By Angie Georgeff
It seems as though we just got the library decked with pumpkins and turkeys and now we have to put up our Christmas trees and wreaths. Fortunately, most of us who work here at the library enjoy decorating. And Story is still young enough to enjoy, shall we say, redecorating. I know from years of experience that cats prefer low-hanging Christmas ornaments to be on the floor–and if they break on the way down, well, so be it.
Decking the halls, walls, doors and floors is one way to get in the spirit of the season, but reading can get you to that destination as well, and not just with the Christmas stories of Debbie Macomber, Richard Paul Evans, Charles Dickens and Dr. Seuss. I still enjoy watching the 1966 version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with my three grandchildren each year, but the Christmas passages from “Little Women” are just as dear to me.
The novel starts with Jo lying on the rug grumbling that “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.” Her father is a chaplain with the Union Army during the Civil War, and money for the little luxuries that she and her sisters had anticipated as gifts is in short supply.
They each have one dollar of their own that they may spend as they see fit. At first, the girls consider buying Christmas presents for themselves, but they soon decide to spend the money on Marmee, their mother. They still have a celebratory breakfast to look forward to, but they give that up as well—and cheerfully–when an immigrant family has greater need of it than they.
In spite of all they have sacrificed, the four March girls have a very merry Christmas, with accident-plagued amateur theatricals and an unexpectedly elegant supper. It is a small portion of the novel, but these are my favorite chapters. I tend to think of them any Christmas when I need a little nudge in the right direction.
As we have done for several years, the library staff has “adopted” a family for Christmas. There are four children between the ages of nine and three and we are collecting toys, clothing and food to help make their Christmas a bit merrier. Miss Cindy has prepared a list of clothing sizes with specific needs and favorite kinds of toys for each of the kids. If you would like to help, you may pick up a copy of the list at our circulation desk or call the library at 743-6533 for information.
In addition, our Teen Advisory Group has adopted two residents at a local nursing facility and they are collecting clothing, toiletries and comfort items for one man and one woman. Please see our Unicoi County Public Library Kids and Teens Facebook page for more information about this project.