What’s Your Christmas Story? {Charmed Giveaway!}

This post is sponsored by James Avery Artisan Jewelry

Hello my lovely friends!

Christmas is in full blown mode now that December is almost here.  It sure gets here faster and faster each year, doesn’t it?  I’ve decided that my parents were right in that time flies as you get older and when the years creeped by, now the decades are flying by at lightening speed.  I still have some fond memories of Christmas growing up though, do you?

How many of you have been an angel in the annual church Christmas play?  I know I was an angel a few times.  How I remember being in my Daddy’s little church and the children had parts to recite in front of the whole church.  I was always sooooo nervous doing that, but it’s so cute when I see the children now up there being kids.  There’s nothing like Christmas through a child’s eyes.

The memories are vivid of standing behind the curtain, which was nothing but sheets hung up on wires with safety pins. Oh, those sweet memories of peeking out at the audience who were making their way in the church to see the Christmas program on a Sunday night.  It seemed as if we were about to make our big debut and boy, was it scary.  We wore angel costumes, which were more white sheets and glittery tinsel on our heads.

Anyone else?

Angels we have heard on high!

How angels play a big part in the Christmas story. The real Christmas story of Jesus’ birth and how the angel came to Mary and Joseph to tell them of His coming birth.  Oh Holy Night!  Angels are just such a special part of Christmas and the story of our Savior’s birth.

So, it’s no wonder that I chose an angel charm.

Today, I’m partnering with James Avery for A Charmed Christmas. And one of you will win this cute sterling silver angel charm too, so stay tuned.

This charm brings back sweet Christmas memories for me as I think back on my wonderful childhood and what a special time it was.  I hope my cute great nieces and Mark’s grandchildren have wonderful memories as well. We were both very fortunate to have great parents who made Christmas special for both of us.  Our childhood Christmas’s were not as big and showy as Christmas has become now, but I think we were so blessed to have those sweet memories of by-gone Christmastime.

James Avery is more than just jewelry. I love that James Avery started his Christian jewelry company in 1957 by mail order.  It’s a family owned company offering sterling silver, 14K and 18K white and yellow gold jewelry, and gemstones for men and women.

And the artisans that make this beautiful jewelry are located in the Hill Country of Texas.  You will see many Christian symbols in James Avery jewelry, so I hope you’ll check them out and see what they have to offer in the way of unique gift items.

Tis the season!

Kathy has been collecting James Avery jewelry for over 30 years.  She loves charms but always had a hard time deciding on which ones to get. When her mom passed away, it gave her the perfect opportunity to get the Tree of Life charm which honors her mom’s life. She remembers that her mom always had interesting stories to tell about family members, so that was the perfect keepsake to remember her mother.

What’s your story and favorite memories of Christmas?

That’s such a sweet story and I love that she started an ancestry bracelet that she’s added to over the years.

And she looks forward to passing her charm bracelet on in the future so it can stay in the family for generations to come.  I had a silver charm bracelet when I was a teenager and I wish I had kept it and added to it over the years.  I don’t even remember what happened to it!

Today, I’m sharing an angel charm with one of you, so one of you will win the same angel charm I have pictured here.  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me:

What’s your favorite Christmas story or memory from your family?

I’ll choose a winner in a week and leave it here on the Rafflecopter.   Just fill out the Rafflecopter with your email address, checking that you are leaving a comment and then leave a comment on this post.

I haven’t been great about announcing these winners, but when I do a giveaway, the winner always shows up on the Rafflecopter widget a week later.  I always email the winners too, so they know who they are! I can assure  you that someone wins!

That’s it!  Enjoy browsing at James Avery and see what you find that you might love for yourself or to gift a loved one.  This is a great time of year to discover a fun piece of jewelry that will be a wonderful keepsake in the future.

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- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Thanks Rhoda for the Angel charm give=away. My favorite Christmas memories of years past always center around my Christmas Eves at my Grandparents with all the cousins. Now I’m busy making Christmas memories for my own grandchildren.

  2. My fondest memories of Christmas are from my childhood. We were always together and enjoyed the holiday as a family. As time passed, my siblings started their own family traditions and the ones I held so dear ended. I rarely see my brothers and sister now and it hurts.

  3. Patti Boatwright says:

    Years ago…when the children were little…we became concerned that Christmas was too commercial in our house. We knew we had to do something to return the focus to Christ and not to over indulge them. It wasn’t easy- we met lots of resistance and heard many negative remarks but we stuck to our guns and now our adult children will tell you it was the greatest gift they ever received. We implemented the “3 Christmas Gift” rule. Everyone in our house received 3 gifts. The basis was simple: 3 gifts was plenty for baby Jesus and it’s plenty for you. 🙂 Truth is our children and grandchildren do without very little these days. In the old days, Christmas and birthdays were the only times you recieved a gift. Now, some children get a treat every trip to town! It’s easy to over indulge in our society. As a matter of fact, overindulging is easy…taking on the “3 Christmas Gift” limit is hard!! But so worth it. Ask my 3 little ones….now an attorney, a social worker, and soon to be coach. <3

    • HI, Patti, I love this and yes, agree with you so much on this. Children turn out to be wonderful adults when they aren’t over indulged.

  4. The Christmas Nativity Play at Church:)

  5. I love James Avery jewelry. I have the nativity scene charm. I love that they are so dainty. My parents are no longer with me but I can remember my Dad always doing devotional and talking about the preciousChristmas story. I miss my parents so much. Holidays are hard, but just knowing I will see them again one day makes me happy.

  6. Nicole Martin says:

    My favorite memory is decorating the tree with my dad.

  7. Pat D'Ambra says:

    Christmas for me was all about family. My Mom and Aunts would get together to make Italian Christmas cookies and I got to help when I was older. I would also wrap my Grandmother’s presents to the family and I never peeked. Christmas Eve was at my Grandparent’s house where the whole family celebrated with the seven fishes dinner and then Midnight Mass. So many beautiful memories – too many to write here. Merry Christmas Rhonda! I love your blog (James Avery too).

  8. Jennifer Hayden says:

    My son’s first Christmas. There is something so special about seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes again.

  9. Best memory was going to downtown Atlanta to see Rich’s big tree, Santa and ride the Pink Pig. It was a big deal to go there!

    • Love that Beth! The pink pig wasn’t really part of my childhood, but I did get to see it on the roof of Rich’s before they closed it all down.

  10. My favorite Christmas memory is of my young children, waking up at 4 am in the morning on Christmas Day, so excited they just couldn’t wait another second to see what Santa had brought them! They would inch down the staircase, step by step just hoping to see if the presents had come. My husband and I could only hold them off till 5 am, and then we would all come downstairs and see what Santa brought. The most wonderful memories are of when my precious children were small and couldn’t wait to unwrap their presents. Now, as young adults, they get more joy out of giving than receiving.

  11. I have really enjoyed reading all the memories! They have prompted me to ponder on my own Christmas memories and there are a few that stand out in my 60 year old mind. Living in the city of Atlanta, I experienced Rich’s Big Tree, the Pink Pig, and window shopping on Peachtree where Rich’s and Davison’s were across the street from each other and their store windows were displayed with big golden bells. I’m sure other things Christmas-y as well, but I specifically remember big bells. My parents always gave my brother and I just enough presents under the tree, but they came with their own personal sacrifice, as many others have posted. I was very blessed to also experience a dramatic contrast to my city life Christmas; an Appalachian Christmas with my dad’s family. Just 30 miles up the “4-lane” was my grandparents’ 300 acre farm. We definitely drove “over the river and through the woods” to get to the little white farm house where my dad and his 3 siblings grew up. No fancy decorations here! The tree was more of a cedar bush cut from the woods with large colorful bulbs and lots of those silver icicles. I don’t recall a single ornament displayed. But the table and counters were laden with lots of southern dishes, meats from the livestock on the farm, and homemade cakes and pies. Grandmother always made Daddy’s favorite, a black walnut cake from walnuts grown on the farm. Have you ever tried to crack a black walnut? Being surrounded by my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and playing with my cousins of which I was the oldest, are truly some of my fondest childhood memories. Until the mid 1960’s, the 4 room farmhouse built in 1904 did not have an indoor bathroom and the only heat was from 3 fireplaces. But the love that radiated around the Christmas tree and kitchen table at Christmas time sufficed. Grandmother was in her element, joyfully serving others, wearing a house dress and apron. The sustenance farm provided everything my grandparents needed. I never thought of them as poor but I did understand at a very early age the difference in life in the city and life at the farm. I’m thankful I was exposed to the contrast. I am blessed to live across the creek from The Farm where the house still stands, holding my fondest memories of Christmases past. Not far from The Farm in a small north Georgia town, my maternal grandparents lived in a tiny apartment. They used only blue Christmas lights. Grandmother always hid a small wrapped gift in the tree for me to find each year, but Christmas of 1967, when I had just turned 11, she had a very special gift for me. She gave me, her namesake, a china head doll with wood body and moveable joints. She had been restored to her original beauty. Grandmother received the doll, with long golden blonde hair and brown eyes that blinked, at the age of 8, when her mother died. The doll was a not a doll to “play” with. My Grandmother died suddenly the following May, at the very young age of 62. The doll became even more precious to me then. I still have her, wearing the same red satin dress with black velvet sash, looking exactly as she did Christmas, 1967. Every Christmas when I see a home or tree done up in blue lights, I reflect on that special Christmas, the last one spent with my grandmother. I don’t have a daughter, but so far I have 3 granddaughters, and plan to give the doll to one of them. Merry Christmas to you all! Vicki

  12. Yes! Of course I remember being an angel in the Christmas pageant! Even better was seeing my son as one. But what I remember most was my Mimi’s house. It was so warm (with built in gas heaters in every other room). Her tree was always in the corner next to the piano and had the most interesting and old-fashioned ornaments. She and my grandfather had decided to get an artificial tree one year. Mimi was going on at him about reading the directions, which, of course he said he did not need. When he finished, he had put all the short branches on the bottom and all the longer ones on the top. I remember my mother saying how ridiculous it looked, but we all decorated it anyway. I honestly don’t remember the tree looking all that different that year. To me, it was just as beautiful as ever. My Mimi passed when my first child was only 6 weeks old. He’s 28 now and I still miss her so much. I pray you and your new husband have a most wonderful first Christmas together!

    • After reading some of the other comments about James Avery jewelry, I feel the need to share a non-Christmas James Avery memory. James Avery’s company is in Kerrville, TX, west of San Antonio and Austin, but definitely in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. There are several summer camps in the area. For several summers, I was blessed to go to a girls’ camp in that area. We would work so hard at camp, showing mastery of certain skills (like archery, rowing, etc.). At the end of camp, we could go to the James Avery in Kerrville and collect our charms showing our successes of the summer. The older girls at camp could hardly close their bracelets for the amount of charms! Of course, in those days, most charms were $5-$6. I wonder if campers still do that at the end of camp? If so, I’m sure it costs a small fortune to collect all you earned while at camp!

    • HI, Brandye, thanks for sharing, that’s a great story!

    • Thank you, Brandye, that’s a funny story about the tree! It does sound ridiculous!

  13. I have fond memories of all Christmases but my early childhood ones are some of the most memorable. On Christmas Eve, we’d first gather at my Grandparents on my Mom’s side for a family dinner…once everything was cleaned up, “Santa” would make an appearance. Next it was off to an evening Mass and we’d end the evening celebrating with my Dad’s family. It changed over the years to Christmas Eve & Christmas Day but those early years had such a magical quality that I remember vividly. Everything was peaceful and right with the world with the twinkling lights, falling snow, Christmas carols, love of family and friends and celebrating His birth.

  14. My favorite Christmas memory is the first year my oldest daughter knew Santa would be coming. The magic and wonder of Christmas began all over for me!

  15. Making Christmas cookies with my mother as a child, then with my daughters when they were children, and now with my granddaughter.

  16. My favorite tradition is putting out my grandmother’s little gnome figures. When I was growing up, we would put them on the coffee table. Now, I put them on our mantel, even though my husband thinks they’re kitschy.

  17. Hanging stocking with my grandfather–I was always too short to reach, so he’d hold me on his shoulders.

  18. My Christmas story is to share love in this season of your journey with the ones you love. See those little ones joy will lighten your heart with true compassionate love.

  19. My Worse Christmas Story
    I was 5 years old in my first year at an indian boarding school back in the 1960’s. My older sister at age 7 had a heart attack at home. I was notified at school but couldnt visit her in the hospital. I remember that night I was sitting by the window in my dorm looking outside watching the snow fall. The Little Drummer Boy was playing on the radio as I saw the Christmas lights and ornaments on the Christmas tree in the window’s reflection. I thought of my sister and if I would ever see her again because everyone was telling me no one survives a heart attack and she was going to die. I didn’t understand anything beyond that. But she survived the operation and she now has a family. Everytime I see a Christmas tree reflection in a window or when I hear The Little Drummer Boy, I go back to that night I almost lost my sister.

    • Hi, K, oh wow what a story! So sorry you had to experience that, but what a sweet memory that makes you extra thankful for your sister.

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