Risen’s Christmas Favorites for the Season

DECK THE HALLS

“Deck the Halls with boughs of holly…. Fa la la la la, la la la la.” One of the most festive ways to get in the Christmas spirit is through decor. We absolutely love the collections at Balsam Hill.

They have thought of everything when it comes to selecting the perfect tree. From a simple Tree Finder Quiz helping better understand size and space to a Sample Branch Kit that can be sent to your home to help determine species — it’s not as easy to spot a spruce from a fir, or pine from a cedar. Their Artificial Tree Collection consists of more than 60 options!

From wreaths to garlands, decorating the mantle and window coverings, doors, mirrors and more can be adorned with foliage and flowers. We love the Merry Winterberry Collection and their Poinsettia Collection. Poinsettias are considered the Christmas flower, and many people give them to symbolize good cheer and success. We love the deeper meaning that suggests the shape of the poinsettia flower symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, with the red leaves as the blood of Christ.

Balsam Hill has ornaments and decor for indoor and outdoor, we get a lot of use out of the Lit Tabletop Merry Christmas Ornaments and just added the Prancers from the Stocking Holder Collection to our gold theme.

We also turn on Christmas music while we’re decorating and so it was such a pleasant pairing to find out Balsam Hill is sponsoring Christmas with Michael W Smith & Amy Grant, featuring Michael Tait! Be sure to check out their concert schedule to see if these Christian icons are performing near you… Smith’s new Christmas at Home album recently released too!

Balsam Hill: (l to r) Merry Winterberry Arrangement, Biltmore Spruce Tree, Tabletop Merry Christmas Ornaments, Large Poinsettia & Right or Left-Facing Prancer Stocking Holders

THE CHRISTMAS STORY

“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

We all take extra time to read the scripture and celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Alabaster has transformed the way many are reading the Bible. They are welcoming a new way to experience the Word of God in your daily life.

Alabaster’s beautiful books of the Bible integrate visual imagery and thoughtful design because they believe in the divine inspiration, trustworthiness, and authority of the Bible—and so they bring this into everything they make and do.

They know that the story of God is beautiful, and therefore created a beautiful reading experience. We talked with Alabaster’s Art Director, Samuel Han about how theologians dive into the scriptures and give context to meaning so artists can develop themes and color pallets, so much purpose and thought behind eery decision.

These are heirloom-quality gifts you will want to showcase on your coffee table, entry hall or nightstand and you’ll be excited to give as gifts and share with others. Some of our favorites include the Gospels Hardcover — all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in one 480-page book, hardcover smyth-sewn bound, and printed in full color. Of course we love that you Build Your Own Bundle of Bible books in either hardcover or soft. Or they have even curated a Christmas Gift Set… whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Notebooks, prayer candles, devotionals, topical books, bundles, and accessories are also all offered.

Alabaster: (l to r) Ecclesiastes, Romans, Philippians, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Psalms, The Gospels & Proverbs

SOAK UP THE SEASON

“Away in the manger, no crib for a bed…” is one of the most popular Christmas hymns and now it’s also a bath balm set. Imagine the majestic, holy night that Christ was born in a humble stable. Now, make bath time a moment to share the true meaning of Christmas with your little ones as they enjoy the surprises inside. And, yes, Musee has created the most fantastic Away In A Manger Six Balm Set each featuring wooden peg dolls to represent the nativity!

The festive bath time fun continues, especially for little ones excited for Santa’s arrival with Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer bath balms. Musee also has a gingerbread man, and a trio of Villages that become ornaments when you’re done. Musee Bath Balms are always a big hit in our household!

They also make a great stocking stuffers as well as gifts for teachers, neighbors, coaches and anyone on your list that enjoys self-care. One of our favorite sets that doubles as a great gift is the Words of Encouragement Soap Set. Make someone feel encouraged and uplifted with their handmade bars of soap that nourish the skin while leaving the soul lifted by words of positivity and inspiration! The set includes: Kindness, Hope, Peace, Imagine, Full of Joy, and Thankful. What wonderful words to give this holiday season!

Not only are their bath balms handmade in the USA with ethically sourced, natural ingredients making it safe for all skin types but the brand is committed to restoring lives by providing work for vulnerable people in their community and also has a partnership with schools for Haiti.

Musee Bath: (l to r) Away in a Manger Set, Holiday Bath Balms, North Pole Set, Village Bath Balms & Words of Encouragement Soap Set

CHOOSE JOY! SHARE THE SWEETNESS

Have you been naughty or nice this holiday season? You know Santa is making his list and checking it twice, but we say, let chocolate decide!

And if you’re going get coal, then we hope it’s Exploding Coal! Chuao Chocolatier really makes it the most wonderful time of the year with all their festive holiday flavors. In addition to the coal, they have For the Love of Peppermint, Hope, Joy & Gingerbread, and Snuggle Up S’mores. You can’t go wrong with these bars and you’ll be a hit at any house if you show up with the Holiday Sampler filled with mini-bars of all the flavors.

Chuao is known for their gourmet chocolate bars with unique flavor like Baconluxious and Potato Chip, or Cheeky, Cheeky Churro and Honeycomb. Plus they have amazing caramels, bonbons and bark!

We love their award-winning drinking chocolate and find it best paired with a cozy fire. We took it up a notch as we absolutely love all the inspiration and recipes Chuao puts on their website! We tried their Hot Chocolate Spoons and they were a big hit, especially with the kiddos.

So whether you are giving a gift, or indulging yourself…. choose joy!

Chuao Chocolatier: (l to r) Chuao Headquarters, Holiday Bars, Hot Chocolate Spoons & Drinking Chocolate and Signature Gift Box

DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW, “STREAMING” ALL THE WAY

With most schools giving long winter breaks, Christmas means more time for family movie nights… or these days, streaming sessions together!

The global phenomenon, The Chosen, just dropped Season 3 in theatres and is now streaming. This is the multi-episode television drama based on the life of Jesus. With more than 420 million episode views from around the world, The Chosen is a fan-supported, seven-season television series that creates an authentic and intimate picture of Jesus’ life and ministry, seen through the eyes of the people who knew him.  Over the course of its first two seasons, the series has garnered praise from critics and fans alike for its historical and biblical accuracy, playful spirit, stirring drama, genuine humor and disruptive impact. It has been translated into 62 languages (and counting) and is consistently one of the top-searched shows on streaming platforms. You can watch our interview with Jonathan Roumie (Jesus) and Noah James (Andrew) too.

We’re super excited for the best-selling book series, The Wingfeather Saga, to come to screen this December. The epic fantasy series for kids, written by Christian recording artist Andrew Peterson, chronicles the adventures of the Igiby family as they uncover family secrets, flee the evil Fangs of Dang, and make a stand against the mysterious ruler, Gnag the Nameless. Think along the lines of the wit of The Princess Bride, the epic world of The Lord of the Rings, and the deep magic of the Narnia series. It also boasts great music and a beautiful painted animation.

This Christmas season Pure Flix will celebrate with an extensive offering of 190 movies and shows. The selection includes 14 original and exclusive films and series created and curated to illuminate and enrich your family’s Christmas celebrations. Christmas comedy classics with well-known actors like Kirk Cameron in “Saving Christmas,” Dean Cain in “Defending Santa” and Joey Lawrence in “Hitched for the Holidays.” Plus a plethora of “VeggieTales” Christmas short movies and shows for kids and families as well as biblically-based epics like “The Gospel of Luke” and “The Gospel of Matthew” and even director, singer and actor Kathie Lee Gifford’s newest film, “The Way.”

(l to r) The Chosen, Wingfeather Saga, VeggieTales & PureFlix

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