December 2003

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Book & General Merchandise News
Kathy Humistion
General Merchandise Buyer

Once again December is here. Many of us are hoping for the pristine beauty of snow, many of us are anticipating holiday celebrations of one sort or another. There are so many things to celebrate with our friends and loved ones this time of the year—so many good excuses for sharing time, food and gifts. Whether your celebration centers around the solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah or just the first snowfall, a gift that is made by your hands truly is a gift from the heart. My personal talents are not best illustrated through needle, clay or paintbrush, but I do love to make food to share. I have found an interesting cookbook to share with those of you who also love to create food gifts.

All-Time Favorite Gifts from the Kitchen
Edited by Jane E. Gentry, this book offers a large selection of the usual favorite holiday cookies and candies, but there is so much more! The more than 200 recipes will take you from munchies to cheese spreads, breads to fantastic desserts, and even great-looking entrees and meal suggestions for gifting. Unlike many books in this genre, Gentry’s recipes are based on real food ingredients, not mixes or convenience foods. Each recipe also includes any necessary instructions to put on a gift card for the recipient and many have clever ideas for packaging your gift. I love the idea of stringing a bunch of the cinnamon-graham star cookies on a decorative ribbon for hanging! Many of the recipes are suitable for any little kitchen elves you may have around the house too—maybe with a bit of supervision. This book is available at 15% off during December and will keep your kitchen gifting for years to come!

Check out our housewares department for containers to package your homemade goodies. We carry decorative jars for your signature bean soup mix, or to keep crackers and cookies fresh. How about a ceramic mixing bowl you can fill with the fixings for a batch of morning-warming pancakes or muffins? We have lots of gift ideas including woks and chopsticks, beautiful pottery hand-crafted by local artists, locally made copper and glass ornaments, fairly-traded Guatemalan bags for your Co-op purchases, books, whatever. New to our stock are colorful yoga mats sustainably made of rubber rather than petrochemicals. Pair one with a yoga instruction book for a thoughtful gift for someone you care for, or for yourself.

Books, Toys and Cards

Our bookshelves are piled with other great selections, too. We’ve added several new cookbooks, new books on health, childcare, plants and pets. For the kids, consider an interactive yoga coloring book and add a box of brilliant beeswax crayons. Or maybe someone would enjoy a star-finder to explore the crisp winter night skies. This year we are carrying Mary’s Softdough, a modeling dough made with food-grade ingredients, available in large or small sizes, as well as non-toxic wooden toys. We have colorful bags and papers to wrap it all up and greeting cards created by several local artists. Be sure to check out our assortment of boxed holiday cards to send your wishes to friends far away.

Courtyard Furniture
Several members have requested more information on the new eucalyptus patio furniture we’ve added near the courtyard in front of the store. We can special order this sustainably grown and harvested wooden furniture for you. You can contact me for more information at 251-6776 or email at Thanks for your interest.

A Wish for You
Enjoy this beautiful time—the freshness of snow, the wonderment of children, the good smells from the kitchen, the fellowship of those you love. I wish you all the peace of the season.