Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baking not Blogging: A (Somewhat Bookish) Holiday Post

Ahhh, not a very bookish week... too much else going on, what with work, baking, cleaning and shopping. Baking is perhaps my favorite of the holiday to-dos - every year we bake several batches of my Nana's Christmas cookies (using passed-down-through-the-generations old-fashioned cookie cutters), and molasses spice cookies, which fill the kitchen with the magical smells of molasses, ginger, cloves, allspice and cinnamon - worth baking for the aroma alone.

We got a little more crafty than usual this year.... inspired by a wonderful recent blog post over at Lena Sledge's blog, the kids and I learned how to make beaded bookmarks (a.k.a. "book thongs").... they were a great project, not too hard (kids needed just a little assistance with knots and crimping), and they turned out so pretty! We made one for each of the teachers, and paired them with these very cute (but not very expensive) paper-covered travel journals from Michael's... the jewel-tone colors matched perfectly, and together they made charming gifts.

Here's a close- up of one of the bookmarks my daughter made:

Looking forward to getting back to more reading and reviews after the holiday (coming soon: Xu Xi's excellent short story collection Access and The Thorn and The Blossom, a very pretty new book from Quirk Books.) As this year winds up, I am so grateful for all of you who have been part of the blog - many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment, and share; write a guest post or be a guest for Q&A; or write one of the many wonderful books and short stories featured here. Wishing you a truly Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Kwanzaa.

Are you having a bookish or non-bookish holiday? What traditions are you enjoying this season?

Happy holidays-


  1. Book thongs! They're lovely. Happy reading over the holidays,Jennifer. And send me a cookie.:)

  2. I may just have to make a few of those book marks, too. I have almost everything I need on hand. Looks like I've found a way to keep busy today!

    Happy holidays!

  3. Thanks so much, Chris and Cassandra! They really were a lot of fun to make! Wishing you both a very happy holiday :D

  4. Those are great gifts, and it's lovely that part of it was home-made. Merry Christmas!

  5. Can't wait to try making some of the "book thongs!" The cookies look WONDERFUL. I did real Christmas baking for the first time this year, helped along by my mom, who was happy to keep all my mixing bowls and measuring cups washed up through 7 batches. (Best recipe: "Cappucino Love Bites," rolled in granulated sugar & instant coffee crystals, flavored with Kahlua, and decorated with a Hershey's Hug in the center of each.) Because almost all the gifts were wrapped, the house is marginally cleaner than it has been, and the kids were glued to streaming Netflix (new in our house this season), I lay abed this morning finishing Emma Donoghue's The Room - it has been on my "to read" list for at least two years. Blissful indulgence! We have books or book-related gifts for almost everyone in the family this year, except nephew Christopher (3), who gets a pirate ship toy instead...

  6. Readersquest, the cappucino love bites sound fantastic, as does the book (argh, never got to it). sounds like a wonderful holiday, Merry Christmas!

  7. Sam, thanks so much, it was all a lot of fun. Have a wonderful holiday!

  8. Well I also like baking just as you do...and I like your idea of beaded bookmarks really and your results are really very impressive in the photo....Great!!


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