It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and decorating. But sometimes the best keepsakes are those we don’t spend a fortune on.
Can you recall a time you simply made do with what you had on hand? Perhaps it’s a memory of a meal shared with those less fortunate, or a family heirloom hung on a new Christmas tree. Or maybe you got out your sewing machine and stitched together a personalized gift.
Here, newspaper staff members reflect on such memories of holidays gone by — from chopping down their own Christmas trees and tossing a successful party on the cheap to singing carols by candlelight.
During World War II, women filled in the holes in packing plants after men were drafted into service. (submitted photo)
Lois Glewwe is out with a new South St. Paul history book
One would think writing a book about the place where you grew up would be easy. For Lois A. Glewwe, writing “South St. Paul: A Brief History” was almost too easy.
“What I found out was it was much harder than I thought because I could have written 600 pages easier than I could write 160,” Glewwe explains. “So to condense it down to a readable, accessible level was the challenge. I was constantly cutting and cutting.”
The Minnesota Historical Society Press recently released two cookbooks — “Come, You Taste” and “Astonishing Apples” — that are uniquely Minnesotan.
First-time author Joan Donatelle says now that “Astonishing Apples” has been published, she can finally cross writing a cookbook off her bucket list.
This swirl of glass full of small flowers inside is called Garden Memories, created in 2009 by Rick Ayotte. This modern piece is on display at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)
The Fox Cities area is full of surprises
Who would have thought that in 1882, the beautiful Victorian Hearthstone home overlooking the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, would be the first home in the world to be lighted by hydroelectricity from a central station using the Thomas Edison system?
The event put the area on the map and launched unimaginable changes in how people cooked, cleaned, lived and entertained themselves in their homes.
Wearing her school colors, Pam O’Meara stands in front of her former sorority house, now privately owned. It overlooks Lake Michigan just off the Northwestern University campus. (Pam O’Meara/Review)
I searched my closet for anything purple — my school color — and came up with a few shirts, a jacket, socks and even shoes to wear for my 50th college reunion at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois — the first reunion I’ve ever attended.
A never-ending sea of tourists descends on French Quarter every year to see its iconic Spanish architecture, sample the local foods and listen to the amazing music. (Mary Lee Hagert/Review)
Surprisingly, the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and catastrophic levee breaks simply was not on my family's radar as we packed our bags in anticipation of an August road trip to New Orleans.
In the far background, the Eagle River Light Station sits on a bluff overlooking the river and offers stunning river view. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)
It's beautiful country, steeped in history and a half-day drive away
While the winters may be extreme, Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is beautiful year-round. Its hilly terrain is covered by hardwood and conifer trees; scenic waterfalls mark its rivers, and it boasts of miles of shoreline and many inland lakes. Wherever you are on the peninsula, you’re never more than 10 miles from Lake Superior. It’s a haven for people who enjoy nature and outdoor activities – no matter what the season.