Cheap Christmas Crafts for the Whole Family

Two of the most enjoyable aspects of Christmas are gift giving and sharing.  Gifts don’t have to be expensive; just being thoughtful, and sharing as simple as a batch of holiday cookies can make holidays special. Christmas crafts are a wonderful way to start the holiday, and an inexpensive way to help budding crafts people add a few more tools ... Read More »

Ten of the best beers for Christmas

From bone-dry ales brewed with Champagne yeast to syrupy substitutes for liqueur, there are beers for every stage of the big day. Sup a few in the right order and you may even avoid a hangover Left to right: Ninkasi; 01|01; Rodenbach Grand Cru; Mac Spreadsheet Ninja; and Jester IPA If the very thought of brandy and eggnog gives you ... Read More »

Christmas wine gift guide: six rules for choosing the perfect bottle

If you’re willing to part with a few extra dollars – and a few extra minutes – here’s how to make your recipient’s holiday extra special   Maybe you’re a last-minute Christmas shopper. Maybe you just forgot someone on your list. Maybe you found out your second cousin is getting divorced and will be joining you for Christmas dinner and ... Read More »

Spending Christmas alone? I am – and I will enjoy it

For the past few years Michelle Dean has spent most of the holiday by herself, amid concern over her wellbeing – even if she is doing it for practical reasons Christmas in New York: ‘We secretly thrill as the city starts to empty out, enjoying the shorter lines at neighbourhood places.’ Photograph: Erik Pendzich/Rex Shutterstock Ihave a plan for Christmas ... Read More »

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting Pate Brisee (Pie Dough) 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg Pinch ground cloves 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 large egg, beaten DIRECTIONS Heat oven to 375 degrees. On ... Read More »

Easy-slice Christmas dinner parcel

Ingredients drizzle of vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 1 onion , chopped 24 rashers smoked streaky bacon 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs 400g pack sausages (we used pork & leek), meat squeezed from the skins 8 sage leaves, chopped, plus a few small leaves to serve 250g cranberry sauce, see goes well with for recipe or buy a good-quality jar ... Read More »

Big, Bold, Wild: We Re-Create Christmas Dinners Of Centuries Past

An illustration from the 1800s shows the procession of the boar’s head and massive pie filled with many kinds of wild game. Ivan Day calls it the turducken of its time. Rich Preston If you are eating turkey this Christmas out of some sense of tradition, food historian Ivan Day says, put down that drumstick. After studying English cookbooks hundreds ... Read More »

The Science Behind Mistletoe

There was a mistletoe shortage this year–Does this mean there were fewer KISSES this Christmas? Scientists can’t tell us if hanging the plant above a doorway really does inspire love, but they do know the history behind this seasonal plant. Mistletoe is found mainly in tropical or temperate areas. Its name refers a species of flowering parasitic plants. There are ... Read More »

No Reason for the Season

For Christians, Dec. 25 is more than just another religious holiday: It commemorates the birth of their savior, Jesus. But Christmas isn’t just for Christians. In 2008, Torie Bosch explained how Christmas has always been a strictly secular affair for her family—and why you shouldn’t need a religious reason to celebrate the season. Her essay is reprinted below. Torie Bosch ... Read More »

The Science of Gift Giving

When we buy someone a present, most of us try to get inside mind of the recipient, but thoughtful gifts–where you try to give someone what they want the most–are NOT the best bet. The giving of a thoughtful gift benefits the giver more than the person who receives it. In the December 4th edition of the Wall Street Journal, ... Read More »