Do you find yourself wishing for a few personal assistants around the holiday season? Let your library be of service! From long road trips to awkward parties, here are 10 problems the library can help you solve this season.
Long road trips
Of course we all love to visit Great Aunt Gertrude in Kansas City, but sometimes the long road trip seems to sap our holiday fervor before we even get to her front door. Never fear, the library is here. Pop in one of our fabulous audiobooks or CDs and make the car trip part of the holiday fun! Need some ideas? Get in the holiday spirit with Gwen Stefani’s You make it feel like Christmas or A Pentatonix Christmas by Pentatonix.
When your throat is sore from singing, why not enjoy some old classics like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, or Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women? We also have popular authors like Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Danielle Steel. Or how about a collection of funny and heartwarming dramas designed for family vacations! Adventures in Odyssey: The Ultimate Roadtrip: Family Vacation Collection. Browse our collection and enjoy the ride.
Let’s face it: the most wonderful time of the year can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. A book like Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection could be just the mental re-set you need. Or perhaps Elaine St. James’ Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays. You might also feel better if you are prepared for the worst. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht may provide the peace of mind you’re looking for. Everything from putting out a turkey fire to creaming your friends in a snowball fight to making a last-minute Menorah–you’ll be prepared for anything the season can throw at you.
Maybe in the middle of extra holiday projects, you realize other responsibilities are falling by the wayside. Let David Allen help you out with his proven methods in Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. The holidays are also notorious for overspending and under budgeting. Get back on track with Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.
Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. Enjoy time with your family AND check off some holiday “to-dos” with homemade gifts. Fun Christmas Crafts to Make and Bake: Over 60 Festive Projects to Make with Your Kids might be a good place to start. Or consider Carol Field Dahlstrom’s Simply Christmas 201 Easy Crafts, Food and Decorating Ideas. Be sure to stay on budget with Holly-Jolly Crafts Under $10.
Okay this isn’t a problem, but who isn’t looking for a good holiday movie this time of year? Don’t spend your money, borrow a movie for free with your library card. Tune in next week for our library staff’s favorite Christmas movie titles!
Finding Christmas books
If you want to curl up with a cozy Christmas book this year, we have placed a special Christmas sticker on all of our Christmas-themed books. For an even easier search, check out Valerie’s picks for holiday books this season on the front display shelf (first shelf on the right as you walk in the library). They aren’t just for display, they’re for YOU!
Potlucks, family gatherings, office parties, school celebrations–the list of “bring-a-snack-to-share” events can be daunting! We have a plethora of recipe-filled cookbooks and magazines for all cooking levels. Christmas Cookies and Candy Easy-to-Follow Recipes for Mouth-Watering Holiday Treats by Portland House could be a good place to start. And don’t forget about our online magazine collection! Real Simple magazine contains handy tips and recipes for the holiday season as well as many others.
Talking to strangers at parties
When friends and family draw near, we can sometimes find ourselves in awkward situations with people we either don’t know or haven’t seen in years. Mark Rhodes may speak to you in his book How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone : Confident Communication in Every Situation. Or maybe you need a reminder that it’s actually okay to be an introvert and not like parties. Susan Cain can help you out with, Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Creating Quality Family Time
School’s out and you may find yourself wanting to create some quality time with your kids. You might find some helpful ideas in The Family Dinner Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids One Meal at a Time by Laurie David. Maybe you just need some fresh games for your little ones. Family and Party Games by Bounford, Trevor and The Diagram Group can give you creative ideas for 3-year olds all the way to over-10-year-olds.
Understanding holidays besides Christmas
Do you have a friend or neighbor who doesn’t celebrate Christmas? Do you feel misunderstood or ignored because you don’t celebrate Christmas? Although about 92% of Americans do celebrate Christmas (according to a Pew Research Survey done in 2013), there are still a significant number of people who don’t. The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to open constructive dialogue and to learn about friends and neighbors who may celebrate differently than you. Try New Year’s to Kwanzaa: Original Stories of Celebration by Kendall F. Haven, or Light the Lights! A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman.
All the best to you and yours,
P.S. Look for our bonus blog in honor of Christmas next Tuesday. We’ll take a short break and resume bi-weekly posts on January 9th.