Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Help For The Holiday-Challenged

So, no doubt you have holiday music playing on your stereo, your house is all decorated and the cards are in the mail... right? What?! No! You don't have any of these things done! Well, don't feel too bad. First of all, you are not alone. Yes, I too am holiday-challenged.

However, I'll let you in on a little secret. Move closer to your computer screen. Closer! Ok, good. Believe it or not, but we who are holiday-challenged are better off than they who are already done. Why? Because there are oodles of wonderful writers and creators of holiday cheer out there who have made books just for us!!! Oh sorry, I didn't mean to shout in your ear.

So, whether you are on the ball or holiday-challenged, you can find books on everything from what to bake, how to decorate and even how to make your own cards! Now if those books just came with someone to help us do all of this stuff, they'd be perfect. Until then, you'll just have to make do with the books and your kids... or your friends' kids... little nieces or nephews... well, you get the point.

Best Ideas for Christmas by Woman's Day magazine - whether its the current issue or previous ones, this magazine bound into a book is full of ideas on everything from the food you should serve on Christmas day (including recipes) to centerpieces to home-made gifts and ornaments and more!

Ultimate Cardmaking by Sarah Beaman - Covering a wide range of occasions from anniversaries and seasonal highlights to children's cards and invitations, this book is packed with creative techniques, step-by-step pictures, and detailed instructions as well as a range of new and exclusive designs.

Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates : festive meals for holidays festive meals for holidays and special occasions by the Moosewood Collective - Holidays and celebratory gatherings can present a challenge for vegetarian cooks who want to serve festive meals that will satisfy all of their guests. This book meets the challenge, with more than 35 ingenious menus for just about every holiday (traditional or otherwise) as well as parties, weddings and more.

Christmas with Paula Deen : recipes and stories from my favorite holiday by Paula Deen - A collection of beloved holiday recipes and stories interspersed with cherished family photographs.

Enough with the decorating and food preparation, you say! Just reading this list has you exhausted. We have the perfect restorative. How about a good book to snuggle up on the couch with? Pass the hot cocoa, and see if any of these stories fill you with holiday joy:

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber - Having unsuccessfully traveled to Cedar Cove in search of her baby's father, Mary Jo Wyse, after a comedy of errors, finds herself lodging in an apartment above a stable on Christmas eve. Pregnant and alone, she goes into labor that night! Soon she's not alone as a paramedic, her brothers and a town not only rescue her, but help her celebrate the birth of her baby.

Grace by Richard Paul Evans - An old man reminisces about his first love, a young runaway who taught him more about life than anyone had before or since.

Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown - Harry and her husband, Fair, have gone to fetch a Christmas tree at the tree farm run by The Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization that tends to AIDS patients, when they find the tree they've chosen grimly decorated with a dead body. Can Harry, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker save the season from a killjoy who's decided to gift the festive little town of Crozet, Virginia, with murder?

Dashing Through The Snow by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark - The mother and daughter team bring together Alvirah Meehan and Regan Reilly as they once again find themselves drawn into a mystery. This time they are in Branscombe, New Hampshire for the Festival of Joy when a man goes missing.

Not satisfied with all the books, huh? You want more? Ah, yes... how about a little music, maestro!

Noel by Josh Groban

Let It Snow by Michael Buble

A Swingin' Christmas by Tony Bennett featuring The Count Basie Big Band

And what Christmas would be complete without the annual viewing of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"... "It's A Wonderful Life"... and "A Christmas Story"!

Ok. So, now you are finally decorated. Your menu is planned and ready. The cards really are in the mail. And Christmas music is playing on the stereo while you read a fun holiday story by the fire. You have to be feeling the holiday spirit now, right? If you're not, then we have only this one last suggestion to offer you... try the travel section of the library! Then visit some place were you can warm your feet by the hot, ocean sand in the warm, holiday sunshine. Brings a smile to my face!

What are some of your favorite holiday reads or movies?


Diane Cipa said...

I'm tired just reading this post! Great ideas, though. ;)

dragonwriter said...

Yeah, I was pretty exhausted after writing the post!!! Ok, Diane what is your favorite holiday read or movie?