Today’s cuppa: Mystic Monk decaf chocolate mint coffee

On Sunday, Nov. 30, HGTV premieres a special called "HGTV’s Home for the Holidays," in which some of the network’s stars share their culinary, party and decorating hints. Here’s a link to an edited version of my feature story on the special — if I find more links tomorrow, I’ll pop them in here.

The full version of the story as offered into syndication also featured an interview with HGTV star Steve
Watson ("Don’t Sweat It"). In case you don’t see that in your paper, click here to see my Thanksgiving Day post, which features a holiday recipe from Watson, who’s as much a whiz in the kitchen as on the construction site.

(Or you can read the whole story, which is embedded in the post for Nov. 30)

Hope you had a safe, happy and yummy Thanksgiving, and good luck in the holiday shopping spree that began on Friday.

But as you prepare for Hanukkah and Christmas, don’t forget that there are many serving in the U.S. military in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world that will be spending the holidays away from their friends and family (and many families will have an empty seat at the holiday table on the homefront).

The American Red Cross has partnered with Pitney Bowes for a program called Holiday Mail for Heroes,

with a goal of delivering one million holiday cards to serving military personnel, their families and veterans in the United States and around the world.

(Photo: 12/25/2007 – U.S. Army soldiers from Bravo
Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, attached to 2nd
Brigade Combat Team, take part in a candlelight ceremony during a
Christmas party at Joint Security Station Torch in Yarmuk, Iraq, on
Dec. 25, 2007. DoD photo by Spc. Charles W. Gill, U.S. Army.)

Click here for information on the program — and a free, download-able card — but don’t waste time, as all cards must be postmarked by Dec. 10.

If you’d like to send care packages to service men and women overseas, the Red Cross recommends visiting America Supports You for information on how to do more than just post a card.

And if you have specific military personnel on your gift list, just a reminder that the U.S. Postal Service offers flat-rate boxes to APO/FPO military addresses. Visit your local post office or click here for more information. BTW, I’ve discovered that military folks really enjoy — along with goodies and messages from home — getting movie and TV DVDs.

After all, just because you’re far from home serving your country doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to watch all three seasons of "Deadwood," catch up on the recent "24: Redemption" movie or grab a few laughs from "Shrek the Halls" or "Kung Fu Panda." (No endorsement of any particular on-line retailer is intended or should be inferred. Spend your money wherever you like.)


Posted by:Kate O'Hare