4 star

An Old-Fashioned Christmas : Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home

Author: Ellen Stimson

ISBN13: 9781581573282

Author website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt

Synopsis:An Old Fashioned Christmas

With its trademark snow, piney forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling out of village chimneys, New England was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. It’s got your Christmas goose and the maple syrup with which to glaze it. It’s most of the reason author Ellen Stimson made Vermont her home. Here she shares recipes that have been in her family for generations, mixes up a cocktail or two, and invites readers to make their own traditions.


An Old-Fashioned Christmas Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home is so much more than a Christmas cookbook and memoir. It is a wonderful glimpse inside a dream Christmas that bursts with flavor, fun, family and love. You would be doing a disservice to yourself if you did not take the time to savor the heartwarming stories of author Ellen Stimson’s family traditions, adventures and festivities. This book is Christmas from the classic cover, delightful photos and on to the recipes – I could smell Christmas reading it.

After reading this fun-filled book, I am ready to pack up and move to Vermont myself. In flowing descriptive writing, the author paints a picture of an old fashioned Christmas with Vermont being the perfect setting. Their family Christmas traditions are entertaining and heart felt. I love the idea of their “Christmas Adventure”. The first week of December they take off on a trip and do fun things, together as a family. I think my favorite Christmas traditions was buying an ornament each year – one each. I so enjoyed the stories attached to the ones author Ellen Stimson shared.

The recipes are great and the majority of them do not seem too complicated. The stories included with each of them enhances the urge to make them. Winter Suppers, Cabin Food, Homespun Tastes and even Treats for Four-legged Friends are just a few of the chapters. The nut roll recipe is amazing and the stories behind it make it even more enjoyable. The addition of “Winter Adventures of Vermont” and “New England Flavors: online Retailers” makes the Vermont Dream Christmas seem even more accessible.  Hey if I cannot get there, I just might be able to enjoy a taste of it at home.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. And I seriously want to move in with Ellen Stimson and her family before Christmas season hits. Their love for one another and their family traditions is easily evident in the pages, writing, recipes and photos of this fun book. This is the perfect gift book, the perfect holiday read and a wonderful escape for anyone (especially a Southerner that loves and misses snow). The author and her family fully embrace the season with love and do it with laughter and fun. As the author says, “The point of this whole exercise we call Christmas is to figure out what feels fun and sweet to you and do more of that and less of anything that feels like a burden. Delight. You are going for delight”. Reading this book was a true delight!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*