November 26, 2003 | By: Aimee D. Heald

A recent central Kentucky Holiday Seminar drew so much interest it had to be split into two days. 

Extension Homemakers came from the Fort Harrod and Bluegrass areas to the Fayette County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to kick start the holiday season. They learned about holiday crafts, foods, shopping concerns and watched a fashion show of fall clothing.

“It’s a day of learning and a day of fun activities,” said Nancy Edwards, Franklin County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. “It’s a way for us to keep up with trends in holiday foods, entertaining, decorating and fashion.”

Ouita Michel, chef and owner of Holly Hill Inn in Midway, showed participants how to prepare easy appetizer recipes used at the historic Inn. UK Horticulture Specialist Sharon Bale demonstrated how to use natural products to create holiday decorations. 

Edwards said Extension agents also wanted to offer participants ways to cope with stress that usually accompanies the responsibilities and deadlines of the holidays, so they invited Beth Minor, a licensed massage therapist. 

Minor said massage can be important for mental health, immune system function, growth and pain control. She also said it can decrease stress hormones and the need for pain medications, as well as improve sleep, brain secretion of serotonin and pulmonary function. She encouraged participants to incorporate massage therapy into their lives to assist in their wellness programs or to just address the stress of a busy lifestyle, especially common during the holidays.

Agents from each county set up a display of a decorating or craft project for participants to view during breaks. They also offered detailed instructions of each project so anyone interested could do the project at home.

The seminar also afforded agents an opportunity to offer snacks made with Kentucky products.

“We’re also promoting the Pride of Kentucky Cookbook,” Edwards said. “All the snacks served during the breaks were from the cookbook. The cookbook is a joint effort of Extension and Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Every recipe contains a product grown on a Kentucky farm.”

“Pride of Kentucky” retails for $27.95 plus tax. An order form is available on the Internet at: The book also is available at local Cooperative Extension Service offices for the discount price of $25, tax included. Proceeds from sales will go to an educational endowment fund for scholarships and an awards program to recognize excellence in education.


Writer: Aimee D. Heald  859-257-4736, ext. 267