Living in Nappanee is especially wonderful this time of year as special events and organizations in the area offer many activities, services and an abundance of hospitality to help bring on the seasonal cheer! With so many things happening, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes a little advance planning can make a big difference in the memories you make this season.
One of the best ways to start your seasonal planning and home preparations is with a few tried and true holiday reading favorites for decorating, cooking, and getting into the spirit!
Decorating Your Home
Our homes are the places where so many holiday memories are made so is it any wonder it is such a treat to decorate the home this time of year? Wreaths on the front door, candles in the windows, special center pieces for your tables and whimsical lights inside and outside your home are just some of the decorations that make a home special for the holidays.
To spark your holiday decorating creativity, here are some books you might consider picking up at the Nappanee Public Library or your favorite online/offline book store:
- Celebrating Home: Decorating for the Holidays and Seasons, produced by home decorating company – Seasons of Cannon Falls
- Decorating for the Holidays, by Valerie Parr Hill, QVC Publishing
- Perfect Christmas: The Ultimate Guide To Cooking, Decorating And Gift Making For The Festive Season, by Carolyn Bell
Tastes of the Season
Of course the holiday season is very much about food. From the savory scents of Thanksgiving dinner to the sweet and nostalgic aroma of Christmas cookies and pies, holiday memories are filled with conversation and laughter around meals.
Alleviate the stress that comes with multi-tasking this time of year by planning and preparing ahead whenever possible. Preparations can begin months in advance (e.g. if you’re fermenting fruits for Christmas cakes) or just a few weeks ahead if you’re preparing items like cookies and other sweets for cookie exchanges, church bazaars, neighborhood gatherings and other types of entertaining. Whether you’re going traditional or adding something new to the table this year, make sure you review recipes and stock up on supplies in advance.
To help you schedule and plan the preparation of your special holiday menus, here are some popular cookbooks for the season:
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations, by Ree Drummond
- Taste of Home Christmas: 465 Recipes for a Merry Holiday, produced by Taste of Home
- The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes, by Amy Thielen
Other Activities to Get You Into the Spirit
Cooking for family and decorating the home can be great fun, but the season is also about taking time to appreciate the moments and lasting sentiments of this holiday season. Getting out locally in the community and grabbing some quiet time at home can really help you to embrace the holiday spirit.
Locally, Kountry Cabinets & Home Furnishings in Nappanee is hosting a Gingerbread House Contest and giving away $450 in prizes. Getting together with family and/or friends to bake and decorate your own gingerbread creation could be just the ticket to kick-off your holiday festivities. Entries can be submitted to Kountry Cabinets December 2-4. To learn more click here.
Of course, this season is the perfect time to curl up with a good book and a cup of your favorite hot and tasty beverage. Following are some hand-picked favorites to start off your holiday reading:
- Topping the list for many Midwesterners (especially those of us from Indiana) is the book that inspired the famous movie – A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd.
- A Christmas Carol – for some people the holidays simply are not complete without reading or attending a reading of Charles Dickens’ famous tale about Scrooge and the meaning of Christmas.
- A Nantucket Christmas, by Nancy Thayer – this New York Times best-selling novel set in the picturesque town of Nantucket, is about love, friendship and forgiveness – perfect for the season.
Though this holiday season may seem short, it is amazing the way we are able to create so much good around our nation and the world as we focus on serving those in need, caring for our family and friends and expressing the gratitude we feel for the meaningful gifts in our lives. This post hopefully provides some ideas and tips for creating lasting memories this year and for many years to come.