Search Results for: label/Christmas

10 Great Christmas Albums for Your Playlist

SLIDE SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Tis the Season for Music 10 Great Christmas Albums

TIM RUSHLOW CLASSIC CHRISTMAS – Wow. What a fabulous big band sound from a singer known for his country albums. Don’t miss “A Soldiers Song.” An immediate classic! [Read more…]

10 Great Christmas Movies


10 MOVIES OF CHRISTMAS from Mark Gilroy

I hope you enjoy my list of 10 great Christmas movies that I can watch year after year – and usually do. Maybe one of your favorites was left out – but there might be a classic on my list that you’ve forgotten about and that you’ll want to watch this year! Now all you have to do is add time with friends and family, games, music, and some special moments to reflect on the meaning of the season, and you will have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

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Just Before Midnight: A Christmas Eve Novella: READING SAMPLE

Just Before Midnight, A Christmas Eve Novella, is “a charming intersection of the movies ‘Crash’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.'”

Christmas Eve is the time to be at home enjoying the warmth and laughter of family, isn’t it? [Read more…]

The Simple Blessings of Christmas: Childlike Wonder

Simple Blessings of Christmas by Mark Gilroy

Experiencing Childlike Wonder

Christmas reveals the wisdom of childlike wonder.

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given—when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.
Joan Winmill Brown

Even though little Cindy Lou Who didn’t stop the Grinch from stealing Christmas, most Dr. Seuss experts still think it was her big brown eyes that first pierced the his heart and begin his personal transformation, even before he heard the whole community come out and sing from his icy hilltop home.

What are the characteristics of a Grinch?

Nothing showcases the heart of a Grinch better than cynicism. Looking at everyone and everything with jaded and jaundiced eyes. A true Grinch would never be satisfied to watch another person perform a good deed during the holidays, but would take time to wonder who that person thinks they are trying to impress.

Isolation is another surefire way of showing the world your inner Grinch. Getting together with family and friends can be too much of a hassle, can’t it? Why go to a special church service when you’ve had enough of crowds at the mall? And the neighborhood progressive dinner will conflict with a TV show you wanted to watch!

Then there’s a resentful spirit that hates to see others experiencing blessings in life. Such a small-spirited outlook declares one to be a top-tier Grinch.

But there’s more that goes into being a Grinch. Irritability. Short temper. Meanness. Making fun of others for their innocence and joy.

Now if you’ve had enough of being a Grinch, there is a cure if you’ve seriously been feeling like canceling Christmas for yourself—and everyone else—this year. It begins with humility. Not believing you are too sophisticated and cultured to stop and admire the tinsel and the toys. It continues with the words of Jesus to His followers when some thought the kids were being a nuisance and distracting them from grown-up concerns. He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

Lost the wonder of Christmas? Maybe you need to watch a child enjoying the season. Whatever it takes, spend some time with small kids this Christmas. Have some friends or family members with kids come over to decorate cookies. Take a family you know out on a Christmas light tour or to an outdoor Nativity scene. Or help an organization that delivers toys to needy children—and see if you can be part of the delivery team.

Kids approach Christmas activities with unabashed enthusiasm. Watching their excitement and outright glee over things as simple as sugar cookies and wrapping paper, you just might find your heart softening—or growing three sizes—and your cynicism melting. You’ll be filled with compassion for children and an appreciation for their ability to really celebrate. Best of all, what will replace your hard heart is a renewed sense of childlike wonder and joy.

Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:2–4

the simple blessings of christmas by mark gilroy.

Excerpted from The Simple Blessings of Christmas by Mark Gilroy.

Christmas Reminds Us that Generosity Brings Joy to Life

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing others’ burdens, easing others’ loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.

W. C. Jones

Jim and Della discover the joy of giving.

Jim and Della give their most prized possession to the other.

Jim and Della Young. A young couple just starting out in the world together and living in hard scrabble tenement in New York City that cost $8 per week. Furnished. Sure, they were poor, but they were in love so all was well—until the Christmas season rolled around.

Through shrewd bargaining with grocers and other shopkeepers, Della had managed to save money to buy a Christmas gift for Jim. Her problem was that you couldn’t buy much with $1.87. She was beside herself with tears. Jim had fared little better. But when he arrived home from work on Christmas Eve, he carefully carried a treasure he knew Della would adore, all wrapped in tissue and paper and tied with a string. But the only thing on Della’s mind was a gift she had for Jim. She could barely contain her excitement in anticipation of seeing the expression of joy on his face when he opened what she had found for him. Della’s pride was her hair: “rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her.” Jim’s pride was a gold watch that had been owned by his father and grandfather.

Jim’s gift to her was a set of combs, “side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jeweled rims.” Della’s gift to Jim was a “platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation—as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch.”

All was wonderful except the small detail that Jim had sold his watch to buy Della’s combs—and Della had sold her hair to a wigmaker in order to buy his chain.

But in his classic short story, The Gift of the Magi, William Sydney Porter, better known to the world as O. Henry, wrote:

The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

The Christmas season is fun and exciting as we open presents—but it is even more joyful for the opportunity to share from our abundance with others. Generosity brings joy.

 

the simple blessings of christmas by mark gilroy.

Excerpted from The Simple Blessings of Christmas by Mark Gilroy.

The simple blessings of Christmas are all around us – but in the hustle and bustle of the season we too easily miss them! That’s the premise behind a new gift book, The Simple Blessings of Christmas, I wrote for my friends from Inspired Faith (part of Mac Anderson’s Simple Truths gift company). As Christmas day approaches I am going to continue to excerpt a few of the 30 short chapters. You can also click here to view the inspirational “movie” that goes along with the book. Hope you enjoy! If you do, I would truly appreciate you sharing with your friends and family. Thanks.