Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Spotlight on LeAnn Weiss

Write by Faith is shining the Christmas spotlight on LeAnn Weiss the author of Christmas Promises. I have read this short inspirational book and it would make a great gift. Of course books always do.
What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

This is an easy one! Actually it came a few days before Christmas, but it was definitely the biggest surprise and gift of my life. While I was doing research for an internet dating book, I was matched with Rick Rupard. Last December 19th, he took me out the restaurant in the historic LaFonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we had gone on our first date just a few days over a year earlier (December 16, 2006).
Rick seemed very distracted and distant all day, so I thought he was going to break up. Instead he slid a red box across the table and proposed to me. We were married this past July 4th in Orlando.
I’m now officially LeAnn Weiss-Rupard but will remain LeAnn Weiss on my book covers.
We are enjoying our first Christmas in New Mexico together as husband and wife. Part of our love story is told in Rainbow Promises within Christmas Promises. You can read more of our love story in Valentine Promises which is being released by Regal in January 2009. Rick has three adult sons: Travis, Austin, and Logan. Our dog is Hoppy.

That is so wonderfully romantic!!! Christmas carols are one of my favorite things about Christmas. What is your favorite carol?

My favorite Christmas Carol is O’ Holy Night. Silent Night is up there too as well as Joy to the World. My favorite modern Christmas song is Joy to the World by Avalon…that song really puts me in the Christmas Spirit. My favorite secular ones are White Christmas and Silver Bells.

I love White Christmas and Silver Bells too!!! And I love Avalons Christmas album. It is played all through the month of December in our house.

I remember sneaking with my sister into the living room one day where the tree stood and together we untapped all of the packages to see what we were getting. Thinking that we would get away with our little caper we rewrapped all of the presents. As my children would say we were ‘busted’ when our parents came home to presents that were not shall we say wrapped to perfection.
Are you a person who loves the secrets and surprises or do you want to know what is hidden in the packages under the tree? As a child did you do any sneaking around to discover hidden presents?

I love giving and receiving surprises… so I would never think of peaking early. We always opened one present on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning and I’ve continued that tradition. Although we do have “peakers” in our family. We’ve caught my younger sister, Sharon, unwrapping and re-taping her presents (so we’ve learned to wrap up fake presents for her and hide the real ones until the last minute).
Last Christmas when I visited Rick and his older three sons, the boys wanted to open all of their Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, but I stuck to my guns on 1 present from me and the rest on Christmas morning.
This Christmas, so many people are in financial need that Rick and I decided we wouldn’t exchange gifts between each other so that we could help others in need. My sister Sharon has had a serious medical condition related to diabetes that has put her in the hospital I.C.U. this fall while her husband is unemployed. So we’re helping their family and other outreach causes. My parents and younger sister, Sarah, and her family are missionaries in Kenya, East Africa.

We also open one gift on Christmas Eve and it is usually P.J.s Jerry and I are doing the same thing we are not spending on each other but instead giving to an orphange in Ethipia called Kidmia.

I love all of the holiday movies but White Christmas is my favorite. I make my family sit down every year to watch this classic. Do you have a favorite holiday movie?

Ditto! Rick and I just watched White Christmas last night again and I kidded with him that I could re-watch it every night. I just love the spirit of generosity and creatively pitching in together to bring a smile to someone who may feel overlooked. It’s all about giving encouragement. Miracle on 34th Street is another favorite. Childhood favorites include Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman as well as A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I love Miracle on 34th street too but only the original. The remake is okay but I love old movies so I tend to stick to them.

Christmas is a time that many memories are made. What is the best Christmas memory you have?
Besides my engagement, Christmas of 1979. My mom was killed in a car accident when I was 6.
My dad, widowed with 4 small children, remarried in 1972 and God blessed us with another wonderful mom. We prayed for another baby for 7 years, but as my mom approached 40, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. On Christmas Day, we thought we had opened all the presents. But mom said, “Wait, I think there’s one more present.” Mom brought out a small stocking. As one of us opened it up, we discovered a Baby Jesus inside and wondered what the gift meant.
We read this clue, “Unto us a child is born.” Mom was always giving us spiritual applications, (whether we wanted them or not) so we waited for her explanation. She came back holding the pregnancy test, which revealed pink for positive, and explained that we were finally going to have our promised baby.
That was the best Christmas present we could ask for. Sarah was born August 19, 1980. We’re 15 years apart. Years earlier my parents surprised all of our extended family when my first mom jumped out of a box addressed to my grandparents wearing a “Mommy” bib and handed my dad a “Daddy” bib announcing the coming of my older sister, Pat. The full story is in the chapter Promises Fulfilled (Page 61) in Christmas Promises.

What led you to write a Christmas story?

I’ve been concerned for years that Christmas has become too commercialized. So many leaders are trying to take Christ out of Christmas. But Christ is what Christmas is all about. I wanted to help my readers remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Throughout Christmas Promises there are suggestions of things people can do to focus on the true spirit of Christmas. And with the poor economic conditions this Christmas, there will be plenty of opportunities to reach out and pass on the Good News of God’s promises to people in need.
Throughout Christmas Promises you’ll find creative ideas to reach out to people who are struggling financially, hurting after the loss of a love one, separated from family and friends, or in the military. But I think the element of the book I enjoyed writing most were my paraphrased Scriptures reminding readers of the personal promises from God to them.
The good news is that God is faithful to ALL of His promises. You can take it to the bank! I pray that Christmas Promises will help readers to receive the gift of God’s precious and timeless promises… Receive the gift of HIS PRESENCE! HE IS WITH YOU! In a season that can let you down, HE COMES. Receive HIS PROVISION! HE IS FOR YOU!!! In a season that can bankrupt your emotions, and your pockets, HE FILLS! May you receive HIS PEACE… Don’t forget that HE IS IN YOU… In a season that can exhaust the hardiest of souls, HE RENEWS!

Could you please briefly describe your gift book?

Christmas Promises contains 22 short stories (Chicken Soup for the Soul Style) of how God faithfully fulfilled promises during the holiday season. Each story begins and ends with a personal message from God to you.
You’ll also find inspiring Christmas quotes and prayers. Not to mention creative hands ideas to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and to pass the Good News on to others. Regal did a wonderful job on giving the book Christmas pizazz through it’s unique interior design.

1 comment:

Pamela J said...

This sounds great, with the short stories and personal message at the end of each. Quotes, prayers and Christmas ideas would be great. Sounds like this is a book to find and keep handy. Thanks.
Will watch for my opportunity to get it.
Pam W