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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Sense of Community = Always Something to Celebrate

There's an old Christmas chestnut, "The Christmas Waltz," that I pull up on the iPod every year. I was pondering one of the lyrics, "It's that time of year when the world falls in love," while noticing the angry drivers, grim-faced shoppers and non-stop advertising frenzy of the last few days. And we're just getting started, folks! A good antidote for holiday madness is personal gladness and there are plenty of ways to attain that right here in Des Plaines.

For starters, the Library has holiday programs a-plenty this year and every year. Kids from grades 3-8 can participate in a winter printmaking session with a professional illustrator, Terri Murphy, on Thursday, December 9, from 4-5:30 PM. On December 11, you can check some names off your shopping list while doing good for your public library by coming to the Friends Holiday Book and Gift Sale! The sale is on Saturday only, December 11, 2010, from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM. Moms and dads, do your browsing at the sale while the kids conjure up some magic of their own at the drop-in holiday craft session up on the second floor, from 1-4 PM.

We always host a holiday extravaganza for families and this year it's "Peace Tales From Around the World," on Sunday, December 12, 2010, from 2-3 PM. Spending quality time together enjoying music, dance and storytelling is a perfect escape from the commercialism and hectic pace of these times.

Why not get out and spend time with your neighbors, too, at the Des Plaines Holiday Lighting Street Fest this Friday, 12/3/2010, in Metropolitan Square beginning at 5:30 PM? You can get all the details on the city's Web site. The weekend brings another Des Plaines tradition, the Lake Wonderland Winter Festival! Meet Santa, take a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh, and maybe even catch the sounds of the Singing Librarians while you wander the winter wonderland of Lake Park. Full details in this brochure.

Finally, there's nothing that erases stress quite like a simple act of kindness. Why not make a donation to our Mitten Tree or the Self-Help Closet & Food Pantry of Des Plaines? Purchase new mittens, gloves, scarves and hats - they don't have to be fancy, just warm! - and they'll be given to local families in need. The food pantry needs no explanation. Bring non-perishable food items to the red barrel in our lobby and help a local individual or family through a difficult financial time. You'll never notice what it cost you but it will sure make a difference to them. You might even help the world fall in love, as the old song says. :)

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