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New book aims to include Christ in Christmas

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"The Christmas Experiment" has tips for families seeking a more fulfilling holiday celebration.

“The Christmas Experiment” has tips for families seeking a more fulfilling holiday celebration.

Cedar Fort Publishers

"THE CHRISTMAS EXPERIMENT," by Denise Wamsley, Horizon Publishers, 166 pages, $13.99

Denise Wamsley, author of the book "The Christmas Experiment," said her writing is not an average book about Christmas.

"(It's) about a very personal journey I began many years ago to discover the true meaning of Christmas," she said.

Her account chronicles the struggles she faced as she grappled with holiday after holiday with the impossible task of creating the perfect, picturesque Christmas for her family.

A mother of four, Wamsley battled commercialism, greed, stress and sometimes even the jolly old elf himself in trying to help her growing children find peace and joy during the Christmas season.

"I had become increasingly unhappy about how we celebrated the birth of our Savior," she said, "and thus embarked on my spiritual journey to Bethlehem."

It was not an easy journey for her family, and she admits that not all of her attempts were met with success. However, following years of determined effort, she discerned six important steps that she outlines for readers to help focus their Christmas on the Savior: simplify gift giving; give all year; create meaningful family experiences; serve one another; teach symbolism; and enjoy quality traditions.

Over the years, Wamsley has presented these six Christmas principles to countless people through workshops and speeches, and has published them to share her helpful insights on a broader spectrum.

After several chapters of introduction, the book blossoms into a bouquet of ideas and suggestions. Each principle has its own chapter and is followed by numerous pages of creative and family-friendly ideas to strengthen a holiday celebration.

Wamsley also relates personal experiences and stories to explain how each of her essential principles can strengthen the foundation on which family Christmases are built.

Littered with counsel from the scriptures and modern prophets, the book deftly guides readers in their search for a more Christ-centered holiday celebration. She hopes readers will take from her work the conviction to seek the spirit as they plan their activities and pursuits for Christmas.

"The Savior's light grows stronger and brighter anytime we commemorate his birth, his life, or his sacrifice," she said.

Her testimony of the Savior and love of his life weave their way into every word while reminding readers that beneath all the bustle of the crowded Christmas world, the true reason they are celebrating can be become their focus after all.

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah.