I should really share a recipe from Hometown Christmas (and I will, promise!) but what I really love in this cookbook are the sweet little tips, quotes and Christmas memories. Here are some of my favorite tips – there’s one at the bottom of almost every page!

Tuck silverware into wooly gloves or mittens when setting the breakfast table. Add a knitted scarf to create a whimsical table runner.

Making a favorite soup for supper? Let the slow cooker help out! In the morning, toss in all the ingredients and turn it to the low setting. A recipe that simmers for one to two hours on the stovetop can usually cook all day on low without overcooking.

Don’t toss out that little bit of leftover cranberry sauce! Puree it with balsamic vinaigrette to create a tangy salad dressing that’s perfect over crisp greens and fruit.

No more ordinary ribbon! A hometown knitting shop is sure to have yarns in lots of colors and textures that will make gifts stand out under the tree. Bulky yarns are perfect… thin yarns can be doubled or tripled.

Bundle up the kids and take a ride to see the holiday lights around town. Bring cozy blankets, plump pillows… the kids can even wear their jammies!

Such cute, sweet, homey ideas! The last chapter of Hometown Christmas is all dear Christmastime memories from women around the world. Here are a couple favorites of mine {I’ve edited them down a little}:

Back in the late 50’s I grew up in a rural area south of Delhi, Louisiana, where my dad was a farmer. Christmas was a special time of sharing with wonderful cousins… Every Christmas Eve day, my family carefully packed all the presents into the trunk of our car to head to PaPaw’s house about 15 miles away. Arrival at PaPaw’s was followed by a mad dash to claim the best bed. The only heat in the house was a fireplace in the living room. Since all the kids slept upstairs, it was a challenge to get either the room with the chimney running through it or the feather mattress. All the parents stayed up most of the night, so they were never ready to get up when the kids were. Now, I know that it wasn’t the fire that warmed the house, but the love of family sharing together in celebration of the birth of Christ.
– Donna Goodman, Sterlington, LA

I am the eighth of nine children, born just as the war was ending in 1946, and times were hard. But on Christmas morning, the four younger kids would come flying down the stairs to see what Santa had brought. We usually got pencils and a large yellow tablet with lines on it. I was so proud of mine… The older married kids brought us younger kids coloring books and crayons, maybe a doll for me and guns and holsters for the boys. There were bowls of fresh oranges, hard candy and orange jelly slices for all to share. The dinner my momma made was the best Christmas present of all. We gathered around the table, said grace and enjoyed the family being together for that day. I would love to go back just one more time to a Christmas like that!
– Barbara Feldner, Caldwell, OH

And now I’m ready to put on some coffee, eat a sticky bun and hum along to some Bing Crosby. I know some consider it too early, but here in our home we are ready to go (yes, we put up {one of} the tree{s} already. But no other decorations yet!) For a chance to win a copy of Hometown Christmas, hop over and enter here (hurry, there are only a couple days left!)

{girl with blog}

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