Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Plan first, then celebrate the holidays stress free

The holidays can be a stressful time, but a visit to the library can help you manage it. Not only is the library a great place to locate numerous resources for planning and managing this busy time, but it is a wonderful oasis for enjoying some of the simpler joys of the season.
First, organize your time. Fauquier County Public Library has holiday books, music CDs, cook books and guides for entertaining and decorating that will help you plan the season’s gift-giving, decorating, cooking, and music. If you are traveling, a stop at the library to check out books on tape or CD prior to leaving will make your road trip or airport waits more enjoyable. See this list of Family Listening favorites.

The library is also offering a service that could take the worry out of some of your holiday shopping. Staff members have prepared lists of current best-selling books ideal for purchasing as gifts this holiday season. The lists feature titles for children, teens, and adults. Ask for a copy of the list at any library location.

If you do decide to purchase books for loved ones, or if you're ordering anything online from Amazon.com, consider starting your online shopping using this Amazon link. If you do, Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to the library at no extra charge to you. It is a simple way to support the library, and you can use this link year-round, not just during the holidays.

The most important part of the season is celebrating with family and friends and most people appreciate traditional events held right in their own communities. All Fauquier libraries have special events planned for their communities this year.

Warrenton Library staff will be offering free cocoa and cookies at the library's Winchester Street entrance during Olde Town Warrenton’s Main Street Christmas parade again this year. Everyone is invited to stop by the library from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, for this perfect winter pick-me-up.

After the parade, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., families can visit the library’s children’s section to make a Christmas craft. The refreshments and the crafts materials are free; registration is not required. Call (540) 349-1128 for more details about the crafts.

The Bealeton Library will host the lighting of the community Christmas tree, which resides in front of the library year-round, though, admittedly, in less regal trappings most of the time. Join the festive caroling beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, then stay for the tree lighting around 7 p.m. Families are then invited to stick around and hear holiday stories while waiting for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will also visit the other Fauquier libraries: 4:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 8, at the John Marshall Library and 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at the Warrenton Library. Seeing Santa at the library sure beats trying to get a glimpse of the old guy at a crowded mall, and you get the bonus of seeing Mrs. Claus.

The Bealeton Library is also hosting an open house after the Bealeton community Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 12. The parade starts around noon, and afterward everyone is invited to stop by to enjoy refreshments and an awards ceremony. Children and their families are invited to participate in a post-parade Christmas craft program, too. (Call 540-439-9301 for more details on the parade.)

The Friends of the Fauquier Library, a nonprofit organization supporting the library, is sponsoring all the library’s holiday events. Proceeds from the Friends member ship dues and from the Book Cellar, a used book store with fiction and nonfiction for all ages, benefit the library making programs such as these possible.

The Book Cellar is a great place to shop for stocking stuffers and inexpensive last-minute gifts that “keep on giving.” There are weekly specials and a special Christmas section will be featured throughout the season. Don’t miss the large selection of coffee table books on a variety of topics, popular authors in hardback, travel-ready paperbacks, movies on VHS and DVD, music CDs, and much more.

Once you've gotten all your errands done, settle down with a selection from the Christmas Reads for adults list available at all Fauquier libraries.

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