Books To Make Holidays Less Expensive, Less Stressful

SHELF LIFE

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The holidays are upon us. Where has the year gone?

The holidays don't have to be expensive and stressful. Handmade is always better. So, let's get started.

"The Christmas Kitchen" by Lorrain E. Bodger. Welcome to the "Christmas Kitchen." Here, you'll find everything you've dreamed Christmas should be -- gingerbread houses, marzipan fruit, sweet homemade breads and rich plum pudding with spicy hard sauce. This book makes Christmas fun. You'll find all kinds of cookies to bake with your kids and candies easy enough for a novice to make. Bake a fruitcake guaranteed to taste better than the store-bought version. Create party fare for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that your family and guests will remember. There are menus and checklists that will get you through holiday party giving. There is a chapter of easy-to-make gifts you can prepare in your own kitchen: Fruit butters, chutneys and relishes. Something for everyone.

"12 Days of Christmas" by Debbie Mumm. We've all hummed the catchy tune "The Twelve Days of Christmas" but did you know that the roots of this song goes back centuries?

Even in medieval times, feasting, storytelling, music and gift giving began on Christmas and filled the next twelve days. The enchanting time of the 12 days of Christmas comes to life with this festive gathering of more than thirty holiday creations. Among the delightful projects are quick and easy quilts, ideas for great gift giving, holiday decorating, delicious recipes and much more.

"Christmas Ornaments to Make" by Better Homes and Gardens. Handmade ornaments come in all shapes and sizes and can be tailored to suit each one of your family and friends. Ornaments are round shaped or flat, large or tiny.

They can be painted, stitched, glittered, folded, molded, baked, jeweled or carved. Whatever the style chosen, if an ornament is hand made, it is surely loved and treasured year after year as it returns to its special place on the tree. The book offers countless ideas for creating the perfect decoration to make for that special someone to hang on that unique tree. You'll find every color, a sleigh full of techniques and some unusual trims that are bound to make you smile.

"Christmas with Mary Englebreit: Here Comes Santa Claus." Trim a trellis, bake a village, sew a mouse. This is not your ordinary Christmas book. Make jillions of homemade projects like holly leaf garland, wine gift bags and a snow family topiary. Projects that anyone can do. Really. Learn how to jumpstart your holiday parties with recipes and scripts for gatherings that break the mold. Create an unexpected and memorable Christmas while staying sane. Get ready. Santa's workshop has been temporarily relocated -- to your house.

"Christmas Gifts of Good Taste" by Leisure Arts. Christmas comes but once a year and with it comes the time honored tradition of gift giving. What better way to show you care than to offer delicious homemade goodies in merry packages that you make yourself. Create brandied peaches, mustard pretzel munchies, quick-as-a-wink candies, cookie ornaments, a wine and cheese basket and much, much more. Each gift is packaged in its own unique gift wrap. The library has several annual volumes of this series, each full of great inexpensive gifts to make and share.

"The Decorated Tree: Recreating Traditional Christmas Ornaments" by Carol Endler and Nancy Johnson. For more than four centuries, the decorated tree has delighted the human spirit at Christmas. Each chapter tells the story of a decorated tree and the people who created it.

More than just an introduction to the great family of decorated trees, the book focuses on the rich rewards of handcrafting the Christmas decorations that made yesterday's trees so special. The authors selected 78 ornaments from Christmases past and provided clear instructions for making them. The result is a collection of ornaments that have engaging pasts, and are absorbing to make, providing a history and tradition worth keeping.

The library has a host of holiday books. There are ideas, projects and recipes for everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Payson Public Library. And now, on to Miss Emily Arnold's book review.

"Cheaper by the Dozen" by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. Maybe you've seen the movie, or read a totally different version, but this is the original story.

"Cheaper by the Dozen" was written in 1948. It is a collection of memories that are entertaining, heartwarming and hilarious.

They seem all the more real because they are eyewitness accounts by two of the Gilbreth siblings.

Laugh along with the Gilbreths as they get their tonsils out, buy a family dog and trick their efficiency-crazy father.

This is a true classic.

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