Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162


MCLS Booklists

Fun, Frugal, Family Holidays - November 2010
Mix the upcoming holidays with the need to economize and the need to "be green". We have a collection of books with ideas for making one-of-a-kind projects to give away, decorate the house, and entertain guests. This holiday season families can save money and reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing style or tradition.
book jacket FamilyFun homemade holidays
By: Edited by Deanna F. Cook and the experts at FamilyFun magazine.

Summary: Features games, activities, decorations, tested recipes, and complete Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa party plans, plus winter holiday ideas from FamilyFun readers, timesaving tips, and step-by-step photographs.

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Kids in the holiday kitchen : making, baking, giving
By:  Jessica Strand & Tammy Massman-Johnson

Summary:Kick off the holidays in the kitchen this year! Here are kid-friendly projects including easy entrées sweet and savory noshes and fantastic crafts to display wear or give. With these unique craft and snack ideas the holidays will certainly be merry and bright.

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The ultimate Christmas : the best experts' advice for a memorable season with stories and photos of holiday magic
By:  Jeanne Bice

Summary: Fashion and decorating guru Jeanne Bice, the founder of The Quacker Factory, shares must-know info for making things merry, including eco-friendly ways to deck the halls, a simple, sensational open house menu, homemade crafts, and etiquette rules for regifting, holiday 'brag' letters, and the dreaded fruitcake.

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I'm dreaming of a green Christmas : gifts, decorations, and recipes that use less and mean more
By: Anna Getty

Summary: This holiday season families can save money and reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing style or tradition. With inspiring photographs, extensive resources, and advice from leading eco-experts, families might just find that these tips help them stay green all year long the perfect New Year's resolution!

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A homemade Christmas : creative ideas for an earth-friendly, frugal, festive holiday
By:  Tina Barseghian

Summary: Making something with your own hands is a great way to connect with the true meaning of Christmas. From holiday decorating to gift giving, A Homemade Christmas is chock-full of projects, recipes, tips, and helpful hints that are guaranteed to add a homemade touch to your holiday season.

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Simple gifts : 50 little luxuries to craft, sew, cook & knit
By:  Jennifer Worick

Summary: Step-by-step instructions for creating easy and inspired handmade gifts that won’t break the bank. Also included is helpful, witty advice on choosing the right gift for anyone-man, woman, or child-and how to wrap up your present with style. These heartfelt, handmade gifts are certain to wow and touch your loved ones.

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Christmas inspirations : practical ideas for creating beautiful gifts and decorations for the holiday season
By:  Rose Hammick, Charlotte Packer

Summary: Christmas is a magical holiday, and part of the fun is transforming our homes for the season. "Christmas Inspirations" is the ideal book for anyone wishing to bring a personal touch to their holiday celebrations.

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Redeeming the season : simple ideas for a memorable and meaningful Christmas
By:  Kim Wier & Pam McCune

Summary: If you've ever vowed, "This Christmas will be different," here's how to make sure this year really will be. Redeeming the Season offers refreshing, realistic ways to reclaim the spiritual significance of Christmas. This book offers ideas that are sane, simple, and original.
R   Review From Publishers Weekly
Think of this book as an evangelical Christian version of Unplug the Christmas Machine, Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli's classic how-to guide to slowing down and creating a more meaningful, less commercialized Christmas. "The heart of Christmas is in savoring the Savior Himself and understanding that the tiny Baby in the manger had an enormous, eternal purpose," explain Wier and McCune. Christmas, they say, presents unique opportunities for telling others about Christ, and they include suggestions for various activities to spread that message. The holiday also offers chances for families to experience an unusual amount of togetherness, and is a time to create new traditions, such as reaching out to friends or family members who are facing their first Christmas after the death of a loved one. There is both tenderness and humor here, and evangelical readers who want to learn new ways to help others understand how "Jesus is the reason for the season" will greatly appreciate this book.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Big fun Christmas crafts & activities : over 200 quick & easy activities for holiday fun!
By: Judy Press

Summary: Quick & easy sections provide simpler activities & crafts for younger children to do in shorter time periods. Activities & games range from making Stand-Up Fir trees to a Hands-Together garland, playing countdown to Christmas games, and creating Pop-Up cards, Snowman wrapping paper, Jingle-bell wind chimes, and a wonderful festive Choo-Choo train!

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A greener Christmas
By: Editor-in-chief, Sheherazade Goldsmith

Summary: How to make your home merry, bright, and eco-friendly! Part craft, gardening, and cookbook, part home décor and entertaining guide, A Greener Christmas lets the whole family get in on projects that are simple, seasonal, and of-the-moment.

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Christmas comfort & joy : 501 crafts, decorating, and food ideas to make your holiday unforgettable
By:  [editor, Carol Field Dahlstrom].

Summary: Includes photos and more than 500 new ideas for beautiful crafts, foods, and decorating projects. Doable projects offer novice and expert crafters detailed instructions and patterns for guaranteed success.  Ideas for making one-of-a-kind projects to give away, decorate the house, and entertain guests.

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Christmas crafting with kids : 35 projects for the festive season
By: Catherine Woram

Summary: Dozens of achievable ideas for decorations, gifts, cards, and even handmade gift-wrap. Little crafters will enjoy making festive decorations such as paper-chains, crackers, and hand-stitched stockings, as well as perfect gifts like cute snow globes, decorated photo frames, and delicious chocolate brownies!

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Green Christmas : how to have a joyous, eco-friendly holiday season
By: Jennifer Basye Sander and Peter Sander, with Anne Basye

Summary: As green awareness spreads over middle America, more and more people want to have a fun, environmentally responsible holiday. This book shows how to enjoy the Christmas season while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Readers can have a great holiday celebration while caring for the planet and setting a great example for generations to come.

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300 ways to make the best Christmas ever! : decorations, carols, crafts & recipes for every kind of Christmas tradition
By: edited by Mimi Tribble

Summary: Stories to inspire, crafts to decorate the home, gingerbread houses of all sorts to bake, and drinks to bring cheer to all who come by: these are just some of the ways to make Christmas very, very merry, and more than 500 of them are beautifully collected right here.

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Party central : a month-by-month guide to entertaining on the cheap : festive and frugal ideas for every occasion
By: [edited by Kathleen Hackett].

Summary: The editors of Budget Living magazine show everyone how to be both festive and frugal, with all the tools needed to become a host with the most of everything (except money). Packed with inspiring ideas, easy-to-follow recipes, detailed shopping lists, music suggestions, and step-by-step directions, Party Central delivers a good time at a great price.

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Pretty little presents
By: senior editor, Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader

Summary: This collection will appeal to every creative crafter who wants to give a gift that’s personal and handmade with love. It features adorable presents to sew and decorate. The irresistible projects include a notebook cover, napkin rings, “Leaf it Alone” trivet, wedding portfolio, doll, and “Gentle Waves Pillow” for a newborn.

Review: From Booklist
Mix the upcoming holidays with the need to economize—and the result is a passel of easy-to-do, quick-as-a-rabbit, professional-looking handmade gifts. Nearly 30 designs parade through these pages, all featuring the use of needle and thread, fabric, and embellishments. No foundational sewing or machine instructions are included; the editors assume basic know-how and rudimentary familiarity with all kinds of equipment. Rightly so, the focus is on the presents—with an introduction surveying tools and materials plus a few techniques such as quilting. It’s all great prep for the choices: fabric containers or a striped hanger-cum-sachet for the hostess; pocketed place mats or cloth coasters as a welcome home thanks; keepsakes for the traveler, like luggage tags and passport cases; soft photograph albums for wedding memorabilia; and noncutesy newborn presents to treasure (like matryoshka-stuffed dolls and a lightweight design-worthy diaper tote). Clear instructions and color photographs add to the delight of making . . . and gifting. --Barbara Jacobs

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Homemade : delicious foods to make and give
By:  Judith Choate

Summary: The ultimate treasury of food gifts from the heart, Homemade is filled with an incredible variety of easy, irresistible recipes for everything from the perfect little tea cake to bring as a hostess gift to an assortment of fudge that makes a delightful Christmas present. Plenty of ideas and tips on how to wrap, pack, and ship food gifts with creativity and style are included.

Review From Publishers Weekly
Gifts made in one’s own kitchen possess a quality that even the most exquisite store-bought items will never match: a homemade gift, no matter how simple, shows thoughtfulness and care. Choate, who wrote her first book on food gifts, The Gift-Giver’s Cookbook, in 1978, presents an array of delicacies made for giving in this volume, including cookies, breads, candies, jellies, syrups, chutneys, olives, sauces and snacks. She explains how to present and pack foods for giving, suggesting creative ways to dress up jars and boxes with cellophane and ribbon, and instructing readers on using bubble wrap and foam packing materials for breakable containers. The foods themselves range from standards like Lemon-Poppy Seed Pound Cake and Irish Soda Bread to more unusual fare, such as Hot Pepper Jelly, Fresh Fig Relish and Scallion Pancakes. Choate’s comprehensive instructions and serving suggestions will guide readers in preparing homemade gifts for housewarmings, cocktail parties, showers and almost any other occasion. 100 color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Semi-homemade gatherings : creative ideas and easy recipes for special meals that taste like they are made from scratch
By: Sandra Lee 

Summary: Features more than one hundred recipes and ideas for entertaining, using a combination of prepackaged and fresh ingredients.

More Frugal Holiday Ideas from the Monroe on a Budget Blog.....

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