I was looking for ways to remake Christmas memories from the past. I found inspiration in Tammy Maltby’s The Christmas Kitchen to create new Christmas moments with love that last.
When I peer into my bag of childhood Christmas past, it is filled with wonderful holiday flashbacks in school and church settings. The season was colorfully punctuated with singing in Christmas cantatas, playing slightly out-of-tune school orchestral concerts, and participating in a marathon of church programs.
Back home, though, my Chinese Ah-Ma never really “did” Christmas. I don’t remember having a Christmas tree until later years, when a family friend gave us one as a gift. I was blessed with true Christmas in my spirit, but experienced it in the body through dreamy movies like It’s a Wonderful Life and post-Christmas reports from friends returning from winter break.
Even though I was born and raised in the good ol’ US of A, I finally tasted my first slice of Christmas ham, alongside Grandpa Gray — sitting across the table from my future in-laws.
Remaking Christmas Memories
Since then, I’ve developed my own take on Christmas, happily, steadily collecting boxes worth of this-and-that to make the season bright, come December.
So, imagine how crazed I was with excitement to get my hands on Christian author and speaker, Tammy Maltby‘s newest heart child — The Christmas Kitchen: The Gathering Place for Making Memories!
My path crossed with Tammy’s when I read her earlier written book Lifegiving: Discovering the Secrets to a Beautiful Life. It was a life-defining experience, that freed me to embrace a new journey to live a beautiful life for Christ.
Little did she know, remaking my Christmas memories was one of those deep seated childhood dreams I longed to come true as an adult. I want to create a gathering place in my home, where the true Christmas inside me is expressed as love and appreciation to my family and friends.
The heart of this desire to love through one’s home is the goal of Tammy’s book, The Christmas Kitchen.
“I encourage you to embrace the principle of true hospitality — not performing for others or impressing them or ‘entertaining’ them, but using your life and your home to communicate to people how much you value them.” – Tammy Maltby
Practical Yet Inspiring
Now, you might think my home is swimming in winter wonderland bliss with such high hopes, huh? Far from it. I haven’t a clue on how to get from cloud 9 dreaming to reality. Hello! … You’re talkin’ to a mom of two boys, both under five years of age (there’s a reason why they don’t allow kids to start kindergarten until then!).
Tammy does the incredible job of painting countless visions of Christmas to inspire — for a wide range of “personal taste, heritage, pocketbook, where you live and your stage in life.”
I especially like the book’s practical approach to keepin’ it real, you know? I laughed and appreciated her tip to use a hot glue gun to pre-make the gingerbread house, so that everyone can actually have fun decorating the thing, rather than trying to keep it together!
Some of my faves in the book include:
– The Delicious Decor chapter, that got my creative juices flowing with ideas to personalize the home to create an atmosphere of care, comfort and warmth (I just used an idea tonight to put together my first make-shift Advent centerpiece).
– Christmas Central: The skinny on making holiday dreams come true stress-free (I zoned right into that chapter fast!).
– Ways to give the Gift of Yourself (I’m actually going to attempt one of the ideas for my girlfriends).
– Tons of easy recipes to host a gathering that look gorgeous, already tested on Tammy’s family and friends (I love cooking and baking during the holidays!).
Christmas represents the most joyful and intimate place inside me that God has made alive, despite the struggles of an imperfect childhood. Reading through this book inspired me to keep expressing that joy and passing on my heart.
So, if you’re looking for an inspiring and practical Christmas book to have or to gift, I am happy to recommend The Christmas Kitchen: The Gathering Place For Making Memories. It’s brought me cheer, helping make some dreams a bit more real.
How does home and Christmas play a part of your dreams?
By the way: You can get in on Tammy's recipes and tips on hospitality, by joining her Facebook Group at Loving with Your Life, as well as shoot the breeze with Tammy on Facebook. Feel free to drop your comments below. I love connecting with you through them and post my reply at the end of the day or thereafter. SUBSCRIBE NOW to get updates from FaithBarista hot and fresh directly in your mailbox via email (click here) or RSS (click here) news reader.