Why I Wrote: In Search of the Real Spirit of Christmas:
“I love Christmas. I always have and always will. For most of my life I loved Christmas for all the cultural embellishments that came with the season, the lights, the trees, the music, the food, the gaiety, the sense of wonder, the silly sentimental Christmas movies that move me emotionally. I admit that I enjoyed Christmas as a Christian for all the above reasons, it was simply an enchanting time of year where everyone was happier and life more pleasant. I believed the real Christmas story, but frankly and honestly, it never moved me emotionally in the same way that cultural Christmas did. It didn’t seem to touch my emotions nearly as powerfully. I admit that I felt a bit of guilt about my condition.
A Christian not really excited about the Christmas story? Worse, a pastor bored with the nativity scene? The problem is that no one had ever really explained the implications of the story. The story had been presented year after year rather blandly, with little or no explanation as I grew up in church. It seemed a distant, almost purely theatrical part of a Christian’s yearly worship schedule.
But when I became a pastor I began creating a "Christmas message" each year, honestly, because it seemed the thing to do more than because it seemed important. It caused me to take a much deeper look at the real Christmas story. The deeper I looked, the more I began to be amazed, moved, and effected emotionally and spiritually by the majesty of the story. Soon my Christmas message became my favorite sermon of the year, and with every message I saw anew how important the incarnation was.
I never knew there was a "real Christmas spirit" to celebrate and enter. I never dreamed it could be more satisfying than the cultural celebration I had always enjoyed so much. My passion is to show others what the real spirit of Christmas is, what the true implications of the Christmas story are. I have no desire to destroy the cultural celebration of Christmas, but I am on a quest to ignite a deeper passion in Christians for the event that changed our world forever, the incarnation. It won’t just improve your celebration of Christmas this season, it will improve your faith in practical and eternal ways today. The best part is that the real Christmas spirit doesn’t have to get packed away each year, it lingers like a fragrant aroma in the heart, growing stronger rather than weaker throughout the year.
The real spirit of Christmas isn’t something that causes you to say, "Oh, I get it now," but "Wow! This changes everything!"
THE NUMBER OF BOOKS AVAILABLE IS SUBJECT TO STOCK ON HAND (presently 7 autographed copies left till Christmas) -- IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RECEIVING THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS INSTRUCTIONS, SIMPLY EMAIL ME THE REQUEST AND THEY WILL BE SENT TO YOU VIA EMAIL
ALL BOOKS ORDERED FROM OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WILL REQUIRE A MINIMUM $7-10.00 SHIPPING FEE, MORE IF MORE THAN ONE BOOK IS ORDERED.
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Comment by A. Barrett on 2008-05-21 18:56:25
I really appreciated your book on searching for the real spirit of Christmas. I have ordered 3 more books, one for each of my grown children. I love Christmas and the opportunity it yields for sharing Christ, the real gift.
Comment by Debbie on 2008-05-21 18:06:10
Dear Dan and Annette, I have never written to an author of books which I have read. But I feel a great need to extend my gratitude for you service in capturing a subject which is dear to my heart and so very needed in the world today. I was at my favorite book store picking up things for my calling in church. It has been a painful 2 years in my life and this last year was one of emotional distress in an area which I never would have imagined. It left me with the feeling of just wanting to run away from all memory of family get-togethers and holiday time. The reason is not important the important part of this writing is to let you know that I truly needed something to help me through this time. I was impressed to purchase your book because I felt that if anyone needed the spirit of Christmas I did. I took it home and the first night I read 4 chapters and cried through each page. I went back to the book store and purchase 10 more books for people I love. Within the next two days in between my work I finished the entire book and started telling others about this amazing fine. I took a copy to church for the women to read and pass it around for all to share this season. Again I want to personally thank you for your insight and perseverance in making this book available. I have since purchased another 10 books but would love to know if there are hard copies available. It is a book which I will keep out all year long and I would personally love to purchase a Hard copy for this purpose.
Comment by Doug Godfrey on 2007-06-08 13:49:29
Let me begin by saying this book is a hallmark for me! I caught wind of it 5 months ago and saved up enough money to buy it. The introduction really caught my hearts attention. I have never read a book that spoke so clearly to me like this one. I laughed and cried and shouted all the way through this book... The most difficult aspect of my life now is the haunting question "Is it safe to dream anymore?" When you've suffered the kind of loss I have, you want with all your heart to do what is right. It's like you said, we've been lied to about success and God's will for our lives. Thank you for a very powerful and inspiring book. May God bless you my friend.
Comment by Lori Varney on 2008-05-21 17:50:21
My name is Lori from Bangor, Maine and I felt led to tell you how blessed I, and my sisters in Christ, have been by your book, In Search of the Real Spirit of Christmas I am not eloquent with words, and even less so on a computer, yet I needed to convey to you just how wonderfully the Holy Spirit worked through this book and has greatly touched a bunch of ladies up here in Maine. What a blessed reminder that the true spirit of Christmas is not as elusive as we often imagine...This time of year it is far too easy to get tangled up by the "world's" standards of this season. So, thank you, thank you for putting on paper, how much our Heavenly Father went through to "bring us back home." The real spirit of Christmas. Grace and Peace
Comment by Jo Nore on 2008-05-21 17:49:43
I have just finished reading "In search of the real spirit of Christmas" which I received from Radio Bible Class (Our Daily Bread). I have to say that this book has been a real blessing to me this year. I was feeling a little disillusioned by it all, even the Christian celebrations, as my husband and I were unexpectedly ambushed by a situation in our own faith community where a person of power and influence seemed to be slowly destroying the church, the people and the goodwill of the community. It was very hard to watch and experience. Then I read your book - I have recommended this book to a number of people and next year, perhaps I will have copies ahead of time to give to friends as a gift. Thank you for your thoughtful writing and God bless you and your family.
Comment by C. Martin on 2008-05-21 17:42:49
Thank you so much for the book, In Search of the Real Spirit of Christmas. I am thankful that when God laid the idea on your heart you were obedient and 'put pen to paper." It has been a blessing adn an inspiration for me as Christmas draws near. I know that it is going to be one of my favorite 'reads' at Christmas time in years to come--just to remind me anew and afresh of what Christmas is REALLY all about.
Comment by Jasmine -- Long Beach on 2008-05-21 17:38:38
I just received this book last week and I am thoroughly enjoying it; it gets down in the heart and makes one really think. Seeing I enjoy it so much and I feel others would receive something from it, Thanks. Again I say, thanks for writing the book. It has really spoken to my heart. Like you say, we get so caught up sometimes in all the excitement of Christmas that we forget really what it's all about.
Comment by Carol S. on 2008-05-21 17:37:51
"I have read your book, In Search of the Real Spirit of Christmas, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Matter of fact, after I read it, I let a friend of mine read it and she really liked it also. So, I would like to give it to her for Christmas."
Comment by Darlene Weir on 2008-05-21 17:37:26
I have never written to an author of books which I have read. But I feel a great need to extend my gratitude for your service in capturing a subject which is dear to my heart and so very needed in the world today. I was at my favorite bookstore picking up things for my calling in church. It has been a painful two years in my life and this last year was one of emotional distress in an area which I never would have imagined....I truly thought about leaving town and coming back in January to avoid the season completely. ...I truly needed something to help me through this time. I was impressed to purchase your book because I felt that if anyone needed the spirit of Christmas, I did. I took it home and the first night I read four chapters and cried through each page. I went back to the book store and purchased 10 more books for people I love. Within the next two days in between my work I finished the entire book and started telling others about this amazing find. I took a copy to church for the women to read and pass it around for all to share this season."
Comment by Sharon D. on 2008-05-21 17:37:02
Dan, I read the book and really had my eyes opened up. I often get real depressed around the Christmas season what with all the glitz and hurrying about and often forget the TRUE meaning of the season. I am sharing the book with our son who is a preacher. He and his wife are reading the book together and love the idea of the 12 days of Christmas."