Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


Home · Articles · News · Books · Books for Holiday Browsing
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Books for Holiday Browsing

Nancy Sundstrom - December 19th, 2002
Some of us anticipate the holiday season all year-long and approach it with an organized discipline that might even make Martha Stewart sit up and take notice. For the rest of us, it arrives before we know it, and then, as it happened this year with Thanksgiving falling so late in November, we find ourselves scrambling to get to all those plans we’ve been hatching since last year’s festivities.
Even though we‘re in the 12 days of Christmas mode, it’s not too late to seek out some extra help to make the season a little brighter. In that spirit, here are some recommendations for books on celebrating the holidays, from decorating tips and making handcrafted gifts to the historical roots of different celebrationsand, of course, entertaining.
They also make great gifts, and if you’re one of those who buys at the start of the new year for the nest Christmas, you can almost always find these marked down significantly. Thankfully, the information inside doesn’t date itself, making these reference books for years to come.

Christmas with Martha Stewart Living
by Martha Stewart (Editor) and the Editors of Martha Stewart Living
The key phrase here is the name, which pretty much speaks for itself, despite recent events. This one volume contains it all - ideas for recipes, gifts, decorations, and entertaining. While some of it seems to go a bit over the top, such as silver-leafed fruit at each place setting at Christmas dinner and boxes made of piped Swiss meringue, there are plenty of other accessible, imaginative and easy-to-follow directions that balance the book out and make it fun to read through and peruse.

Bon Appetit: The Christmas Season
by the Editors of Bon Appetit
This beautifully illustrated book leaves no possibility unexplored for a holiday meal, from a winter solstice supper to a New Year’s Day open house. The biggest meal of the season, Christmas Day dinner, gets the most attention here, with 11 different menus and more than 50 recipes. There are recipes for all the standard fare, such as roast turkey, goose, and lamb, to cocktail party fare like Layered Rice Salad with Red and Green Salsas and Wild Mushroom and Crab Cheesecake. An impressive dessert section offers a tantalizing range of delicacies that can be given as gifts or enjoyed at home.

Simply Christmas: Renew Your Holiday Spirit with Over 200 Hassle-free Projects
by Carol Field Dahlstrom
The emphasis is on indulging in holiday projects that are easy, enjoyable, and directly connect to the spirit of the season. There are simple ornaments, wreaths, baked goods, cards, luminaries, and the like, with templates and recipes to guide you. While many of these ideas can be found in other similar books, this one contains a number of new twists, such as how to incorporate your antique or primitive collectibles into a decorating scheme, and has a practical, personable tone to it.

Christmas All Through the House
by Better Homes and Gardens
Another one-stop holiday collection, this book is nicely divided into nine interesting chapters, beginning with how to set the mood inside and outside your home and ending with homemade gifts that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Along the way, there are scores of delightful suggestions on some topics that aren’t often covered in other books of this sort, such as crafts that reflect the very first Christmas in Bethlehem, making a statement with your holiday tree, and unique packaging options for your gift giving.

Rose’s Christmas Cookies
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
This book has been around for more than a decade, and is still considered the benchmark for holiday baking. Beranbaum, author of the award-winning “The Cake Bible,“ offers up more than 60 mouth-watering and near-foolproof recipes that are of equal appeal to novice and experienced bakers. There are recipes for classics such as Scottish Shortbread, Chocolate-Dipped Melting Moments, Spritz Butter Cookies, and Pfeffernsse, as well as some of Beranbaum‘s own creations. Loaded with additional information on decorating, storage, ingredients, and technique, if you’re going to own a singular volume on cookie-making, it should be this one, because it’s likely you’ll refer to it all throughout the year.

Creating Christmas Memories
by Gwen Ellis and Pat Matuszak
A lavishly illustrated gift book devoted to great memory-making ideas, this is a book steeped in traditions, and draws from the Bible, Christmas carols, history and anecdotes while making specific suggestions for fun and educational family activities. The emphasis is on the Christian aspect of holiday celebration, and the book comes with an embossed, padded cover, foil stamping, and a ribbon marker.

Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays
by Elaine St. James
The author of the best-selling Simplicity series returns with a guide to taking stress out of the holidays by re-aligning one’s approach to priorities and sensibilities about what this time of year should and can mean. There’s a lighthearted touch to the material, reflected in tips like “Just Say No to Elmo,“ “Eliminate Turkey Torpor,“ and “Slay the Secret Santa.“ While they can occasionally veer from whimsical into eye-rolling, St. James still has a number of pragmatic, straightforward suggestions.

Simple Pleasures for the Holidays : A Treasury of Stories and Suggestions for Creating Meaningful Celebrations (Simple Pleasures Series)
by Susannah Seton
Dozens of stories, recipes, games, decorations, and easy crafts are the focus of Seton’s suggestions for less material ways to celebrate the holidays, which include not just Christmas, but Halloween, Chinese New Year, Mexican Day of the Dead, Guy Fawkes Day, Kwanzaa, and more. The premise is that shared experience is what people value most, and that holidays provide the venue to do that, which makes each one worth recognizing and celebrating. This is Seton’s fourth “Simple Pleasures“ book in the series, and it’s a winner.

 
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