Holidays
Holiday party: Out-of-the-box themes

Holiday party: Out-of-the-box themes

Parties are an integral part of the holiday season, when friends and family gather to celebrate and give thanks. For holiday hosts, parties are a great opportunity to make the season even more festive with an event that guests won’t soon forget. The following are just a few themes to make your holiday party as...

Historic Holidays to the North and South

• Trek north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on weekends in December for the 35th Annual Candlelight Stroll at the Strawbery Banke Museum, which has 40 buildings within the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock. Historic activities on and around the 10-acre grounds include horse-drawn carriage rides, traditional barrel-making and 18th century hearth cooking demos, and tinsmith...
Capturing  the magic of Christmas’ past with historical holiday tours

Capturing the magic of Christmas’ past with historical holiday tours

Connecticut is brimming with holiday festivities, many of which date back decades or otherwise serve to bring on childhood nostalgia. A little harder to come by are events that truly take one back in time. “The draw to historic holiday celebrations is how they offer a peek at the past,” said Melanie Bourbeau, curator at...
‘Festive Home’ turns 10 this holiday season

‘Festive Home’ turns 10 this holiday season

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ 10th Annual Festive Home is a cheerful holiday marketplace fund-raiser event.  It is open for business through Tuesday, Dec. 23, with extended hours Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The theme this year is “Be Brilliant!”  Eleven designers have been paired with member artists, contributing their talents and...
Parenting from the Trenches: Holiday hysteria and managing the madness

Parenting from the Trenches: Holiday hysteria and managing the madness

When I picture my oldest child, Blake, now 31, at his first walking-and-talking Christmas, it is of a 16-month-old roaring about in my then in-law’s apartment with candy canes clutched in each hand and a face streaked with sticky red sugar. His excitement was both tangible and aromatic, and colorful bows and wrapping papers were...
Holiday decorating made simple

Holiday decorating made simple

Vowing to make the holidays easier this year? Transition your home into a winter wonderland without all the unnecessary stress. The key, according to Big Lots and blogger Brandi Jeter Riley from Mama Knows It All, is to plan ahead and keep decorating simple. 1.  Start by selecting a theme or color. Whether you enjoy glitz and glam, traditional red and gold or...
The Recipe Box: Holiday entertaining

The Recipe Box: Holiday entertaining

GINGERBREAD BUNDT CAKE WITH GINGER GLAZE Tami Ganeles-Weiser of TheWeiserKitchen.com Ingredients: Cake: 3¼ cups flour, sifted and divided, plus 2 tablespoons (419 grams) cake flour for dusting ½ cup (66 grams) currants 3 tablespoon cognac or brandy 2 teaspoons (11 grams) vanilla extract 2 teaspoons (18 grams) grated fresh ginger 1½ cups (310 grams) packed...
Photo finish: Share old and new memories around the Thanksgiving table

Photo finish: Share old and new memories around the Thanksgiving table

Every Thanksgiving, traditions are either newly made or time-honored. Grandma’s recipe for sausage stuffing gets served right next to Heather’s latest vegetarian side dish. The brand-new crystal wine glasses that sparkle with a promise of heady joy look perfect on the heirloom lace tablecloth that has been handed down for generations. Old and new come...
Go on a wine adventure this holiday season


Go on a wine adventure this holiday season


There’s nothing wrong with liking what you like, but you can’t discover new favorites unless you try new things, says wine enthusiast Howard Kleinfeld. While recovering from throat cancer, Kleinfeld, an award-winning commercial music producer, lost his sense of taste for a few years. When it came back, he decided to embrace some of the finest...
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids at home

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids at home

Romantic nights out on the town are how many couples celebrate Valentine’s Day. Restaurants and resorts book quickly come Valentine’s Day, while movie theaters tend to be packed as well. Even babysitters cash in come Feb. 14, as parents look to enjoy a romantic night away from the kids. Parents who do not secure a...
A house for all seasons - particularly Christmas!

A house for all seasons – particularly Christmas!

This Darien home is a wonderful spot for a large family all year round, but that’s especially true at holiday time. Every year, just before Thanksgiving, the six-bedroom, 7,800-square-foot home comes alive with lights inside and out, five Christmas trees and all sorts of decorations that the family has collected over the years. “I think...
The main event

The main event

Each New Year’s Eve for the last 10 years, at least, my husband and I have a hosted an informal gathering of our closest friends and their children. It started with one family, and over the years grew to include about eight or nine other families. We’re pretty organized, which works in our favor when...
English pudding: The dessert of Christmas past, present, and future

English pudding: The dessert of Christmas past, present, and future

Crowned with a sprig of holly and steeped in flaming brandy, traditional English pudding has occupied Christmas tables for centuries. Thought to have debuted in 1714 for the inaugural Christmas feast of King George I, this classic English dessert has a story almost as interesting as its preparation. Legend goes that the newly ordained King...
From heart to hand Christmas gifts: Start a family tradition

From heart to hand Christmas gifts: Start a family tradition

Learning about the different ways families exchange gifts is always fascinating. While one family picks names out of a hat to purchase a special gift for one person, other families do a Yankee Swap, also known as a Chinese auction. However, this just might be the right year to start a family tradition by making...