How to Make Your Own Holiday Special

Food is a topic close to our stomachs!  We probably think about it three times a day.  And food brings up memories.  Think how much fun it would be to share those memories with your family.  Mac can help you create a unique holiday gift. (Yes, it’s time to plan for the holidays!)  
Go through those old cookbooks or recipe boxes and find what’s uniquely yours.  You might choose to do a collection of a dozen special desserts, for example.  You could retype some of them, or scan.  Maybe you can find some old photos to illustrate your pages.
Don’s Ma made German Christmas bread every year. When I asked her for the recipe she brought out her German newspaper clipping and translated it for me.  Oh, it was work!  Peel all those potatoes, chop them and mix the huge amount of batter.  I saw how easily I could simplify that part by using instant mashed potatoes. I started making it every year.  
This summer I got the bright idea to share the booklet-making info with my Writers’ Networking group.  I did a Google search and found   The writer was asking for favorite recipes, so I emailed Ma’s recipe to her.  She likes it and asks for a photo of Ma.  Digging through old photos I found one from 1954 of Ma in her kitchen by the stove with the big old tea kettle.  What fun!  It might be published on the Internet soon. 
You could make a specialized little booklet of favorites from family potlucks.  ClickBook is a program that sizes your pages for booklets.  It’s about $49 from  
In Pages click Command + P and on the left side  is PDF. Scroll down and click Open PDF with ClickBook.  (Click to enlarge this little screen shot.) 

You’ll see all the choices of page formats.  I use the  Side-by-Side (folded) for booklets that are regular sized paper folded in half.  This fits nicely into the greeting card envelopes size 5 ¾ x 8 ¾”.
There are more than 60 choices of format in ClickBook.
You will want to make some samples to view how your choice of fonts will look.  Since ClickBook sizes your whole page on Mac into a half-size printed you’ll want perhaps a 13 or 14 point type.  

Photos will be automatically sized, so you experiment.  An unstretched photo makes the person look very, very thin.  I go to Inspector > Graphic Inspector to add a shadow or reflection and to set opacity.  Under Metrics go to where you uncheck Constrain Proportions.  Now you can drag the photo sideways to fatten it up.  
As you work on this project make one document, then do Command + D to duplicate it and fiddle around with that first copy.  Do this for each “improvement” you think you’re making.  If you change your mind you can easily go back to one of the earlier versions without pulling out your hair.  Put all the versions in one folder on the desktop. 
About a 32 page booklet is fat enough for my stapler.  Each sheet of paper yields 4 pages for the booklet, so that’s 8 sheets of paper.  
It’s fun to try out various fonts. When I’m using Helvetica the question mark and the exclamation marks are too close to the last letter of the word when it shrinks down.  On the document in Pages I highlight the last letter of the word and the exclamation mark next to it.  
Going to Inspector and the large T, choose the slider on Character to enlarge the space there.  
Also in Pages > Inspector choose the first icon on the drop down menu so you can set the margins and header spacing.  
Here are some interesting websites that may give your creative mind some fresh ideas.    Photos of fancy decorated cakes.  list of fruits by region where they grow.  
List of inedible fruits:  some are poisonous, some only unpalatable for human consumption.   listed by variety.  Each one is a link to its own page with illustration, culinary & medicinal uses, top countries where produced, etc.   What a list:  recipes from Prehistoric times through Medieval, Victorians, to Postwar/Modern.  Includes picture galleries of these times and places.
How about a child’s recipe book?  Ask the youngsters in the family for their favorite recipes and art  work.  
Consider starting a family blog.  Post writing and photographs. You can set who can enter the blog, so you don’t have to let the whole world view your efforts unless you want to do so.   (See what I mean?  You can be more creative with your Mac! ) 

(This was today's handout at the PMUG Annual Picnic.)