Untangling Christmas

25 Nov

Do you suffer from a severe case of the “Yuletide Yikes”? Well, help is here! In Untangling Christmas, Karen and LeAnn share simple strategies and doable ideas for untangling the mess that is sometimes Christmas. Even though Norman Rockwell-type scenes may dance through our minds at this time of year, we know that for many of us, Christmas is a stressful, less-than-relaxing, and sometimes even family-feuding time of year. So, let’s ditch the perfect images. Get rid of the unrealistic expectations, untangle Christmas and, instead, craft ourselves a memorable, though not perfect, holiday. A holiday where we can focus on what matters most!

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:

– Have Yourself a Stress-Free Little Christmas: Whoa, Nellie! Back Up the Sleigh; re-evaluating your current Christmas habits

– 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.

– 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 and your family.

– Santa, Can You Spare and Elf or Two?: Gift shopping, making, wrapping and presentation.

– Deck the Halls, Trim the Tree: Cleaning and de-cluttering, storage solutions, decorating and crafty stuff.

– Simple Shortcuts to Festive Food: Make-ahead menus, company dishes, party planning and hosting, holiday baking ideas and some kid-friendly recipes.

– Beyond Aunt Frieda’s Fruitcake: Forging Family traditions, new and old; and ideas for outreach.

– A Christmas Potpourri: Helpful links, resources, printable templates and complete recipes for every dish.


About The Authors:

Karen Ehman has been described as profoundly practical, engagingly funny and downright real. Her passion is to provide women with practical tools and doable ideas to help them both simplify life and glorify God. She is the Director of Speakers for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a featured speaker for Hearts at Home conferences. She is the author of four women’s books as well as the project creator of the Hearts at Home Just for Moms Planner.

She has been a guest on national television and radio programs including The 700 Club, At Home Live, Engaging Women, The Harvest Show, Moody Midday Connection and Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. She is a graduate of Spring Arbor University with a B.A. in Social Science and has been married for 25 years to her college sweetheart Todd. She is the mother of three sometimes quarrelsome, but mostly charming children: Mackenzie 20, Mitchell 16 and Spencer 13.

Karen spends her days running carpool, parked in the football bleachers or baseball stadium or stealing away to a coffee shop to try to write or work on a new message. Though hopelessly craft-challenged with pitiful, partially finished scrapbooks, she enjoys baking and cooking and has won several blue ribbon rosettes at various county fairs for her cookies, cakes, pies and breads. This Christmas under the tree she is hoping to find a brand new iPad or a certificate for a year’s worth of house cleaning. She will settle, however, for the annual bottle of perfume and having all her babies home in Michigan to open their stockings and eat her Nutmeg-Nog French toast.

LeAnn Rice lives down south in sweet tea country and is certain that the longer she lives in the south, the more her tongue seems to curl as she speaks. Her passion is to bring people around the kitchen table to share good food and good conversations while creating lasting memories. A caterer, event planner, and licensed esthetician until God called her to full time ministry, LeAnn currently serves as the Executive Director of Proverbs 31 Ministries in Matthews, North Carolina. She is also a contributor to http://www.seashinemag.com and http://www.awidowsmight.org.

Although she cringes every time she hears the word, for the last 14 years LeAnn has been required to mark the box “widow” on official forms. Her husband and best friend, Ron, lost his battle with cancer but gained a new painless life with Jesus. She is now single mom to their 17-year-old son, Nick, who, sadly, is not at all interested in taste-testing his mom’s recipes. Nick would be very happy to live on pepperoni pizza and cereal. But Nick’s limited pallet hasn’t kept LeAnn from her love of cooking. She experiments on family and friends and cooks at her local soup kitchen. In June of 2010 she launched http://www.SheCooks.org, a food blog where she shares recipes, menu ideas, photos, and glimpses of her crazy life.

When she’s not at work, in the kitchen, or running Nick to school or to tennis practice, LeAnn spends her time trying to appease their high-maintenance cat, Angel’s unreasonable demands. Looking back, it would have been smart to spend some time with the cat before naming her. Angel is ornery, loud, picky, likes to play hide-and-seek and is a practical joker. Not kidding! However, Christmas wouldn’t be the same if she wasn’t hiding under the tree ready to pounce on unsuspecting feet, or attacking the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.


My Impressions:

Are you overwhelmed with Christmas preparations?  Do you wish for a simpler, Christ-filled holiday?   Then you should check out Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice’s book, Untangling Christmas Untangling Christmas is a simple and quick guide to make this Christmas easier and more meaningful for your family.  I especially liked the family survey — finding out what your family really thinks is important about Christmas.  I whipped it out following our Thanksgiving dinner. While my children, aged 21, 20 and 18, are rarely serious for more than 5 minutes, I did get a glimpse on what would make Christmas special for them. They are all away at college and home is usually just a 3 day weekend a couple of times a semester.  So I used the family survey to find out how to make this Christmas as memorable as those past.  Karen and LeAnn have also included templates for a holiday planner, easy Christmas recipes and thoughts on making sure Jesus is at the center of any celebration.

Untangling Christmas is available on Kindle, Nook and in PDF form — so you can get it without battling the crowds!  To purchase click HERE.

(I received a copy of Untangling Christmas from the authors in return for a review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)


%d bloggers like this: