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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BLOG TOUR: An Old-Fashioned Christmas by Ellen Stimson - Review + GIVEAWAY!

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please all your bookish appetites, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're playing host to a TLC Book Tour starring a perfectly timed holiday read but before you get whisked away into flights of fantasy, I must warn you...this one's for REAL.  That's right!  It's not a work of Fiction but a work of a lifetime and filled with treasures you'll be glad to have shared.  Don't believe me?  Well then, let's get to proving!  Grab your winter gear and prepare to board a one horse sleight straight to Vermont as we welcome today's blog tour guest and book of choice...

The Countryman Press

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

This is the story of the Stimson family.  It tells of how they came together, where their love of Christmas met winter wonderland fun, and eventually of moving the family across the US of A to Vermont and staking their own claim on the holiday season.  To describe it as a snowglobe minus the glass would be an understatement, for it sounds much more magical if that's even possible.  Okay, life in Vermont isn't without its drawbacks but imagine if you will for a short time at least, living in an older house full of charm, being surrounded by the wonders of nature in their full winter glory, spending time with loved ones out in the snow or around the fire sipping hot chocolate, and curling up with a good book to top off the night.  Doesn't it just sound dreamy?  *daydreams*  Ahem, but this is much more than simply an ode to a white Christmas.  It's a treasury of special moments, traditions, and holiday cheer.  

Opening this book is like stepping into a family album of sorts.  Ellen is a wonderful narrator and allows us full access to the fun, the messy, the quirky, and the amazing Christmas' that she and her family have spent over a lifetime.  From the move to the "far north" where snow can shut down a whole city while no one really seems to mind to the beginning of their annual Christmas Adventures that carry forward year after year creating lasting memories for all, there's not a moment of the holiday that isn't shared and explored.  They invite you to see into their traditions, adopt what you wish as your own, and encourage you to make new ones, no matter how big or small.  

My favorites?  Hmm, that's a tough one.  The adventures were great because they didn't always require a big expenditure, they were about those the time was being spent with more than anything else.  Then there's the Christmas ornament tradition where every year they each get one (sometimes two) a piece to add to their tree, creating another way to remember the holidays of yesteryear with something tangible to hold.  Gotta say I love the dresser ornament with the books on top.  I agree with the author, it feels like home.  Finally, there's the feasting.  Yes, I said feasting.  You see, strewn throughout the work are sections of recipes to help with holiday dinners, parties, and the random snack.  After reading through them, you'll be able to make your own mayonnaise, fry up some delicious latkes, add some roasted balsamic brussels sprouts to your holiday dinner, or even sit back with a glass of buttered rum.   There's even a section dedicated to pet snacks because they realize that the fur-babies love the holiday feast-tivities too.  

In conclusion, there's a feast for the eyes, heart, and mouth within the pages of this gorgeously covered holiday read.  Though it will be right at home on your coffee table, I do believe if you find it missing you should check your kitchen.  With recipes like these, it's gonna be hard to keep them from each other.  So whether you're looking for new ideas to create traditions in your own family or wishing to borrow one from someone else, this is certainly a book that I'd recommend you take for a walk in a winter wonderland.  It's got the a great balance of life story and kitchen pizzazz without being all formal about one or the the other.  The author let's her life guide the flow of stories and recipes creating the perfect balance and perfect gift for cooks and non-cooks alike while reminding us that the most important part of all this holiday is not the gifts or food, but the family gathered round the table near and far as we welcome another season with love in our hearts.


About Ellen Stimson

Ellen Stimson is a bread-and-butter home cook…possibly more butter than bread. Her table is usually overflowing with friends, family, and folks who have come just to listen to her stories. Some of those tales made it into her bestselling memoir, Mud Season. She cooks and writes from a farmhouse in Vermont.

Connect with Ellen

 Website | Facebook | Twitter


Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the chance to bring this title to you, and added thanks to the publicity team at The Countryman Press for the review copy.  (THANKS!)  For more information on THIS TOUR, this title, the author, the publisher, or those tours on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title celebrated its book birthday at the start of this month via The Countryman Press, an imprint of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

To help spread a little holiday cheer, TLC Book Tours has authorized me to give YOU a chance to WIN A COPY OF THIS VERY BOOK!  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below (choose as many or as few options as you like) and leave a comment sharing a holiday tradition of your own!  

Open to US residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.  Entries accepted through Saturday, December 5th, 2015.  Winner will be contacted and have 48 hours to respond with their full name and mailing address.  If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen.  SFIR is not responsible for lost prizes or those packages not received.

Until next time...HAPPY HOLIDAYS...and happy reading!


Tracy Terry said...

A snowglobe minus the glass - beautifully put. I love the thought of this being like stepping into a family album.

traveler said...

Our family had an annual Chanukah party. Friends, relatives and neighbors would enjoy this celebration when my kids were younger. I made dozens of latkes, applesauce, numerous salads and apple cake. I miss that special time since we make a smaller one now for the grandchildren who love it as much. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Meredith said...

Our holidays have always been small family get-togethers. Just typical, dinners on Thanksgiving, gifting on Christmas. Now that the family is all spread out, it's just used as time to touch base and catch up via phone or Skype.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This book looks like a feast that I would love to dive into this holiday season!

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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