Bertha Bartlett Public Library news

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

—by Kolleen Taylor

We are entering the travel mode this week, as November ends with Thanksgiving week, and thoughts of Christmas start entering everyone’s mind. As I watched the morning news, and saw the strange weather impacting travelers, on the roads and in the air, I thought about the luxury of staying close to home.

But most feel the holidays are when we need to be with our families. And I agree for the most part, but sometimes the travel conditions and delays interfere heavily with comfortable schedules, safe driving, and content travelers. So as everyone prepares for the upcoming holiday events…I encourage everyone to keep near at hand a holiday survivors’ kit. This year, as I try to venture on a healthier holiday mission, I want to share a few suggestions that I am going to try to live by.

1. Water… have it in your car, in your backpack, whether you are getting on a flight or going to grandmothers house. We are tempted with so many specialty drinks during the holidays, sweet and tangy, and oh so many calories. But water is the source of life, and needs to be part of your emergency kit, in addition to a plentiful part of your daily diet. With the already frigid temperatures, our bodies are already drying out, and flu season is here, so keep your heart healthier and your body quenched with 8 glasses per day or more.

2. Keep a book on hand for EVERYONE in the family, (but not in the same bag as the water!). You never know when you will be stranded somewhere with nothing to do, and no way to change things. So, when tempers get short, and lines get long, and things are not going well, you can send children and spouses to opposite corners and have them engage in a story that will take them to a happy place, an adventure, or just challenge their brains on a new idea. Whether you use an electronic device for your reading, or stock up on physical books, have a plan for everyone. The library has books on nearly every topic, from down-loadable e-books, hardcover, large print and paper-books for all ages. And if you worry about losing a book, or want a book to take and then leave behind, check out our Sale Room, which is heavily stocked with wonderful donations to the library. The inventory in this room is constantly changing, and you might just find a book for a holiday gift that is priced as a steal!

3. Check out an audio book if you are in a car! The distance evaporates with a good story! There are some wonderful books that are a delight to listen to as a family. If you like to dive into history, we’ve had some great feedback on some of the historical audio books we have on our shelves. Again, there are many varied audio devices, but if you plan ahead and set up a WILBOR account through the library, you can also augment the physical copies with downloadable copies.

4. Watch your budget! The cost of eating, the cost of gifts, the wish list items for family members…..everything has increased in price, and you can easily get caught off-guard and off-budget. The stress of destroying your personal finances over the holidays is usually not worth the short-term pleasure derived from most gifts. And as one who loves to give gifts that others enjoy, this is one of the hardest ones for me.

5. Start a family tradition that begins with the heart. Do something special for someone beyond your normal circle. Visit someone in the nursing homes, take a plate of cookies to a neighbor, or give an anonymous gift. Send a letter or Christmas card to someone you haven’t talked to for ages. Spread your blessings to others, and create a teachable moment…for both you and those around you.

Enjoy your holidays! Traveling or not, there are stories and gift ideas all at the library, and we will be happy to share them with each and every one of you. Be safe and be sure to come to the library before and after and all during the holidays!