Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year and Annual Holiday Beards

Let's be honest, I'm sick as a dog on a cruise ship, so it could be a much happier holiday. But I'm heavily medicated and crossing my fingers I make it to midnight for the big smooch from my wife, if she'll give it to me that is...

Which leads me to the picture. Many of you have seen The Today Show video and asked about the new beard. There's a story here... (isn't there always?)

About 10 years ago Kodi and I had a summit. A meeting of the minds. A fierce negotiation. We agreed that I would remain clean shaven throughout the year. Not that I have to shave every day, but as a general rule from Jan-Nov I keep myself presentable.

But sometime around Thanksgiving, depending on my public commitments, I begin to grow what we affectionately refer to as the Annual Holiday Beard. This year I wasn't able to turn the facial follicles loose until the 10th or 11th of December. So it's not as
Grizzly Adams-ish as it could be.

There you have it. Sometime in the next day or two we'll bid farewell again for another year. But we'll always have pictures :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bring on your Jar Stories

Some fantastic stories are coming in from folks blessed by the Christmas Jars tradition. Did you give away a jar? Did you receive one? Please drop me a note so we can share your inspirational story. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

After a run of bad luck (water heater exploding, muffler puncturing a hole, and a loss of a job) it seemed like anything that financially could go wrong in the last month did. We knew we would be okay, but it would be tight to make it to the end of the month.

On the morning of Christmas Eve, my dad who was sick, was sleeping on the couch, our son was asleep and my mom, husband and I were sitting talking about future dreams for our home. When my dad woke up, we all went into the living room. He let the dog out and commented about a bag sitting by the door. He picked it up and gave it to my husband saying it felt like rocks.

My husband and I opened the bag and inside was the book Christmas Jars and a jar full of money. We were in disbelief. Who would set money outside of our door and why? Yes, things are tight right now, but we knew we could make it.

We counted the money and there was 83 dollars and some change. What a surprise. We immediately put a sign outside our door saying THANK YOU! The gift will go on!

We plan on putting some money aside each month after we get things settled, so next Christmas we can pass on the gift. It reassured us that people really do care and do not necessarily want recognition for their good deeds. Thank you to our Christmas Angel!!!

-Heidi in SD


This year I pulled into my driveway and my manager pulled up behind me and she said that somebody left us this gift at the office and that she was to see that we recieve it. She told me she peeked in the bag and there was a book in there. She said she has read the book before that it was a wonderful story and I should read it.

So I took the bag and went inside. I opened it and the book christmas jars was in there with a starbucks frappicino jar full of money, and an envelope. Inside the envelope was a $50 certificate for our local grocery store. In the jar was just under $20.

We are so touched that somebody did this for us. It was such a thoughtful gift from a secret santa. Although it remains annoymous who did this for our family, it is greatly appreciated and was very much needed. We have had such a tough year. Besides the things that our kids made for us in school this is our only gift, and by far one of the greatest I have ever recieved. So just in case you get a chance to read this....

Thank you with all of our heart!

Next year we will find a family in need and pass on the tradition!

-Steve and Teresa in CA

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

What a terrific Christmas! We awoke early (of course!) and celebrated our first Christmas in Woodstock. The kids were giddy (of course!) and enjoyed opening presents and eating an unhealthy amount of sugar. Mom and Dad ate our share too (of course!). One sad note: Jadi developed a fever mid-morning and spent much of the day on the couch under the blanket, but fortunately she's been a trooper and her mood is as cheery as ever.

Today was enjoyable, but the real fun happened yesterday afternoon when we gave away our second Christmas Jar of the year. We split ours into two this year and had a friend deliver the first a few days ago. We decided to give away our second jar to a stranger in person. We know others that have done it this way (including Hope Jensen in the book) but we'd never tried it ourselves. It was a wonderful experience!

We drove to a nearby truck stop and slowly drove around the parking lot looking for a solo trucker. We spotted a middle-aged man fueling his rig and all six of us unloaded from our car and walked toward him. The kids were so nervous! Oakli carried the jar and Jadi carried a gift bag containing Christmas Jars on CD.

The exchange was simple: We told him we had something to share with him, explained we'd been filling it all year, and wished him a very Merry Christmas. He took the jar and bag without hesitation, but there was definitely a stunned looked on his face. He smiled and we all fought tears. We knew immediately we'd been led to the right recipient.

We shook his hand and walked away. He called out a grateful "Merry Christmas!" and off we went, back home and feeling so incredibly grateful for the miracle of the Christmas jar tradition.

Another year, another unforgettable experience. We'll probably never see that man again, but neither Kodi nor I, nor the kids, will ever forget his face and the look of gratitude. That's the magical power of the jar.

Merry Christmas from the Wrights!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

We have our first jar sighting of the year!

I just stumbled across this post on someone's blog:

There is nothing I love more than real life stories of folks giving and receiving jars. Congrats to this family for receiving a jar, and special thanks to whatever family saw a need and acted. I'm sure all will be blessed for this early Christmas miracle.


So the Lord does work in mysterious ways. We were sitting here this morning and we got a knock on the door. There ways a lady their that Laura didn't know holding a jar and a book. The book is Christmas Jars, and in the jar a houndred dollar bill and a bunch of change, in all it adds up to about 180.00. Now Damians parents will have a christmas too, and Damians will be even nicer. And will have gas money to drive to logan and springvill for the holidays. This whole exprience this week has been very humbling.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We have a winner in the Wednesday Letters drawing (at last!)

After some technical glitches we finally have conducted the Wednesday Letters drawing. We had thousands of entries and one grand prize winner will have dinner with a guest and yours truly in their hometown. (I really hope they live in Hawaii!)

Watch the drawing as it happened in this fun clip:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lesson Learned

I received this email and, after feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach, decided I'd share it. So many of you have had wonderful things to say about Christmas Jars that I thought it might be fun to see that there's always another opinion. And no matter how hard I try, I'll never be able to please everyone. I think there's a valuable lesson to be learned here.

I've offered Karen her money back. No word on whether she'll accept, but I hope she does. I hate the thought that she feels cheated.

So for all you aspiring writers out there, thicken that skin! You'll need it.

Name: 'Karen Kimball'
E-mail: 'XXXXX'
WhoContact: 'author'
Comments: 'The neighborhood book club, started four years ago, read this for our November book, to be discussed in December - the unspoken rule is that a short book be chosen during the holidays as every one is so busy. The book will do well, as demonstrated by the NYTimes list - particularly in these times when there is a desperate desire to fuel the capitalist fire - if Mr. Wright really believed in the premise of the story, he would not be concerned with his placement on the NYTimes list. He would not be contributing to the Hollywood money factory by turning it into a movie. He would not be blogging, have multiple websites, etc. He would be giving away the book for free.

Finally - Mr. Wright would do well to find a different editor. The book is riddled with editing mistakes - simple misuse of the plural possessive, references in the book which contradict previously described situations, improper use of subordinate clauses, etc.

I did appreciate that the book was short - the sooner to be free of the trite message.

Does Mr. Wright believe in Chrismas Jars? He should live a more simple lifestyle and really change the world with his actions - above and beyond books that read like made-for-television movies.'

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is it really December?

I woke up, opened my laptop, and had to shake my head a couple times when I saw November 30th on my screen. Where did November go??? For that matter, where did October and September go?

So anyone who's ever heard me speak has probably heard me tell the story of Sherri Durkin. She's a wonderful woman from Tennessee who miraculously received a Christmas Jar last year. It was an answer to her prayers, and it's one of the neatest stories I've heard since Christmas Jars came out over two years ago.

Well now Sherri is telling the story herself! She's featured in the latest issue of First Magazine, available on newsstands everywhere. (Wal-Mart is a good bet to have lots on the rack.) It's the December 24 issue and it has Martina McBride on the cover. Please pick it and learn more about this fantastic woman and her Christmas Jar miracle.

Also, as if there are not enough dorky pictures of me floating around out there, check out this one in today's Deseret News. Fortunately the story is good, even if the pic is scary :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

I am a bad, bad blogger

I've been home from my last jaunt (Nashville) for a week and I'm just now finding time to post. Sigh. I'll try harder to check in now that my travel schedule has slowed.

So how about some Black Friday good news? I learned this afternoon that after two long years on the market, Christmas Jars (paperback edition) has finally hit the New York Times Bestseller list. We'll appear at #24 in next week's edition. It's a humbling, exciting, totally unexpected surprise. It's unusual for a book to hit the list for the first time in its third year. But we'll take it and thank our lucky stars above. (And Someone else above, to be more accurate.)

It's certainly nice to be home. I'm finalizing details for my next book (Recovering Charles) and getting ready to begin writing the novel in earnest. Right now it's a simple two-page synopsis. By April 1st it better be just a TAD longer, or I'm in a boat load of trouble :)

More later...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

You are now free to move about the country

Well that sure was a nice break! After two weeks at home I'm off to the airport today for another trip out west. This time I'll be presenting my "Choose to Serve" assembly to middle-schoolers. It's a fun way to inspire kids to be less selfish and start thinking about others at an early age. (something I wasn't very good at as a kid) I also have a few signings, firesides and a fund raiser.

It's been terrific being home, though I'm not sure it's been fair calling it a break. I've been teaching an early-morning class, answering 763 emails every day, and working with my agent on our new deal. (I did sign up for all this craziness, right?)

Grandma is in town for a month or so and that's a big help for Kodi and the kids. I always hate leaving the gang for these trips, but having another set of adult hands sure makes it easier.

So we're off! I'll try to check in from the road.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Home at last

It's so nice to be home! I have about two weeks here before heading off for another week on the road. The next trip takes us to northern Utah and Idaho. I'll be hitting some local events in the meantime. Book clubs, local TV, rotary clubs, etc. But I'll take a day-trip over living from a suitcase any old day :)

Believe it or not we're now at 5 weeks and counting on the NYT Bestseller list! I keep expecting it to end any moment now...

Check out below some of the fun media from the last trip. We had loads of fun and met some incredible people!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Howdy from the road

I've been a lousy blogger, haven't I? I've been traveling for almost two weeks and it seems I've barely had time to breathe!

I'm in Salt Lake City today and then I head to Reno tonight. On Sunday morning I fly home for a few days. Wahoo!

We've done a lot of media on this trip, but this article in my local hometown paper really stands out. The reporter nails the essence of the story behind The Wednesday Letters. Click here to read the article in the Northern VA Daily.

Finally, I'm thrilled to announce that you all have helped us remain on the NYT Bestseller List for 4 weeks in a row! What a tremendous month we've had.

More later!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

And we're off!

After a couple of crazy weeks at home, I'm off this week on tour to promote The Wednesday Letters. I'll be back on Glenn Beck this week, along with FoxNews, and some local media out west. Keep an eye on my events schedule and drop by to say hello if I pass through your backyard!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Win dinner and a book club appearance!

We've "cooked" up a new contest at the web site for The Wednesday Letters:

Enter to win the grand prize of dinner with me in your hometown at your favorite restaurant. And, if that doesn't bore the tar out of you, Jason will even appear at your local book club if you choose.

Good luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Shame on me...

That noise you just heard was me waking up this morning and taking a huge breath. What a week! I've been truly overwhelmed by the response to The Wednesday Letters. Never in a million and one years did we expect to have such a tremendous first week! We've been blessed to land at #6 on the New York Times Best Seller List and #10 on the Wall Street Journal Best Seller List. Thanks, thanks and triple thanks. We couldn't have done it without you.

I have to admit, giving out my cell phone number on Glenn Beck was one of the crazier things I've done. (And I've done some crazy things, trust me!) But the calls have been amazing. I've heard from over 500 people from all over the world. Many had the most incredible, inspirational stories to tell about how letters have played an important role in their lives. I'll be sharing some of those stories soon at

I'll relax a bit today, go to a church picnic with my family, then prepare for a talk I have to give in church tomorrow on the parable of the talents. Can't wait! (Did that sound sincere???) :)

Thanks again, friends, for your support. I'm forever grateful.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yes, I'm the guy who gave his cell phone number out on Glenn Beck's TV show

Yes, that was me who gave out my cell phone number on CNN last night. And despite my wife thinking I've totally lost my mind, it was amazing! I've heard from so many neat people all over the country. Sure, there have been a few morons mixed in, but 90% of the calls (over 300!) have been so positive and supportive. You wouldn't believe some of the stories. People are connecting with the message that the lost art of letter writing needs a comeback!

Here's the clip in case you missed it. And I'm sure you missed it because you had better things to do. (like clip your toenails, watch your drapes collect dust, etc.)

What a day...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mixed emotions on 9/11

Talk about mixed emotions.

Obviously today is an important day in American history, an anniversary that will always mean something special to everyone alive on 9/11/2001. I was working with a political think-tank in DC and felt particularly connected to the tragedy, though I was not personally affected. Yes, an acquaintance died that day, Barbara Olson from the flight that crashed into the Pentagon. But we'd not chatted in some time and it wasn't a close relationship.

So today we honor the victims. This day will always be about them...

Why then mixed emotions? Today is also the day my new book, The Wednesday Letters, hits stores nationwide. It's almost embarassing to talk about the excitement of the day for my family and me when I know others around the country are feeling the rush of grief, anger and emptiness that will come on this day as long as the survivors live.

Nevertheless this is the day, and mine certainly isn't the only book hitting stores today. (Tuesday is the industry standard for new books, CDs and DVDs.)

I'll be signing the new book tonight at a Barnes and Noble in Fairfax. (Address here.) If you're in the area and have a moment between 5-8, do stop by.

And God Bless America.

Monday, September 3, 2007

It's about time, eh?

Lots of folks in recent years have asked why I wasn't maintaining my own blog.

"Good question," I'd tell them.

I contribute regularly to, the political junkie web site I co-founded with my old childhood pal, Stephen Fountain.

I also post new content from time-to-time on my personal web site, and on my book web sites, and

But until now I've not written regularly in one place. It's about time, eh?

So beginning today I'll use this space to blog about my books, breaking news in the shooting of the film adaptation of Christmas Jars, and occasionally I'll cross-post from

That ought to keep us busy!