The Beaufort County library system has a cornucopia of materials to help you prepare for the holidays.
Let's start with some menu planning. Look in call number area 641.568 for books and DVDs for special occasion cooking. A few of the many examples we have include "Homemade Holidays," by Martha Stewart; "Christmas Cookbook," by Debbie Macomber; "Holiday Cooking in This Old House," by Orral Ann Moss; "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," by Diane Rossen Worthington; "Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays: Complete Menus, Rituals and Party-Planning Ideas for Every Holiday of the Year," by Marlene Sorosky; and "The Healthy Hedonist Holidays: A Year of Multicultural, Vegetarian-Friendly Holiday Feasts," by Myra Kornfeld.
Do you enjoy making some of your own table settings, party favors or holiday decorations? Do an online call number search in the 745.5941 area or browse our shelves. You might find "Spirit of the Holidays: Decorating and Gift Project Guide"; "Jewish Holiday Style," by Rita Milos Brownstein; "Parties That Wow: Setting the Stage for Creative Entertaining," by Jonathan Fong; "Extreme Halloween: The Ultimate Guide to Making Halloween Scary Again," by Tom Nardone; and "Christmas Decorations from Williamsburg's Folk Art Collection: Step-By-Step Illustrated Instructions for Christmas Ornaments That Can Be Made at Home," by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
If the item you want is checked out, you can put a hold on it from your computer with your library card number. If you need help, call or come by the library and we'll show you how easy it is. Beyond the Beaufort County library system, our consortium membership in SC LENDS gives library cardholders free checkout privileges to 19 South Carolina countywide library systems, including the state library, delivered at no extra charge to your nearest branch library.
Make your own greeting cards and place settings with "Artful Cards: 60 Fresh & Fabulous Designs," by Katherine Duncan Aimone; "Designer Cards & Tags with Anna Griffin: Fabulous Projects Created with Style," by Anna Griffin; and "The Big Book of Holiday Paper Crafts: Easy Keepsake Designs for Handmade Projects That Show How Much You Care." See also the card-making section in 745.594.
There are lots of crafts you can do as a family. "Every Day's a Holiday: Year-Round Crafting with Kids," by Heidi Kenney; "Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids: Gifts, Sweets and Treats for the Whole Family," by Jessica Strand; and "Making Gingerbread Houses: Dozens of Delectable Designs & Ideas," by Veronika Alice Gunter are a representation of the myriad items we have that are just waiting for you.
There is a wealth of materials on holidays in general. If you would like to research holiday history and traditions, check out the 394.26 section. Remember those Ideals Books you would find at checkout counters with stories, recipes and decorating tips for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day? A few of those have been saved and cataloged in our circulating collection.
Other examples of fall and winter holiday materials grace our shelves. Some include: "The Latino Holiday Book: From Cinco de Mayo to Dia de los Muertos," by Valerie Menard and Cheech Marin; "Santa Claus: A Biography," by Gerry Bowler; "A South Carolina Christmas," by Jan Kiefer, David Crosby and John Jakes; "Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season," by Jennifer Basye Sander, Peter Sander and Anne Basye; and "A Halloween How-To: Costumes, Parties, Decorations and Destinations," by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne. Kwanzaa books and DVDs can be found in the 394.2612 section.
While you are cooking or decorating, why not play some holiday music to get you in the spirit? Some of my favorite CDs we have are: "Thanksgiving: A Windham Hill Collection," "George Winston: December Piano Solos," "Best of Yiddish Songs and Klezmer Music," Lady Antebellum's "On This Winter's Night," "Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve," "An NPR Jazz Christmas with Marian McPartland and Friends," and "An All-Star Christmas From the Vatican."
Don't forget to check the kids' films and CDs for the holidays, too, such as: "Hanukkah & Chinese New Year," "Mooseltoe: Family Holiday Music" and Mannheim Steamroller's "Halloween." Check out some of our holiday DVDs: "Jacques Pepin's Thanksgiving Celebration"; "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"; "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" (a Hallmark film with Jacqueline Bisset); "How to Celebrate the African-American Holiday, Kwanzaa"; "Babette's Feast" (a French chef's gift to villagers on the coast of Jutland in Denmark); "New Year's Eve" (with its all-star cast); "Love Actually"; and of course, "It's a Wonderful Life." My annual feel-good favorite is "The Holiday."
Then, after your celebration is over, you can preserve a record of your cards, decorations and photos by scrapbooking. There are many helpful, creative examples found in 745.593.
Brendagael Beasley-Forrest is a catalog librarian for Beaufort County libraries.