It doesn't take the tallest, most nicely decorated Christmas tree to be special
Children's Christmas Story Picture-Book
Hardbound: 34 pages
Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 978-1-937449-25-4
Author: Zeata Ruff. Illustrated by Jim & Zeata Ruff.
During the early 1930's through the 1970's, it was tradition in the Southern Appalachian Mountains for families to find a thorn bush when they went into the mountains to cut their Christmas tree. They would decorate the sharp spires with colorful gumdrops for the children to enjoy. THE GUMDROP TREE is the story of a young girl who wanted to find the tallest, fattest, most beautiful Christmas tree of anyone in her town. It had to be very special. In this tale, Susie takes a long time to pick out the perfect tree for her family. After the tree stands in the corner with its shinny decorations, her mother sends her next door with a food basket for an elderly neighbor. Susie is very reluctant to leave her beautiful tree. Upon arriving at the neighbor's house, Susie discovers the scraggly branch that that Miss Martha calls her Christmas tree. On her way home, she tries to figure out what she can do so that the elderly lady can have a colorful tree. THE GUMDROP TREE is written for children from the age of 4 to 13. It teaches that sometimes it does not take the tallest, fattest, most beautifully decorated Christmas tree to be special.
Jim and Zeata Ruff (The Fun Art People) specialize in personalizing art work. The operate a unique art enterprise called Grins and Giggles, in which they are joined by daughter, Tyla, and her husband Jason Moody. Their double-matted prints, especially the Christmas prints, are very popular at major art shows and festivals across the Mid Atlantic states. The prints are personalized (while the customer shops) with Santa’s list, home signs, street signs, mail boxes and other unique methods.

Grins and Giggles’ home base is located in Clyde, a small quiet village nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, an area where art is very prevalent to the culture. You might even consider “Grins and Giggles” a cottage industry, being that their studio and mat cutting shop are located in their home. Both Jim and Zeata are retired from the public schools where they both have been art teachers and are now doing what they love most: providing chuckles and putting smiles on faces of those who just happen to come in contact with their art work.
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