Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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