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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. I am not familiar with St Nicholas tradition, but I can only bake chocolate cookies and chocoflan! Love to share with loved ones and friends.

  2. Hello! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity! We do something different every year. usually we just bake extras of some pumpkin bread or cookies and deliver them to the elderly neighbors around us. I admit, we do not do a good job year round socializing or getting to know our neighbors. Maybe this will be a 2018 resolution!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I have been telling my husband I want to read this book! I am always looking for ways to connect with my neighbors, family, etc. yet struggle because I have an intense fear of what others will think about me, my home, my family. I instantly start thinking of reasons not to gather together.

  4. My husband and I walk the neighborhood, rain or shine, every day. We try to go out of our way to show small acts of kindness along the route – putting a garbage can away, moving a mail pile, gathering trash. It has opened up so many opportunities for connection and discipleship over the years.

  5. Currently have your book on my nightstand after reading a story about you in a magazine! I had gotten out of the habit of sharing life with my neighbors but hopefully this will inspire me to do it again!

  6. I am in a rural area but I have a friend in assisted living. I might be able to reach out there with your ideas. Never heard of the Turquoise Table.

  7. We live in an apartment in the University District of the University of Washington, so there are many students living here. I try to be as friendly as possible whenever we meet in the hall (there is no foyer).

  8. I would love to connect with my neighbors in a way that invites that community like the days of old. I like walking with people in the neighborhood.

  9. I love to bake around Christmas time. My children help me and it’s become a tradition. I usually bake mini loaves of different breads and sugar cookies. This year, we will make sugar cookies and brownies instead of loaves of bread. But we put together little gift bags of the treats and deliver them to our neighbors that we have met and actually know. Even though I do it every year, I still get surprised and happy “Thank you”s from the neighbors.

  10. My husband and I live in a camp resort community and we set up our camp chairs a picnic table and a fire pit and invite anybody walking by to have a seat and enjoy the conversation and the fire. It’s a great way to meet people from all over the world!!

  11. Great idea. We hope to be moved to a new house by this time next year so this would be a great way to get to know our new neighbors.

  12. That French-press coffee sounds real good. I love the Turquoise table! And your idea with the shoes & your St. Nicholas celebration.

  13. I would love to win this book. It’s so hard for some reason to reach out to neighbors and others in general especially if there doesn’t appear to be a “need” such as a surgery/illness etc. This has sounded like a great book to read and get some ideas.

  14. This would be a fun thing to start in our neighborhood. Too late for this year but have a lot of time to plan for next year.

  15. I am Polish and the St. Nicholas tradition is a tradition my mom shared with my siblings. I love that I am keeping the tradition with my children and they so love it!

  16. I heard of St Nick day but not many in my area celebrate it- would be fun to try and get it going again- will have to remember for year!

  17. First of all The Turquoise Table as an idea, as a book, as a lifestyle…is new and exciting to me – yay! I look forward to reading the book! I enjoyed all these ideas about how to bless others and celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Kristin, if you haven’t already you might really enjoy the book The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Quinn (he has a couple sequels as well). So much fun! Merry Christmas and thanks for the chance to win!

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