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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways (2017) – Day 2

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

*Give Away has Ended*

A decade ago I had a little holiday idea. I asked 12 friends to join me for 12 days of Christmas giveaways here on my blog. Each of them shared a favorite recipe, memory, gift idea, decorating tip, or something else that would help my readers during the holiday hustle. They’d also give away a prize package and readers could enter to win by leaving a comment. The series was an instant hit. And it was the first time during my year of blogging that a post got over 100 comments.

You are gonna love meeting the 12 friends joining us this year and entering to win their prizes. And…..


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.

OK, let’s get started with our second day’s guest, Kristin Schell.


Christmas at the Turquoise Table

One of the most anticipated traditions in our neighborhood is the celebration of St. Nicholas Day. The holidays are a wonderful time to spread joy right where you live.

The Story of St. Nicholas

The traditional Advent feast day, which occurs on December 6th, remembers St. Nicholas who was the Bishop of Myra in the fourth century. His parents died when he was young, leaving Nicholas with a large sum of money. Nicholas used his inheritance to help those in need, particularly children. Because of his generosity Nicholas is well known as the patron saint of children and gift-giving.

The custom of giving gifts on St. Nicholas Day originated in Europe as a way to commemorate the life of the saint who was a helper of those in need.

5 Simple Steps To Celebrate St. Nicholas Day in Your Neighborhood

  1. Get A Buddy. Ask a friend to help you plan your neighborhood St. Nicholas Day. It’s not only practical to have help, it’s way more fun. In our neighborhood we have a handful of Secret Elves!
  2. Reach Out To Your Neighbors. Prior to December 6th, send an email explaining the celebration to neighbors with children–all ages welcome!. If the parents are interested in a surprise visit from St. Nicholas, ask them to have their children leave a shoe on the front porch before bedtime.
  3. Buy Small Gifts. Traditional St. Nicholas Day gifts include chocolate gold coins, clementines or oranges, and a delicious cookie.
  4. Send A Reminder. Email the parents to make sure the kiddos put their shoes outside.
  5. Deliver The Gifts. After bedtime, the Secret Elves meet at The Turquoise Table. We put together small bags of chocolate coins, clementines, and cookies, and tie them together with a coloring page or tag that explains the story of St. Nicholas. Then we deliver the gifts to all the shoes left on our neighbor’s doorsteps.

The possibilities for celebrating St. Nicholas Day are endless and easily adaptable for your neighborhood. Live in an apartment complex? Talk to the manager about your idea and ask for help. Live in a rural area? Consider sharing the idea with a children’s shelter or nursing home and surprising the residents with a visit from St. Nick.

For more information about St. Nicholas Day and the Turquoise Table, please join Kristin HERE.

Day Two Giveaway

For the 12 Days of Christmas series, I am giving away my book, The Turquoise Table AND the Turquoise Table Starter Kit! Leave a comment below and let us know how you like to reach out to your neighbors during Christmas.

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

Kristin Schell is on a mission to love her neighbors. She put a picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to hang out and do life together at The Turquoise Table.

A new concept of hospitality unfolded in her neighborhood, and before long The Turquoise Table led to a movement of Front Yard People—ordinary people who long to create community right where they live. Today, there are Turquoise Tables all across America in all fifty states and seven countries.

Kristin’s book The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) is available wherever books are sold.

You can find Kristin on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at www.theturquoisetable.com


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. We do a cookie night. Just open the house for anyone to stop by for coffee and cookies. The girls also like to make cards and deliver them.

  2. My girls and I deliver boxes of our homemade Christmas cookies to our neighbors. I love the St. Nicholas Day idea, though!

  3. I was not familiar with the history of St. Nicholas, and the idea of celebrating the day in the neighborhood and sharing the history is very appealing. Our neighborhood has more older couples with grown children now, so I’ll have to consider how to adapt this celebration in my area – maybe with my class at school.

  4. We’ve been in our neighborhood for just a year now, and I am still struggling with finding ways to reach out to our neighbors. I’ve taken baked goods to some of them, and have engaged in conversations as we pass by – but I’d like to find more meaningful ways to be a light here. I think only one of our neighbors are Christian. :-/ This is such an amazing idea! Even though December 6th has passed, I’d love to discover more about this and maybe be all set to go for next year!

  5. We have a neighborhood Christmas party at someone’s house. I love this idea, though. We are slowly gaining younger families in our neighborhood & the kids would love this!

  6. What a fun idea; I had heard if the Turquoise Table and wondered what it was all about. I missed this day, but I want to do this next year!

  7. The art of loving one another is lost today. This book looks to be a guide in pointing us back to that wonderful tradition.

  8. We’ve always delivered a box of cookies or fudge, but in recent years, we have several new neighbors that we don’t know. This seems like a delightful way to connect!

  9. I love this idea!! Turquoise picnic table and a new tradition of Saint Nicholas Day! Fun and community minded….reaching out is what it’s all about. Cheers and thank you for encouraging togetherness ??????

  10. What a neat idea! We are needing to do something in our front yard after the only remaining tree we had fell in a wind storm this year.

  11. Every December our neighborhood does luminaries in celebration of Christmas. It’s a great time to reach out & take time to see each neighbor as you walk around looking at lights.

  12. As a homeschooling mom, I love finding new fun ways to teach my kids. Sounds like something we will look into. Thanks!

  13. Love this idea. Do you to health issues I don’t how much finances or energy to do much but I do like giving out Christmas cards to friends and family and neighbors I know that seems simple but to me even a card is special

  14. This is a fantastic idea! I love, love, love it!!! My husband and I are involved with several low income apartment complexes where we do activities with the tenets. For Halloween we did something for the children then for Thanksgiving we had a dinner for the Senior Adults. On Neighborhood Night Out (Safety Week) we involved everyone and had a cookout. This Saint Nicholas Day idea would be perfect for these children. I’m so glad I read this and entered today. I had never heard of the Turquoise Plate until now. Blessings!

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