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…..
THIS YEAR THERE IS ALSO A GRAND PRIZE!!!
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.
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
- 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!
- 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.
- Buy Small Gifts. Traditional St. Nicholas Day gifts include chocolate gold coins, clementines or oranges, and a delicious cookie.
- Send A Reminder. Email the parents to make sure the kiddos put their shoes outside.
- 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.
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.
12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Rules
- 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.
- U.S. Addresses only please.
- One daily winner will be chosen from each day’s comments and all winners (including Grand Prize) will be announced on Wednesday, December 20.
- Share the giveaway with your friends and followers using the share buttons below.
- If you’re not already subscribed, click here and receive an email notification each day of our series.