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Twelve Days of Christmas Post ONE

Originally THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAYS was going to start on December 14th. . .was!

Instead, the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS is going to be more like the SIXTEEN DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! To kick off the TWELVE. . .er. . .LOTS OF DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS. . .amazing writer and friend, Emerald Barnes is going to be giving away ONE SIGNED copy of READ ME DEAD, AND TWO digital copies to THREE lucky comments! The winners will be announced at the end of tomorrow's guest post!

Take it away, Em. . .

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love the cold weather (if we get that in Mississippi), the beautiful Christmas lights at night, the Christmas trees, cheesy romance movies, and loads of baked goodies! 

When I was a child and in elementary school, we always made Christmas ornaments for the tree in our classrooms.  Our teachers would let us decorate paper ornaments, bead pipe cleaners into candy canes, or some kind of homemade ornament.  That was one of my favorite times in school. 

Of course, my mom loved it too!  Each year, she would add our homemade ornaments onto our tree at home.  I have one sister, so between the two of us, it took a while to fully decorate the tree with homemade ornaments, but between the Christmas balls and our homemade ornaments, the tree looked full and beautiful! 

Eventually, my sister and I grew up and stopped making ornaments.  Yet, my mom wanted to keep hanging our ornaments, and I never understood why she wanted those childish ornaments hanging on our tree.  I wanted to put new ornaments up, something bright and colorful.  Eventually, my mom gave in to mine and my sister’s demands and retired our old ornaments into a box.

I don’t have kids yet, but I have four nieces and nephews.  I know the beauty in homemade gifts, something that tiny hands have made and were extremely proud of.  I have more drawings of creatures I can’t make out than anything else (aside from books)!  But you know what, no matter how old they get, or how old I get, I’ll always treasure those little doodles in notebooks that I didn’t want them drawing in at first.  I understand why even now, with me at 25, my mom still wants to use our homemade Christmas ornaments as decorations on the tree even though she doesn’t. 

There is beauty in simple gifts, whether they’re drawings by a two year old or a 12 year old being forced to make ornaments for their tree in school.  It’s still made by the hands of the person you love.  And that, means more than anything else. 

What is your favorite handmade gift?  Do you still do that?  Do you enjoy when your children make your gifts? 

Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women.  She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.  
She's the author of two books and mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages!
She's constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with.  She blogs at, which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much!  She's also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is so amazing!
She's an auntie to two beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn't imagine spending her time in any other way!
She's a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person.  God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.  


Buy Links: 

Read Me Dead
Piercing Through the Darkness


  1. My favorite hand made gift I received is a crochet throw. We usually make baked goods since kids are all older (no grandkids yet) . I loved it when kids were younger and made things like ornaments, cards & crafts: some out all the time, and others seasonal.

    1. Oh I have a crochet throw my great-grandmother gave me one year for Christmas. She's gone now, but I still have that beautiful throw she gave me. Before my grandmother's passing, she made me a baby quilt (when I was like 15) and I couldn't for the life of me understand why. I cannot wait to have kids now, so they can use it. :)

    2. Emerald, I bet the throw and quilt are both beautiful reminders for you of your Grandmother. Tonya, it was a surprise from a friend in Texas. I love it!

  2. I absolutely cherish anything that my boys have made for me and the quilt that my mom made for me. I also love the doodles that my youngest son has drawn in my writing journals. It's always a wonderful surprise to turn the page and find one of his intricate designs that he's left for me. :)

    1. I love it too! I have a notebook I keep in my purse, and my nieces and nephews will get it during church and draw. I love flipping through it, remembering the times they tried to draw their hands or funny little chickens. :)

    2. Saralyn, I have sooo much over the years from four guys! Just recently I divided all of their handmade ceramics they have made me along with all of their school papers/awards into their own bins. I love it all!

  3. Beautiful story, Emerald :) I love the homemade gifts my nieces and nephews make,too. Now, tell your mom to hang your and your sister's homemade ornaments on the tree this year :)

    Congratulations to Tobi! I love that title :)

    1. Thanks, Andi! We actually did something different on the tree this year on the tree. ;)

      That is a great title by Tobi! :)

    2. Hahhaa!Andrea! I have to admit that this is the first year my guys didn't help me put up our tree. We were getting a new hardwood floor in our family room, so they were gone when the floor was finished and I had a wild hair! Needless to say....I didn't hang up their homemade ornaments of footed reindeer face with outline of hands for antlers and many more. They noticed!

  4. I still put my children's homemade ornaments on the tree and they are both grown. I cherish everyone.

    1. That's so sweet! How do they feel about it? I miss the ornaments now, but at 13, I was all "I'm too old for that!" lol

    2. Oh, are making me feel bad! I guess I need to get those out again....

  5. I love the ornaments made out of clay of my girls hands....they were so little! Not so anymore!

  6. Congrats Tobi! Awesome blog ... as always :o)

  7. Thanks! Looking forward to receiving your book!

  8. I received my package and bookmarks! Thank you so very much! I will share with friends! Merry Christmas!


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