How to Plan For and Keep Track of Birthdays and Special Events

Have you ever realized that it’s a family member or friend’s birthday the night before (or even the day of)? Cue a mad scramble to get a card and maybe a present.

Other events like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and anniversaries may have a habit of sneaking up on you too.

So how do you keep that from happening? How do you avoid the panicked dash or, worse, forgetting until afterwards?

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How to Afford Gifts on a Tight Budget

Okay. So, now we know why gift giving is important, and we have ideas for how to come up with good gift ideas, but how do we afford to actually purchase the things we come up with?

While gift giving is a wonderful way to show that you care, it shouldn’t put you in debt or detract from paying bills or buying necessities. It’s just not that important. It’s fine to have wisely ordered priorities.

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How to Pick Great Gifts

“I wish I could think of good gifts.”

I’ve heard this a lot. It comes right behind family members and friends staring at blank greeting cards and saying, “I never know what to write.” (Maybe I should do a blog post about what to write in birthday cards?) But back to picking great gifts!

Before I get started, let me say that I’m not claiming that all my gifts are great. However, dreaming up what to give my friends and relatives for Christmas and Birthdays is one of my great joys in life. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me. I start Christmas shopping on January 1st (if not earlier), keep track of gift ideas and gifts acquired on a spreadsheet, and keep a storage bin under my bed just for gifts. I’m not an expert, but I am definitely obsessed!

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Annual Indie Christian Books Sale

Four years ago, I contacted my small circle of authors friends to see if they wanted to discount their books for Black Friday and join forces to spread the word. It was supposed to be a one-time thing. This is our third year with a dedicated website for the one-week sale, our circle of authors keeps growing, we’re drawing close to having 1,000 unique visitors check out the sale, and since it’s become way to much work for little old me, Kendra E. Ardnek has joined me as a second coordinator. It’s safe to say, Indie Christian Books has a lot to be grateful for.

ICB Sale Blog

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Book Review: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Best Christmas PAgeant ever, TheWatching people experience things for the first time is one of my favorite things. For example, I go to church near several colleges that draw a large number of international students. I love seeing new friends from Central and South America experience New England snow for the first time!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever lets readers watch as kids from “the wrong side of the tracks” experience the Christmas story for the first time.

The Herdmans are the worst kids in town. Their teachers and classmates are pretty sure their the worst kids ever. They don’t learn anything except cuss words and manipulation tactics, and they certainly don’t pay any attention to those trying to teach or correct them. Until they stumble into church looking for snacks and forcibly insert themselves into the yearly Christmas pageant. While church regulars and their children yawn their way through the annual pageant, the Herdmans are shocked by the age old story.

Many thanks to my friend Hannah Mills for telling me about this book and the readers of Leah’s Bookshelf for convincing me to purchase it. It’s currently on sale for $3.29 on Amazon if anyone else wants to see the Christmas story in a whole new way.

Book Review: Miracle on 49th Street

Miracle on 49th StreetWith the month of December here, people are getting into the Christmas spirit, and I figured this blog should be no exception. So, for this week and the next couple of weeks, I’ll be reviewing Christmas flavored books. 😉 I’m starting with an easy-read favorite of mine.

He got out of the car and closed the door and got down in a crouch, so they were eye to eye. “You’re Jen’s kid, aren’t you.”

After Molly Parker’s mom dies of cancer, Molly is determined to break through to her father. Trouble is, Josh Cameron isn’t interested in being anybody’s dad. A star basketball player, Josh is full of himself and doesn’t seem to have room for Molly. He’s about to find out just how determined she can be. Can Molly win Josh over in time for their own Christmas miracle?

I can’t remember why I first picked this book out at the library, but I’m glad I did. It’s been good for many re-reads. It’s not a strongly Christmas themed story, but it definitely has some of the elements. I love the interactions between Molly and her best friend, Sam. And even though there are moments when I’d love to bop Josh over the head with a two by four, I like him too. If you’re ready for a sweet, sports themed story with a dash of Christmas, this book is for you.

Author: Mike Lupica
Audience: Middle Grade–Tween
Genre: Sports or General Fiction
Pages: 246
Publisher: Philomel Books

What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?