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Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

I’d like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

As someone who celebrates Christmas, I enjoy sitting before the lit tree with family members drinking hot cocoa or eggnog. It means so much to be together talking. We spend so much of our lives texting, in front of the computer or running off to our next appointment. We need this quiet time together.

There are traditions that each family follow and I’ve enjoyed becoming a part of my husband’s family’s traditions. For example, they buy a large and sturdy tree that allows them to literally put the presents between the branches. The tree becomes the gift. They also have ornaments from almost everywhere they have traveled together. My husband and I liked this tradition so much that we started to do it ourselves. We love to decorate our tree and remember the places we’ve gone, from New York City’s Rockefeller Center to Mackinaw Island.  

My family opens some presents on Christmas Eve after a large dinner and then the rest before breakfast (but after coffee!) on Christmas morning. Usually there is a fire going and we listen to Italian Christmas records. I always look forward to Christmas breakfast with bagels, lox, cream cheese and eggs.

What is your favorite part of the holidays?

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My friend Angela has an amazing new blog, Something Green.  Learn all about the tricks and products to help make your event more green from holiday stockings to renewal candles. Don’t miss the Green Glossary and Green Directory. She has been involved in the event and writing businesses for years. She’s the expert you’ve been looking for!

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I remember carefully counting out the change from my allowance in order to buy stickers. I *loved* collecting stickers. There were the smelly ones, the funny ones, the pretty ones, the doubles you could sock away for later… inexpensive and personal, they were easily for a kid to collect.

My Mom Shops reminds us not only of the joys of collecting stickers, but how to put together a contemporary sticker collection book for your favorite kids this holiday season. Brilliant!

So, instead of buying an impersonal gift at the Big Box store on the outskirts of your town, make something for the kids that they can continue working on all year.

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Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed. Now it is onto Christmas, Hanukah and New Year’s Eve. Every year, I find it hard to imagine that time truly moves this quickly.

There are presents to buy, trips to schedule and meals to plan. Oy! It can make the cheeriest person feel like the Grinch. 

That said, with a little planning, it doesn’t need to be too difficult. My friend Shasta Grant, an amazing sewer and writer, blogs on The Lovely Nest about making lists and homemade holiday gifts. I hope you’ll spend a few moments on her blog to check out the coat she made for her toddler son and more. I can only imagine my fingers being nimble enough to make something like that!

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One of the new traditions that my husband and I would like to start is to truly remember the things that we are thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Here is a start… 

I am thankful for my husband and our love.

I am thankful for my parents.

I am thankful for my family, especially my 101 ½ year old aunt.

I am thankful for my friends, especially those Wonderful Women.

I am thankful for poetry, especially the words of Mark Strand who helped me to get started writing in high school.

I am thankful for art, especially Georgia O’Keefe, who I carry with me everywhere.

I am thankful that I am safe.

I am thankful that I am healthy.

I am thankful that I am warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer.

I am thankful that I have enough food.

I am thankful that I have a home.

I am thankful that I have jobs that stimulate my mind.

I am thankful for time to think.

I am thankful for Smith and Sarah Lawrence.

I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to travel to beautiful places.

I am thankful that I am challenged everyday by things I read, hear and discuss.

I am thankful for the future.

What are you thankful for?

(I am also thankful for the possibility to rest… see you next week!)

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My father is an amazing chef and Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. We usually cook a number of dishes together, from the father-daughter cranberry sauce (fresh cranberries cooked with fresh orange juice and secret flavoring) to the bread stuffing. I love sharing the kitchen with him and learning from each other.

I shy away from the turkey. As a former vegetarian, I still get the willies when I think about touching raw meat. Dad is the one who lifts it into the brine and stuffs it. Last year, I decided I should at least learn how to carve the turkey. (You can see Dad offering advice in the picture.) 

My mother usually makes the “primo” – either a pasta or a soup. This year we’ve decided on homemade pumpkin gnocchi that I made recently and froze. Mom is going to be responsible for a few sides, escarole and candied carrots.

Planning the menu this year, my husband and I are working on forming our own traditions. (While that will probably happen naturally, I am neurotic enough to try to plan them.) He loves ginger and we are integrating it into the yams and pumpkin pie. We aren’t straying too far from my family’s traditions, though. The cranberry sauce and bread stuffing are here to stay.

We have some family recipes and I’ve been reading about others in the Joy of Cooking, Epicurious, and the website hosted by the Ginger People company.

I’m excited to cook, but I’m really excited to eat! Let the feasting begin!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?

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Boo!

Halloween 2009Happy Halloween! My husband and I had fun dressing up like a bride and groom for a Halloween party last night. With my veil and his bowtie, we joked that perhaps we had more bride/groom accessories than we did when we got married a few weeks ago!

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