A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together is a wonderful resource for those looking to celebrate some of the more obscure Christian holidays that typically don’t show up on a calendar (but are constantly mentioned in classic 18th- and 19th-century books).
When the author, Jerusalem Jackson Greer, moved to Alaska, she was exposed to a number of holidays she knew nothing about. After she married, she decided to look into many of these holidays to start her own family traditions.
This book, a beautiful paperback with clear colorful pictures, starts with winter and moves through the seasons. The author takes you through various recipes, crafts, and games for the holidays. While she does not go into a lot of detail about the holidays, she does give you a number of ideas for each. Greer also tells you a little something about her family throughout each of the holidays.
Winter includes: Advent, St. Lucy’s Day, Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day, Epiphany, and Candlemas.
Spring includes: Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, The Season of Lent, St. Joseph’s Day, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and Easter.
Summer includes: Pentecost Sunday, Corpus Christi, St. James’s Day, and Ordinary Time.
Autumn includes: Holy Cross Day, Michaelmas, All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, and Christ the King Sunday.
While some of these crafts may take a lot of time and energy, others, like the Advent wreath, only have to be created once and will last for years of family celebrations. Some may become family favorites that will have the children begging to do them year after year.
Some of the recipes Greer provides are not the “real deal,” but rather simplified versions. For example, instead of the traditional Scandinavian buns with saffron, she substitutes an easy sweet roll, starting with a store-bought tube of cinnamon rolls you then transform into orange sweet rolls.
Greer does warn you that you may not want to celebrate all the holidays, at least not the first year. Sometimes you can take on just too much!
Start your own traditions with what you think would work best for your family.
—Jo Dee Soles, Practical Homeschooling
Have you ever read a book and heard your own story in the words? Though you’d never met the author, you knew without a doubt she could be your “bosom friend?” Once upon a time, there was a woman who loved writing, crafting, cooking and Jesus.
To her surprise, God blessed her to be the mother of two boys and called her in to ministry. I could be talking about myself or the author of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together, my newfound bosom friend and Episcopal twin Jerusalem Jackson Greer.
A mixture of family recipes, beautiful liturgical crafts and heartfelt stories, this book is sure to speak to your soul and remind you of days past and the traditions you hold dear. If you long to make life special for your family and friends in simple yet significant ways and share the rich traditions of the Christian liturgical holidays, Jerusalem’s words, ideas and simple country style are sure to bring a smile to your face and ideas to your Pinterest boards. —Rev. Monique McBride, Perspectives