Yep, you read the calendar right. It’s NOT the 1st or 5th Tuesday and it’s not the 5th Thursday, but I just had to share my friend Linda Gilden and her new book with you this week! Linda’s been with us before here at The Christian Writer’s Den, but I want to let you know she has another book out–a Christmas book!
I’ll let Linda tell you about her book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, but I do want to remind you to leave a comment and you could win a free copy–just in time for Christmas!
Welcome, Linda. Let’s jump right in. We just finished Thanksgiving weekend. But the retail world has been focused on Christmas for months. Despite all the commercialization, how can Christians keep the focus on Jesus, the real meaning of the season?
Well, I hope my latest book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, will help with that! But the bottom line is that if you are not focused on Him all year long, you will probably not make Him the center of your Christmas. So the first step is a personal relationship with Him. Then, your heartâ€™s desire will be to keep Him at the center of your Christmas.
A few tangible things – Display manger scenes in your home. Put an advent wreath on your table. Joyfully attend Christmas programs. Give to help others. Teach your children to recite the Christmas story. Plan ahead but be flexible (yes, there will be surprises in the schedule!).
Why did you write Mama Was the Queen of Christmas?
Christmas is a very special time of the year when we celebrate Jesusâ€™ birth. But it shouldnâ€™t be just one season. The older I get and the more children and grandchildren I have, the more strongly I feel the responsibility of encouraging them in their faith. I grew up in a home where Christmas was talked about, thought of, planned for, and celebrated all year long. My mother was indeed the â€śqueen of Christmas!â€ť I want the same experience for my family.
I know Mama Was the Queen of Christmas isnâ€™t your first book. Tell us about your other writing.
Iâ€™ve written six books and ghostwritten, compiled, or edited dozens. My writing career began with writing articles and I really love that area of writing. I still write several articles every month. Articles are a great way to increase awareness for your books and to establish your expertise in the subject area of your book. At the moment I seem to be focused on books, with one recently released, a new book deadline the middle of this month, and another deadline January 30, 2013, for a book called Becoming a Writer on Mission.
When all my children were at home, I think one of my favorites was the cousins orchestra. On Christmas Eve my children and their first cousins, ranging in age from 20 to 3, brought their instruments and played Christmas carols. The three-year-old played the triangle and the one cousin who didnâ€™t play an instrument was the narrator. Even practices were entertainment worthy of videoing!
What would be your best holiday tip for busy families?
Donâ€™t stress unnecessarily. There are things that are important to celebrating Christmas but none more important than being together as a happy family. Create memories but be sensitive to the needs of your family. If your only family time is around the dinner table on Christmas Day, thatâ€™s where memory-making takes place. Plan a dinner table game or create directed conversation that will draw your family closer. Eat the same foods. Donâ€™t have unrealistic expectations.
One of our favorite traditions is â€śreading the plates.â€ť Several years ago my husband gave me Christmas china called â€śBethlehem.â€ť The Christmas story is written around the rims of the plates. When our family gathers, before we put anything on our plates we read the Christmas story from the plates. The plates are on the table in random order so you have to know the story to read your plate at the proper time. This tradition has not only been fun but has driven us to keep the Christmas story the focus of our mealtime.
Any parting thoughts for writers at Christmas?
Try to have your writing projects to a point that you can put them aside for a few days. Decide now that you will enjoy the holidays with your family and put celebrating Jesus first. Gather writing material for the next Christmas season as you enjoy family time and worship Jesus together. Thank God for our freedom to celebrate and honor Godâ€™s greatest gift to us in everything you do. Merry Christmas!
Bio: Linda Gilden in a freelance writer living in SC. Her recent book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, shares her love for Jesusâ€™ birthday season and how it really should be a year-long celebration. Linda is also a speaker, editor, and writing coach. She has written hundreds of articles as well as the Love Notes series, Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, and has ghostwritten or contributed to over three dozen books. As Director of the CLASS Christian Writers Conference, she encourages others to clearly communicate Godâ€™s love to the world. Lindaâ€™s favorite times are those spent with family â€“ a source of tremendous blessing as well as speaking and writing material! www.lindagilden.com www.queenofchristmas.com
Thank you for sharing your new book with us, Linda. And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment and you’ll be in the drawing for your own copy! Don’t forget to come back next week to see if you’re the winner.
Thank you for stopping by, dear friends. What a joy to have you with me each week. You bless me more than you know!