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12 Days of Christmas (2017) – Day 9


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


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 ninth day’s guest, Kristen Kill!


Last year St. Lucia was late to breakfast. She nearly missed it entirely.

In our family, one of our favorite traditions is celebrating St. Lucia Day. Originally a Scandinavian holiday, St. Lucia is a light bearer, bringing warmth and hope in the early morning. The oldest daughter of the family typically bears the honor of wearing a crown of light and evergreens, a white dress with a red sash and waking her family with delicious saffron buns, reminiscent of when Lucia herself delivered food to Christians persecuted and hiding in the catacombs- and of what it means to hold out hope in the darkest days of winter as we wait for the birth of the Christ Child during Advent.

We’ve never been a stickler for only letting our oldest embrace being St. Lucia, but as I asked my girls the past few years, busy schedules and the pang of waking early, coupled with the year I almost lit their hair on fire, seemed to dissuade them from the celebration.

I casually mentioned the approach of December 13th, made some muffins the night before, and planned to leave the morning void of any fanfare. But when the day arrived, it was not my oldest daughters, but my littlest who snuck into my room asking when things would be ready for her to surprise everyone. She was shocked that I hadn’t woken her earlier. This tradition had found its way into her heart and she was expectant to bear light and love to her family.

We searched in her closet for her white summer sundress, clipped some greens from our tree and tied them together with twine for her crown, and the candles for our little light bearer? Well, we placed an LED tea light on top of the plateful of muffins.

At the last minute, I realized we were missing anything red and I pulled an ornament off the tree and looped it on to her crown. It was the most haphazard St. Lucia breakfast we have ever experienced, but maybe the most delicious, because it was the year we remembered that no matter what we do, it is God who gives light to warm our hearts in dark seasons, who shines beauty that we can feel and taste, and savor like saffron buns.

Taking time to rest and receive from God re-orients our hearts to Him in a world full of darkness. Take time to discover the practice of peace God desires for you in Kristens new book, Finding Selah. We are giving away a copy of her book today, along with a beautiful cuff designed to remind you to take time to pause and remember light in the midst of your busy life.

Day Nine Giveaway

For the 12 Days of Christmas series, I am giving away the bracelet pictured below and my new book coming out January 9th, Finding Selah: The Simple Practice of Peace When You Need It Most.

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

Kristen Kill is a woman transformed by the delight of God. She loves coffee, gingerbread, and staying up late with her nose in a good mystery. She believes there is something sacred in lighting candles, in setting a beautiful table and inviting others in. Most days she can be found attempting to learn how to cook, redecorating any given room instead of cleaning her house, and homeschooling her five hilarious children. 

A contributing Editor at The Better Mom, and co-host of At Home With Sally and Friends, a popular podcast with Sally Clarkson, Kristen is passionate about encouraging women who feel stretched thin. She believes that tension is where we can learn to live expectant for the music and melody God is singing over of each one of us. She writes about home, creativity, and flourishing at her blog Hope With Feathers (kristenkill.com)
After spending the last seven years in the hustle of New York City, she and her husband, Josh, are learning to go slow as they raise their family and walk their anxious hound dog in the Pacific Northwest. Her first book, Finding Selah, releases from Zondervan in January. You can find her documenting life on Instagram and Facebook 


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.
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  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.
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  1. Love this story! It’s so real and much what our lives are like. We don’t have any girls but I really enjoyed reading about St Lucia. Your books sounds really good! Our women’s ministry at church is called Selah. Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a beautiful way to refocus on the real joy of the season. I know the closer it gets to the Christmas, the more I find myself struggling with peace and joy. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of who and what this season is really about.

  3. I, too, have never heard of St Lucia. This sounds like a great tradition and a great way to work in some time for peace during the bustle of the holidays.

  4. Beautiful story! Children bring about the best moments with our Lord. I’ve just started deepening my walk with Jesus and the word Selah just entered my life. Your book has me curious and excited to read.

  5. never heard of this tradition… it sure does leave memories, no matter what special things we do….thanks for your sharing..would love to read your new book coming out….

  6. What a great reminder of peace and rest during the busiest time of year. And I had never heard of the story of St Lucia before. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I definitely need a better discipline to spend time with God and really take His presence in without a rush. I’ve even tried getting up earlier (before I hit dealing with the busyness of the day) but somehow that extra time gets filled up with other misc stuff that is nothing related to the original purpose of an earlier rise- spending time with God, starting my day with Him, etc….
    I would love to read your book!

  8. Day 9 for me: I loved hearing about your tradition, but I loved more how your youngest daughter was the one who wanted to be the one who kept the tradition going!!! Sometimes we think that out children aren’t paying attention, but they truly are. What a blessing she is!!!

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