I’m joining Jain at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word~
During the month of December you are invited to share a holiday book, in whatever manner you chose. . .using your decorations, collectibles or food from the kitchen.
I have been a collector and admirer of Radko ornaments for 20 years~ the happy recipient of ornaments as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas. I have to confess that I got this book back in 2001 and bought it primarily for the photos and decorating ideas within the pages. My first thought when deciding on Christmas books to share was to go to this book, thinking I had plenty of ‘props’ in the way of ornaments to use.
What I so LOVE about Food for Thought is that in revisiting this book for this review, it opened my eyes to things I had not seen before. There are wonderful passages here within these pages in addition to the eye candy of full-color photographs shot at private homes and at locations such as the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford, Connecticut, and the historic Lyndhurst manor in Tarrytown, New York.
“When it comes to decorating for the holidays, no phrase sums up Christopher Radko’s philosophy better than ‘too much of a good thing is wonderful.’ And each page of the delightful Heart of Christmas celebrates his exuberant take on this special time of year, inviting you to fill your home with the same abundance of spirit and joy that is the hallmark of a Christopher Radko design.”
“Packed with information and lavishly illustrated with more than 200 photographs, Christopher Radko’s Heart of Christmas, will inspire you to bring the most important message of the holidays—one direct from the heart—into your home.”
In 1983, Christopher Radko’s family tree, adorned with more than a thousand cherished ornaments, fell…breaking glass treasures that had been collected by four generations of family members.When his Polish grandmother was devastated, he traveled to Poland to find glassblowers who could replicate the vintage ornaments and his ornament business was born.
2010 marks the 25th anniversary of The Christopher Radko Company. To commemorate this celebratory year, they are offering a 25th anniversary ornament and finial. In addition, there is a special 25th Santa collection, comprised of 12 ornaments based on the best loved Radkos santas of all time.
“Decorating for the holidays is not just about appearance; it is a doorway to deeper meaning. When fresh greener and cherished decorations are hung with joy, purpose, and a sense of continuity with the past, they transcend simple décor and feed the soul. They make our homes into places that nurture our own hearts and souls and those of the people we love.”
“So turn off your mind for a few minutes and think with your heart. Our minds tell us that Santa doesn’t fly through the sky and squeeze down every chimney in the land, but in our hearts we know his energy is real, that the spirit of giving that he encompasses is real.”
“Christmas offers an open channel to our hearts. The portal may be an ornament passed down by your great-grandmother, a recipe for wassail in your grandmother’s flowery script, candy-striped stockings knitted by your mother, a carol your father loved to sing at the piano, or a crèche built by your grandfather. Each generation adds its own flourishes to traditions so that all the strands are woven together, the fabric becomes still longer and stronger.”
“By entering into holiday preparations in a spirit of celebration rather than of duty, you can avoid the burnout that often accompanies the season. In a very real way, those of us who love the rituals surrounding Christmas are preparing something sacred, and temple for this ceremony is our home. Decorating for the holidays is not just about appearance; it is a doorway to deeper meaning. When fresh greenery and cherished decorations are hung with joy, purpose, and a sense of continuity with the past, they transcend simple décor and feed the soul. They make our homes into places that nurture our own hearts and souls and those of the people we love.”
“Anyone who doubts that food has a spiritual component should think of the association of eggs with Easter, of pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving, of chocolate with Valentine’s Day. Holiday fare is essential to celebrating Christmas, but its presentation can elevate the repast to an art form. When we eat these traditional dishes, we nourish more than our bodies, just as decorating our homes with seasonal produce imbues them with spirit. No holiday is as rich with foods having symbolic meaning as is Christmas. . .”
Another thing I love about Food for Thought is it awakened the food passages for me. Having thumbed through this book countless times, I was oblivious to the numerous foods mentioned. A mention of Panettone had me dashing out to pick up some. I had always seen these beautifully decorated boxes at Home Goods & The Fresh Market (& more recently Trader Joe’s), never having tried this treat before. Having had it described to me as an Italian Fruitcake, I had no desire to try it, but what a WONDERFUL discovery~ it was light, airy & just slightly sweet, nothing at all fruitcake-like. Since trying I have seen numerous Panettone French Toast recipes as well as for Panettone Bread Pudding. I’m so enamored with it, I’m taking some with a bottle of Prosecco & for a hostess gift. . . toss in an orange or two & it’s the perfect morning fare for the Christmas holidays. I would have never made this discovery without Food for Thought!
“The true spirit of the season reminds us to rise about our baser instincts and transform ourselves into the people we know we can be. You can instill in your self-limiting adulthood the childhood belief in infinite possibilities.”