What Does It Take?

One of my favorite things about writing a blog is that people introduce me to all kind of cool products. They do so in hopes that I’ll share them with you. Mind you, I am very picky about things I’ll actually share here.

I get way more  review requests, than hours have available to review. So, right out of the starting gate, I’m quite selective about offers I’m even willing to try. If I say I’m going to honestly review something, I’m going to commit the time to really exploring that product. My first consideration is deciding if it is something I feel meets my needs and could bless my readers.

If you are taking time to read what I write, you are placing a certain level of trust in the validity of my opinion. I value your trust! I don’t take your loyalty for granted. I never wish to compromise or minimize the confidence you place in my words.  Please know that I have your interests at heart, am treating you as a personal friend, when I tell you about something that makes me own life happier.

I ask myself if I feel a product world be worth spending my money on, in order to have it in my life or not? Encouraging you to get something that I’ve talked about here, will typically involve expense on your part, and I don’t take that idea lightly. (So, yes, I’m telling you about a product that has been supplied to me for free, in exchange for my honest reaction.)

This kind of careful evaluation takes time, so something has to really interest me to begin with, in order for me to be willing to invest that time.

What Do I Want To Share With You Today?

I signed up to review the ONE NIGHT advent story calendar for two reasons:

1. I love  entire season surrounding the celebration of Jesus coming to earth. #Christmas

2. I’m trying to cut way back on sweets. Is it even possible to replace the cheep cardboard countdowns I buy each year, with something that offers anything better than candy behind each door, while still keeping my kids excited?

(For the record, my young-adult son thinks ONE NIGHT is far superior to any advent calendar we have ever used, but suggests that I also buy giant chocolate bars and hand out individual squares to each person to enjoy while we are exploring that night’s continuation of the month-long story.)

Why?

We had passed the first test. I liked the premise of the product enough to want an in-person look.

Then a HUGE flat box showed up at my door. I wish I had thought to take a picture. Instead, I was too curious about the contents of this box to think to grab my camera. We excitedly opened our mystery parcel and were blown away by what we saw. No tiny, cheep cardboard with plastic windows here! 

Did I mention this thing is really big? Here it is pictured next to a pair of my shoes and a big Bible study dictionary. Oh, and that guy holding it in the first picture is about to turn 13. He’s on the rather larger side of the growth chart, for a boy his age range.

Better than candy, these flaps hold the greatest Story ever told. The Story progresses over 24 days, facts told through the fictionalized perspective of two shepherds who were watching sheep the night angels interrupted their evening to announce the birth of the King. Beautiful black and white, hand-drawn images lead the imagination through a detailed journey of wonder that holds true to time and culture.

I’m Impressed.

Solidly designed to last, this new part of our family’s Christmas tradition reminds me of a picture book. Here, let me give you a close-up of the book-like binding construction:

The Book of Luke (2:8-20) says that on the night of the first Christmas angels visited shepherds tending their flocks and told them to visit their newborn savior.  ONE NIGHT reimagines the story through the eyes of one of the shepherds.  

Set against the turbulent backdrop of ancient Judea under Roman rule, ONE NIGHT follows the shepherd as he risks his flock to journey through the countryside in search of the baby Messiah — and the elusive promises of worldly and spiritual redemption.

There is a long and diverse artistic tradition of imagining the story of the shepherds.  In our telling, we have tried to capture what it would have really been like to be there the night Jesus was born, and how a regular person might have tried to make sense of that extraordinary event.  The story is intense, exciting — and even a little spooky.  

It’s a feeling that’s echoed in the stunning visual art.  Rendered in the style of a classical draftsman, ONE NIGHT feels like an ancient document, full of timeless drama and mystery.

Whether you know the Bible inside out, or you haven’t read it since you were a kid, we hope ONE NIGHT will surprise and move you with its riveting portrayal of its characters’ search for goodness and a better world.

How YOU Can Help:

This exciting tool is NOT available to the general population for purchase YET. The author and artist want to produce them for distribution soon. YOU can help bring that mission into reality. Check out this video from their Kickstarter campaign.

Any pledge, even just $1, will help fund production! A gift of $30 or more will also earn YOU your own beautiful keepsake story calendar ($40 retail value) in time for use THIS December, 2018. (As  long as they get all the funding they need over the next month, as I suspect they likely will since they are well on their way and this is a worthy investment.)

Recap:

ONE NIGHT tells a story in 24 parts.  Each part of the story is hidden behind a numbered door (1 through 24) that you open to reveal an illustration and text.  You can open one door each day, from December 1 through December 24, counting down to Christmas.  Or you can binge-watch, by reading all 24 parts in one sitting, like an illustrated book.  

Printed on heavy-weight paper wrapped around millboard, ONE NIGHT is a sturdy, free-standing triptych that you can place on a mantle, table or windowsill as an amazing Christmas decoration.  You can also close the triptych and keep ONE NIGHT on your bookshelf or coffee table.