m a gift giver. I love that I can suggest a tradition to you and also initiate that tradition in your home with one of our favorite December reads: Christmas Day in the Morning. The winner of this giveaway will receive this book, along with a copy of my recently released book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed.

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.
Sara Hagerty is the author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed, a wife to Nate, and a mother of six, including four children adopted from Africa, one toddler who’s found his voice amid them all, and a wee-babe. After almost a decade of Christian life, she was introduced to pain and perplexity and, ultimately, intimacy with Jesus. God met her and moved her when life stopped working for her. His Word and His whisper took on new shape and form to her in the dark. Sara writes regularly about life delays, finding God in the unlikely, motherhood, marriage, and adoption at SaraHagerty.net.


12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Rules

  1. You can comment on all 12 days (once per person) up until midnight Pacific time, Sunday, December 17. All posts are linked on Day One here.
  2. U.S. Addresses only please.
  3. One daily winner will be chosen from each day’s comments and all winners (including Grand Prize) will be announced on Wednesday, December 20.
  4. Share the giveaway with your friends and followers using the share buttons below.
  5. If you’re not already subscribed, click here and receive an email notification each day of our series.

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  1. I am sorry to say that in my family the advent was only recognized by a calendar. As an adult I made it a point to study about and celebrate advent when living with my sister and her sons one year. It added so much meaning to the celebration of Christmas.

    More over stories for children and adults is the easiest way to learn.

  2. One of my best memories with my now 14 YO is reading a chapter book to her each night during Advent, even though she was more than old enough to read it herself, it was a special time for just the two of us each evening.

  3. I do try to give my grandchildren books for Christmas but like your idea of tradition. would love to see what your book has to say.

  4. I would love to win these books! I am of a grandmotherly age, although I have no grandchildren yet. But I’d like to have these books to read myself first, and then to share with my future grandchildren.

  5. My grandparents have both passed away, and the majority of the family has moved to different parts of the country. Christmas isn’t like it used to be. The feeling of family and tradition is gone. I so want to start a tradition with my family.

  6. we have an advent tree and each day it tells a passage relating to Jesus’s birthday and has a special ornament that goes on the tree that day. We love doing it.

  7. This is a great way to share the love of Jesus with children.May god bless you and your family this Christmas.

  8. As a reading interventionist, one of my most favorite sights is that of children reading a treasured book. And what better books to read than those in December that focus on the true Christmas story. Thank you for ideas to create new traditions within our family.

  9. I also pack up Christmas books til December. We scatter them around where they can easily be found and we can escape the chaos of Holiday preparations by losing ourselves in the magic of Christmas. Immanuel God With Us!

  10. These sound like more great reads. When the kids were young it was easier to set some “traditions” but now that they are older, late 20’s, they seem to be going so many different ways that traditions are hard to keep.

  11. We love books and especially enjoy reading together- even though my son is almost a teenager. It can be a challenge in this society to keep the real meaning of Christmas in the fore-front but we continue to strive for that.

  12. I love reading all sorts of Christmas books with my kids, but especially those that keep us focused on the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas Day in the Morning is new to me, so I look forward to checking it out. I clicked over to the Instagram picture of your stack of books, Sara, and some of those are favorites of mine as well. I would also recommend Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell and Tonight You Are My Baby: Mary’s Christmas Gift by Jeannine Norris. Both are so sweet and touching to my mama’s heart. Thanks for the chance to win and Merry Christmas!

  13. We love to pull out our own Christmas books, and I usually make sure our library basket is filled with new ones to discover and enjoy. ?

  14. Thank you for the inspiration to take those necessary moments to just be present with our little ones – especially during the Christmas season. I purchased a copy of Christmas Day in the Morning and can’t wait to read it with my kids. xoxoxo

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