Once again, we are in the midst of the holiday season; it is a joyous, festive and busy time of year. Whether you are looking for innovative crafting ideas, would like suggestions for a holiday menu or need a dose of good cheer, these recommendations will get you into the holiday spirit.
For the crafty among us, why not draw inspiration from the queen of homemade crafts, Martha Stewart? In "Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations," the editors of Martha Stewart Magazine provide a treasure trove of ideas and techniques for crafts throughout the year, including Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's. With paper crafts, flower-arranging and candle-making, this book covers it all.
The holiday season is always a wonderful time to bring together different generations within a family. "Christmas Crafting with Kids: 35 Projects for the Festive Season," by Catherine Woram, furnishes many ideas for projects that will please the entire family, including decorations, homemade wrapping paper and handmade cards.
"Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas: Crafts, Decorating Tips, and Recipes, 1920s-1960s," by Susan Waggoner, is full of designs and crafts that recall simpler times. Waggoner includes retro artwork and encourages readers to copy and embellish them for use as place cards, gift tags and accessories.
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"Julia M. Usher's Ultimate Cookies," by Julia Usher, provides tips and tricks on creating beautiful and delicious cookies and gives an overview of basic tools to use that will not strain your budget. Easy-to-follow recipes are paired with attractive pictures of the completed cookies and will provide encouragement for beginning and experienced bakers alike.
For hosts and hostesses of holiday parties, we have many entertaining books to suit your needs. "American Christmas," by Judith Dern, highlights regionally inspired menus from New England to coastal California and provides ideas for table decorations, staging and gifts from the holiday kitchen.
"Southern Living Cooking for Christmas: Favorite Holiday Recipes to Share with Family and Friends," by Susan Hernandez Ray, is more than just a cookbook; it also is an entertaining guide that includes ideas for different types of holiday gatherings and menus to pair with them.
If you'd like to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays and curl up with an inspiring holiday novel, try "Angels at the Table: A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas Story," by Debbie Macomber, in which three angels and their apprentice travel to Times Square on New Year's Eve, excited and eager to participate in the festivities.
Once there, they bring together Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild for a magical moment; however, life intervenes and separates the two at night's end. A year later, Lucie and Aren have not forgotten each other, and the angels hope that with a little luck, a bit of mischief and some true love, they can reunite them.
In the "13th Day of Christmas," by Jason F. Wright, Marva Ferguson is an elderly widow and her neighbor, Charlee, is a gravely ill 9-year-old in need of a friend.
On Dec. 12, a mysterious note is delivered to Charlee with a promise to reveal the truth behind the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" through stories and gifts. As the days go by, the stories hint at a missing 13th day of Christmas lyric. Does a 13th day of Christmas exist? And if it does, can it contain a miracle?
For more information on the Beaufort County Public Library system, go to www.beaufortcountylibrary.org.