Share your favorite holiday heirloom

Thanksgiving is history. Now it's time to focus on the next holiday -- and haul out that seasonal decor.

Whatever you celebrate -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or something else -- we want to know how you make the season bright. Do you have a favorite decoration that you display year after year? Or is there a decorating ritual that has special meaning to you?

Your decoration doesn't have to be fancy or expensive or beautiful. We're looking for holiday heirlooms with a story behind them.

So share the story of your favorite ornament, mantel decoration or other seasonal trinket and what makes it special to you. Send a few sentences and a digital photo to: Or mail a snapshot and brief description to: Kim Palmer, Star Tribune Newsroom, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. We'll feature some of the most interesting tales in an upcoming story. But don't wait too long: We'll choose our favorites on Dec. 7.


Holiday Girls Night Out

What's new this year in holiday decorating and gift-giving? Find out at Gertens' Holiday Girls Night Out, on Wednesday and Dec. 5.

This week, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a free demonstration on how to create a seasonal spruce-tip container and, from 6-8 p.m., you can meet designer Elissa Bremner from Midwest/CBK.

Both Girls Nights Out will feature discounts on holiday merchandise, gifts and prizes and light refreshments. Hours are 5-9 p.m. this Wednesday and Dec. 5 at Gertens, 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.


New on the shelf

Husband-and-wife designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz share the thought process behind their hip home-decorating style in their new book, "Home by Novogratz."

The couple, stars of an HGTV show by the same name, offer a look at 20 homes they've redecorated for clients, including skateboarder Tony Hawk and singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega. All the homes showcase the Novogratzes' signature style, which is contemporary, innovative and often playful.

The book outlines their clients' wishes, briefly explains the redecorating process for each project and even includes budget breakdowns -- an uncommon element in decorating books, particularly those that feature the homes of high-profile people. "Ask the expert" interviews are sprinkled in, further explaining aspects of the project or giving readers tips and insights.

"Home by Novogratz" is published by Artisan Books and sells for $35 in hardcover.