It’s the perfect year for sharing Christmas memories

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By Angela McRae, Special to The Paper

A favorite tune that fills the airwaves each December is “We Need a Little Christmas,” and I’m not sure we’ve ever needed Christmas as much as we do this year. While I’ll admit that I’ve always looked askance at families who put up their Christmas tree before Thanksgiving, this year I decided it was time to let that one go.

While few of us could have predicted what 2020 would look like, I had long planned to release my fourth book this year, The Vintage Christmas Cookbook. My goal was to write a chatty, personal Christmas cookbook, one that shares the old-fashioned food and decor of Christmas past. I thought it would be fun to research classic Christmas recipes, everything from Ambrosia and Cornflake Candy to Stained Glass Cookies. Despite some early challenges—ever tried to test recipes during a pandemic and a local butter shortage?—with the help of my brilliant designer friend Deberah Williams, the book came to life.

In addition to the food, I also wrote about vintage Christmas goodies like Santa mugs and toys, poinsettia handkerchiefs, and Christmas tree pins. And while I write about “things,” they’re the things that recall memories of my family and friends and my faith. From the early reviews I’ve gotten, readers like that I’m sharing recipes, but they love that I’m sharing memories.

Christmas already looks a little different this year. I don’t yet know whether I’ll be “Zooming” my church’s Christmas Eve service, but I do know that Jesus remains the reason for the season, and that gives me great comfort. While baking cookies and decorating and giving gifts is fun, I know deep in my heart that those are all just extras. This year especially, those of us who are even in a position to give to others can count ourselves enormously blessed.

When The Shopper comes out soon, I’ll be sharing more about one of the recipes in my book. It can be ordered from all the usual online retailers, and some signed copies are available from the Newnan Carnegie Library, with 25 percent of the $19.95 purchase price going to our beloved library, a Newnan treasure.

So if you need a little Christmas, right this very minute, you don’t have to read my book or anyone else’s to spread some Christmas cheer of your own. From what I’m hearing, the gift of a happy memory recalled may be the best gift you can give someone this year. Try it!

The Vintage Christmas Cookbook by Angela McRae

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