—by Kolleen Taylor

We are now in the last month of the year, with Christmas bearing down on us at breakneck speeds. As we close the books on November, we wanted to thank everyone who participated in our "Food for Fines" program during the month, as this generated about 50 items for the local food pantry, and another $25.00 in cash donations. Items donated ranged from pumpkin pie filling to peanut butter, spaghetti to cake mixes, and we will be contacting the Loaves and Fishes to contribute these items quickly for the pantry shelves.

We hope everyone had a truly thankful weekend, gathering with family and friends sometime over the past week. With three completely different family gatherings, it was challenging to balance the wonderful feasts so that I would still be able to function when the turkey and dressing lethargy hit.

We are switching out our décor also at the library, as we quietly shift from fall to Christmas decorations. Red and green books are being assembled into a Christmas Tree Tower that patrons will see when they come to the circulation desk. Denise has been setting back red and green books for the past few years to accomplish this literary art, and now we will see how this serves our holiday spirit. We only ask if you see a book you wish to purchase….please don’t pull it out of the tower, as we will then experience a towerful impact as the tree implodes or collapses!

We have also been trying to pump up the selection of new DVD’s and books with the Christmas theme. This time of year there are so many wonderful movies to enjoy, those which bring to mind the traditions and memories that we cherish as we age. The spirit of Christmas is so much more than the shopping and cooking, so setting aside at least one evening each week as a family night would be a delightful way to share time. There are many wonderful visions of Christmas in fore-gone eras, in movies, in books, and it is important to allow time to relax, share the humor, the tenderness, and enjoy each other. This past week, the minister from my church challenged us all to tithe time for reflection, for relaxation, for meditation, to ponder the purpose and the reasons for all the traditions that have mounded upon us. As our spiritual leader, he has built upon a theme of understanding that the mind and body need time to rejuvenate, and that the stresses of the holidays take a terrible toll on most of us.

So it’s nice to know that during this holiday, taking time to relax with a book or a movie, sitting quietly listening to your favorite Christmas music, pondering the days in the past or ahead, is not a mortal sin! As I look through our selection of materials, I relish the time to leisurely browse through a magazine or book, listening to a new artist from our collection of CD’s, and getting cozy with a comforter watching "It’s a Wonderful Life" or ‘Holiday Inn", two of my favorite movies of all time.

So if you are struggling to shift into a holiday spirit, come to the library! We have a wide selection of cookbooks, movies, Christmas themed books, music and puzzles ….so many tools to help shift the season into a time to cherish with your family and friends.