Although the Elf on the Shelf may be tracking your every move, this author urges you to cheat on the children’s holiday classic.
JACKSON, Mich., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Sarah Cunningham was standing in Target when inspiration struck.
While flipping through a copy of Elf on the Shelf, Cunningham’s reaction could be summed up in three words: it’s clever but…
Enter The Donkey In the Living Room, based on a unique tradition inspired by Cunningham’s dad, which serves as the author’s response to the elf-laden holiday classic. This book, this two-time Zondervan/Harper Collins author says, takes the emphasis off of behaving well to “accumulate toys” and focuses on the more meaningful origins of Christmas.
The book, she says, is based on a family tradition where Cunningham and her brothers would unwrap the figurines from the family manger scene one day at a time. Each day, their father–a pastor–would tell the Christmas story from the newly unwrapped character’s point of view. “So as children, we grew up hearing the Christmas story from a diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-gender cast. We heard Mary talk about the donkey ride while pregnant and cows talk about the upheaval the night the stable turned into a maternity ward.”
Cunningham goes on, “The beautiful thing about it was, after reading each character’s slice of the story one day at a time, we couldn’t wait for baby Jesus. He was the culmination of it all and we were so, so excited when we finally got to unwrap him.”
When it comes to Elf on the Shelf, Cunningham says some people’s kids seemed smitten by it, while others were a little creeped out by the feeling of being watched. Cunningham explains she thought the Elf book was clever and fun but wondered if it fed the commercialism around the holiday, where even the most balanced kids can get caught up in the spirit of gimme-gimme-gimme.
“I yearned for a book where the go-to tradition would remind my kids to think past toy accumulation and spend a few minutes centering themselves on the birth of Jesus.” The 34-year old mother of two explains. “So I ended up writing one.”
The new book, The Donkey in the Living Room, is a collection of whimsical, fun-to-read, first-person poems that tell each character’s story from his or her own point of view. “I want to ensure this generation learns and enjoys this great story, so that they will always remember the real meaning of Christmas.”
Cunningham says she chose the stubborn old donkey as the starter story and title figure because it captured her purpose in writing. “The idea of a snorting, naying, real-life donkey right in your living room says ‘extraordinary in the ordinary’-which is also a great way to think about Christmas, where the Creator God sent His extraordinary son into our very ordinary world.”
Between now and Friday, November 16th, readers can try out the book for just 99 cents on Kindle.
About the Author
Sarah Cunningham is an idea junkie who blogs about finding extraordinary relationships in a sometimes too-ordinary world. Cunningham’s has published two books, Picking Dandelions (Zondervan/Harper Collins, 2010) and Dear Church (Zondervan/Harper Collins, 2006) and will release Portable Faith (Abingdon, 2013) and The Well-Balanced World Changer (Moody, 2013) this next year.
A former teacher, Cunningham has lived in a Chicago homeless shelter and led a disaster relief team to Ground Zero. But her greatest adventure, she claims, has been in working as Chief Servant to her three-year old son, who she lovingly calls “the Emperor” along with his newly appointed “Chief of Staff”, the author’s newborn son, Malachi.
More information about Sarah Cunningham is available at the author’s website.
For more information about The Donkey In the Living Room, click here.
Media Contact: Sarah Cunningham SarahCunningham.Org, 517-879-6718, firstname.lastname@example.org
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