Groundhogs, Saints, and Bonfires: February Festivals of Spring

Campfire in the winter forest

(PCM) By the time February rolls in, many of us here in the northern hemisphere are tired of snow, and cold, and scraping our cars off every morning. We’ll be waiting with frosted breath to find out if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow – will spring make an early entrance, or are we condemned to six more weeks of winter blahs?

While the groundhog is a newish American pop culture hero, we humans have …

Happy Maple Syrup Day (December 17th)

maple syrup in glass bottle on wooden table

(PCM) Happy Maple Syrup Day! Did you most of the bottled brown breakfast syrup that you find on grocery store shelves is NOT maple syrup? Imitation syrup (usually labeled “table-syrup” or “maple-flavored syrup”, etc.) is made from high-fructose corn syrup or other artificial flavors and additives.

True maple syrup comes from the concentrated sap of the sugar maple tree (a North American native). It is graded by color, which can range from light amber (like …

Happy Chocolate-Covered Anything Day! (December 16)

Melted Chocolate Background

(PCM) The winter season is supposed to be about joy and reflection, but all too often it’s a time of stress. Are you behind on your holiday shopping? Are you juggling family drama or work worries? By December 16th the countdown towards Christmas and years’ end is well underway, and many of us feel like we’re racing against the clock. But now you can relax, because the calendar people and the candy people have come …

Cookie Exchange Tips

HOW TO COME OUT ON TOP WITH YOUR COOKIE SWAP

Snowflake shaped Gingerbread cookies stacked and tied with a red ribbon.

(PCM) Whoever invented the holiday cookie exchange was either a sadist or a genius – maybe both.

On the one hand, participating in a cookie exchange means you’ve got to stop and bake something (something pretty enough to share, no less) right in the middle of gift-shopping, house decorating, holiday concerting, family visiting, nervous breakdown-ing, and whatever else you’ve got on your chaotic December schedule.…