Dana Mentink

Would you rather…Christmas style!

Woot! I hear those sleigh bells jingling, don’t you? Actually, I’m here in Northern, CA, so we don’t get snow, but hey, I’m a fiction writer. I can dream up any setting in an eye blink. At the moment, it is in the low sixties during the day and dropping into the frost zone at night. This means my aged box turtle has dug a nice hole and buried herself until spring. With the way 2020 is going, that sounds like a grand idea to me.

I love the season and all things Christmas, but this year, well it’s different for sure. I have a whole new appreciation for the word “gather.” The truth is, I took it for granted that I could see my family, and gather with friends, whenever I chose. That is the one lesson I have learned thoroughly through this virus thing. When the world opens up again, I will not take gatherings for granted ever again! I will resist the urge to run up to everyone and start dispensing hugs, since people may be a bit gun shy, but dinner parties, here I come! But enough about sad topics. Let us celebrate the season with a fun little “would you rather” game.

  1. Would you rather eat ONLY fruitcake or ONLY gingerbread for a whole day?

(Are you kidding? My answer is FRUITCAKE! I LOVE the stuff!)

  1. Would you rather only receive gifts for a day or give them?

(I’m a giver. If only I had the funds to actually do this on a grand scale. I’ve got caviar dreams on a bologna and cheese budget.)

  1. Would you rather be Santa or Mrs. Claus?

(Mrs. Claus for me because I’m a stay at home kinda gal, and I want to feed people. All the time. Every day. It’s a compulsion. Really.)

  1. Would you rather run out of toilet paper or laundry detergent?

(Detergent. I figure I could wash clothes with dish soap if compelled to do so.)


  1. Would you rather celebrate Christmas at home with lots of presents, or celebrate Christmas in Disneyland with no presents?

(Home. No contest. After a couple hours in Disney, I’m ready to pack myself up and get out of Mickeyland! And since Disneyland in California is closed for the foreseeable future, that one was a no brainer. I have heard that Disney World is open, which boggles my mind.)

I can’t wait to hear your answers! God bless you all this holiday season!


Sara Blackard

Do you love Christmas?

I haven’t always had a fondness for Christmas. In fact, growing up I resented it. You see, I was born two days before, going home from the hospital on Christmas Day in a red stocking instead of a blanket.

Christmas always seemed to outshine my special day. Friends were too busy for birthday parties. Family would give the wonderful “Merry Birthday” or “Happy Christmas” presents. (Hope you caught the sarcasm there.) My day became so overwhelmed by that pesky holiday that I had to move my birthday and celebrate it on my half birthday (brilliant idea of my parents, by the way.)

Since being saved in my mid-twenties, I cherish the fact that my birthday is so close to the celebration of Jesus’s birth. His sacrifice has given my life new meaning, has stretched my imagination, and filled me with hope and love. Now, instead of wanting the spotlight on myself, I love that I can fade into the background and shine all the season’s attention on Him.

We live in Interior Alaska in a house we are still in the process of building. Each year it has been interesting trying to find space to decorate. We can’t go too crazy with lights since we live off grid and conserving electricity is important. We always find some way to decorate and bring the festive season in.

Two years ago, we were living in a 16ft by 20ft space with two lofts. Having seven people in that space at -30 degree and colder weather gets a little cramped. We couldn’t put the tree in the living room since that was also the homeschool room and my husband and my bedroom (Hello, Murphy bed.). We couldn’t put it in the dining room, since technically that was just part of the living room. We had that whole open scheme going, but without the space of the open scheme.

What in the world were we going to do about a Christmas tree? The kids were very concerned. Me? Not so much. Between my husband’s genius mind and my ability to Pinterest with the best of them, I knew we’d figure out something.

What do you do with a hula hoop, garland, and rope? Why, create a hanging tree, of course! The ropes wrapped in garland stretched up from the hula hoop to a “tree top”. Lights wove around and through the ropes. Decorations hung on the lights and garland-wrapped hula hoop. We hoisted the entire creation on a pulley system to the ceiling fan the hubster cut power to so that the tree suspended in the air. It was the oddest Christmas tree that I’d ever seen, but also the most enduring. The kids would pile up blankets underneath it and stare at the lights and decorations. It’s a time I’ll never forget.

Do you have a special way to decorate for the holidays? Does one Christmas stand out above the others? I’d love to hear about it.