Saturday, November 1
It's November 1, the day after Halloween, and the official start of the crazed Holiday season. Gone is the boring old elevator music piped into the malls. It's been replaced with endless rendtitions of "Jingle Bells" and enough Old Navy jingles to drive a sane woman off the deep end.
But amidst all the hustle and bustle remains a solid core of treasured memories of childhood Christmases with tons of presents and lots of laughter.
My four sisters and I may have been spoiled rotten, but we were spoiled with a true sense of respect for what the holiday actually stands for.
My family has always begun our Christmas celebrations on the eve of the holiday with a family dinner and then a round of birthday cake for me, my sister, and my cousin (all with birthdays swallowed up in the days before and after Christmas). Then it was hours of movie-watching, hide-and-seek, naps, and getting ready for the passing out of gifts at when the clock struck twelve.
The piles of presents spilling out from under the tree may have called to us, but thanks to a strong family faith instilled into each one of us by my parents and our large enxtended family all scrunched into the same room, we knew that Christmas was really about baby Jesus. And because it was his birthday we we all celebrating, his delicate little body had to be placed in the manger to signify his birth.
Then a prayer was said. And the gift giving would begin.
As the oldest, I was lucky enough to be allowed to handle my Tia and Tio's (aunt and uncle's) delicate Nativity set which they had brought with them from Mexico. And I cherish my own set, which was also brought back for me on one of their recent vacations.
And while it is important to me to teach the same respect for the holiday to Buttercup, you can bet she isn't touching my breakable nativity set for years and years and, well, years!
This is why I was so thrilled to review the Deluxe Nativity Set from Leaps and Bounds. It's gorgeous and definite heirloom quality, but I won't be having heart palpitions each time Buttercup gets into a 20 foot range of it.
It's all made of wood, so there's no screaming "Don't Touch!" And I can breathe easy while I pass my own family traditions on and create a new set of memories for Buttercup. With this set, she can play and learn the Christmas story, and I couldn't be happier!
The Deluxe Nativity set comes in a keepsake wooden storage box either personalized for $44.95 or plain for $39.95. Seriously, people, just grab your credit cards and buy it! It is that beautiful!
You really have a week to think about it, since that is how long the contest is going for! One lucky readers gets to walk away with her own Deluxe Nativity set! To enter, just visit the Leaps and Bounds site and leave me a berrie (read: comment) telling me what other item you'd love to see reviewed on my blog. Comments will be accepted until midnight, EST, Nov. 8 and the winner will have four days from the announcement date to contact me or an alternate winner will be selected.
As always, extra entries will be available for those who:
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest. To be eligible, you must use "Berrie Sweet Picks" in your tweet and leave me a comment.
Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)
Good luck and Merry Christmas!