Millennial Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in my family has always been big and loud and so much leftovers you’d eat for weeks afterwards. But as families move farther away whether they are retiring or falling in love or discovering a new career…or as the case with a lot of my cousins and I moving farther out so we can pay image-of-friends-toasting-courtesy-of-element5-digital-via-unsplashthe bills – that is starting to change. And it’s changing for many Millennials across the country. We are having less food, less waste, and friendsgivings – creating a chosen family rather then flying across the country, which usually carries a stressful and very expensive price tag.

Here are a few books in our collection to inspire a new way of gathering at the table this holiday season:

Continue reading “Millennial Thanksgiving”

Ready, Set, Holidays!

The holidays are nearly upon us. For many of us, it’s time to start thinking about making a Halloween costume, what dish to make for Thanksgiving, or what gifts to make for friends and family. Now is the time to start planning! Here are some books to guide you as the season approaches.

In The Horrible Craft Book, Laura Minter brings kids and adults together to make gross items like cat poo chocolates, or a brain piñata and tasty eyeballs, just in time for Halloween. In Autumn BouquetSharon Keightley shows quilters how to prepare appliques featuring beautiful fall colors and themes. Deck the halls Scandi-style with Norwegian sensations Arne & Carlos’s 55 Christmas Balls to Knit and Jorid Livnik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits. Make Beautiful Wreaths with Melissa Skidmore or step up your decorating game with Cassie Kitzmiller’s Christmas Tree BookPersonalize your own cards, gift wrap and decorations with Holiday Hand Lettering from Lark Books and Vivienne Bolton’s Making Your Own Greeting Cards and Gift WrapAnd Doerthe Eisterlehner keeps things festive and charming with My Little Crocheted Christmas along with ideas for traditional crafts in Taste of Home: Handmade Christmas Continue reading “Ready, Set, Holidays!”

Thankful for Books

Ever since I was a child, at our family gathering that coincided with the Thanksgiving holiday, we would go around the table and everyone would have to say a little something about what they were thankful for. Perhaps it was (or is) the same for you? For our hedonistic childhood selves, so unaccustomed to being thankful for anything, it often felt a bit awkward or forced. Of course now, many of us have come to sense just how empowering and grounding it can be to foster a spirit of gratitude, especially in times of darkness, anxiety and despair. One thing that many of our patrons tell us they’re grateful for, especially as the nights grow long and the days grow cold, is reading.

Image of Man Reading courtesy of P.V. via FlickrLet’s be grateful that we live in a world where magic exists – that “uniquely portable magic” that Stephen King likens to telepathy. Magic that calls whole lives and worlds into existence out of scratches on a page or breath. By some distinctly human trickery, we can peer inside another person’s brain, and think another person’s thoughts. What a marvel, to be all but possessed by the mind and soul and experience of another! To be moved to laughter, tears, rage and profound sympathy; to be led to fresh understandings. Continue reading “Thankful for Books”

Practice Gratitude

We live in a pretty fast paced world, one that can cloud our gratefulness for what we have, what we’ve been given, and those we share our lives with. I challenge you to take the time (and not just in November) to practice gratitude.

Focus on areas of your life you can be more grateful for like your home, your partner, or just time to be with yourself and disconnect:

Learn to engage in positive self-talk. Too often we beat ourselves down when we should be lifting ourselves up:

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Your Thanksgiving Kitchen Helper

Thanksgiving is just over a week away. Have you figured out where and with whom you’ll be celebrating and eating? If you’re cooking, have you begun planning your meal? If you’re a worrier, have you begun panicking? No matter where you are in the process, here are a few books, DVDs and websites to help you plan a Thanksgiving meal, figure out what to take to a potluck, or decorate.

Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well by Sam Sifton
New York Times Cooking editor Sifton covers everything Thanksgiving in this short (133 page) book: planning your meal; recipes for both classic Thanksgiving dishes and for new interpretations of those classics; instructions for setting the table; ideas for decorating; and musings on the nature of the holiday. Continue reading “Your Thanksgiving Kitchen Helper”