On the 9th Day of CHRISTmas..Give Away with Tracie Miles

Welcome to day nine of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas giveaway!!! There are holiday ideas, easy recipes and both practical and pampering prizes to win. Best of all, each day you will meet one of my fellow “sistas” from the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaking team. Get to know them and their wonderful resources including books and teaching cd’s. Why, you might even just discover the speaker you have been looking for to appear at your next event.

So get in the holiday spirit. Tune in each day. Hop on and leave a comment. The more you leave, the better your chances of winning. The 12 daily winners will be announced on Saturday, the 13th day of December so comment on all 12 posts if you can! 

Today you will meet my friend Tracie Miles. Tracie and I were paired together my first year on the Proverbs 31 Speaker team at our She Speaks conference. We lead a group of speakers for the weekend and had such fun and made an insant friendship connection as well. Since then, I have been able to listen to her teaching tapes, read her book proposals and devotionals and grow to love her even more as a sweet servant of God. Now today, you get to call her a friend too. Okay gals…meet Tracie!!!!


If there is one thing Tracie is known for, it is the ability to connect with her audiences by being real.  As she delivers God’s Word and shares her life experiences and personal testimony with vulnerability and passion, women find themselves encouraged and inspired to seek a closer relationship with Christ and recognize who He is to them.

Tracie lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband of over eighteen years, Michael, and her three children, Morgan (14 ½), Kaitlyn (12) and little Michael (9).  She is an international speaker, and is popular at women’s events and ministry leadership training conferences across the country.  Tracie’s book, Reinventing Your Rainbow, is a story of forgiveness, redemption and purpose. It is a powerful reminder to readers that all things happen for the glory of God, and that spiritual healing and a transformed life is always within reach through God’s infinite love, mercy and grace.

Tracie’s hobbies include spending time with her kids and husband, playing on a tennis team, spending time with extended family, decorating, cooking and shopping.  She also enjoys reading inspirational books, and writing.  

·      Tracie, we’re glad you joined us! Tell us a little bit about what holiday happenings are taking place at the Miles home this year.

 Christmas is the most favorite time of year at our house! The day before thanksgiving we spent the whole day doing all the decorating – being the Christmas fanatic that I am, we have lots and lots of decorations!  The day after Thanksgiving, we spent time cooking and baking, then we went and bought our fresh pine Christmas trees.  

Whenever we decorate our trees (we have 3), we turn on holiday music, put Frosty on the TV, and make hot chocolate, and this year was no different – it was great fun! My kids favorite one to decorate is our candy tree, which is a tree full of ornaments that look like candy and candy cane striped ribbon that goes all around it.

The next few weeks will be busy as always, with holiday parties, the children’s Christmas concerts at school and church, and holiday field trips, and of course – shopping, shopping and more shopping! We also always make goodie bags for all of our teachers, and the kids each make the candies and cookies that are their favorites. The teachers love them!

We have a big family, which all live fairly close by, so we will spend three or four days after Christmas day visiting with them and over eating.

·      You are the mom of two girls in middle school and high school and a young son. How do you include them in helping with some of the tasks of the season?

They love to help bake the goodies that we always make at Christmas, and they each have their favorite requests. The girls love to shop, but most of the time they find more stuff for themselves than they do all the people we are shopping for!  We also have a great time wrapping all the presents together.  Throughout the month, all three kids routinely take all the presents out from under the tree and count how many they have so far. 

My daughter Kaitlyn loves our big manger scene, so every year she cant wait to get it out and set it all up just perfectly, positioning  baby Jesus, His parents, the wise men and all the animals in the perfect places. 

My 9 year old son, even though he is a boy, loves to get involved with decorating the trees and helping make cookies, in between watching sports on TV and playing the Wii, of course.

We buy a new Christmas movie each year, so we have a whole library of holiday movies, and we try to watch them all together as a family before Christmas is over. 

·      What fond Christmas memories do you have from your childhood ?

Christmas was always wonderful at our house, and my parents always blessed us with lots of presents and holiday traditions.  We have a huge extended family, so we always traveled from place to place trying to fit all of our visits in within a few days.

Each Christmas morning, my brother and sister and I would wake up our parents, and then have to sit anxiously at the top of the steps in torture, until my dad finished building the fire, turning on all the holiday lights and the Christmas music, and then he would finally summon us downstairs and we would race down the stairs.

When I was a little girl, my mother bought a small little angel to put in the middle of our tree, that she said would watch over us all season. We named her Angie, and she became the most important decoration we would pull out every year. She is just a little  thing, with soft blonde hair, big blue eyes, a tiny little halo and a little white dress, with bendy arms and legs – she sort of looks like a soft precious moments angel. My mother gave her to me many years ago, and now each year my kids cant wait to carefully unwrap Angie and put her on our mantle to watch over us during the Christmas season.  She is very special to us.

·      What do you most want your own children to remember about how you celebrated Christmas?

Happy times, love, holiday traditions, baking, visiting with friends and family, decorating, helping others, the rewards of giving to others, and the importance of family.

I know they will not remember the presents they received each year, except maybe a few extra special ones, so I hope the memories that stay in their hearts will be fond ones of love and family.

More than anything, I want to instill in my children a love for Jesus, and help them remember that this season is about Him and not just about decorations or presents. Our family holiday traditions and the warm feelings we share at Christmas are wonderful memories that I want to build in their hearts, but my real prayer is that when they grow up and have children of their own, they will treasure the manger scene, love Jesus, and always remember the real reason that we celebrated in December.

Thanks for your input, Tracie and have a wonderful celebration of the Savior’s birth!!

You are so welcome!

Now for our question of the day and Tracies’ give away. Tracie told of the Christmas angel from her childhood and how meaningful it still is to her. So, start thinking, what Christmas object do you most remember from your own childhood? Tracie will be giving away a copy of her cd entitled Embracing The Call along with a box of assorted fruit and herb teas. Then one of you can sip some hot tea and glean some nuggets of wisdom from Tracie. Here is the description of this challenging talk:

Most women want nothing more than to hear the Lord’s voice within their own hearts. This session focuses on discerning Gods voice about what His will is for each individual persons life. It inspires women to leave their comfort zones, and enter the faith zone – a place where they can step out in obedience, and be blessed. Women will walk away with a renewed desire to determine their purpose and a passion to be in the center of Gods will for their life. They will be inspired and motivated to take a leap of faith for Christ. 

Now for the Christmas idea of the day and the comment contest: Although we are talking today about Christmas objects from our past, the idea of the day has to do with Christmas objects of the future for our own kids. Here is the idea:

When your children are young, purchase each of them a nativity set. (Marked down the day after Christmas is best in my book!!!) Then, count how many pieces there are. Determine when you would need to start giving your child the pieces, one each year in their stocking, to have the complete set given by their last year of high school. (If you are starting when they are a bit older, maybe you could give them two per year or one each Christmas and birthday every year.) When they are grown and on their own, they will have a complete nativity set to decorate their home for Jesus’ birthday!!!

You can also give each of your dear offspring a new ornament each year in their stocking to accomplish something similar. Then, when they are on their own, they will have several ornaments to adorn their tree. I try to pick an ornament that reflects what each child was into that year. Needless to say, Kenzie has several Hello Kitty, assorted princesses and now, handbag and shoe ornaments. Mitch opts for the hunting, baseball and basketball types. And Spencer? Anything fun and quirky. (Let’s just say….. I hope his future wife enjoys the Sponge Bob Squarepants look!!!)

Now, back to our comment question of the day. What holiday object do you most remember from your childhood? I remember our small, white music box that was shaped like an organ with a trumpeting angel on top. When you wound the key in the back, it played Silent Night. Oh yeah, and it sat on top of our fake, cardboard fireplace that my brother and I assembled each year!!! (Gotta love the late 70’s!!!!)

Your turn…what do you remember?

Sweet Memory-lane Blessings,

Karen 

 

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  • I did much of my growing up in Texas and I remember these big blue, red, and green blow-up balls that looked like huge ornaments that we hung on our porch. They were actually kinda tacky….hahaha…..but we loved them:) Sweet memories!

    Bessings,
    Kate :)

  • I can’t recall any particular object. I remember my
    mom making candies especially divinity,and learning
    to test for the various stages like soft ball stageor the
    stringy stage needed for the divinity.

  • When I was young my grandparents had all us grandkids over for pizza and to paint ornaments for our parents for Christmas. When I started a family of my own, my mother gave me all the ornaments I made. I love to put them on the tree each year. I started this tradition last year with my own children and all their cousins. It was extra special this year to add their ornaments to the tree.

  • My mom had a mailbox that kept up with how many days it was until Christmas. I still love going to her house and knowing that it will be displayed. I remember all of the days we all fought over who would change the number for that day!

  • This q made me think and i wonder why i find it hard to remember something i enjoyed or liked…..As a only child with parents who were working overtime in the beautybusiness and parfumerie wholesale……….I was at my granny’s or spending time with the family of my fathers sister who had 6 kids….
    In my memory is more a lot of food and christmas music..and bringing a lot of x-mas presents to business relatives. Christmas-eve going with my granny’s to church and wearing white……
    With my grandmother i made christmas candle decorations and folding stas for special x-mas celebration in an elderly home…….

    These were my thougts…i’m reflecting now on what new traditions and memories i’m making in my family

    Thxs and blessings

  • We also had some wonderful music collections on cassette tapes that my dad put together (all from LPs, I’m sure) when he worked in radio…lots and lots of classics. Six years ago, my dad took the cassettes and transferred them to CDs for each of my three sisters and myself. He included pictures of the original cassette tapes in the liner notes and a special message to us girls. They are truly a treasure to me!

  • This might sound wierd, but when I was really little my most favorite object was my parents’ stereo. It was one of those old floor models, but every year Mom and I would spend a day baking cookies, and we’d start with her famous sand tarts. She’d spend hours rolling the dough paper thin and together we’d decorate hundreds of cookies. My jobs started from just sitting in front of the oven to tell her when they were done to finally being in charge of all decorations, but for as long as I can remember, one of my tasks was to go move the needle onto the next record when the music stopped. Mom had all of the old goodies – Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, and even Bonanza’s Christmas album. They were awesome! I’ve found most of the music on CD since then, but I wish we still had that old stereo.

    lehrerin@charter.net

  • The object I most remember from my childhood Christmas is the little torn angel that adorned the top of our tree. As a child I always wanted her to be replaced by some beautiful, new angel, but Mom and Dad had no desire to remove her. Now that little angel is the most treasured possession. Dad gave her to Mom when they were first married – she has held her place of honour for over 63 years. She might not have the glitter and appearance that attracts, but she radiates love….the love of a family God has held together and kept for so many years.

    Tracie’s CD sounds wonderful. I’ve only met her recently through her blog, but what a delight to be able to hear her voice :o)

    Blessings,
    Joy

  • I have a plaster santa clause that my grandpa made for me my first christmas. It has been under the tree every year since. My mom would touch it up when needed and then wrap it back up til the next year. when I had my first child she gave it to me to keep at my house.

    I also buy my kids an ornament every year. They have their own box to store them in so that when we get the tree out they get to put up their ornaments.

  • My favorite were from my grandma’s house. She had a nativity that always set up and a porcelain tree – the king with all the little light bulbs sticking up.

    My family has always done the Christmas ornament every year and we are continuing that with our daughter. I love the nativity idea!

  • We also buy our kids an ornament each year and a couple of years ago we gave them each a tote to keep all of the ornaments in. As a child, I always liked finding the ornaments that I had made and the ones with school pictures in them on our tree. That wasn’t always easy to do since my mom also loves Christmas so there wasn’t much green space left once all of the ornaments were up! Even now I love the homemade ornaments the best!

  • My favorite object from growing up was a cardboard cone angel that sat on top of our Christmas tree. My brother and i would fight over whose turn it was that year to put it up on the tree. Finally, we started writing on the box. We were both crushed, when mom told us she gave it away when they got the new tree–guess it wasn’t as meaningful to her as it was to us!

    Now, my favorite object is the ornament from my Grandma Maehl. She has a tendency to not be sentimental about “old stuff” but for some reason she saved the ornaments off their original christmas tree and so we each got one of their first ornaments from when they were married. I love it. I lends a sense of generation to our tree.

  • Like Casey, we didn’t have many traditions – except driving all day to be with people you didn’t know and would not see again for another year. Extended family is important but honestly, we only saw them once a year and it took us away from “our” Christmas time. We had about 1 hour in the morning and then it was into the car. Did anyone else experience that? My mom did have the candles shaped as carolers and this year I noticed there was only one.

  • Mine would have to be the Roger Whitaker tape that was played throughout the season. We didn’t have any traditions when I was growing up. I am trying hard to change that for my family. I’m quite sad that I can’t reflect back on things like all of you have. We went to church on Sundays and believed in Jesus but my family didn’t read from the bible daily or teach the things that need to be taught. I am changing that. Trying to grow closer to God and bring my kids up differently. I love this blog and P31 that I recently found listening to my local christian radio station. Thank you so much for all of this.

  • My parents always put up a really cool Nativity set. Is has a light in the back of the stable, an angel hanging at the top, and a music box that plays Silent Night. I used to wind the music box and listen to the music over and over. I can hardly believe that we didn’t break any of the pieces, but they are all still there!

    A few years ago, I decided to get my children there own Nativity set. Playmobil had a really cute set and it wasn’t too expensive. I gave it to them at the beginning of advent and they had a great time arranging the people and animals. My son has a ton of other Playmobil things so instead of staying in the separate bag, they have gotten mixed in with the pirate and castle guys. Maybe someday I will find the whole set again and then it will go in with the Christmas decorations!

    My children also each have a box of their own ornaments. It’s fun to have them get them out each year and remember when they made or received each one!

  • My mom had candles shaped like angels and carolers. Now I know that they were really quite ugly, but when I was little I couldn’t wait for her to get them out at Christmas so I could play with them! I remember that all the color was chipped off their faces because I played with them so much….

  • During childhood Christmases, my family always played a CD called “An Evening in December.” It is still one of my favorites, although hard to find these days!

  • Most of the items that I remember are ornaments. One of my faves is a pair of crocheted (sp?) ice skates. My mom made them when I was very little, the blade is made froma paper clip. They just remind me of how hard she worked to make things special even when she didn’t have much money. The skated now hang on my tree. I love them.

    What a great idea about the nativity! I will have my eyes open this year! We do the ormaments, but I LOVE the natvity!! Thanks for yet another great idea!

  • I remember all of the family and all of the stories that get shared. We have a family member who loves to go through old holiday videos and pictures. We always have something new to watch that has us all laughing and crying, but most of all sharing.

    It’s a good life!
    Terri E.

  • I have two favorite things from my childhood Christmases…We had a Santa and his sleigh that you could wind up…it would rock like it was moving across the sky and play jingle bells….We also had a Christmas album of carols and hymns.
    May your Christmas be filled with warm memories.
    Becky

  • The most impacting Christmas tree ornament I know is not from my childhood but my husbands. Each year, his parents took a very old, long nail that had a red ribbon tied to it and hid it in the tree. It’s purpose-to remember that Christ was born to die for us and to give us life. Now, we do this each year as well.

    I LOVE the nativity set idea. My kids are still very young but I will do this!

  • Every year we buy a christmas ornament for each child. we usually go shopping and let them pick it out. they love to go through the ornaments and find the ones that are theres.

  • When I was very little, I made an ornament in Sunday School that still hangs on my tree to this day! It’s a real cocoon, and has a little piece of washcloth glued in it with a tiny baby glued to the washcloth…symbolizing baby Jesus. I just love that little ornament, and it’s always my favorite thing to hang on the tree. I can remember as a kid being so excited to see that little ornament each year, and the excitement hasn’t changed as an adult.

  • I remember Christmas Eve at my nanny’s house. My cousin and I always passed out the gifts. Then everyone sat down and opened them all at once. It was a big mess of paper flying everywhere. Then Christmas Day we would go back to nanny’s and graze all day!!! I am so thankful that I have never experienced a Christmas without more than enough food. I am praying for those that may not have a “feast”