Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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