(December 6, 2017)
My favorite Christmas memory was a few years ago I gave my 4 boys (all in their 20's) matching Christmas boxers and a script for a Christmas rap song I'd written about the 4 of them. They had to perform outside in their boxers and work boots ... no shirt ... Christmas Day! It was a ball!!!
Favorite Christmas Tradition
My favorite tradition is giving my boys Christmas Eve individualized hand painted ornaments by the same friend who illustrated my two books. She puts the significant things that happened in each of their lives that year.
Favorite Christmas Book
Favorite book ...The Grinch. Both my mom and my grandmother were elementary school librarians and knew this book by heart ... and they would do all the different character voices.
Favorite Christmas Food
Favorite food is the Christmas Chex mix my mom made at Christmas.
Not sure if this is the same recipe Dana's mom made, but here's a great recipe from the Chex website:
Christmas Chex Party Mix
6 cups Rice Chex™ or Corn Chex™ cereal
2 cups miniature marshmallows (from 10.5-oz bag)
1 cup mini pretzel twists (from 16-oz bag)
15 oz vanilla candy coating (almond bark) (about 9 cubes from 20-oz package)
3 tablespoons holiday-colored sprinkles or nonpareils
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup holiday-colored candy-coated chocolate candies
Line large rimmed cookie sheet with waxed paper. In large bowl, mix cereal, marshmallows and pretzels.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave candy coating uncovered on High 60 to 90 seconds, stirring after 1 minute, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Pour onto cereal mixture; mix well.
Spread on cookie sheet; sprinkle with holiday sprinkles, and cool completely, about 15 minutes. Break into bite-size pieces.
In 2-quart resealable food-storage plastic bag, add coated cereal pieces and powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake to coat. Remove from bag; discard any remaining powdered sugar.
In large serving bowl, mix coated cereal mixture and chocolate candies.
Store in covered container at room temperature.
About Dana's Books:
Mommy, Tell Me About Heaven was inspired in 2003 by Dana’s youngest of four sons, Marshall. While the two were riding in the car he asked her to tell him about heaven. Dana quickly pulled the car over and wrote a little poem God put in her heart. Marshall was not only satisfied with the rhyming response but it became his most cherished bedtime ritual for months. It wasn’t until years later that longtime family friend Michelle Morse brought the words to life through vivid illustrations. By bringing this inspired book to print, the author prays heaven would become a very real place to children. Through receiving the free gift of God’s grace they can look forward to living for eternity with Jesus Christ.
An Orphan Named Eva
Eva the Orphan was inspired in 1998 when Dana traveled to Guatemala on a fourteen day mission trip to volunteer in an orphanage. Between the windowless walls of the dark, empty dirt floor room her heart strings were pulled in half. Nothing could have prepared her for the deep heartache as well the unexplainable joy she would experience. Forty barefoot excited little orphans all clamoring for her open arms to hug them tightly. However, there was one teenage girl who swept the floors and seldom looked up. Her name was Eva. Slowly over several days Dana befriended her and a trust was built. The lonely distraught orphan wanted to be held and adored like all the others. Thankfully Jesus showed up in a very real way using the love of a stranger to help knit the broken pieces of Eva’s heart back together. Two lives were changed that day.
Dana Morgan Murphy lives in Athens Georgia with her husband Mark. Both have been involved in children’s ministry most of their adult lives.
Mark is an ordained minister on staff as the family and children’s pastor at Classic City Community Church. Dana serves alongside him and teaches third through fifth grade Sunday school. She has always had a passion for writing, reading and sharing her faith, especially with children. Her love for seeing young people’s lives changed through books comes from her mother and her grandmother, who were both elementary school librarians. Some of Dana’s fondest memories growing up are of being read to by these two gifted women. They could bring every page to life from memory as they held the book so only she could see the pages.