Dec 062012

19 days until Christmas


Tristi Pinkston is the author of fourteen books, the mother of four adorable children, the wife of one handsome man, and the taker of very, very long naps. She works full-time from home as a freelance editor, and she is a popular presenter at writers conferences up and down the Wasatch Front. She sits on the board of directors for iWriteNetwork and is the managing editor for Gospel Ideals. You can learn more about her at


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LDSWBR: Do you top your Christmas tree with a star, angel, or something else? Does it have special meaning to you?

TRISTI: I do my tree a little bit differently every year, and so the topper coordinates with that theme. I love shopping the 75% off sales after Christmas and picking up one or two new ornaments. This year I went with red and white, so my white star is on top of my tree. I also have a white angel, a burgundy angel, a green star, and a snowman topper. Was this too long of an answer? You know I can’t give short answers. It’s impossible.

LDSWBR: What is your favorite Christmas movie? Why is it your favorite?

TRISTI: I have a couple of favorites. First is White Christmas, because come on, who doesn’t love White Christmas? We watch it every year, whether my kids want to or not. Then Elf, of course, because it’s awesome. Mr. Krueger’s Christmas, because it makes me cry, and I love Liken the Scriptures’ The First Christmas. Each of those touch me in different ways, whether it’s with humor or nostalgia or the spirit of the season.

LDSWBR: What Christmas gift have you been most excited to give?

TRISTI: A few years back, we were given a $100 gift card, and I honestly couldn’t think of a single thing we needed to spend it on. A friend’s husband had just been laid off, so we decided to play Secret Santa. That was seriously fun, thinking about things they might enjoy. I’ve been on the receiving end many times and it was wonderful to be the giver.

LDSWBR: Oh, wow. What a great way to teach your family about giving. Thank you, Tristi!

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Purchase Turning Pages


When the arrogant Blake Hansen steals Addie Preston’s promotion at the library, he pretty much rubs her nose in it. But Addie, who dreams of being a full-fledged librarian, decides to stick it out. She loves surrounding herself with books and keeping her father’s memory alive in the building where they spent so much time together.

Soon, Addie learns that her beloved library will be torn down to make room for a larger facility, and she has to make a choice. Fight, or let go?

To complicate things, she finds herself attracted to Blake, who is engaged to someone else. Will Blake and Addie ever resolve their differences?

 Have you ever received an anonymous gift during hard times? How do you teach your family about selfless giving?

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To enter the LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2012, leave a thoughtful comment below.

Be sure to comment on each Countdown to Christmas 2012 post for more chances to win. Please click through to the website as only comments submitted directly on this post will be accepted.

Prizes include a $50 Amazon gift card and the author-donated books listed below. This is raffle-style drawing where all entries throughout the contest period are entered into the same “hat” for all prizes. US only. 18 years and older please. See all contest rules and restrictions below.

If you don’t already follow LDSWBR through email, Facebook or Twitter (those cute little book buttons on the sidebar) you may want to consider doing so during the contest so you don’t miss any posts or chances to enter the drawing. Following LDSWBR is not required but it is nice to know that our book reviews are useful to other readers. :)

If one of our LDSWBR reviews has ever helped you find a book you enjoyed, perhaps you would consider helping us spread the word about the LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2012. A link posted to your friends and family either in email or on your favorite social network would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks!

By leaving a comment and entering the Countdown to Christmas 2012, you agree to the contest rules below:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY; entrants must be 18 years or older; open to residents of continental US only; giveaway begins December 3, 2012 and all entries must be received by 12:00 Midnight December 23, 2012 Mountain Time; to enter, complete the required entry on each post and any additional entries of your choice if listed; LDS Women’s Book Review reserves the right to determine what is considered a thoughtful comment as per each posts required entry; giveaway prizes include a $50 Amazon gift card and a variety of book prizes donated by featured authors; the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning; LDS Women’s Book Review is not liable for technical problems which may affect entry into the giveaway; winner identity will be verified by email address; winner will be selected December 27, 2012 by use of a sequence generator on; winner will have until January 3, 2013 to claim their prize; if any prize winner forfeits or does not claim prize, prize will be re-awarded to next winner in sequence; all prizes will be awarded; limit of two prizes per entrant; this contest/giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified; by entering the giveaway you give LDS Women’s Book Review the right to publicize your name on the LDS Women’s Book Review blog; winner agrees to release LDS Women’s Book Review from any liability as a result of winning; email comments & questions to LDS Women’s Book Review – ldswbr (at) gmail (dot) com; giveaway subject to Utah regulations; VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Book Prizes (as of December 6, 2012 – more to be added to this list!)

  • Tres Leches Cupcakes by Josi S. Kilpack (signed paperback copy)
  • Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Chantele Sedgwick (paperback or ebook)
  • Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke (personalized paperback)
  • Turning Pages by Tristi Pinkston (personalized paperback)

Previous Countdown to Christmas 2012 posts:


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  23 Responses to “Turning Pages by Tristi Pinkston – Countdown to Christmas 2012”

  1. I remember receiving an anonymous gift as a girl that made quite an impression on me. I also remember going shopping with my family to play Secret Santa for a family in need. It’s so important to be an example for our children in giving to others.

  2. I have always love Christmas. It is a time that everyone (mostly :D) is happy and filled with the spirit of Christmas. I try to teach little kids about Christmas by helping them make cookies or some other goodie and taking it to someone they think is in need of some happiness :)

  3. We heard a knock at the door, all we saw was a envelope on the doorstep. We opened it and found $100 . This was about 12 years ago, when my husband was out of work, so it was much appreciated.
    We think of someone who really needs something or ask church leaders of a family in need. We use to give a frozen turkey on door steps and a few other things, 4 different years. When my kids were younger, they liked to be the one to put things on doorsteps and run. (Because they were faster.) This helped teach more about giving.

  4. What awesome traditions! I’ve been wanting to read this book!

  5. A few years ago we saw that our daughter’s friend and her siblings could use some new shoes. It was a fun family project shopping for the kids in that family and passing it along at Christmas.

  6. When I was a child Santa sent us a hundred dollars that we were able to use to buy some new Church clothes. I remember being thrilled to get a new dress.

  7. Such wonderful traditions. In December 2009, a few months after my husband’s unexpected death, someone did the 12 days of Christmas for us. They left a piece of a nativity set with a card detailing the story each night. This was wonderful and meant a lot to my girls and I, helping us to get through Christmas without our husband and father. I’m looking forward to reading this book.

  8. There’s nothing better than finding a plate of goodies at the door from a “secret santa”! Even when we are blessed enough not to need any financial help, everyone needs that little reminder that others love them and are thinking of them. What a great holiday tradition that is!

  9. I have received many anonymous presents, thanks to loving friends. I’m looking forward to the day when I can “return the favor!” I teach my children by informing them where their extra things go.

  10. Children seem to have a natural desire to give to others, some even to depriving themselves of something they would like to have for themselves. I think that it is not a matter of teaching them, but of giving their own loving feelings for others an outlet, which makes them grow and letting their own hearts “grow several sizes” in doing so. Once stretched, it will stay bigger, and they will come up with ways on their own, to help others, not only at Christmas, but all year.

  11. The last few years have been kind of lean for us. Two years ago, my girls and I were down at my parents house spending Christmas Eve with my parents. Christmas Eve is my birthday, and my parents were getting ready to go on their mission. My husband called me and said that someone had left $200 on our doorstep along with a Payless gift card so that my girls could get new shoes. We still don’t know who that angel was. This year is still pretty tight, but we set aside a little bit of money to contribute to a fund to send presents to the missionaries, in my parent’s old mission, that might not receive any Christmas presents.

  12. I was very sick for many years. With two small children, these were very difficult times. One year in particular, we were looking at a very lean Christmas. A few nights before Christmas, a Christmas tree showed up on our doorstep, followed by a few nights of other similar things. Then, a night or two before Christmas, we heard sleigh bells and Santa (for real!) came to our door. He pulled in laundry baskets full of gifts for all of us. We’ve never gotten over the magic of that night!

  13. We received an anonymous money donation two years ago and we were so grateful. I hope that one day after finishing school and getting a real job that we could be in the same position to do that for another family.

  14. I am very excited to read this book because I love books about characters that love books. I have many found memories of doing secret santa gifts as a youth for families that needed the gifts.

  15. When we first moved to a small town in Utah, and my husband was looking for work, we received a few anonymous gifts for the kids at Christmas. After years of being here in the same ward, I’ve seen a lot of that going on with other people in our neighborhood. Such good people surround us and we are so lucky.

  16. One year we were approached by a member of a family. They told us they weren’t getting Christmas that year. My kids loved shopping for them. We wrapped everything and someone picked up the gifts. It was a great experience for the family.

  17. When we were first married and “starving students”, someone did the 12 days of Christmas for us, leaving wonderful surprises each day. We have instituted this with our children and they loved sneaking up to a porch to do the hit and run.

  18. I can’t remember getting any anonymous gifts, other than cookies at the doorstep. Yum!

  19. One year when I was a kid we were having a really tough time because my father was sick and not able to work. Two families made us the focus of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It was so fun to anticipate someone coming to drop something off for us each night and to try to catch them. We never did. :)

    Right now I’m just trying to love my kids and set an example that I hope permeates the way to develop.

  20. Yes, I most definitely have! It warms my heart to know that there are Christmas Angels out there spreading good cheer and that they have thought of me and my family when we were struggling.

  21. Just when I thought I wasnt going to be able to afford christmas for my children. A box of presents ended up on my door step Christmas morning. It really felt as though Santa was there looking over us! It made my world just as much as my childrens

  22. My daughter , 8 at the time, asked for her gma who had just passed away at our house a month previous

  23. Our church congregation does a Bishop’s Christmas tree for families who can’t afford presents for their kids. We have our kids each pick one child near their ages, then I take them shopping. They look forward to doing it each year.

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