Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Why Shouldn't We Rejoice?

There's a predominant ideology floating around that we should keep religion to ourselves. It's not popular to believe. It's not cool to adhere to morals and principles that have long been treasured or to hold ourselves accountable to a higher deity.

It breaks my heart.

I see this mentality reflected in the popular music on the radio. Even what's considered "Christmas music" rarely reflects the reason for the season. It's all about partying, shopping, and being with loved ones. Yes, that's how we celebrate, but what are we celebrating?

This is my last post for the year. I'll be busy rejoicing in the reason for the season, giving my time to bless others, and teaching my children why.

Whether you celebrate or not, I wish you a merry CHRISTmas.



 
And what is Christmas without a giveaway?

Last week Jules Smith shared with us a SOPHIE'S THROUGHWAY, along with two truths and a lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win a signed paperback.

Jules' Game:


1. I have broken my nose 5 times.
2. I once shaved my head for charity.
3. I once met Duane Eddy (famous American guitarist) and asked him who he was. He said, “Duane Eddy,” and I said, “And what do you do?

The lie: #2. Jules would never mess with her hair as sexy hair has made her what she is.

Way to guess everyone! And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...


Congrats, Deniz! 

And now for this week's feature... 


Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom. 

As if leaving Manhatten and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad, weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past. 

Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where she finds an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a curious  portrait of a red-haired lady. These seemingly unrelated items prove to be the first in a series of clues that takes Fairday, the visiting Lizzy, and their new squad member, Marcus, on an amazing adventure. 

Can the members of the Detective Mystery Squad piece together the puzzle before it’s too late? Or will whatever’s causing trouble find Fairday and her friends first?
Get your copy HERE.

Ready to meet the authors?


Jessica Haight is a true New Englander, with a deep desire to be near the ocean and a love of the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. She easily floats away in the pages of a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts. Jessica lives in Connecticut with her charming fiancé, James; dog, Jack; cat, Bill; and a very entitled bunny named Alice.



Stephanie Robinson lives with her husband in a quiet town, though not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. One of the many benefits of her job is that she learns something new every day. When Stephanie isn't working, she spends her time creating stories, getting lost in books, and traveling to new places.



These ladies both gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out EITHER lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win a signed, hardcover of THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW(Open Internationally.)

You have until Tuesday, January 5 at 1 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on January 6.
TRUTH OR LIE

Jess:

1. I do not have a cell phone, nor do I want one. 
2. I love the feel of flannel, and I like to have flannel sheets even in the summer. 
3. I am a fan of graphic novels, and someday I plan to write one of my own.

Stephanie:

1. I’ve never eaten a Big Mac or Whopper.
2. I love hot dogs with baked beans and coleslaw. The perfect easy meal and delicious too! 
3. Sardines with or without crackers are a delectable treat that I can’t resist.

So sleuths, which are the lies? Do you celebrate Christmas, and if so, what are you doing to celebrate this year? Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition? Do you like mysteries?

102 comments:

  1. Crystal, I know what you mean.. I try to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas... I believe we all have the right to believe what we do and I respect other peoples beliefs, I only ask that they respect mine too..

    Have a really wonderful and happy Christmas, to you and your family xox ♡♡♡

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  2. Squee! Thank you Jules and Crystal! Cheese for all :-)

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  3. By the way, I feel the same way.
    And last week I made my own Christmas playlist!
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLawUsUAmxoIPV56ATzoT3FfaODSu4z9d1

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  4. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Crystal! Enjoy!

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  5. A lovely, lovely post. Yes, I celebrate Christmas, the birth the birth of Jesus Christ. We used to have big family get togethers, but now we're scattered. The kids grow up. I do continue the tradition of my mother's pecan pies. Hers were yummy. I have her recipe, but mine aren't nearly so good.
    Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, to all.

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  6. Congrats to Jessica and Stephanie! I think the lies are #2 and #3. I teach my son that giving your time is one of the best gifts we can give. Have a very merry Christmas, Crystal! :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine! We are loving reading the guesses. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  7. My husband and I just had a discussion about CHRISTmas last night. People can say happy holidays all they want, but truthfully there would be no holiday this time of year if not for the Christian celebration. I'm so sick of the PC attempt to take Christ out of this season. There is no season without Him. Enjoy your time with your family and especially the new, little one.

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  8. Personally, I think we have to be conscious of the fact that many people are not Christian and not push it on people. I think we can still share the purpose of the holidays, rejoice, and be grateful for what we have in a respectful way. Happy Holidays, Crystal!

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  9. I stopped along the road and rolled down the window to show my son a train w/a santa and a snomwan popping out of it the other day. Then we rolled onto the next house to where there was a lighted nativity and let him look at that. I would have felt horrible if I'd bypassed baby Jesus for santa! ;) Merry Christmas!

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  10. I think the false answer for Jess is #1 and for Stephanie is #2.

    I love to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and I have taught my children what Christmas is all about and I hold dear the values that were taught to me by my parents. Our Motto is "Keep Christ into Christmas".

    This Christmas I've convinced my family to cut down drastically on Christmas gifts and concentrate on family get together and of sharing of each other instead.
    I respect others religion and I want them to respect mine.

    Blessings on your Christmas celebrations.
    Hugs,
    JB



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    1. Julie- Thanks for guessing! We can't tell you if you are right or wrong, but we loved reading your guesses. We love the idea of less gifts and more time together at Christmas. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  11. Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas, Crystal.

    I think both lies are #1.

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    1. Thanks for guessing, Carol! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  12. Congrats to Jess and Stephanie! Their book looks like so much fun. I think Jess's lie is #2 and Stephanie's is #3. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Cherie- So fun to read your guesses. Thanks for the good wishes. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  13. I'm going with #1 for both - I know there exists people without cellphones, though, it's just too horrible to imagine. :P

    Merriest Christmas, Crystal!! Time with family is precious.

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    1. Krystal- Thanks for guessing! This is such fun! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  14. I think #1 is the lie for Jess and #3 is the lie for Stephanie. Merry Christmas to you too, Chrystal! :-)

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    1. Misha- We can't tell- but it is great to see the guesses coming in. Good luck! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  15. Amen! Completely agree with you, Crystal.
    For Jess, the lie is the second one and for Stephanie the lie is the third one.

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    1. Alex- Thanks for playing! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  16. The lie for both Jess and Stephanie is no#2.
    Have a blessed Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Good guessing, Michelle! We love reading the guesses. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  17. Merry Christmas, Crystal! I hope you and your family have a wonderful time reflecting together. See you next year!

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  18. Merry Christmas, Crystal! I think after the next post, I'll call it a year with blogging and focus on spending time with my family. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  19. Merry Christmas, Crystal! Hope you and yours have a wonderful season.

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  20. Jess, number two, Stephanie, number three.

    Merry Christmas! I know the trend you're speaking of. For my part, I don't get offended when people share what they believe in, as long as they don't force themselves on others. Of course, since you and I share the same religion, you can share all you want. :)

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    Replies
    1. S.P- Thanks for guessing! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  21. Congrats to Jess and Stephanie! Wishing them well with their book. Enjoy this time with your family. :) Blessings to you and your gang! See you in 2016!

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    1. Karen- Thanks for the good wishes! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  22. Have a wonderful holiday, Crystal!

    Jess and Steph, I hope you sell oodles of books!

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    1. M Pax- Thanks! We are hoping so too! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  23. I'll pick #2 for the lie in both cases.

    Merry Christmas, Crystal. I hope you're not too sad. People have different reasons for celebrating at this time of year, as not everyone who celebrates Christmas is religious. But as long as people are giving and generous and kind, it's a good thing.

    At least, I think so. It doesn't matter to me what they believe in (or not).

    Hugs.

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    Replies
    1. J.H.- We enjoyed reading your guesses! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  24. Congrats to Deniz on winning the book! Congrats to Jess & Steph on their new release! I don't think it's unpopular to "believe," it's just some people use religion to diss others, not based on actions, but merely because they're different and somehow seen as wrong and bad because of that. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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    1. Thanks, Lexa! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  25. This sounds like a book my kids would enjoy. I will guess #1 for both the authors. Enjoy your rejoicing, I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

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    1. Lisa- If your kids get to read The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow we hope they enjoy it. Thanks for guessing! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  26. Yep, all that PC crap and the like can take a hike. Merry Christmas it is.

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  27. I don't care what religion someone is and I'd never be offended if someone wished me a happy Hannukah or any other holiday. I celebrate Christmas but not all my friends do. We are fine with wishing each other a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, etc.

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  28. I am so glad I live in Jamaica where my religious freedom as a Christian is accepted and embraced. Celebrate Crystal and be you. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas when it comes and worship Christ.

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  29. Crystal, I agree wholeheartedly. As a matter of fact, lately I've had a heart for those writing friends I know aren't saved. I'm just not sure how to approach them. Congrats to Jess and Stephanie. You ladies rock. I plan on a read-a-thon this weekend with your book. Cannot wait. For Jess the lie is #2. For Stephanie #3. Merry Christmas, Crystal. See you in the new year. Make memories, my friend. xoxo

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    1. Robyn- We appreciate the good wishes! How fun that you are having a read-a-thon this weekend with The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. Fun! We hope you love it. Thanks for playing. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  30. I'm not a fan of Christmas. Which I told to a class of 7th graders today and horrified them.

    I'm going to say lie, Jess #3, Stephanie #2.

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    1. Liz= Thanks for guessing! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  31. Crystal- Thank you so much for having us on your blog today. Such fun to participate in the two truths and a lie challenge. :) We are loving the guesses! We truly appreciate your support.

    Merry Christmas!
    :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  32. Merry Christmas, Crystal! Hope you have lots of good times with your family.

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  33. Here's wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas. If you guys keep the reason for the season, it doesn't matter what everyone else does. :)

    I'm so lousy at recognizing the lies, it makes my wonder how much stuff my kids got away with when they were growing up... Even so, I'll give it another shot. I'll pic #3 for both.

    Seeya next year!

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    1. Susan- We love your comment! It is hard to figure out the lies. Great guesses. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  34. To me, the biggest loss today is of love and living by moral principles. Sadly even people who say they believe in God don't seem to care.

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  35. I don't feel I have to keep my religion a secret, and I rejoice openly. I worked at Macy's when I lived in Illinois. Management never told us to restrict ourselves to Happy Holidays. They said say Merry Christmas or whatever you feel comfortable doing. Sometimes I said Merry Christmas, and sometimes I said Peace be with you. I don't believe in Bill O'Reilly's war on Christmas. He just wants to get people stirred up and angry when what they really want is to rejoice.

    Love,
    Janie

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  36. Hi Crystal, I respect other's religion and I won't impose my religion on others. But if there is opportunity I would share about God's love and who Jesus Christ is and the meaning of Christmas. I have to have wisdom and discernment with whom to share.

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  37. I'm going with #2 as the lies for both ladies.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Crystal.

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    1. Thanks for guessing, Julie! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  38. I hope you and your family have a very happy and blessed Christmas, Crystal.

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  39. I love that video of Angels We Have Heard on High. So beautiful! Have a very Merry Christmas, Crystal!

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  40. Hi Crystal - religion is the way I feel ... private and Christmassy.

    Lies are # 1 and # 2 ...

    Have a wonderful Christmas and season with the family ... and see you soon - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary- Thanks for playing! Great guesses! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  41. Congratulations to Deniz!
    I hope you and your family have a very happy and blessed Christmas, Crystal.

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  42. Hello Crystal. I celebrate Christmas for many reasons. I am also an advocate for religion as I believe it teaches my children to think about the world as ring greater than just themselves. In any case,we will do Christmas activities in a plethora from Santa pictures, elf on the shelf, gingerbread ninja cookies for Santa this year and of course a big Christmas ever dinner, church service and a drive through nearby neighborhoods to view all the pretty lights.

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  43. I like the idea of a house with a secret room! I always wished I had one in one of the places that I lived in, because then it would be like a place where I could go and hide from the world whenever I wanted.

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    1. Weird Workaholic- We both wanted to have a weird secret room too! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  44. I wasn't raised to be very religious, but I am more than I used to realize. I've often wondered why more people don't stop to think of the real reason for Christmas.

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  45. I completely agree...:) Merry Christmas.

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  46. I totally agree, Crystal. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Huge congrats to Steph and Jess! Maybe the lies are #1 and #2?

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    1. Thanks, Emily! Great guesses- though we can't tell you if you are right or wrong yet. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  47. I agree with you, Crystal. Christmas will lose ALL meaning if we let let it. Thanks for this timely reminder. Happy Christmas to you and yours when it comes.

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  48. Congratsto Deniz, Stephanie and Jessica!

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    1. Thanks, Nas! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  49. I'm agnostic, but for me, Christmas is a time for giving and for being with family. I don't mind people talking about their religion and I don't think it should be taboo, but I don't think it's right at all for people to try to force their religion on others.

    On that note, I don't think there's any reason for someone to get offended at being told "Merry Christmas" - if they celebrate something else, they should simply say so. But considering how many religions have holidays around this time of year, I don't think there are any grounds for people to get upset or offended at "Happy Holidays" either, as that's recognizing that not everyone celebrates the same holidays.

    Especially considering what Christmas used to be celebrated as: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

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  50. We're definitely both enjoying a true Christmas (not a winter holiday, but Christmas), and we hope you enjoy yours too!

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  51. For Jess #1; for Stephanie #2.

    I'll never understand why people aren't comfortable with others talking about their religion (except when pushing it on someone else or judging them.) Have a Merry Christmas!

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    1. Shannon- Great guesses! Thanks for playing. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  52. Bah to hiding what you believe in and what you think. We're fortunate to live in a country that gives us the freedom of expression. I say use it. Merry Christmas, Crystal.

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  53. I definitely celebrate Christmas and definitely wish the season was more about giving than shopping and how big the pile under the tree is. Happy Christmas!

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  54. "Holiday" is actually a contraction of "holy day." So when people wish each other "Happy holidays," they're actually wishing "Happy holy days."

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  55. Have a Merry Christmas, Crystal and family! I'm grateful to my friends who celebrate other holidays and are willing to teach me about their beliefs and traditions. I think often people are nervous about asking, but not me...I'm always willing to learn. The more you ask the more you find out how similar the religions are.

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  56. I think 2 and 3 are the lie. Congrats to Deniz. Have a wonderful holiday break.

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    1. Thanks for playing, Medeia! Great guesses! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  57. Merry Christmas, Chrystal! It's becoming politically incorrect to wish each other Merry Christmas, but I don't have a problem wishing people the best for Eid or Happy Hannukah, so let's respect each other's beliefs and bring Christ back into Christ-mas!

    Denise :-)

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  58. Hi darling, how are you today? I love this, another great post.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Check out my new post if you're interested:
    http://its-dominica.blogspot.co.uk/
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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  59. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family, Crystal! It's definitely sad how people can't be too open about their religion in our society, no matter what religion they belong to. As a polytheist, I celebrate the secular form of Christmas, as to not miss out on traditions with loved ones, but I know it has a deeper meaning for many others, and I agree, that should be respected.

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  60. I'm rejoicing! Have a wonderful Christmas and may the upcoming year be a great one.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  61. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family, Crystal!

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  62. Yes, Merry Christmas and all best wishes for the new year.

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  63. Yes, I rejoice and celebrate! Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

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  64. You're awesome, Crystal.
    Merry Christmas to you too.

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  65. I feel like religion is personal and should be kept to oneself, but I wish you a happy holidays regardless.. and a happy new years!

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  66. Congrats to Deniz! and I totally agree about celebrating the true reason for Christmas. Have a great time of celebration! and a wonderful new year 2016 to you and yours. :)

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  67. Stopping by late to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I think you should be yourself. We should never be afraid to share our faith :)

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  68. I hope you had a Merry Christmas Crystal and I wish you a happy new year. :)

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  69. Hope you had great holidays. Happy New Year!

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  70. Hope you had a great holidays:) I've found that sharing my Christian faith with others of all denominations to only be a good thing. Some people can be a bit off, but by and large I'm always encouraged to find how much we all have in common...so Merry Christmas and Happy New Years:)

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  71. I'm very late. Took time off to spend time with family. I think the lies are #2 for both.

    Happy New Year.

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Hit me with your cheese!