Jerusalem Greer, A Homemade Year, Christmas Gifts

A Homemade Year + Merry Christmas Giveaway

Jerusalem Greer, A Homemade Year, Christmas Gifts

A dear friend of mine, Jerusalem Greer, wrote a book that was published last spring called A Homemade Year.

It is a lovely book of of stories, photos, recipes and craft ideas for celebrating the Christian liturgical year.

The recipes and crafts are wonderfully practical for giving your family ideas for celebrating some of these traditional days, and the gorgeous images by her sister, Judea make the book beautiful, but the reason I love this book most is not the photos, the crafts or the recipes. I love it for the stories Jerusalem tells.

Like any good book, this is one you can curl up with in December. Jerusalem has invited you over for tea and coffee in her cozy kitchen, and I for one, was delighted to pull up a chair.

I assumed from the beginning that my favorite chapter would be the one about Michaelmas, a feast for Saint Michael the Archangel that falls at the beginning of autumn. I thought it would be my favorite because in it, Jerusalem tells the story of meeting a group of mothers one autumn of which I was a part. I still remember sitting by the creek that ran through a park a couple of afternoons a week while all our kids played after school. They were lazy autumn days filled with picnic blankets and bowls of fruit and pretzels. I miss those days a lot.

But my favorite story turned out to be the one Jerusalem tells about her mother the year her family moved to Alaska.

I can’t imagine why a story where a mother of four children endures the short days of a northern winter had any appeal for me.

The celebration in that chapter is Candlemas which is the end of Christmas, when all the wonder has come and gone. When Candlemas arrives, we are in the deep of winter, and we have to hold on to the light and hope of Christmas to press through the rest of the dark, cold mornings to Easter.

Lighting candles at the very end of the Christmas season when everything has gone dark is a tradition I am definitely going to begin this year.

And therein lies the beauty of A Homemade Year. You can take a tradition this year and leave it the next, or try a new recipe, or just open your heart to a new story. There are so many different ways you could use the pages of this book to enrich your family life and faith, but Jerusalem makes certain that you are free from feeling you have to do them all. No, she is a busy mama herself and she understands what it is like to already have too much to do. She is all grace as she invites you into her book of ideas, reminding you to take from it only what brings you joy.

Jerusalem Greer, Alison Chino
Jerusalem and me at Moss Mountain Farm

I have saved this post for December because in the flurry of Holiday Gift Guides on the interwebs, I have to put in a word for books at Christmas. They are still my favorite gift to give or to receive, and this book would be a treasure for any family.

To celebrate Christmas on my blog, I have decided to give away one copy of A Homemade Year as a gift to you, my dear readers! I am so thankful for you, and because you come back again and again for my stories, I know you will love reading Jerusalem’s!

Happy Christmas, Friends!

A Homemade Year, Christmas Gifts, Jerusalem Greer

This giveaway is open to anywhere Amazon delivers. So that’s pretty much everywhere, right? Just leave a comment to enter! Tell me a treasured Christmas tradition, or share a favorite holiday story!

(I will choose a winner on Friday and notify by email!)


  1. My favorite Christmas tradition has to be our 5ft Santa. Oh how I despised that thing 10 years ago but treasurer the giggles he brings to our friends and family now. (Especially after a little wine)

    1. Oh that funny 5ft Santa! We’ll still be talking about him when we’re 95!

  2. My favorite Christmas tradition is finding a new precious children’s book that I can give to families with little ones. Last year my pick was The Crown On Your Head by Nancy Tillman. Haven’t look for one yet this year but I will be soon.

    1. I love this tradition! Do let me know what you pick out. I’m always looking for new Christmas stories! XOXO

  3. I’m certainly replying to get entered for this one! This sounds like such a creative, fun read.
    Today was a “snow day” at our house because hours of a light mist yesterday equaled roads that were as slick as snot this morning. So I did what used to happen for me on snow days, I went around and picked up other kiddos. And I remembered your dad pulling up outside my house in the old Rabbit and carrying me off to your house. It’s a tradition I will pass on to my kiddos. (I was having to sell that tradition to my husband a little bit who also gets off on snow days and was maybe wanting some peace.)

    1. What a precious memory!! We are sad to be missing the snow days, but you’ll be glad to know that my dad was at Castle Bluff during the snow and ice this past weekend!

  4. Love you friend!! Thanks for this sweet post. And my favorite tradition is all our traditions that involve friends and loved ones around a table 😉 PS- don’t count me in this giveaway. Lol.

    1. Love you back! And still so proud of you for pulling this off! A huge amount of work and such a beautiful result! XOXO

  5. Favorite tradition? Celebrating on Christmas Eve, dinner, church, stockings, songs…leaving Christmas morning to relax, visit others, play games. Just kind of flips Christmas upside down a little. (And on another note, Jerusalem and this sweet book were in last Sunday’s paper! So special!)

    1. I love this. Maybe we’ll switch things around a little bit this year. We’re looking for new ways to make Christmas special in our new home. 🙂 How fun! I need to see a clipping!

  6. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating the Christmas tree with my children while A Christmas Carol is on tv (dvd) and drinking eggnog. Then on Christmas morning we always have A Christmas Story on while opening stocking and gifts and then a big Christmas breakfast.

    1. Love it! We haven’t watched any Christmas movies yet! I’m ready to see Elf! 🙂

  7. I am thinking it would be a good idea to let her book inspire me to do the same thing, but on a much simpler and more basic level of amateur journaling just for my own family.

    1. This is a great idea! What a sweet gift to your family that would be. Love!! XOXO

  8. We spend Christmas Eve with family and Christmas with just the kids. Things are going to be much different this year though since my husband died in Oct. I really don’t know what to do.

    1. Oh Laurie! I’m so sorry. It is so difficult to be without our loved ones on holidays, and even more to be without a most beloved husband. I cannot imagine. Extra measures of grace for you this year, sister. XOXO

  9. Celebrating the real Reason for the Season with friends and family. I will have to once again start to make new traditions, since losing my husband this year, but I will do it. A precious friend is letting my sister and I stay in her condo in Destin the week of December. I haven’t been to Destin since Jennifer passed away…that was our favorite place to go!!

    1. We always made a Happy Birthday Jesus cake each CHRISTmas Eve!

    2. How wonderful to get away for Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I am praying for you as you start new traditions this year and are missing your precious husband and daughter. XOXO

  10. My favorite part of Christmas is putting thousands of lights on our Christmas tree and having lots and lots of candles lit all over the house. I love light and how it reminds me that we don’t have to live in the dark ever again. This year my house is torn up with remodeling, but I can still enjoy everyone else’s Christmas lights as they go up all around me.

    1. No one puts on as many lights as you, Mama! LOVE it. 🙂

  11. The best Christmas traditions were made by my grandparents, who are no longer with us. Everything they did was wonderful, and I still remember them all.

    1. My grandmother’s traditions are wonderful treasures too! Though she is not with me anymore, we try to carry them on! I hope you do to! Thank you for sharing!

  12. One of my favorite Christmas stories takes place years ago before I was married. I went to visit my brother in St. Croix. He was living on a 26 foot sail boat that he owned. There was no Christmas tree, no presents, no decorations on his boat, no Christmas cookies or candy. (not much space on a 26 foot sailboat) He had to work Christmas morning. I sat on the dock with my Bible and my Lord and the ocean and it’s waves in front of me. And I celebrated Christmas morning. It is a very pleasant memory for me, because without all the Christmas fluff, it was a true celebration of Jesus’s birth and my relationship to him and his creation with the ocean and the noise of the waves.

    1. What a great memory, Barb! I am a big fan of getting away for Christmas to somewhere remote! 🙂

  13. I love it! What a neat idea for a book!

    1. It is a treasure of a book for sure! I think you would enjoy it and your kids are the perfect ages for a lot of the recipes/crafts. 🙂

  14. In the last 5 years we have created a new tradition in my small family (me, DH, and sweet mother). We travel somewhere fun each year at Christmas, sometimes far away and sometimes close to home. We spend the time talking, laughing, playing board games and just enjoying each other. We found that the pressure of buying things we didn’t need just took some of the fun out of the season. We make delicious meals and drink good wine. This year we are going to the beach and we are planning on taking a walk on Christmas morning on the beach with our two dogs and finding special shells to remember the date. We each share a special thought from the year during the Christmas meal and just share our love.

    1. I am a big fan of experience/travel over physical Christmas gifts, so I LOVE this idea! And good wine makes any holiday better! Cheers to a wonderful tradition!

  15. My favorite Christmas memory is from the first year or two my husband and I were married. He remembered me talking about growing up skating on frozen ponds in fields near my childhood home, and made me an ice rink in the backyard for Christmas. Still one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me! 😉

    1. I love this Jen! So so sweet!

  16. Always enjoy your thoughts/reflections/happenings!
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! I always love hearing from you too! XO

  17. On my husbands side of the family we give each other the gift of time. Every Thanksgiving we rent a large house somewhere ( there are 17 of us) and spend four glorious days together. The cousins are in heaven and the adults love it as well. Then at Christmas time each small family unit is able to relax at home and enjoy a less hectic day just being family.

    1. This is a great idea! I LOVE having cousin time away somewhere. We are missing that this year!

  18. I am a Housemistress and look after 35 girls between 10-16. My favourite tradition is celebrating St Nicholas with them. On the eve of St Nicholas we gather in the drawing room and one of the girls reads the story of Saint Nicholas. When they go to bed they put a shoe outside the door and myself and the older girls fill the shoes with candy, little notes of appreciation and baked goods. With up to 10 different nationalities in the house I like that we share, enjoy and learn about traditions from around the world.

    1. Wow! This sounds really fun, and my hat is off to you! Managing 35 girls cannot be easy!

  19. A favorite tradition… Seeing Andrew Peterson’s Behold The Lamb of God concert. The most exquisite Advent worship!

    1. I listen to that music all year long and I really want to see the concert one day! My aunt and uncle live in Nashville so they go every year! So precious!!

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  21. […] friend Jerusalem is celebrating the year anniversary of her book, A Homemade Year and her friend Jeanetta wrote such a sweet post about it + a […]

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