Happy Holidays - 2012

  • What conjures the holidays for you? Baking? Decorating? Giving? Gathering? No matter what, we've gathered stories here that cover all of those topics and more for you to enjoy and refer to throughout the holiday season.

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Joan (left) and Anna Hause at home with her ornament in Lake Elmo.

Royal Sweets with Chocolate Balsamic Sauce, center, were the winning entry in the 2012 holiday cookie contest, along with finalists, clockwise from upper left, Cranberry Pecan Swirls, Orange Ginger Drops, Peanut Stars Sandwich Cookies.and Cherry Almond Turnovers.

Handing over preparation of the holiday meal can be stressful but also invigorating.

  • Handing down the holiday

    Article By: AIMÉE BLANCHETTE , Star Tribune Publish December 16, 2012 2:00 AM / Update December 15, 2012 4:00 PM

    Passing Christmas from one generation to the next can pitch granddaughter against grandmother. Done right, however, it can revitalize traditions and bring relatives closer together.

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Designer Bridget Connell decorated her grandmother's house.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus Matt Kopec (Buddy) and Gordon Gray (Santa) i...

These "Star Wars" holiday lights feature glowing Yodas.

At the first of three Norwegian-themed meals held at the Mindekirken church in Minneapolis one Saturday last month, a diner filled up a take-home container, with what she could not finish.

Ann Bean innkeepers Erin and Jeremy Drews used natural materials in their holiday accents.

Forced bulbs make perfect hostess gifts and last-minute gifts.

"Miracle on 34th Street"

  • The 24 films of Christmas

    Article By: KIRK BAIRD , Toledo Blade Publish December 2, 2012 2:00 AM / Update December 3, 2012 8:47 AM

    Two dozen movies to make you laugh, cry and experience the many moods of the annual holiday.

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Mary Abbe picks this year's best art books for holiday gift giving.

  • Gift ideas: 12 books for looking

    Article By: MARY ABBE , Star Tribune Publish December 3, 2012 2:00 AM / Update December 2, 2012 11:45 PM

    Art and artists, architecture and interiors, fashion and rare birds are delicious diversions for the holidays. Here are a dozen coffee-table delights.

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Richard and Lynn Rozell, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, in their Hopkins yard.

  • When holiday lights aren't enough

    Article By: MELISSA WALKER , Star Tribune Publish December 1, 2012 2:00 AM / Update November 30, 2012 2:26 PM

    Homeowners across the Twin Cities have bedazzled their yards with the usual glut of holiday lights. But this year, people aren't just driving by -- they're getting out of their cars to interact with the displays.

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The first night of holiday lights lit up at St. Paul's Phalen Park on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. The more than 50 holiday sculptures and animated displays to drive through will be available every night through January 1, 2013, for a fee.

  • Interactive map: Find holiday lights

    Article By: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF , Publish November 1, 2011 2:00 AM / Update April 14, 2013 7:00 PM

    Want to add a little sparkle to your next holiday outing? Check out some the Twin Cities’ best holiday displays!

  • Picking the best cookie

    Article By: MATT GILLMER , Publish / Update December 3, 2012 8:25 AM

    Star Tribune Taste Editor Lee Svitak Dean talks about the Star Tribune holiday cookie contest and what makes a winning cookie.

Shopping online while on the job is increasingly being accepted by employers — with some caveats.

For your fresh tree, consider LED lights, which burn cooler.

An illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith from the 1912 edition of Clement Moore's " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Tell us about your most cherished holiday heirloom.

Boarding needs for cats are different than dogs.

Alexandra Elagina and Anatolie Ustimov in the Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker."

  • 'Nutcracker' and more

    Article By: CAROLINE PALMER , Special to the Star Tribune Publish November 25, 2012 2:00 AM / Update November 24, 2012 3:47 PM

    The classic holiday ballet is being performed all over in December, along with a few other dance offerings.

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VocalEssence, with conductor Philip Brunelle, will present a holiday celebration with an Italian accent.

The Swedish room decked out for Christmas.

Not everyone's happy about the extra-long holiday season.

"A Christmas Carol"

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