Season’s Greetings: A Winter Chat with the Purdue University Press Team

As the Purdue University Press team prepares to close up the office for our winter break and to spend time appreciating friends, family, and all the things we are thankful for, we also look forward to carrying this mindset forward into the festive winter season of visiting, celebrating, and gift-giving. So today we’ve decided to take a little time to chat about things we are thankful for, traditions, gifts, what we’re looking forward to in the New Year and, of course, books.

Q: What are you thankful for this year?

Graphic Designer Chris Brannan: My one-year-old son, who constantly reminds me I’m not getting any younger, and how much I forgot about raising a kid in the 12 years since my other son was born. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Q: Finish this sentence: One book I’m really thankful for is _______.

Marketing and Publicity Associate Janelle Boys-Chen: One book I’m really thankful for is Love You Hoo, because it really helped me bond with my son (whom we adopted from Bulgaria).

Chris: Finish this sentence: One book I’m really thankful for is the entire Elephant and Piggie series. My oldest son and I had some great bonding time with them and I cannot wait to read them again with my youngest son in a year or two.

Q: What is one ritual or tradition you have-for the holidays or in your everyday life-that you love?

Acquisitions Associate Andrea Gapsch: Every year at Thanksgiving we have a “gratitude turkey” made with construction paper by the kids in the family. We each write what we are thankful for on a colorful turkey feather.

Production Editor Tara Saunders: I really love baking Christmas cookies every season. I have a bunch of must haves (Pennsylvania Dutch sandtarts, rolled very thin and crispy and topped with cinnamon sugar are a must), but recently I have decided to try at least one new cookie every season. Last year it was Mexican hot chocolate cookies. Verdict: they’re staying in the rotation! here’s the cookie recipe.

Chris: We always got to open one present on Christmas Eve, a tradition I have continued with my kids.

Editorial, Design, and Production Manager Katherine Purple: We enjoy taking my daughter to our local McCord Candies for an annual candy cane tour. We get to watch the staff make canes from scratch the old-fashioned way, and then get to shape our own canes to enjoy at home (…or in the car on the way home).

Katherine Purple and family on the candy cane tour at McCord Candies in Lafayette, Indiana.

Q: What are two things you don’t mind spending extra money on?

Senior Production Editor Kelley Kimm: Quality products of any kind and good food. I’d rather have fewer things of better quality.

Tara: Appropriately for the season – coats and shoes, especially boots! My snow boots (from college!) just gave out last winter, so I am in the market for a new pair…

Andrea: Food (specifically, good coffee and real maple syrup).

Q: What is the best gift you ever gave (and why)?

Katherine: My maternal grandmother was a wonderful cook and baker. When her grandchildren married, she gave each a cookbook with recipes gathered by her beloved church friends. She inscribed each cookbook with a special message. After she passed away, I had my book’s handwritten message engraved on wooden cutting boards for my mother and her two sisters—a treasured heirloom with words from the woman who taught us all how to give and love selflessly.

Tara: My brother is notoriously difficult to buy for (although he is always polite and enthusiastic about my attempts). One year, though, I found a newly published encyclopedia of college football, with pictures, histories, profiles, et cetera. I knew I had to get it for him! It was well worth going a little over my budget to see him totally absorbed in the book later that night after dinner.

Q: Finish this sentence: “Next year, I really want to read a book about __________.

Kelley: Next year, I really want to read a book about the history of our government.

Chris: Next year, I really want to read a book about Space. Between all of the Apollo history we publish, and NASA’s renewed focus on the moon and Mars, the galaxy is an enticing place again.

Janelle: Next year, I really want to read a book about Queen Elizabeth II.

All of us here at Purdue University Press wish you a happy and warm winter holiday season. We look forward to continuing to provide you with access to interesting, educational, and exciting new books throughout the forthcoming new year.