As I’ve done in the past, today I am going to review The Martha’s latest ideas for Christmas for you and me and all the other little folk who want to be just like The Martha.
I don’t know what’s happened to me since I went to The Martha’s lovely soiree back in August but I cannot find too much to snark about this issue. Do you think she had one of her minions slip something into my drinks while I was there? Because I can’t believe how soft I’m getting where The Martha is concerned.
Overall, I thought The Martha’s December 2010 issue was reasonable, by Martha standards. Oh sure, there was lots of handmaid this and homemade that, but that’s normal for her and it wasn’t nearly as over-the-top as usual. She did not apply gold leaf to a single thing, which has to be a record of some sort for her. (Or maybe gold leaf is out this year?) Of course, she did use silver paint on magnolia leaves and holly branches on page 183, which I think is an excellent example of her more pared-down and “real person” sensibilities this season. (Or maybe silver is in this year?)
Oh sure, there’s caviar in a recipe on page 37, but I believe that The Martha honestly cannot imagine a life without caviar and just assumes that we all eat it on a semi-regular basis. Don’t you?
One thing that amused me is on page 120, which contains helpful information about how to properly maintain and store your Christmas ornaments. Surprisingly, readers aren’t told to go to thus-and-such fancy store to order custom storage boxes; in fact, we are allowed to use boxes from Ikea, clean cardboard egg cartons for smaller “precious pieces,” and even Ziploc bags. What is this world coming to?!
Of course, on that same page, we are advised to buy acid-free tissue paper for wrapping all ornaments, which I can now tell you is $10 for 20 sheets. 50 cents a sheet?! Honestly? I’m going to continue using regular ol’ tissue paper, used bubble wrap, and whatever else is handy on January 2nd when I’m taking down the tree.
I do give The Martha props for sharing one basic cookie dough that can be used for 30 different kinds of cookies. That’s a level of efficiency and ease that I would never have associated with her usual holiday baking. Well, except for that 30 different kinds of cookies part — I’ll be lucky if I whip up more than one or two batches of treats and I can promise that they won’t involve rolling out, cookie cutters, a cookie press, or any sort of frosting or sprinkles. Call me lazy, but I don’t have the time or interest in spending hours on something that my children and their friends will inhale in five minutes or that will call my name from the pantry late at night.
One thing that I’ve complained about before and will mention here again is how little play the magazine gets on The Martha’s website. I had to search hard for the photo above and simply could not find several of the crafts shown in the magazine. Most magazines link between the two, so that it’s incredibly easy to find recipes and crafts that are in the print version. Not so, The Martha. It’s like she can’t be bothered or something, which is really not like her at all. I don’t know, I’m starting to worry about her.
And now I’m worried about me, because overall, I enjoyed the December issue of Martha Stewart Living for its merits and not for its humor value. I even got a couple of ideas from the magazine and didn’t just snort with derision over the idea of making snow globes at home.
Anyone else feeling kind about The Martha these days? Do we need to schedule a group intervention?