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The First Christmas

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

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Alastair Macdonald, the writer and creator of First Christmas, a picture book that tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, has produced a video of the book on Godtube.com. "I have been astounded at the positive reception my video has received on Godtube.com," Mr. Macdonald said. "In a very short time, the video has been viewed almost 3,000 times and many of the viewers have posted very positive comments. For example one viewer stated, 'This is without a doubt the best Christmas video I have ever seen...' and another viewer commented, 'Absolutely lovely... I hope that primary school teachers take advantage of this free gift, and show it to their classes!'"


Mr. Macdonald wrote First Christmas when he was unable to find an inspiring book that told the story of the birth of Jesus to read to his young children. "For a story that is surely one of the most beloved of all time, I was stunned that so few good picture books had been written", Mr. Macdonald remarked. "That was almost 25 years ago but it is still the same today. Recently I went to a bookstore in Dallas and, in a display of 42 Christmas books; only 2 of them were about the birth of Jesus. It's quite extraordinary!"



It took Mr. Macdonald almost 25 years to write and assemble his book. The story has been written in the form of a poem and the narrator is Joseph's donkey, Zeke. "I wanted to create a story that would outdo, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas., the classic Christmas story about Santa Claus. I knew the story needed to touch the hearts of those who would read it. It was a difficult poem to write," he said. But Mr. Macdonald persevered and almost 20 years later completed his poem. He then started looking for a publisher but, like many first time authors, all he received were rejections. "I so believed in the book that, against the advice of several publishers, I decided to go ahead and look for an illustrator. On the internet I found Adel Nassief, a Coptic Christian artist who lives in Egypt."


Mr. Macdonald commissioned Mr. Nassief to paint 21 Christian Coptic icons. "These are traditional Coptic icons painted on wood tablets with tempura paint and adorned with gold leaf. They are absolutely beautiful." Mr. Macdonald said. Now armed with his poem and pictures Mr. Macdonald approached publishers yet again. It was more rejections until by chance he was able to meet Lena Tabori of Welcome Books who agreed to publish the book in 2008. In the meantime Mr. Macdonald wanted to share his Christmas story with others and arranged for a video of the book to be made and posted on Godtube.com this year. It is this video that is attracting so much attention.



"Throughout the creation and assembling of the book," Mr. Macdonald noted, "there have been many, many instances of good fortune, serendipity and dare I say the grace of God. I have been truly blessed in this project and have learned some major lessons. I have learned patience to allow events to happen on God's time and I have learned to trust in God to open doors when they need opening. It has been a wonderful experience."



The video of First Christmas can be seen here.



For more information about the video and the book please go to: www.firstchristmas.net

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