Wallingnford Center
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts Newsletter
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Issue: # 5   November 2008
November heralds the official beginning of the Holiday Season. It is when our taste turns to squash and roasted meat, sage and root vegetables. The days are shorter and we have a desire for the flickering of candlelight and the rituals of afternoon tea and coffee, a quiet moment with a book and a glass of wine.

Oh! I must be dreaming - most of us are in a panic about trying to get our shopping done, travel plans for ourselves or our visitors made, the house cleaned, haircuts for the kids, Oh my gosh!- the family picture to go out with the Christmas cards! It really can become a crazy season!

But in the midst of the craziness, if we can find a moment, and - yes!- have that special coffee, and take a moment to reflect on all the good that is in our lives, we will feel refreshed and calmer and Thankful. And that is such a wonderful feeling to experience! Thankfulness for the house that needs cleaning, for the kids whose hair grows so fast, for that satisfying coffee!

And that is what I wish for all of you - a moment of gratitude and peace. And the Happiest of Thanksgivings!

Wallingnford Center
Upcoming Events

Debbie Dean Clay Rabbit Trunk Show
Sat. November 22  *  12 - 5 p.m.

Debbie Dean, creator of this charming pottery line will be on hand to show off designs not seen in the store before. She
will be bringing a truckload
of Santas, Penguins, Red Truck,
Log Cabin, Snow
People and More! Don't miss this opportunity to stock up on gifts for the holidays and for your own home! Enjoy some refreshments with us and choose something special for the season.
Over the River
and Through the      Woods...

One of the most memorable events during the holiday season for so many people is time spent with relatives and friends. For some, the holiday, be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah or another, would just not be the same if they weren't with those special ones. Every family has its own traditions and customs, some that have been in practice for generations, and some that are constantly evolving.

One of my own traditions, when I was newly married and recently moved to Seattle, a country's breadth away from family, was to have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving. Since we didn't have family nearby, and there were just the two of us, and certainly no need for a whole turkey (a turkey breast would suffice), my Thanksgiving was not consumed with cooking. So to really get into the holiday spirit, we would play all the Christmas albums we had, and wrap our gifts to those family and friends we were thinking of on that special day. Of course, those were the days when even to be sure of delivery domestically, you had to send things by the first week of December. It was, and remains today, such a relief to get those packages off, carrying love and good wishes along with the gifts!

But of course I missed being with my family, or my husband's. There have been many years when we have been invited to share the celebration with good friends and that is always wonderful. It's such fun to taste the different foods that make Thanksgiving what it is to each person. One of my sisters is not happy without the creamed onions my mom always made. For others it is the bean casserole made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and French's fried onions. There is every family's favorite holiday Jello salad, and those who like to put marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes (my family never had that dish, and I must confess, I don't like it. I much prefer my sweet potatoes straight!).

Whether you have a feast at your own home, or that of another, the day is all about food, food, and more food. So what is a guest to do? With everyone bringing food, what do you bring for your hosts? I love the old saying that when you are invited to someone's home, you should need to ring the doorbell with your elbow because your hands are full. Of course, there is always wine. But I assume my host and hostess have chosen wine appropriate to the meal they are preparing. And even if I am contributing a dish, I want to bring something special for my hosts. So here are a few suggestions for something a bit different:

If you are bringing a dish to share, you could bring it in a pottery dish for your hosts to keep. We are having a Trunk Show with Debbie Dean, the creator of Clay Rabbit Pottery on November 22, just before Thanksgiving. She will be bringing a large selection of her pottery in patterns you haven't seen in the store, and a lot very suitable to the holidays - snowmen, penguins, Santas, red truck in snow and log cabin designs. I can't wait - I love snowmen!
Another idea is a beautiful cherry wood spoon from Jonathan's Spoons, or if you've made a salad, a set of Kentucky Springs one-handed salad tongs. These are great - they fold flat for storage, and really can be used with only one hand!

Brightly colored tea towels by Seattle artist Christine Vaughan are handy to wrap up a special loaf of bread, or in a box by themselves. At $7.50 apiece, you can buy them singly or in multiples to suit your needs. We always have a wonderful selection of flowers, fruit, vegetables and animals. They are generously sized and made from floursacking, which is very absorbent, yet lint free.

A pair of festively decorated candles is always a welcome gift, as are the slender dripless tapers we carry in a multitude of colors. We have some charming decorated votives and sweet matchboxes as well.

For the wine lovers, you can't beat Vineyard Sweets - a jelly type candy flavored with three distinct wines. These are phenomenal - very sweet, but with a wonderful wine flavor. They are packaged in a slim flat clear box so you can see their jewel tone colors.

For chocolate lovers, we have many choices, from Spokandy's huckleberry creams and chocolate dinner mints to locally made Chocolatti dessert truffles and truffle bites. And don't forget tins of hot cocoa mix in various sizes - everyone's favorite winter drink!

Stop by the store to get many more ideas. I like to have several things on hand so I am not running around on my way to a friend's, and we have many things that any host or hostess would be thrilled to receive!

NEXT MONTH: The Joys of the Season
Thanksgiving is truly a wonderful holiday - it celebrates what is right in our worlds and calls upon us to acknowledge it. I hope you find many things to be thankful for, and that you enjoy a time spent with those near and dear to your hearts!


Kathleen Koch
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts