Novelist and Children's Author

Featured Book: Where Treetops Glisten

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Faith, Fiction | 107 comments

And the winner of Ane Mulligan’s book, Chapel Springs Revival is:

Deanna S

Congratulations, Deanna!

And now, our featured book . . .


Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II


Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 9.32.26 AM

From the back cover: 

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime. Siblings forging new paths and finding love in Where Treetops Glisten, three stories filled with the wonder of Christmas. 

     Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

     In Cara Putnam’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

     Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theatre in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no long the bully she once knew?

     In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meridith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

     The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for the future?

About the authors: 

Cara Putman

Cara Putman is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. Connect with her on her website,

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels. Find out more on her website,

Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including Chasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger. Learn more about Tricia and her books on her website,

Book Giveaway! Cara Putman has offered to give a copy if more than ten people participate. Answer this question in the comment section along with your e-mail address in case you win: How do you simplify Christmas?

NEXT WEEK’S GUEST: Allison Flexer, author of Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman, guest posts October 2nd. Mark your calendars!


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Karen Cushing

    Society seems to do whatever it can to make sure you do not simplify Christmas. We work hard to make it as simple as possible. I work in retail, so I am bombarded constantly with music, food, decorations and gifts. I only have Christmas Day itself off. We try to keep our menu and baked goods simple and we set a strict limit on gifts. It is nice to have home as a quiet refuge away from it all after dealing with it all day every day at work.

  2. Caitlin Smart

    Our family loves participating in secret santa! Instead of having to buy for everyone, you only have to buy for one person. Of course, the real fun is trying to guess who gave you your present, as its a mystery!

  3. Katie Edgar

    I try to keep it simple by not being too busy or biuying too many gifts! My email is katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Darlene Clark

    we do handmade gifts and focus more on the actual meaning of Christmas than the commercialism. Service at church on Christmas Eve, family, things like that.

  5. Elaine Shorb

    My brother, sister, and I, along with their families celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve Day. That way, the families have a quiet Christmas Day. We can use the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and the Birth of Jesus Christ.

    Elaine Shorb

  6. Amy

    We try not to overdo decorations and Christmas baking (though we still do enough of them). And we try not to schedule too many events. It can be easy to schedule something for almost every day in December. So, we try to keep the amount of commitments down to ones that are really important.

    amyputney89 [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. Deanna S

    Less gifts & more together time. Money is tight for some so we usually draw names & then my husband & I pick up fun gifts for winners of games 🙂 dkstevensne @ outlook .com

  8. Brenda Ayers

    It is difficult to simplify Christmas a great deal,however for the past several years I have cooked breakfast for our Christmas meal. Everyone seems to adultit and there is not a lot of prior preparation. Everyone knows breakfast will be for dinner so no one is disappointed. After dinner we open our gifts and the kids get to play with their stuff and the adults talk and enjoy fellowship with one another.

  9. Constitutionchic

    Fewer decorations and gifts. We focus on family and friends.

  10. Alanna

    Each Christmas morning, my family gathers in the living room and we read the story of Jesus’ birth. It definitely helps me remember what Christmas is really about.

  11. Gail Hollingsworth

    I try to concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas, Christ came as a baby to save us from our sins. My son would run downstairs when he was quite small on Christmas morning looking for Baby Jesus even before he would look to see what Santa brought. We had a nativity with a removable Jesus and I hid it until Christmas morning.
    I’ve also toned down the gifts I buy. I may make some of them and/or only buy one or two for each person on my list.

  12. Sue

    We make photo ornaments for each member of our family every year; there is not a purchased ornament on our tree. All our kids are grown up and have their own homes, but they all try to show up to decorate the tree at our house because they love to look at each ornament and reminisce. We try to carry the Spirit and Love of Christmas through each day of the year, so on Christmas Day it is truly a celebration of our Savior’s birth!

  13. Donna B

    We simplify Christmas by exchanging names. We put the kid’s names together and have them draw names. We also put the adult names together and draw from them. All of the Adults try to buy for the kid’s and the person whose name they drew. Mainly it is a time for visiting and having fun.

  14. Pam K.

    My siblings and I simplified Christmas several years ago by drawing names instead of giving everyone a gift. This is the siblings, spouses, and adult children (over 18). We also have a limit of what to spend. Since there are six of us siblings, this helps a lot. We still have the joy of giving without as much expense or time devoted to gifts. This leaves more time for the people in our family.

  15. Heather S

    I think the best way we simplify Christmas is not getting caught up in the commercialization of the season and keeping it focused on the real reason for the holiday: Christ coming to earth as a little baby to live and die for us. Thanks for the giveaway!

    professionalbookworm418 (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. Teresa

    I have attempted to simplify gift giving by buying gifts for family through Compassion International that benefit those in third world countries that need simple things like something to eat, clean water, preventive medicines, and education.

  17. Jennifer Hibdon

    We simplify by picking the traditions that are important to each one, then see which ones fit into the schedule. We try to include the ones that have the most “fans”. Christ is always the center of our celebration. j4hibdon (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thank you for the giveaway! I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments. Merry Christmas!!!!!!

  18. KayM

    My children have grown up and I now have several grandchildren. I have come up with ways to simplify, as the years have rolled along. After spending hours devoted to unwrapping gifts in the early years of grandchildren, I have made a few changes. One that has worked well is that I buy the same or similar gifts for each grandchild and then pass out checks. Last year, for example, I found a company that makes wonderful, personalized, hooded sweatshirts. I was able to choose shirts that matched each individual’s personality and interests, and then it was personalized with their names. Additionally, they all love the extra cash–LOL! It’s much simpler for me.

  19. Kerry Darnell

    Ever since I was born, we have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve right before bedtime. We have a homemade cake with fresh buttercream icing decorated with red & green sprinkles in the shapes of the nativity. In it’s center is Mom’s Precious Moments manger scene candle. By the light of our Christmas tree, we sit in a circle & sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, & then the youngest child blows out the candle. Daddy reads the Christmas story to us from his special Bible, the one with our family’s history recorded on it’s pages. Each person thanks Jesus for being born into this world to save us so we can live with Him forever. Mom hands us each a beautifully-wrapped little gift, which is always a unique ornament to hang on the tree. Then we eat the cake & talk about our favorite Christmas memories before peeping out the window in hopes of a white Christmas & going to bed. THIS is the start of our Christmas. THIS is the last thing we think about before we go to sleep & the first thing we think about when we wake up on Christmas morning, before we put on our slippers & bathrobes & open presents around the tree. And that makes THIS the focus of our whole Christmas.

  20. Chris

    I love this question . . . I have simplified Christmas by focusing on the names of Christ as my daily devotional. I make a Christ-centered ornament each year and give it away to who God leads me to. In years past I have given them to the dispatch staff at the PBSO (my hubbie is a 28 yr vet w/the Sheriff’s Office and they helped us one day when his car broke down. (They all cried and said they never get a thank you! : /) I have given them to all the servers I meet in Nov/Dec from waitresses to grocery store clerks . . . everyone. One year I gave about 100 to a church we visited in VT who was opening right before Christmas . . for them to give out to the new visitors! This year I (and my dearest friends and well anyone who wants to help!) am making ornaments for our Christmas production(need 1500!). We are opening our new church building with a 600 plus seating sanctuary and hosting a Christmas musical/play. All of my ornaments are sort of like a little tract explaining the Christmas symbol or Nativity along with an gospel invitation. Just keeps me focusing on Christ.

  21. Linda Syman

    I try to buy gifts all year so it’s not so hard on the budget in December. I also make sure I take time to gaze at the nativity and pray.

  22. beckie

    Only do the stuff you really want to do. That should weed out most of it.

  23. Lisa Allen

    How do I simplify Christmas?! Keep it centered around Christ and not lots of gifts. We do a big breakfast and homemade pizza for supper, every year!

  24. jo evans

    Shop very early and concentrate on Jesus during the two weeks surrounding Christmas

  25. Patty


    goes with last comment!

  26. Patty

    I/we simplify Christmas by drawing names for gifts and not going overboard with spending!

  27. Tina Rice

    I love Christmas and Christmas christian fiction stories. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of Where Treetops Glisten.

    I have simplified Christmas by slowing down and not rushing around like crazy as I have in years past.
    Usually have the gifts and wrapped before Thanksgiving so I can enjoy everything about Christmas.
    My 10 year old grandson loves to put the tree up, so he and his dad come over and put the Christmas tree up. Love watching him trimming the tree. We still have some of the decorations my two sons made when they were little and put them on the tree. I put the Nativity set out and re-read the story of Jesus’ birth as I put each figure out. I love listening to Christmas Carols and sing along with them. Usually attend Christmas Eve services at church. We have cut way back on the amount of food we prepare for Christmas dinner which makes Christmas day so much more relaxing. Enjoying visit with family and opening gifts.

    Blessings, Tina

  28. mary ellen ashenfelder

    We simplify Christmas by limiting gifts to honor the real meaning of the day — the birth of baby Jesus. Our meals are prepared in foil pans, use paper plates to ease clean up in order to spend more time with family.

  29. Elisabete C.F. Martins


    Spending the day with family, watch movies christmas and make our own cakes

  30. Jennifer Khoury

    We simplify Christmas by celebrating family traditions. Remembering what Christmas felt like when we were kids, helps take away the commercial side of things. Cooking Grandma’s recipes and cutting down a tree with a handsaw just like Grandpa did, then decorating it with handmade ornaments. Riding around town with hot chocolate to see the lights. Refusing to rush the season and remembering the reason! Jesus!

  31. Rita Navarre

    We try focus on the time spent together as a family.

  32. Samantha

    I simplify Christmas by going old-style, and having a vintage Christmas centered around family and Jesus 🙂

  33. Kerry

    I simplify Christmas by saying No to some events so I don’t spread myself too thin. I work off of a Christmas budget/shopping list, so I am not overbuying or overspending. I get gifts out the door an on the their way to family in other states as soon as possible, so I can focus on family within my home.

  34. Sandy Wigdahl

    We simplify Christmas by celebrating with my side of the family on Labor Day Weekend. There are no flu bugs to bother with. We can camp outside since we have grown a lot and need the space. We can act out the Christmas story outside with a campfire and various locations to walk to. We love it.

  35. anne

    Thanks for this giveaway. We concentrate on the happiness and beauty in our family. We talk, sing and eat wonderful meals together and appreciate the meaningful time which we treasure.

  36. Brittany Keating

    I think I’ve simplified Christmas by not getting too many things scheduled. In years past, I get so busy with so many great things to do, that I forget/don’t have time to just stop and celebrate and savor the season. Then suddenly, it’s January and I realize that I never took the time to really enjoy what is such a special time of the year. I’ve learned to downsize my schedule:)

    Brittany (

  37. Traci Nelson

    We simply set a limit of the amount of gifts each child will receive. Each one knows this so they have to make a list of things they would like with the top 3 being the top 3 on the list. They can put unlimited items on the list we just know the top 3 are the te things they really want. We also draw names for everyone else in the extended family.

  38. Cheryl Rogers

    We simplify Christmas by lessening the amount of presents we give to each of our 5 children and we focus more on the traditions and the reasons why we celebrate the holiday.

  39. Ellie W

    We simplify by making a lot of homemade gifts. For the last few years my husband and I have baked rum cakes for our family and friends. They are a big hit with everyone. And our day of baking together has become a treasured part of our own holiday.

    I look forward to reading this. I love a good Christmas book to put me in the holiday spirit. Thanks for the giveaway!
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  40. Kendra Whittle

    I just simplify Christmas by doing quiet things. Just sitting under the tree, with the lights glowing, listening to “O Holy Night” and reading the story from Luke 2. Maybe eating a cookie or two as well. I think just being still and being quiet and remembering that night so long ago is the best thing to do to get away from the craziness of the season.

    kwhiittle (at) wgem (dot) com

  41. Mary Goodwin

    Would love to win this book. Especially since it is written by some of my favorite writers.

  42. Christina Spicuzza

    Hello!!! I hope that more people enter! I’ll be so sad if they don’t!
    In our family, we try to help the kids stay focused on the true reason for Christmas… Christmas Eve we go to church and come home and allow our 4 kids to each open 1 small gift… Then we sit in the living room singing Christmas carols and watching the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas and A Christmas Story. Christmas Day we wake up and the kids open their presents… (We don’t buy extravagant gifts). Then we all get dressed up and go to my hubby’s grandparents house to have dinner with his family. From there we go to my uncles house where we spend the rest of the day with my very large family eating and reminiscing. It’s a beautiful day filled with family and fun!
    Thank you of offering to do this giveaway. My email address is:

  43. Caryl Kane

    I simplify Christmas by keeping the focus on Jesus. I don’t get caught up in the craziness of the holiday season. Cara, thank you for your generosity. Sherry, thank you for sharing this book on your blog.


  44. Julie Smith

    The easiest way to simplify is to keep the decorations to a “low roar”. As long as I get the manger scene set up, I’m happy. If we also put up the tree, that’s icing on my cake! Another great time saver is to put all items going to the same person inside one big, wrapped box (with a lovely bow) so you don’t have to wrap everything individually. This works better once your kids hit around 11-12.

    • Sherry Kyle

      Julie, I love the “low roar” analogy! We set aside the first Saturday in December to put up the Christmas decorations. I involve my teenagers, too. That way, they feel apart of it and they have a good childhood memory.

  45. Cara Putman

    Hi everyone. I’ll give a copy away if we have more than ten people participate. So here’s how you can enter: How do you simplify Christmas?

    • Sherry Kyle

      Wow, readers! Cara has graciously offered a book! I own a copy and you’ll LOVE it! Please include your e-mail address so that I know how to contact you if you win.