Labor of Love

Holiday Headquarters Newsletter
Gay’s original recipe book by her mother, Dottie Warren.

[November 16, 2023 – Blog] Last winter, I shared on Facebook the cover of a 1980s holiday cookbook handmade by my mother, Dottie Warren. Given to friends and family, she hand-crafted each individual book as a true labor of love to help them plan their holiday parties and meals. The response from friends was unexpected; with an overwhelming amount of comments requesting a copy of this cherished book.

My mother was a bit of a miracle worker. For those who didn’t know Dottie, she was diagnosed with bone cancer as a child, and to save her life, they amputated her right arm at the tender age of 12 years old. Nothing was easy for her, but she never complained and had the most positive outlook on life.

In 1980, I was living in Atlanta, Georgia, when I received my copy of this book (pictured above). The cover featured a hand-drawn reindeer, colored with markers, cooking and reading a recipe book. The recipes were typed on an old manual typewriter — a green typewriter that I can still see in my mind’s eye. I didn’t think twice about the many hours it had taken her to create each book. That is just what Dottie did.

As a lifelong marketer, I have learned to listen to the end consumer, in other words, my audience. So, I offer to you this year, a re-creation of this treasure, “Christmas Collection,” with recipes from Dottie’s own recipe files and those of lifelong friends from my hometown of Liberty, Texas. All proceeds of this item will be donated to Emancipet, a nonprofit near and dear to Dottie’s heart, offering affordable veterinary care nationwide.

In addition to this family heirloom, my team of elves and I have worked hard to bring you my Hill Country Holidays Headquarters. Filled with time-saving inspiration including, whimsical gift tag templates, Spotify playlists, original artwork and gift ideas (for our four-legged friends, too) — each of these items I bring to you as my labor of love to help you spread joy during this busy season.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope you enjoy time to reflect. I will be watching football both in the stands and from my comfy chair in front of the TV, nibbling on some of my favorites from Dottie’s cookbook.

Embracing the inevitable—the holidays are here. Time to give!

Gay Gaddis Signature

Gay Gaddis
Founder. Author. Artist. Trailblazer.

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