Books

*SNEAK PEEK* 2012 Holiday Gift Guide ~ "The Sparkle Box" Review & Giveaway

4:29 PM

As you all may or may not have noticed, I am hosting my first-ever Holiday Gift Guide this year! I have never done one in the past and am very excited to bring you some of the best and hottest gift ideas that are out there for this up-coming holiday season. Today, I am giving you a little sneak peek into what this Gift Guide holds for you and what better way to start than with a fabulous gift idea for children!

Books are things that every child loves. Whether it is sitting down to flip through board books, or reading chapter books, children enjoy the thrill and excitement of what awaits their little minds within each book. My children LOVE to read; we visit our local library at least once a week and get out several books for them. Jacob, my two year old, really loves the books about trucks and heavy equipment. Although he cannot read, he totally understands the pictures and "reads" in his own little way. My daughter enjoys any book, but especially books about children, families and pets. She is a very inquisitive little girl and needs to be kept busy all the time...books have been our answer for her!
With Christmas a little over 9 weeks away (!!!) it is not too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts for your little ones. We don't believe in Santa Claus so naturally, we don't teach our children about him. We teach them that Christmas is a time of year that is set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus. So many people get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas that the true meaning is totally lost in all the hustle and bustle.  That was the inspiration behind "The Sparkle Box".
Jill Hardie, the author of this fantastic children's book saw materialism taking over her family during the holidays and turned it around to helping others. This is the inspiration behind this book. Here is a bit more about Jill...

Author Jill Hardie, her husband, and their two children began the tradition of placing a Sparkle Box for Jesus under their Christmas tree approximately six years ago. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they experienced profound peace and happiness. It's Jill's hope that The Sparkle Box book will ignite a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season.

"There are many traditions that help us remember the remarkable and beautiful story of the birth of Jesus. My hope is that The Sparkle Box will help us remember Jesus as he is today – in the present. It encourages us to ask the question,  'What gift can we give Jesus on His birthday that will bring Him joy?'

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."

– Jill Hardie

Because of the fact that we are Bible-believing Christians, we love books that teach our children about Jesus and how serving Him brings peace and joy. "The Sparkle Box" really excited me as it promised to be a great teaching tool for my children.
So, for this review I was sent "The Sparkle Box" to read to my children and to share with you! It arrived the other day and I just had to review it now!!
 First of all, the cover is gorgeous. See the pretty wrapped box? It has like a 3-D glitter look to it but none of the glitter rubs off. My daughter LOVED this sparkly box...she could not WAIT to read the book! (You can't see them in these pictures but my children were fighting me to get to the book...I had to keep telling them to move away from the table so I could take my pictures. Ha ha!)
Oh yes, and the book comes with a sparkle box that you can unfold and make into your very own box and yes, it is glittery too!
I just love all of the beautiful pictures that are found in this book. They are all very colorful and really portray the story well. The illustrations are drawn by Christine Kornacki and she did a really fantastic job. What I think I love the most about this book is that there is no mention of Santa Claus at all so I don't have to "ad-lib" any parts.
So, as soon as I was done with taking my pictures of the book, my children RAN with this book to the couch and settled in for a story. Here is a quick synopsis of "The Sparkle Box"...

Sam can’t wait for Christmas! He’s excited about the parties and the food and, of course, the gifts. One present in particular has Sam curious—a sparkling silver box on the mantel. Sam’s parents will only tell him that they will open the gift together, but that they need to fill it first.

Throughout the holiday season, Sam and his family participate in various charitable acts together. Gradually, Sam starts to see how fortunate he is and how important it is to help others.

On Christmas morning, Sam rushes down the stairs to open his gifts. When he and his parents open the Sparkle Box, all he sees are strips of paper that record the family’s acts of kindness. Sam is confused, but his mom explains:

 “[Jesus] taught us that whatever we do for people in need, we do for Him. . . . Each year we’ll think of some special gifts to give Jesus. We’ll write down these gifts and put them in the Sparkle Box. On Christmas morning, we’ll open the box and read out loud the gifts we gave in honor of His birthday.”

This story will inspire readers to adopt this tradition and to experience the true meaning of the Christmas holiday.
Being a parent, I am constantly trying to instill good values into my children and this book has given me a wonderful idea on how I can do that. I plan to use our Sparkle Box for this upcoming holiday season and I think I am going to focus on the children doing nice things for each other and then writing those things down and putting them in our box. They are having a hard time learning how to be KIND and this would help encourage them to be kind, and in turn, make Jesus' heart very happy. What a great way to teach them how to love and care!

"The Sparkle Box" retails for $19.99 and can be purchased at any book store. You can also purchase it online by clicking HERE.

So, in my opinion..."The Sparkle Box" is a fantastic book and would make a wonderful gift for any child this holiday season. I love the values that are instilled and taught by this book and look forward to reading this book to my children in the weeks, months and years to come!
One of you can WIN your very own copy of "The Sparkle Box"! This giveaway will end in time for you to give this book to a special little person in your life. So get your entries in and scratch a name off your shopping list!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a free book for review purposes. All quotes and stock photos are from the "The Sparkle Box" website and email. Prize is being provided and shipped by the sponsor. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

You Might Also Like

38 comments

  1. In my opinion...you did an amazing job with this review of the Sparkle Box. I know Jill personally and you have captured her heart and vision for this book. It will bring unspeakable joy and peace into every home and every recipient of these tender acts of kindness. I did it last year and it is wonderful. Jesus receives the Honor and Glory....now that's a true celebration of Christmas. Thank you for this beautiful KUDOS!
    Marykay Moore
    marykay.moore7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for reviewing The Sparkle Box! I loved reading how excited your children are about the book and the picture of them reading it is just precious! There are a number of activities on www.thesparklebox.com that children and parents may enjoy doing together to make the tradition even more meaningful. Your children may enjoy the "I want to Sparkle" printable coloring page. Prayers for many blessings for you and your family—
    Jill Hardie

    ReplyDelete
  3. My children have always asked if they could leave a present for Jesus. It would be interesting to have them right their Christmas gift idea on a piece of paper to be opened on Christmas morning. Love this idea.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am not really creative and just use other peoples ideas but each year I buy a new childrens Christmas book and this is the one for this year~ Love it

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am not super creative but would love sharing with my kids eaglesforjack@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. It would be cute to have my daughter put her wishes and prayers for others "in" the box. We could put it under the tree and I think every time we saw it we would be reminding of those prayers for others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I def agree with you... Christmas has become too commercialized and many have lost the true meaning. Our changes this year include limiting their list to 3 items, and we will be volunteering as a family throughout the season (and hopefully after the holidays, too).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would love to put ideas for my children to "pay it forward", they would love this!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to share this with my son.

    Suzanne Warren
    smlemayus@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. This sounds like a wonderful book...I think I would have my children put prayers we have been praying for people and ways they could show love to others in it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would love for us as a family to put an act of service in the box!

    kelsieraec (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  12. we are going to do operation christmas child to help teach the kids about others who are less fortunate.

    j2j9399 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have been wanted to start doing Random Acts of Kindness with my kids this holiday season. They are getting to ages where I think they would find it really fun. I think it would be wonderful to add those to our Sparkle Box. It sounds like a wonderful story.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My daughter will be three soon and learning about sharing, giving, and being kind are three challenging things at this age. We have already discussed some ways we would love to bless people around us this holiday season by making meals, cleaning houses, and buying a some gifts for some families.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow I love this idea! I will be using this one for sure!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love your review of this book, it looks wonderful. I am not very creative, but I think operation Christmas looks like a great idea

    ReplyDelete
  17. This book seems wonderful. My son is 3 so we could put pictures of nice things to do for others in the box. EvaLou24 at yahoo dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Operation Christmas perhaps?

    SiobhanTwohig86 at gmail

    ReplyDelete
  19. This book sounds so good - just a great childrens book for my grandchild
    vickie
    vmorgan456 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would love this! We get a new Christmas book every year, and this would be great.

    kristen_yeh at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Would love to get this book- what great meaning behind it!
    We plan to do operation christmas child.
    real_raz05@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would write down all of the things the kids did to be kind or helpful to someone during the Christmas season. Sometimes a gift of kindness can go further than a store bought gift.

    ReplyDelete
  23. We thank Jesus for something every night at prayer time. This would be another way to put those thank yous in a special box.

    ReplyDelete
  24. mikewdavis57@yahoo.com--We would have each of our children write a note about what they would do for a stranger--then pass the box around a have the rest of the family donate some money that we could send over to the animal shelter for extra foods

    ReplyDelete
  25. My Sparkle Box idea is to have my children put our friends and neighbors names in the box that we want to do a nice thing for.

    april yedinak

    ReplyDelete
  26. Maybe just have an empty box of nice things they can do for others - ways to show love?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would write down all the wonderful characteristics of my kids and put them in the box so they know how much we love them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would have each of my children write down what they feel the true meaning of Christmas and Christmas time is and read them aloud on Christmas day.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think anything to help the victims of Sandy.

    ReplyDelete
  30. we raise money to send kids to school in africa.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love the idea of teaching the kiddos that doing things for others is giving gifts to god. i would stick with that theme. Can't think of anything better.

    ReplyDelete
  32. every year we buy a new christmas ornament that represents our family

    ReplyDelete
  33. What the true meaning of Christmas is for each member of the family

    ReplyDelete
  34. My idea would be to try to help people in my community. I'll probably do the Angel Tree at the Salvation Army. I try to do what I can because there are children in such need of basic necessities. Sigh. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  35. would love to put things we could do for others in the box.
    ridges9128@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  36. the times that my kids did not know i saw a great thing they did
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would have the kids I sit for write down one nice/thoughtful thing they did for someone and put it in the box each day. Then we would read them together right before Christmas and hear how everyone else spread love throughout the season!

    ReplyDelete

You can leave a valid email address with each comment so I will know where to contact you if you win a giveaway...or make sure it is listed where I can easily find it! Thanks for visiting!