Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sparkle Box {review}

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I know the calendar says January and December is long past and in most homes Christmas has been packed away for another year. {I actually just put Christmas away here at our house yesterday!}

I was going to have this review up long before Christmas day and time got away from me and it did not get done.

I still wanted to share this wonderful book with you my dear readers! As I was thinking about this book and review I started wondering?  Why do we have to put Christmas away? Because December is over?  It does not seem that it should be something that we keep in a box and only bring out in December! Christmas should be something we celebrate all year long!

Now I realize that most of us do not want to have a Christmas tree and decorations out year round, I know I don’t.  I am not really talking about Christmas trees and lights.  But the feeling we get from Christmas. Not the anticipation of getting a gift (of course that is always fun). But why do we put away our joy? Joy of the birth of Jesus. Joy for the anticipation of that baby in the manger. Joy that only Jesus can bring? I think that is what we do. Many times we put away our joy along with our Christmas trees.  Like we pack it up in a box until next December rolls around once again.

The Sparkle box is the story of a young boy, Sam and his family. They have a very special box. The Sparkle Box. It is a little box that is very shiny and sparkly! A box that is sure to cause you to wonder what could be inside.

Sam’s mother puts the box out on the mantle which of course Sam is curious about and wonders about.  He asks what is in it and his mother tells him that they need to fill it and will open it later.

Throughout the next few days Sam is faced with some opportunities to help others and does so willingly and out of the kindness of his heart.

Sam is still thinking about that glittery box and what could possibly be in it. Each time he asks either his mom or dad they tell him the same thing. Something more needs to be added to the box.

Finally on Christmas morning Sam and his parents open the box. Inside is there is quite a surprise. The box contained a few slips of paper on which were written the things that Sam and his family had done to help others!

The gifts inside of the Sparkle Box were their gifts to Jesus. Things Sam and his family had done for others. such as helping the homeless by giving warm blankets, sending money to help dig a well in Africa and purchasing items to give to someone in need.

I love this idea! To give Jesus a gift, a true gift. Not something that comes from a store, but something that comes from your heart. Maybe even something that causes you to make a sacrifice.

To me this book is  interactive because it causes you to think about more than just ourselves. The Sparkle Box challenges us to put aside our wants for those in need. To think of others. Whether it be a material item like food, clothes or shelter. Or a spiritual need, such as praying with someone, lending a shoulder. Or maybe giving of your time to a neighbor or friend in need.

In the back of the book you will find your own Sparkle Box to use with your family! There is a large envelope on the back cover with the box inside. You can remove it and put the box together in just a couple of simple steps. When you are done with it you can take the box apart and store it back in the envelope!

 

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Close up of The Sparkle Box.

Now getting back to keeping Christmas going all year. You could purchase this book for this coming Christmas season and tuck it away for Christmas.  Or if you already happen to own the book you could get your box out and encourage your family to give Jesus a gift each day? Or maybe each month? By doing for others in some way. All the time. Not just at Christmas, but everyday.  Putting aside your own wants for someone else? (that is not always easy when we feel we have things we ‘need’). But maybe challenge yourself and your family to do for someone. A friend, family member or perhaps a stranger? How will you fill your Sparkle Box?

About the author

JillHardie_author headshot_Low Resolution

Six years ago, Jill Hardie, her husband and their two children began a special Christmas tradition of placing a Sparkle Box under their Christmas tree as a gift for Jesus on His birthday.

Jill wrote the book, The Sparkle Box, to introduce this new Christmas tradition to families around the world – one that honors the true meaning of the holiday and spreads the joy of the season.

Jill shares ideas of special gifts that families and children can give to honor Jesus. These gifts – such as giving warm blankets to the homeless and food for the hungry – are then written on pieces of paper and placed in the Sparkle Box, to be opened on Christmas morning.

A Sparkle Box is included in the back cover of the book and can be easily put together by children as they think of their own gifts to give during the holiday season.

“Jesus taught us that whenever we do something for someone in need, we do it for Him. I think loving and caring for each other in His name is the greatest gift we could give to honor Jesus on His birthday,” says Jill.

Jill lives with her family in Canton, Ohio

www.thesparklebox.com

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I received a copy of this book From PR by the Book in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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