Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spread the Christmas Joy with Rebecca DeMarino and Giveaway | Day 8

Joy from Rebecca DeMarino

Many times we were in the process of a move and sometimes celebrated Christmas a few days early, only to watch presents being packed up by the moving company the next day. We didn’t care—we knew that it would be like a second Christmas morning when we unpacked everything on the other end!

Out of all of those moves and Christmases, the one that stands out the most to me is my thirteenth Christmas. We arrived on Guam in May, shortly after Typhoon Olive hit the island and there had been quite a bit of damage. But I still remember loving the fragrance of the tropical air, and the anticipation of an adventure.

A lazy summer spent by the Naval Air Station base pool, reading my favorite novels and then diving in to swim laps, was followed by my introduction to all-girls Catholic school and uniforms almost down to our ankles. And soon it was Christmas.

Christmas for my family that year was a little different, even for us. Oh, we still went to Christmas Eve midnight service at St. John’s Episcopal Church. And the presents were wrapped and under the tree, not to be touched until the next morning after Mom had brushed her teeth and donned her robe while Dad snuck out to plug in the lights.

But every time we looked at our tree, we rolled our eyes. We always had a fresh-cut fir tree—tall and bushy with the evergreen scent that tickles your nose. But standing, not too tall, in our lanai that year was a funny silver tree, sadly decorated with a few shiny red balls. After midnight service we said our goodnights as the wind began to pick up.

By two a.m. we were under a typhoon warning, and sleep was not an option. We watched the rain soak the red tissue wrapped gifts, while the wind whipped the little silver tree to and fro. We broke tradition that night and carried the gifts into the dining room. My older sis received a reel-to-reel tape recorder and until dawn we spoke into the mic, recording our take on coconuts flying by instead of Santa Claus. Was this Christmas?

I had given my heart to Christ that year, claiming Him as my Savior. And the Christmas we experienced that night taught me something I’ve held close ever since. It’s the Christ in Christmas that is important. The pretty ornaments, the sweet smell of pine trees and ginger cookies, brightly wrapped packages, all bring joy to the season, but only to remind of us of the Christ child who was born for us. And my joy is this: Christmas is in my heart, where Christ is. No matter where I might be, no matter my circumstance.

Rebecca DeMarino’s passion for tracing her family roots began in 1999, while on a trip with her mother to Horton’s Point, Long Island. Her debut novel, A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance based on Mary and Barnabas Horton, Rebecca’s ninth great-grandparents. Set in 1600’s Southold, Long Island, book one of The Southold Chronicles will be released by Revell in June, 2014. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and when not writing, she enjoys jogging, baking, genealogy and gardening. Rebecca is represented by Greg Johnson of WordServe Literary Agency. She would love to have you visit her at or find her at and @rebeccademarino.

Attention all bakers! This fun, vintage Christmas tree baking set is perfect for the holidays :)

**Giveaway rules: To enter, comment on each the post (or posts) in the month of December that offer giveaway items you wish to win. One entry per person per giveaway item is permitted. All winners will be drawn in January (after the holiday craziness) and will be notified shortly thereafter.

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