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Our latest videos, pro tips and more.      View this email in your browser
The Peace Light from Bethlehem
It took hundreds of volunteers and international cooperation, but a flame has made its way from Bethlehem to both coasts of the the United States. The Peace Light is a literal fire kindled from the place where Christ is believed to have been born in Bethlehem, flown into New York City via Austria, then driven by a network of volunteers to California and 30+ states in between. The goal is to spread peace into hearts and homes in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We were there to capture the moment the Peace Light arrived in Indianapolis and Lafayette, Indiana.    Watch the video.
 
Pro Tip from Our Producer
See those sparkly Christmas lights at the top of this email? Of course you did; a moving image catches the eye. In a perfect world, emails would be full of video to make them stand out and communicate their messages quickly. The problem is, you can't embed a video into an email because the file is simply too big. The best we marketers can do is to include a still picture with a play button and hope that our readers will click to be taken to the web page where they can watch the video. But GIFs are game-changers.

 #ProTip: GIFs make video compatible with email marketing

GIF is actually a photo format - it's tiny in size and your computer reads it as it would read a still image. But the wizards of the computer world have programmed GIFs to behave like short videos. So it's a photo... that moves. That magic mix is perfect for email. Most email programs will read GIFs, which means that your email can finally have moving elements. There are quite a few restrictions - the size has to be compressed, remain relatively low-quality and the length can't be over a few seconds - but just a few seconds of motion are all that you need to catch a busy reader's eye.

- Katie Rutter
Want to know more? Let's talk.
Christmas with Our Friends
Cheer is contagious! Two of our video production friends posted Christmas music videos and we loved them so much, we had to share them. Grotto Network shared a stunning rendition of "We Three Kings" on the hammered dulcimer -- that's an instrument, not a entrée -- and AirMaria shared an original song, "Christmas Eve," written and performed by a Franciscan Friar (there's a cameo by our co-founders at 1:39). Enjoy!
One Place for Everything Festive
We've gathered all of our Christmas videos to help you get into the spirit. There's one about the town named after Santa Claus, another showing Christmas celebrations from the 1960s, and one about the deeper meaning behind the season. Grab your hot cocoa and some reindeer!     Fly on over to our Christmas videos.
 
Things About Things
Odd facts about plants... just for fun.

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are a mainstay of Christmas decorations, but it may interest you to know that these fiery red flowers so often associated with snow and ice hail from a much warmer climate. Poinsettias are native to Southern Mexico, where the Aztecs once used them for decorations and as a source of dye and medicine. This plant owes both its introduction into North America and its namesake to Roberts Poinsett, first US ambassador to Mexico.

Poinsett brought the plant back to South Carolina in the 1830s and cultivated it in his botanical garden. Poinsett shared plants with friends who were also botanical enthusiasts and by the early 1900s, poinsettias were sold as decorations throughout the USA. In the winter-time, the plant produces flowers, which are actually special leaves called “bracts,” so they naturally lend themselves to being Christmas decorations. The scarlet bracts remind some of the star of Bethlehem, as well as the blood Christ shed on the cross. In Mexico, Christians have a legend that poinsettias miraculously appeared after a peasant girl offered some humble weeds as a gift for the Christ child in a Nativity crèche. Whether it you see poinsettias as a reminder of Christ’s birth or the transformative power of loving generosity, this bright, cheery plant is sure to warm up your holiday.

Scripture Inspiration
Stay grounded with verses that inspire. Here are the two Picture Scripture images that we will post on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.
Join Our Mission
At Thing in a Pot Productions, we believe that everyone has immense value. We are committed to helping others--large and small groups alike--communicate through the language of video. By doing so, we are helping even the "least of these" share their value with the world.

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