Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Time to Keep

A Time to Keep is a delightful book of holidays that begins when a little girl asks, "Granny, what was it like when Mummy was me?" Tasha Tudor gives us a year's worth of wonderful holiday traditions from her life in New England. Quotations from literature charmingly open each month along with beautiful borders that surround each page's nostalgic illustrations depicting family celebrations. Beginning with brown and frozen grasses and flowers decorated with icicles, the borders show the changes of season as each month progresses. The flowers bud and send out catkins, then blossoms, then flowers and leaves, then fruits, all in splendid realistic detail. With the delicious foods, the antics of the children, the activities and games, the decorations, the weather, the homespun plays and puppet shows, and the joyful seasonal work, Tasha Tudor warmly invites us to engage in the fun as she rekindles our own memories of childhood. What fun it is to see big families caught up in living through the wonders of the wheel of the year. Equally important to the holidays are the birthdays, the county fairs, cider and maple syrup making time. Tasha Tudor's own experience of the people and animals of her childhood grace the lovely pages and offer us a glimpse into lives that are filled with love and wonder and appreciation for the beautiful and gentle nuances of living the good life. Simplicity and tradition make the holidays magical and ask us to re-examine how we celebrate our traditional holidays. Materialism is replaced by creativity and family participation. The focus is on love, comfort, and gratitude rather than excessive "partying." This book is truly a treat and is guaranteed to help put whatever holidays you celebrate into thoughtful perspective.

I become completely swept over by nostalgia and longing every time I look at this spectacular book. I find myself yearning for the life depicted in Tudor's scenes. Even though Emmy is a bit young to fully appreciate this book, I will continue to reach for it on the first of every month and share with her the wonder and secrets that each month holds.

To learn more about the life of Tasha Tudor, please visit her family's website:

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