Category Archives: Giveaways

12 Days of Blogmas, Day 1: Christmas Giveaway


Update: Giveaway is now closed! Thank you for participating!

This year I’m doing the 12 Days of Blogmas challenge, where I’ll post something Christmas-related on each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

And in the spirit of Christmas, let’s start off with a good old-fashioned giveaway!

I wanted my giveaway to be cozy/winter themed rather than Christmas themed, because by the time you get this, Christmas will be almost over. So I have a few things here that will keep you cozy this winter.

First, books! I carefully selected three books that I think will be universally appealing to readers, regardless of age or gender. They are:

  1. Paris Underground, by Etta Shiber
    This book is a true story about two older widows who ended up smuggling people out of France during WWII. Fascinating, informative, and oddly charming despite its serious subject matter.
  2. Leave it to Psmith, by P.G. Wodehouse
    P.G. Wodehouse is the king of humor writing, and this book is one of his masterpieces. I’ve never met someone who read this book and didn’t love it. As an added bonus, Wodehouse went on to write not one, but two series based on this book…one that focuses on the character Psmith, and one that centers around Blandings Castle, where Leave it to Psmith takes place. So if you enjoy it, you have many more books to explore.
  3. The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking
    This book is a little bit nerdy, digging, as it does, into the etymology of one little Danish word. It’s also quite charming, with its pretty illustrations and its instructions on how to use candles, baked treats, and cozy nooks to their best advantage.
    But most of all, it is practical and informative for anyone who struggles with the cold, dark days of winter. If the Danish people can figure out a way to be the happiest people on earth in one of the coldest, darkest locations, than you can get through the winter too. This book will help.

Besides the books, this giveaway includes a cozy pottery mug, and a large unscented candle. (The unscented part is important. You’ll understand once you read The Little Book of Hygge.) (Also, it’s a good one. Not one of those cheap candles that burns up before you can blink.)

To enter this giveaway, you must…

  1. Comment on this post, saying you’d like to be entered into the giveaway. Or saying whatever you want to say. If you leave a comment, I’ll assume that means you want to be entered.
  2. That’s the only requirement, but if you share this post on Facebook I’ll give you TWO extra entries. (Just tell me, in your comment on this post, that you shared it.)

This giveaway will close Monday, December 16, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. 

And meanwhile, come back every day for my 12 Days of Blogmas posts! Lord willing and my computer cord don’t explode, I’ll post every day from now until Christmas Eve. (But with my propensity to post late in the evenings, and my Pacific time zone, it might be more like every morning from tomorrow morning until Christmas morning for you East Coasters.)

Anyway, we’ll have some fun times! I wrote a Christmas-themed fiction story. And lined up a guest poster. And scoured my blog for a couple funny Christmas memories from years past. And hopefully I’ll manage to shoot and edit a fun video.

Finally, I want to mention that this giveaway is the very first thing I’m spending my Patreon money on!

Last April I set up a Patreon page, where I post at least one, but usually two, bonus blog posts a month. I post about opinions, semi-controversial thoughts, and personal reflections that I’m not comfortable showing the whole entire world on my regular blog. Things get much deeper over on my Patreon.

I charge $1 a month for access, although you can give more than that, if you want to further support my blog.

So far I haven’t spent any of that money. Since it came from blog supporters, I wanted to pour it back into my blog in some way. Beginning with this givaway, and then renewing my domain name, and eventually replacing the little pink $190 laptop I’ve been using for five years. After that my goal will be to buy a camera and start doing more video projects for the blog!

Anyway. All this to say a deep “thank you” to everyone who supports my blog. If you’re interested in supporting me on Patreon and getting access to my bonus posts, go to and click the pink “Join $1 Tier” button (on computers), or the red “select” button (on mobile).

End of commercial.

Merry Christmas, and don’t forget to comment below and enter the giveaway!!!

Magazine Giveaway


A month or so ago I wrote an article in Vibrant Girl magazine, and today I’m giving away a copy of that issue.

“What is Vibrant Girl magazine?” You might ask.

Well, let me tell you a little story.

When I was a preteen I LOVED American Girl magazine. One time, American Girl ran a story about a Jewish girl who started her own magazine, which was essentially an American Girl for Jewish girls. This story delighted me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I thought, to start a magazine for Mennonite girls?

But, like many of my great ideas, I never made it happen.

Another note about my preteen years was this: I hated the way that everyone of youth group age or older completely excluded those younger than them. So when I began to grow up, I always tried to chat with younger girls and take them seriously.

The added bonus of this was that preteen girls were often much more interesting, vivacious, and creative than their older-teenage counterparts. The classic example of this was Monica Miller.

Monica was my neighbor when I lived in Colorado, and she reminded me of a miniature version of myself. She was always coming up with fun creative ideas, like writing stories and then roping her friends into dressing up, acting them out, and filming them. She, too, loved American Girl magazine and dreamed of starting a Mennonite version of it.

And what do you know? She actually did it.

It started as an online magazine called The Girlfriend Gazette. It slowly evolved, as Monica gained more experience and honed her talents. Now it’s called Vibrant Girl, and is a physical magazine that you can subscribe to. And it’s absolutely fantastic.

I should note that while I call it “American Girl for Mennonites,” it’s really for any Christian girls, so long as they can put up with the models wearing skirts and head coverings. I don’t think there’s any Mennonite-specific content besides that.

What I especially appreciate is that it’s really fun, and doesn’t have a super-spiritual deep-and-serious sit-in-the-meadow-all-day-and-prayer-journal vibe. There is some spiritual content, of course, but it is all very relevant to the spiritual experiences of a preteen.

The article I wrote for Vibrant Girl was about when my brother Ben and I got stuck in China.


But the magazine is full of other fun stuff, like an article about what to do when you feel left out, a photo spread about a girl who re-decorated an old camper, crafts, an article about prayer walking, and more.



To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here or on Facebook saying that you want to enter the giveaway. I’ll randomly pick a winner and mail you the magazine. Also this time I’m limiting it to US applications. International postage is still confusing to me.

Whether or not you win, if you have a young daughter, niece, friend, etc, you should consider this magazine. To subscribe, go to

Take care, and I hope you win!

(Ends at 11:59 pm on Thursday, June 28)