Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Christmas Angel Tree with Tina Radcliffe & a Drawing





Since I moved to Arizona in 2013, I no longer put up a Christmas tree. No, I’m not a Grinch. It just somehow seems counterintuitive to cut a perfectly good tree to decorate when it’s seventy-degrees outside and nary a snowflake in sight. My children are all over the United States and Christmas is any day that we are together, and that is never Christmas day.


Instead, I’d like to share some very special trees that have meaning for me. Like you I have always been very familiar with the Angel Tree. This year, I discovered that I really don’t know as much as I should. 


Above is the Salvation Army Angel tree display at the Arrowhead Towne Center (Mall) in Glendale, Arizona. These pictures were taken by me early in the am, to avoid shoppers. 
  

"Angel Trees are decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags."
                                                                       - Salvation Army


What a wonderful way to put the meaning of Christmas back into the holiday. For those of you who are not familiar with the Salvation Army, this Christian organization reached out to assist THIRTY million people last year! Next time you see a Red Kettle volunteer, do say thank you, and maybe consider buying them a cup of hot cocoa to keep them warm outside in the cold as you enter that nice warm store to shop.



The above tree is Angel Tree Prison Fellowship that reaches out to children whose parents are in prison. Not only do they deliver presents but they deliver the Gospel.  This ministry has been around for thirty years and was started by a prisoner.


“Christmas is coming soon, and Angel Tree's goal is to reach children of prisoners who hope for a Christmas filled with joy. They yearn for their absent parent's love, and more than that, they need to know that Jesus Christ can fill the void in their hearts and is able to bring healing and restoration to their families destroyed by crime.”-Angel Tree Prison Fellowship.

Merry Christmas, where ever in the world you are. If you’re in the Glendale, Arizona area let me know and while I don’t have a Christmas tree to show off, I do have plenty of tangerines to share.  

Lest you think I am a total Grinch, I do have three copies of my January release from Love Inspired, Rocky Mountain Reunion to giveaway this holiday season. U.S. and Canada only as the ebook is has not yet been released!




A Second Chance at Forever 

Nurse Anne Matson's structured life derails when a familiar patient enters her ER—the ex-husband she left ten years ago. Matthew Clark is the last person she expects to see in Paradise, Colorado, especially with a nine-year-old daughter. The single dad is running the town's biggest expansion project, but one thing stands in his way—Anne's Victorian home. When his daughter falls ill, and Anne volunteers to help with her care, Matt recognizes he's never stopped loving the spirited beauty. But how can he get her back when he plans to take all she has left…or can Anne see she has everything to gain—the family she's been denied?





Tina Radcliffe has been dreaming and scribbling for years. Originally from Western, N.Y., she left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. She is a former library cataloger who is happy to be back in libraries. 


A two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner, Tina has won first place in over twenty RWA affiliated chapter contests. Tina currently resides in Arizona where she writes heartwarming romance. You can find her at www.tinaradcliffe.com

54 comments:

  1. Thank you Tina. I also don't have a tree this year, but it'seems still very festive here with presents and wreaths and garlands.

    I've never heard about the Angel Trees, but definitely a nice cause. I love your tangerine trees! So sunny and happy. Christmas is not just about a tree, so no worries, I don't think you're a grouch or a grinch. Happy weekend and have a Merry Christmas! Annie justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Tina. I also don't have a tree this year, but it'seems still very festive here with presents and wreaths and garlands.

    I've never heard about the Angel Trees, but definitely a nice cause. I love your tangerine trees! So sunny and happy. Christmas is not just about a tree, so no worries, I don't think you're a grouch or a grinch. Happy weekend and have a Merry Christmas! Annie justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tina:

    No Christmas tree!
    That's beyond Grinch.
    That's paranormal!

    A Christmas tree is a visual manifestation of the inner Christmas spirit. Even a little foot tall artifical tree let's the Christmas light shine.

    My mother gave me a little ceramic tree over 40 years ago and when I look at that tree, now above our tv, I can 'see' scenes from all the joyous Christmases our family has shared over the decades. A Christmas tree is a portal into the past.

    A Christmas tree need not be live, real, or tall. It just needs to be!

    There's still time!

    Wal-mart and Walgreens have wonderful little Christmas trees.

    Please don't be tree-lonely another year!

    We love you.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laughing, cause I think we're siblings from another mother. lol I used to put up 4 full-size trees and I still would if I had room for them.

      Delete
  4. Hey JC, Annie!

    Another tree less pal! We have spirit, just not trees. Right!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Vince, I did look at LED trees that you can keep up all year long. That appeals to me. Stick it in my office and decorate each month. February Valentines Day, March St. Paddy. etc.

    I have a table top tree but I can't see the wisdom in pulling it out and all those ornaments, just to put them away.

    Now I can see my tangerine tree and the stocking right out my window as I write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should clarify. The LED ones I looked at are not Christmas trees. More like naked branches with lights. Sort of artsy.

      Delete
  6. No Christmas tree, here,either, TINA and I didn't decorate any cacti. I did decorate my yard. My brother and his wife will be here in the new year. Maybe I'll leave it out til then! Thanks for another great post, TINA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for restraining from decorating the Saguaro. LOL!

      Delete
  7. This is the first I've heard or seen of an angel tree, but I like how they've been put to use in this case. I never pass a red kettle without digging into my purse. This organization has helped our family more than once so I'm very familiar with them.

    As for the no tree...we have and one (artificial, LED) though not year round. And I'm just not interested in decorating one with the kids grown and mostly gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. Only so many hours in the day, Ro. Decorating is a lot of work. And aren't those Angel Trees wonderful? We have two giant Salvation Army Churches in Phoenix and on my way to work I pass three Salvation Army Centers. They are quietly doing the job.

      Delete
  8. Good morning Tina,
    Christmas is what you make of it. I have a very small family and they don't come to the house, so I decorate for me and not for other people. We inherited half of my father's Christmas village collection and never had room to put them out, so this year Dave and I decided we would put up the village instead of a tree. Christmas isn't always a white-steepled church in the snow. (I live in the Northeast and I'll take the church but not the snow, sigh.) Dave and I always go to an event in a nearby town that features a display of Nativity sets from all over the world, and it puts me in my place to see the different interpretations of His Birth. There's a set made in Mongolia that is wool-felted and has a yurt and a yak instead of a stable and a donkey. It's like Cindy Lou Who sais, Christmas doesn't come in a box. Or a box of ornaments.
    I wouldn't mind being put in the drawing for the book, but then I never do.
    Have a nice weekend if I don't get back on here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that is something I'd like to collect. A Chrustmas village, Kaybee!

      Delete
    2. Christmas! iPhone fat fingers strike again!

      Delete
  9. I like Angel Trees too. But this year I put my giving efforts toward Toys For Tots. I bought Dolls of Color on sale and saved them up till December so little girls of color could get dolls that looked like them. Of course I said "girls" of color and not "children" of color which is probably not correct, boys can have dolls too. I'm not racist but I guess I am sexist, raised in New Hampshire in the 1950s, what do you expect? Ha ha.
    Kathy B.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good morning, Tina! I wanted to stop by and say hi. Through the years, Mike and I have given to Angel Tree and their prison ministry. Such a worthwhile cause. Because of my back problems this year, we still hadn't put up our tree (which gets smaller every year), but Mike had retrieved our small artificial tree out of the attic and plopped it on the dining room table. There is set in its box...until who should magically appear but my friend Gwen and her eight tiny reindeer! Ok, I lied about the reindeer. She drove up in her Toyota Prius. At her insistence that we join in the Christmas spirit, she and Mike dragged the ornaments and other decorations from the attic, and before she left, the living room had been transformed. Even the doggy stocking has been hung. It worked. Consider me officially in the Christmas spirit. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, now that's a keeper friend!! Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  11. The Angel Tree Prison Fellowship sounds like a wonderful program. The children of prisoners are often forgotten. This is a great way to minister to these families and reflect the true spirit of Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Merry Christmas, Tina, from another tree-less (this year) celebrator. We're in a different situation this holiday season, so we're trying out simplicity. Since our sons and their families will be spending Christmas Day far away with their in-laws, we planned a very special before Christmas family reunion with our "kids" and grandsweeties. It was a perfect celebration of God's love and miracle gifts. Next year I'll be back to all out decorating and baking.....but this Christmas Day will arrive with quiet (and plain) joy, accompanied with grateful hearts filled with love and hope.

    The Salvation Army holds a very special place in my heart. When my father was liberated from a German prisoner of war hospital with only crutches and the clothing he was wearing, the Salvation Army provided him with a call home to let his family know he was alive, this after he had been listed for months as MIA. We do angel tress and put money in the red kettles each time we walk by. However, I'm guilty of never being a bell ringer.....and I need to remedy that! Thanks for your post and pictures. I'd never seen the tree angels or heard of the ministry for the children of prisoners.

    Thank you again, Cheyrl, for your festive tree tour! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We have angel trees up here in the mall. That's become a Christmas tradition for us too. And our local pet shop even has a Santa Paws tree where your dog or cat can buy a toy or bed for an animal at the Humane Society or with a rescue group. My grandpuppy, Bear, was very generous this year. He even coughed up the money for a cat toy. :-) Love the stocking on your orange tree, which has it's own natural ornaments. Kinda jealous about that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, Tina! Angel Trees are wonderful opportunities to share Christmas with others who might be as blessed as we are.

    And I completely understand about not putting up a tree when there won't be family around during the Christmas season to share it with. I'll take a tangerine tree in my backyard any day, though!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you, for getting it, Myra. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, Sherida! Wow, what a story! And the beauty of the Salvation Army is how much of the donations go back to the needy and not into a corporate pocket!

    ReplyDelete
  17. We just put up a small pre-lit tree as we are a small family! We will be giving to some charities, too.
    Am so excited about your new book!! Thanks for the giveaway.
    Merry Christmas!!
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jackie!!! Good to see you here. I have arrived. I am on Cheryl's blog. Merry Christms.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post. We've never had a real tree but we've always looked for the special trees and other opportunities during the season. This year we helped with our YMCA program children in need. I really like the symbolism of looking for those trees you mention as an alternative Christmas tree tour. PS we've had weather in the 70s until this weekend when it dropped to 28. NOW folks are buying trees. I so get the change with the move.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie. Merry Christmas. The older we get the more blessed we are and you realize the need to pay it forward.

      Delete
  20. Hi Tina,

    I finished my Christmas shopping today. We started early and finished mid-afternoon. I managed to walk right into a post, so I'm sitting here with my foot propped up looking at my Christmas tree. What did you do with your ornaments?

    I'd love to be in the drawing. I'm so excited about your new book and can't wait to read it.

    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ornaments are in the boxes still. I do need to find something to do with them. I should divide them all up and mail them to my kids. You really made me think! You are in, btw.

      Delete
  21. Tina, I'm with Vince on this. However, I have different suggestion. Check out the stores after Christmas. You should be able to find trees that come with lights already on them, making then readily accessible (and cost friendly). We have several trees in the house and only one of them is a live tree. It makes for a festive scene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have two prelit trees in the garage in boxes. I just can't see pulling them down to only put them away in two weeks. It seems counter productive.


      This is what I am looking at ->

      Year Round Tree

      Delete
    2. Hi Tina:
      I hate to say this but you sound just like me when I was a kid. I tell my mother: "Why make the bed? I'm only going to mess it up again tonight."

      Also: I do very much approve of your fruit tree.

      Vince

      Delete
  22. Good afternoon Tina! We've participated in the Angel Tree program in the past & in our local Wishing Tree put on by the Rotary Club here in our little town. Usually we'll pick two bells (tags), one boy & one girl. We LOVE shopping for children who may not have much else during this season. When our kids were younger, they picked out the bell that they wanted and we helped them choose the presents. It's a wonderful teaching tool on giving & charity!
    Also, we have a married couple who are retired Salvation Army officers in our church. They've shared many stories on their missions and the different places they were sent to. In fact, I think that's where they first met & fell in love! I think it's a wonderful ministry and they do so much for so many :-)

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of "Rocky Mountain Reunion", that storyline is one of my top favorite (past loves reuniting!)! Loved today's post :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Trixie. It is fun to shop for kids again. I agree. Salvation Army is a wonderful ministry. Ruth Logan Herne is one of those red kettle bell ringers. Thanks for the kind words on my release!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know you're not a Grinch, Tina. :) The Angel tree program is wonderful and it benefits so many.
    Your orange tree with the stocking is perfect!
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  25. And I can see that stocking right out my office window, Jill!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. our church also has an Angel Tree program supporting Catholic Charities. They serve families in need no matter their religious affiliation or lack there of. I usually try to get children close to the age of my grandsons. I can take them with me to go shopping and enlist their help in selecting gifts. It also involved them in the act of giving. Most programs have problems getting gifts for the older children. Everyone seems to want a child to buy toys for. Lately we have taken the names of older children to help with that problem. I do still pick up an angel for a little one. I have a 4 year old granddaughter and it is her turn to help me with the shopping and sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, librarypat. Must remember that. Thanks so much for dropping by. Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  27. Hi Tina:

    As pretty as that tangerine tree is with its cheerful Christmas stocking, I worry that you may cause it to have an identity crisis. That poor tree might come to believe it is a fireplace mantel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOLOL, Vince. As long as it doesn't loose its self esteem because the fruit isn't as big as the grapefruit tree in the back yard.

      Delete
  28. I am sure your tangerine tree smells wonderful Tina. We have participated in the Angel Tree program with our church in the past. Its a wonderful way to bless a child. Your new book sounds perfect for winter reading. Have a blessed Christmas and thanks for the chance to win.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for stopping by, Maryann. Yes. The fruit smells lovely. I must admit it is a nice thing to look out the window from my office while writing and see it. You are in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Tina!!!! I was bell-ringing for the Salvation Army last night and someone bought me a cup of Tim Horton's hot chocolate... It was so nice of them! It was so cold and windy and I really would have loved to just stay home... but I'd promised, and so I shut up and went and then this nice woman walked up to me and gave me the hot chocolate.

    I coulda' cried, it was so good! :)

    And then my son and his wife and their three kids and my husband arrived, they had to park like three towns away (slight exaggeration) and they finished my shift with me.

    Thank you for shining your beautiful light on this amazing and wonderful organization!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh!!! I think you are wonderful for bell ringing for the Red Kettle, Ruthy!! Merry Christmas~

    ReplyDelete
  32. Well, no tree seems foreign to me. I have three plus a mini-tree that I don't count. But the Angel Tree, I totally relate to that. I love the opportunity it affords to help others. A wonderful ministry and I'm so thankful you highlighted it. Merry Christmas, Tina!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Merry Christmas tree lady, Terri Weldon!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think it's fine not to have a Christmas tree cut down for Christmas. It's saving the earth and I love your way of thinking. Christmas is not just a day it's a spirit and whenever your children can be there or you be there is fine
    .We used to live In Yuma and I remember walking to church in a short sleeved dress on Christmas day. We live back in my home state on PA and it's going be 73 on Christmas Eve and we haven't had a drop of snow yet. Did I move to Florida and not know it I;m thinking ? I have seen the Angel Tree program here too. I am so glad they do it and help less fortunate families at Christmas time. It's such a wonderful thing run by a caring organization.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Strange weather for PA, Deanne! Enjoy it while you can! Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  36. LOVE the Christmas stocking on the orange tree, Tina! Now NEXT year I expect to see your driveway lined with luminarias, too...welcome to the Southwest!

    ReplyDelete