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Welcome to the 9th Day of Christmas Giveaways!!!
Today my friend Alicia Bruxvoort is sharing her thoughts on the Christmas Party that you won’t want to miss! She will be giving away a Christmas party basket brimming with goodies for you and yours to enjoy! Alicia Bruxvoort is a writer, speaker, and abundant life seeker. She lives with her husband and five children in western Michigan where laundry piles high and laughter rings loud. A member of the Proverbs 31 writing team, Alicia is passionate about helping women experience the life Jesus promised when he declared, “I’ve come so that you might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). When she’s not managing mini-van mayhem, Alicia can be found scribbling hope at The Overflow or speaking at women’s ministry events.
To join in on the fun and be entered to win the various prizes, simply leave a comment on the post answering the question of the day. ALSO—one grand prize will be given to one person who comments on all 12 days.
The Grand Prize is a $50 gift certificate to Proverbs 31 Ministries store and a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com!!!
Here is Alicia for today’s post…
The One Party You Won’t Want to Miss This Christmas
It was a simple conversation in the grocery store that first sparked the idea for my favorite Christmas tradition.
A mom with a cart full of little ones was standing ahead of me in the long winding check-out line.
The clerk in the fuzzy red Santa was listening to a customer complain about the price of the Barbie doll that should have rung up on sale, and my preschooler was tugging on my arm begging for that jumbo candy cane that had been placed strategically at a four-year-old’s eye-level.
The speakers overhead cackled a tinny version of Jingle Bells, but it was evident that our line wasn’t going to move as fast as a one-horse-open sleigh anytime soon.
The mom in front of me offered an empathetic smile as she bounced her fussing baby on her hip. “I’d get out of this line if I didn’t have to make cookies for the office Christmas party tonight,” she confided.
She exhaled a weary sigh and muttered, “Funny how Christmas parties just kill my holiday spirit…”
She shrugged her shoulders and ended the conversation with a high-pitched laugh, but I could see the tears pooling quiet along the brim of her weary eyes.
I didn’t think much about that conversation until later that day when I tucked my kids into their beds for nap time and sat down on the couch with my Bible and a cup of coffee.
I opened the Word to Luke 2 and read the Christmas story like I’d been doing each day of Advent for the entire month.
But this time, I saw something new—
The “holiday spirit” on that very first Christmas wasn’t fueled by sale prices or Santa hats, by office parties or tinseled trees; it was propelled by praise.
After the Heavenly Messenger announced the “good news of great joy,” the silent night was pierced with a chorus of praise (Luke 2:13).
And after those wide-eyed shepherds found Jesus lying in the manger, they “returned to their flocks, praising God for all they had seen and heard” (Luke 2:20).
The holiday spirit for which we’re all searching flows from a heart of gratitude.
Suddenly, I knew what I need most that Christmas.
I needed a praise party.
I needed to gather my friends and applaud God’s faithfulness.
I needed to linger near the manger with my peeps and marvel at the greatest gift we’d ever been given.
I needed to remember that Christmas is about a Promise kept and Kingdom that’s coming.
I needed to proclaim the good news of great joy to myself!
And so began my favorite Christmas tradition.
Days later, I gathered a handful of friends to the one party I knew they wouldn’t want to miss!
We gathered in my living room in the light of the Christmas tree, and I gave each friend a little piece of paper filled with “praise prompts.”
And while our kids played at our feet, we fanned into flame some serious Christmas spirit.
We cupped mugs of hot coffee in our hands, nibbled bites of gooey chocolate and swapped stories of God’s faithfulness.
We told tales of His tender mercies and put words to His with-ness.
In short, we gave gratitude a voice.
We laughed until our sides ached and cried until our cheeks were streaked with mascara. And when we finished our simple celebration, our hearts were filled with a joy that couldn’t be quenched.
That was ten years ago, and this simple tradition continues to be one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
For me, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a praise party.
Praise makes room in our hearts for that stable-born King we celebrate on the 25th of December.
And praise opens our eyes to the true glory of the Christmas story.
By the way, it’s not too late for you to host a praise party of your own.
Just gather your family or a handful of friends and use the praise prompts I’ve provided below.
Keep it simple. Keep it real.
And plan on your guests begging you to do it all again next year.
Because this is one party nobody will want to miss!
Praise Party Prompts
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. – Psalm 16:18
Praise Prompt #1: Consider a time you experienced God’s presence in a special way this year. Thank Him for making Himself known to you!
Praise Prompt #2: For what “unexpected gift” or answered prayer would you like to thank God this year?
Praise Prompt #3: Name one person whom God has used as His hands and feet this year to encourage you or your family.
Praise Prompt #4: How has God grown you or challenged you since last Christmas?
Praise Prompt #5: What do you love most about your Savior this Christmas? Praise Him for who He is. Always.
We’re holding our own party right here today. Leave a comment in response to any of the five praise prompts above and you will be entered to win a party basket filled with everything you need to host a praise party this Christmas season (or in the new year).
The party basket includes…
*a bag of Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee,
*a package of beautiful Christmas napkins that say, “Christmas Begins with Jesus”
*star of Christmas coasters
*a Give Thanks plaque to remind you to praise all year round,
*and plenty of Ghirardelli and Lindt chocolate to share.
Here is a printable PDF containing the praise prompts to keep your party focused on Christ! praise party prompts
All winners will be announced December 22nd!