October 26, 2005 | By: Laura Skillman

woman at holidays unwrappedWestern Kentucky got into the holiday spirit a little early this year thanks to the Holidays Unwrapped seminar at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center.

Sponsored by the UK Cooperative Extension Service and the Pennyrile Area Homemakers Association, the seminar included demonstrations on adding greenery to holiday décor, gift wrapping ideas and trends in holiday decorating. While the holiday season is weeks away, organizers wanted to give seminar participants plenty of time to gain some holiday ideas.

“That was our whole strategy,” said Laura Wilson, Lyon County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. “We wanted to get the information to them early enough so they could actually use it this holiday season.”

Spring and fall seminars are held each year with varied topics, and this year’s holiday theme was selected after several of the planners attended a similar program last year, she said. Topics for the seminar were selected by a committee of area Homemakers and county Extension agents.

“We just sat and brainstormed on what we’d like to provide and then what resource person could do that for us,” she said.

Besides the decorating ideas, tips for safe Internet shopping, healthy holiday cooking and reducing stress rounded out the day-long program.

“You can’t watch a news program without seeing the programs with identity theft with cyber shopping, but so many people are doing that. Plus with the price of gas, it’s even more important,” Wilson said. “Also, a lot of people tend to get stressed out over the holidays. So we wanted a family life specialist to talk with us about that.”

The main speaker for the day was Laura Duff, a Paducah dietitian, who discussed and demonstrated healthy holiday foods. She also shared some recipes with participants.

“I’ve just enjoyed the whole thing,” said Martha Yates of Lyon County, a planning committee member. “It’s been a great day.” 

Lyon County Homemaker Nat Schofield said she was glad to have the gift wrapping and home décor ideas that require little knowledge and use items that can be found locally.

“I like the fact that we got on the ball and held it in October, and they have some things now that they can go home and use,” said Schofield, a member of the planning committee. 

Dell Eaton of Christian County said she was particularly attuned to the session on stress during the holidays after having lost her husband many years ago when her children were small.

“I remember Christmas very well and wanting just to pull the cover over my face, but you don’t do that with four little children,” she said. “So I appreciated everything that he had to say.”


Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278

Contact: Laura Wilson, 270-388-2341