Announcing Untangling Christmas

The winners of the weekend giveaway are Robin Still, BethA & Amy Pitman. Please send your home address, along with what you won to so we can get your prize to you!

Ta-da!!! Here it is!!!!

Untangling Christmas: Your Go-To Guide For A Hassle-Free Holiday (An E-Book)

Does the very thought of Christmas invoke a severe case of the “Yuletide Yikes!”? Do you long for a cozy, reflective time centered on Christ, instead of a frenzied blur of holiday activities? Armed with strategies to simplify and de-stress, as well as tons of doable ideas and delicious recipes, Karen and LeAnn have put together a wonderful resource to help you feel blessed, not stressed!
This practical go-to guide will empower you to:
• Evaluate your current seasonal strategies (or lack there-of!) and identify re-occurring holiday hassles.

• Set up a simple Christmas Planner designed to enable you to be on top of the holidays, rather than the other way around!

• Acquire fast and frugal decorating tips and creative, but simple, gift-giving ideas.

• Whip up delicious holiday foods – both the “from scratch” sort dear Grandma would have made and other simple, short-cut recipes for when time is tight.

Chapters Include:

1. Have Yourself a Stress-free Little Christmas (Whoa, Nellie! Back Up the Sleigh: re-evaluating your current Christmas habits)

2. To Face Unafraid the Plans that We’ve Made (finding your plan of attack; taking a close look at the demands of the season; how to decide, defer and NOT feel guilty)

3. Seeking the Savior (and an Occasional Silent Night) (focusing on Jesus in the midst of the flurry; carving out time for quiet and for yourself)

4. Santa, Can you Spare and Elf or Two? (gift shopping, making, wrapping and presentation)

5. Deck the Halls, Trim the Tree (cleaning and de-cluttering; storage solutions, decorating, and crafty stuff)

6. Simple Short-Cuts to Festive Food (make-ahead menus, company dishes; hosting parties; holiday baking ideas; and a few kid-friendly recipes)

7. Beyond Aunt Frieda’s Fruitcake (forging family traditions, new and old; ideas for outreach)

8. A Christmas Potpourri (helpful links, resources, printables, and recipes)

NOTE: As a special gift, a special Thanksgiving menu, complete with all the recipes, is free for purchases made before November 15th. You must download the free document before November 15th as it will expire on that date. The password to download is included in the book!

This is available as a PDF to read on your computer or mobile device and for Nook and Kindle too.

Check it out  at and then pop back here to leave a comment about the book or anything Christmas-y. I am giving away 5 free copies and the winners will be chosen from those who comment.

Be ahead of the reindeer games this Christmas. Start planning now to have yourself a stress-free little Christmas!!

Baby Jesus Blessings,


  1. says

    I just said yesterday that I feel so guilty dreading Christmas! I want my attitude, preparations and activites to be Jesus centered, not the worlds version of Christmas. This book comes at the perfect time.

  2. Rebecca says

    This looks like a fabulous book. As I am now working 3 part-time jobs and have much less free time, I’m thinking the Holidays may be a bit more stressful this year. Having a plan and some strategies to help me would be awesome!

    Rebecca Ann

    ps we will be starting to learn our Christmas program music at one of my schools this week!

  3. Lucy Sanguinetti says

    O Holy Night has always given me chills! I picture the angel hovering over the manger at Christ’s birth…..and every one, shepherds, wise men, animals……..down on their knees, to worship our Lord. Merry Christmas!!!

  4. Crystal says

    Would love to have a book like this. What size is the file? I do not have a kindle or a nook, but I have a slow internet connection. Would it all fit on one disc if I took it to the library and downloaded there? Never done anything like this and I’m clueless…..

  5. Karla says

    My favorite is probably “What Child Is This”. For some reason this tune comes into my mind year round, and when my girls were babies it’s one of the tunes I’d use to rock them to sleep or to just calm them down when the day got too tough. Truth be told I still hum it to them when they are having a particularly hard time. The notes calm them as well as me. And honestly the song brings a tear to my eye. Have a wonderfully blessed day!

  6. says

    Looks amazing! My husband and I were just discussing yesterday that we guess it was time to start thinking about it again. We DID NOT say it with excitement and joy…more as an oh-no, it is here already? I did begin paring things down a couple of years ago. I got rid of every decoration I didn’t love, stopped doing activities just because, etc. However I am probably the single most unorganized person that I know so even a simple Christmas means more frazzle for an already frazzled momma! Looks like I need to check this out…eventually! :)

  7. Christene says

    I love the lesson planning sheets and once I download the recipes I know there will be some to try. I also like getting the commercialism out of the holiday inorder to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas

    My favorite part about Christmas are the movies Bell’s of St Mary starts the season off for me

  8. Deb V says

    I love Christmas time. The decorations, the songs and the food and family time. This book looks like it will help many get more organized during Christmas and enjoy the season more.

  9. Carol says

    I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas. I don’t like the pressure of buying and keeping up with someone else for the gifts. I’d love it if we’d trade donations to our favorite charities. Or something small and sweet. But that doean’t fit with what the rest of the family wants to do. I love seeing the decorations (not necessarily getting them out), the carols, the stories. Happy Birthday Jesus!

    • says

      Kristi Hammond – Wow Kara.Your pictures are relaly beautiful. What a great website too. I can see your friendly smile when I read your posts. Let’s get together in 2012 and get some pictures done!!!!

  10. says

    Oh wow… with you and LeAnn collaborating on this, I can only imagine the useful tips you both have included! I always look forward to Christmas, but I also still feel like some extended family activities are not as calm or Christ-centered as our family would like to be. More tips on handling it all would be great! Thank you for this kind opportunity!

  11. delene martinez says

    I love this want to make copies for all my daughters.
    keeping on track and not letting ourselves get lost in the frenzy so we miss Jesus is SOOOOO important. My favorite christmas song is Mary did you know. Favorite carol Carol of the bells especially the trans siberian orchastra version

  12. says

    My favorite christmas song is Mary did you know. Also, love Silent Night. Thank you for an opportunity to win a copy of your new book, as I am already dreading Christmas…so sad but so true, the people I have talked with about this, also are not looking forward to the hassle of Christmas.

  13. says

    Would love to and NEED to win a copy of this book. I can’t even seem to get out my fall decor and it is almost mid-October. I have issues. Would love to approach the holidays with excitement instead of stress. Teach me, girls!

  14. Heather N says

    Oh my!! What an awesom read to quell my anxious holiday heart. This year, more than ever, is budget tight, and this looks to be just what I need to de-stress about it. Thank you and LeAnn so much for sharing your God-given talents with all of us. Looking forward to the pdf of this book. Thanks for the tip of taking it to the copy center too.

  15. Emily B says

    I want this guide! Seems like I have the best intentions, then something about the holidays just runs away with me!

    • Emily B says

      And I want to be able to relax and enjoy teh fun stuff, like decorating (where I reminisce about each ornament that goes on the tree), baking (it’s the 3rd Annual Holiday Baking Day with my mom this year!), and so much more! How do we relax, recharge and re-focus? Thanks Karen and LeeAnn!

  16. says

    My husband challenged me to simplify Christmas a few years ago, and it’s something we’ve worked on as a family ever since. I’d love to see your perspective!

  17. Cindy H says

    Oh my goodness – I think I am actually feeling excitement about the upcoming CHRISTmas season!! Thank you ladies for giving us gals a guide to being more on purpose about the holiday season. I cannot wait to get started!!

  18. Desiree says

    This sounds like a great book! I find Christmas quite stressful and would love to be able to enjoy the fun stuff and celebrate Jesus’ birthday without all the hassles.

  19. Beth Gillihan says

    I love Christmas! I like the snow, lights, and celebrating our Savior’s birth! Looks like a great book! Thanks :)

  20. Michele Lucas says

    Truly praying for a simple, beautiful, Christ centered holiday this year. Hubby will most likely be on the road, so just me and the kids.

  21. Lauren S. says

    WOWSERS!!!!! What an exciting book!!!!! Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, from the baking to the decorating to the music. Most of all, I love that it’s the one time of year that our family all gets together and gets along! And we all spend a little time together remembering what God did for us all. :)

  22. April Matthews says

    So excited to get my hands on this book Karen! Crossing my fingers to win one, but if not then I will pick one up at Hearts at Home Rochester. My house/ life is in better order now after reading The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized and I can’t wait to see what great implementations you have in store for taking the chaos out of Christmas!

  23. says

    Hi Karen,I’m glad I guessed wrong subject! Lol
    How cool it looks like a very fun read too. I know I can use all the help I can get.
    I think my fave Christmas carol is O Holy Night…to me it wouldn’t be the same without this carol not just because of the beautiful melody but also it reminds us of WHY we celebrate Christmas and if how we really should be during that time :-)
    Take care

  24. Brandi Gaddis says

    One of my favorite things about Christmas is that my family and I make little gingerbread houses every year for our family tradition. My kids love to do them, and of course, they love to eat the decorations while they decorate.
    We also like to go get hot chocolate and coffee somewhere and drive around looking at Christmas lights. We usually do this a couple of times before Christmas. And we don’t forget the Christmas music while we drive!

  25. Mary Blair says

    I would love to read this book. I love the title and the picture on the cover. I have been struggling with Christmas for a few years now. I want to do it all and have fun, but I always come away with the feeling that something is missing. I have been trying to focus on the important things of Christmas–CHRIST, then family, then friends. I would love to win your book. I love your giveaways and your website.

  26. Joni GL says

    A stress-free Christmas? What a beautiful idea!! :) One of the ways my family has tried to help make Christmas a little less stressful (and costly in these difficult economic times) is to draw names instead of everyone purchasing for everyone. There is entirely too much excess in Christmas! Learning about your book has me thinking it might be time to break out the Christmas CDs. : )

  27. says

    Hoping to cut a little shopping stress this year. I have already bought 5 gifts and started a list so I can be looking for sales. LOVE the front cover of the book!

  28. Paige says

    We are a blended family, his, hers and ours, so we have to split so much of our time up with others and our children so this book looks to me like it could help make our time with cooking, organizing, cleaning and cooking more manageable so our time with our kids is more enjoyable and memorable. Look forward to reading it and using it!!

  29. says

    With you and LeAnn teaming up, there is no doubt this book is full of helpful tips to make our Christmas holidays more joyful and less stressful. Can’t wait to read it!

  30. Nancy M says

    This book looks wonderful! I live in California and Christmas never feels right here. Therefore, I kind of dread it.. I spent almost 40 previous Christmas’ in the Midwest. I miss the snow and cold at Christ as time.. I want this year to be magical and joyful for my family though. It’s about Jesus and not the weather!

  31. Leigh F. says

    I am so excited about this book! I LOVE CHRISTMAS but have struggled the last few years to find the “joy” in the season. I would love to win this book!

  32. Jenny Mullins says

    I love Christmas! We have found to keep us from forgetting the real reason we dedicate Christmas eve to giving to those that need help. My boys love to take a day and give out food and presents to people in need.

  33. Staci M says

    This book sounds like exactly what I need. Every year I say “This is supposed to be a celebration of Jesus and I dread Christmas”. I want to enjoy the holiday as it should be enjoyed.

  34. Sherri Woolard says

    How can you pick just one! I listen to Christmas music all year (only when my husband isn’t around as he doesn’t appreciate it outside of the season!) I guess I will say I love ‘Silent Night’ as it has always reminded me of my first real connection with the Lord during a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church as a young girl.

  35. Beth F. says

    I am so looking forward to this book! Since this will be my second year celebrating the holidays without my amazing mom(went to her eternal home April 2010) and my first year of a marriage separation, my daughter and I need all the help we can get to enjoy the holidays. And as many people this year, money will be tight. So finding frugal gift-giving ideas is excatly what we need.

  36. Shannon says

    Love, love, love the design of the book and the site ( So eye-catching and fun! I want this book — please, please, please!

  37. says

    I love,love,love Christmas!!! The music, the lights,the food–and especially the way people treat each other–Wish it was that way year round!!!! Thanks and many blessings, Barb

  38. Karen Ehman says

    Via email: Karen,
    Your new book looks terrific. I can’t wait to get a real peak. You have always had fantastic ideas in the past so I know this book will be especially helpful for the Christmas season.

  39. Logan says

    No need to enter me in the give away because I went ahead an bought your very reasonably priced book from Proverbs 31. Good for you for putting something like this together. I’m going to print it off and savor every page.
    Thanks so much!

  40. says

    I am super excited to see this book…Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. My mother loved the holiday and she passed that love along to me. Wow…the thoughts of having a Christmas that is not full of stress of what to do, when to do it and how to do it is so appealing. Christmas is about Jesus…such a simple thought but often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of today’s world. I so want to spend time with my family and not worry about what I am going to get for whom. Just spend time with my family…novel concept. Thank you for writing such a book to help us all get inspired and ready for the CHRISTmas season. I am looking forward to reading it! Blessings to all…
    Robin :)

  41. Kathy says

    Wow, I am so looking forward to opening this new book. I love the season and love being better prepared for everyone’s enjoyment. Thanks for your hard work on this! I look at She Cooks every day too. I LOVE the recipes Lee ann puts together. Yipee!!! Merry Christmas to all!!!

  42. Julie Reid says

    I must admit..I’ve come to dread December. I love Christmas and everything it stands for – but there are so many activities that require pre-planning, rehearsals, attendance, the wonder of Christmas itself gets lost in the shuffle. Perhaps Untangling Christmas can help me find the wonder of Christmas again!

  43. Dana says

    I agree with Julie. I love Christmas, but the joy and wonder of the season seem to get lost in the hurry, and scurry. I would love to sit down with this book and a bowl of popcorn, and see how I could re-do my season. Thanks for everything!

  44. Shannon says

    I was shopping with my daughters this afternoon and they spotted an airplane Christmas ornament–the exact make and model that my husband is restoring in our machine shed. We were so excited~I don’t enjoy shopping, especially not Christmas shopping, but this was a “must-have” for us!

  45. Bobbey says

    I’d love to find a way of taming the holidays. I always hit Christmas day feeling like I got run over by a snow plow! (No snow in NC, either!) Oh the bliss there must be on Silent Night Holy Night! Help my find my holiday sanity!

  46. says

    What an Amazing Resource!! Thank you for the expertise, time, and talent that has gone into preparing such a wonderful tool! I would love to win a copy, so that I could better ENJOY this Holiday Season!! Fa, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La!!

  47. Christina says

    “frenzied blur of holiday activities” definitely describes how I feel about Christmas but Oh how I long for a relaxed, meaningful Christmas instead. I would love to read this book and learn how!

  48. Daphne says

    My biggest Christmas stress is over our extended families…*sigh* This year, we have a must-attend family function on Dec 23rd. I am so not happy about that! I will be VERY stressed and my focus will not be on Christ, as it should be. So, I’d love to find a way to simplify all the other things so that we can come together as a family and put our focus on Him. Love this idea :-)

  49. says

    This is an awesome book. Based on the titles, I can’t wait to start reading it! I’m always about trying to make Christmas – easier and Christ centered!

  50. Sharon says

    I was counting down the paydays until Christmas and saw this book. I so would like to have it to really enjoy Christmas this year. Enjoy family and the real reason for the season,
    not what the stores sell us. Thanks for writing this book.

  51. Regina says

    The book sounds wonderful. I did the book study/challenge you had on your organizing book this summer on facebok. I was great and full of useful information. I’m sure this book will be just as good. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  52. Piper says

    I can’t wait to get this book! I love to simplify my life and the holidays and especially Christmas which is out of control. Jesus will be pleased to know we are all trying to celebrate HIM! Thank you Karen and LeeAnn for tuning our hearts back to Jesus!

  53. Janine says

    Super exciting! Definitely need a copy of this book. We just moved across the country and will be traveling over the holidays. We need to re-evaluate our traditions and priorities as this will be our first Christmas on the road away from our house. (My husband and I decided years ago we will always be home at our house on Christmas Eve to have our own traditions with our kids.)

  54. Amber Link says

    I so want a joy filled, Christ centred Christmas, this book looks like just the right place to start! Thank you.

  55. Kathleen says

    I love Christmas!! We start celebrating Dec. 1st with one of Arnold Ytreeide’s advent books. I love the cover pages you have and look forward to the menus. I am hoping there are some Christmas cookie recipes too.


  56. Norma says

    This book sounds wonderful. The last several Christmases seem to have come and gone in a blur despite all my good intentions-maybe there is hope this year!

  57. says

    love the idea of all the recipes and creative ideas! I love to make Swedish ‘pepparkakor’ just for the wonderful smell in the house – I’m the only one who really likes these melt in the mouth cookies.

  58. Janet says

    I.m in. I love Christmas! This will fit right into my life. Thank you for the giveaway! I am really trying to have a stress-free Christmas this year. This will definately help and will be a blessing.

  59. says

    I just had a browse on your lovel new book website – it’s absolutely beautiful!

    I love the reminder to focus on Jesus in pre-Christmas frenzy. Even though I know that Christmas is actually His birthday, I sometimes get lost in all the other stuff, like food and prezzies. So I’m looking forward to reading chapters 3 and 7 (outreach ideas!!).

    I’d love to see your ideas for making and wrapping gifts and for the fast and frugal decorations. Kid-friendly recipes also sound interesting – I could make something delicious and pretty for my young nephew and my Sunday school children.

    Thank you for making available the resources and recipes on your website!

  60. Melodie Z says

    Christmas…evoking a sense of panic in women everywhere. It use to be a time of peace and tranquility but now chaos and stress. This world has become more hectic and stressful. Why? Satan is working overtime to destroy all that families hold dear! I can’t wait to use your book (and my savior’s help :) ) to create a better christmas for my family and me.

  61. Lorie Pugh says

    I cannot wait to read this book. I try to make the season magical for my family and I am always looking for stress free advice and low-cost decorating tips to use.

  62. Janet says

    I need this book so much! It looks like just what I need! I always get stressed out during the holidays due to working full time and taking every spare moment to shop or prepare for a party. I long to be organized ahead of time so that I can enjoy this time of year.


  63. Caroline Bell says

    I love Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and want to have simple family traditions that my children will remember when they are grown, but so often feel stressed and hurried during Christmas and want that to change!

  64. Jamie says

    I love Christmas and all of the family activities that go along with it – but it seems as though every year it gets crazier and more expensive. I want to simplify and enjoy it more!

  65. jill says

    Would so love to read this book as with 3 small children and wanting to fit it all in…. I need some thought behind the organization of it all!

  66. Erin Gerih says

    Wow! Christmas already? It comes so fast! I start out with great intentions and then the stress of the season just snowballs. Could this book be the inspiration I need? Thank you! To be able to enjoy the stillness of a Christmas eve night listening to the church bells ring. Reminding me of the gift God gave me that night. Thank you for the giveaway!

  67. Meg says

    I LOVE the cover! Totally creative! This is the first Christmas for us without my dad so we will really need to untangle Christmas!

  68. Karen W says

    Love that you and LeAnn joined for this book! This will be the first Christmas season in several years with decorations, visitors, etc. since my house has been too cluttered to do anything. God has been doing some major work in my heart and I’d love to have this book with so many good ideas to keep Jesus at the center of the season. Thanks for the gift, Karen – whoever the blessed recipients are!

  69. Julie R says

    What a needed book! Even those who are very centered find themselves pulled by the craziness of our Christmas culture. As a worker in our church’s music ministry, if I don’t guard my time & heart, I can easily begin dreading this wonderful time of year set aside to remember the marvelous gift God has given us in his son Jesus!

  70. Missy says

    Just the book I’ve been waiting for. I printed the Re-Thinking Christmas Survey questoins from Lysa’s blog. They are for the family discussion over dinner tonight. Can’t wait!

  71. Janae G says

    I am looking forward to sharing your ideas with my two daughter in laws. Thank you for the helpful hints and recipes!

  72. Crystal Brueningsen says

    I just discovered your site! Will you be making the printables available again this year!?!?!?! I would love to get them and get the ebook too!!!!

  73. Mary Seifridsberger says

    I was so excited about this book and have searched far and wide. I am so sad that it can’t get it. I love christmas. Sometimes the hussle and bussle gets to be to much. I would love to read your book. I want to christmas special, like the ones I remember.

  74. Robin Redmond says

    I really hope the people who want to purchase this book, can somehow get a copy. I purchased it when it was released in 2011. I have made it part of our family tradition. Thanksgiving weekend amidst the games, eating delicious foods and family fun, is the Christmas Survey. I don’t think we could have navigated through Christmas 2012 during my chemo treatments for breast cancer and 2013’s Christmas of recovery & restoration. I’m DELIGHTED to be approaching Christmas 2014 with energy, excitement and thankfulness! <3 Thank you for this book and God Bless!

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