Dear Patrons of the Green Library,
I’m writing this to let you know how wonderful it feels to be 65 years old. That’s right I made my first appearance in the Peanuts comic strip, on November 10, 1950. The Peanuts and I will like to thank you for letting us be part of your life. It has been a pleasure to bring joy and pleasure over the years. May the tradition continue to be passed on from generation to generation. If you want to learn more about my friends and I visit your local library. Here are some books and DVDs that you may want to check out.
Sincerely Your Friend,
$801, that’s what participants in a survey from the American Research Group estimated they would spend on Christmas presents last year (and in my experience, it’s really easy to go over what you plan on). Americans, in 2011, were also estimated to spend the second most in the world on Christmas presents with Luxembourg coming in with the highest number.
For most families, presents are a huge part of their Christmas celebration. Maybe you’d have unexpected expenses this year or your income has been cut. Or perhaps you want to simply lower the emphasis on presents this year. When you are on a tight budget, what can you do to stretch the money and make the most of it?
Tips for Christmas Presents on a Budget:
- Make a list of everyone you usually buy for
Sit down and really brainstorm so you won’t have any unexpected surprises. Kids, spouse, your company party, extended family etc. Do you normally give a gift to your neighbor or babysitter? Write them down as well. Don’t worry about eliminating people from your list, yet, we’ll get to that later.
- Have a Gift Budget
If you already have a budget, see what you have left in your gift category and then decide if you are putting any extra money towards presents for the holiday season (and how much if you are adding to it). If you don’t currently have a gift budget, look at the money you have coming in and see what you are able to allocate towards presents.
Write down the amount of money you have to work with.
- Re-Evaluate your List of Individuals to Buy For
Now that you have a dollar amount, look back over your list. If money is tight this year, you might have to cut down on the number of people you purchase for or be willing to get creative or make some more affordable presents this year.
- Take the Money out in Cash
Take the money that you allocated for Christmas presents out in cash and put it in an envelope. If you make a purchase online, take that amount of money out of the envelope and deposit it in the bank. There is just something about using cash that keeps you from spending as much and makes it hard to go over budget.
- Don’t Over Buy.
This is so easy to do! Even for me, and I’m not a big shopper. So, what do you do to keep this from happening? Take your list of whom to buy for and make a list of what you are going to buy for each person. STICK TO IT! So often, I’ll find just one more thing that would be perfect and the stash of presents keeps growing.
- Use Homemade Gifts
Do you like to sew? Use those skills and fabric from your stash or that you buy 40% off and make your kids dress up clothes, a tent to drape over a table, cute aprons for the ladies on your list. Sewing not your thing but you are a whiz in the kitchen? Do some baking. Maybe spa and personal care items are more of your thing. Put together a gift basket of scrubs, lotions, and lip balms you made. There are countless options. Look on Pinterest and search on Swagbucks to find ideas.
- Buy Used
Okay, I know some people will hate this idea. I’m not saying to buy junk – be selective. I also know that in our home a portion of my kids’ gifts (3 1/2 and 18 months – I know this gets harder as they get older) are used every year! I’ve found books in great condition, like new puzzles, board games, clothes, and toys. Check garage sales and Facebook buy sell trade groups for your city.
(If you have a 2 year old, keep your eyes open for some of these items! Many of them I’ve been able to find used.)
- Shop Around
Do your research and know what a good price is. Before you purchase an item fromAmazon, make sure it isn’t on sale at Target or Wal-Mart and likewise, before you purchase at a store, make sure there hasn’t been a price drop on Amazon. Also, check out Camel Camel Camel before you submit your Amazon order to see if you might get a lower price if you wait!
- Bulk Gifting
No you aren’t going to be able to get everyone identical presents but if you can duplicate presents at all – maybe identical presents for all the co-workers and Christmas parties and like gifts for your baby-sitter, hair stylist etc. you can actually use up what you bought instead of having 4/5 of the bag of beeswax pellets sitting in our cabinet for years.
- Shop Year Round
Don’t wait for December to start thinking about presents. If you keep a running list of what you want to purchase for your family, you can be watching for great deals all year! It might be too late for this Christmas, but make your list for 2016 early and shop post-Christmas sales!
This is an easy way to increase your Christmas shopping money a little bit. You earn points for doing web searches, streaming short videos, taking surveys and more. I don’t invest lots of time into it, but as I’m doing things on the computer I’ll have videos stream in the background and I’ll use their search engine. My goal is at least 35 Swagbucks a day. If I am able to accomplish that, I can purchase two $5 Amazon gift cards a month! It might not sound like a lot, but every bit adds up – $120 over the course of a year.
Just because your Christmas budget is smaller this year you don’t have to stress! It can still be a season filled with memories for your family.
Looking for gift ideas? Take a look at these books, found at your local library:
One of the most popular ongoing programs at Green Branch Library is our Cookbook Club. Every month we prepare a dish for the group to share and discuss the dish and our recipes. If you want to try Cookbook Club, now is the time. For our December meeting we are having our annual Holiday Cookie Exchange. Bring at least 4 dozen cookies and an appetizer the share. Take home a great assortment of delicious of Holiday treats and join in the fun as we gab about food. The Holiday Cookie Exchange will be held on December 8th at 6:30 pm.
Check out one of our recipes from the November meeting:
Apple Walnut Cake
3/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts
3 cups chopped apples
Add dry ingredients to eggs and oil, and then add nuts and apples.
This will be hard to mix and you will need to gently pat batter into the pan.
Bake at 350 in a 9×13 pan for 45 minutes.
Serve with Cool Whip.
See you there!
Almost 30 million Americans have diabetes, a metabolic disorder which causes the body to be unable to manage blood sugar levels.
Every 19 seconds a new diabetes diagnosis is made.
If this trend continues, by 2050, one in every three American adults will have diabetes.
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., responsible for more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
Diabetes is dangerous because it increases risk of the following:
*heart attack/cardiovascular disease
*kidney disease/kidney failure
86 million Americans have prediabetes. This can often be reversed with moderate (10-15 pound) weight loss and adding 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
To find out more about living well with diabetes, check out our selection of health information books and cookbooks at the library. We are featuring a special display on the topic this month.
Mo Willems is one of the most well-known and beloved children’s authors there is. From Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, to Knuffle Bunny, to the awesome Piggie and Elephant books, his illustrations along with his simple, yet, silly text is sure to bring a smile to the many kids (and adults) who read them. And it just so happens, that Miss Brandie is doing a story time on Mo Willems books Saturday, November 28 at 11 am. So come enjoy your favorite Mo Willems stories while enjoying a craft and snack! All ages are welcome. Please register in advance by calling Green Branch Library at 330-896-9074
The Christmas shopping season is upon us.
Let the games begin!
Good Times! Fun Times!!
If Christmas shopping feels like survival fights ala The Hunger Game, maybe it’s time to reassess “giving” at Christmas. If your kids/grandkids have everything they need and then some, what are your options?
Is there another way to give? Something else to give?
What?! Not give them anything!!!?
Not exactly. But…are there other things besides “things” to give–plenty.
Time together isn’t always an easy gift to give but putting that first, making it a priority, is truly a gift.
Can you go to the zoo together? That’s a timeless activity- good for both young and old “kids”.
Bake cookies together? Maybe they may not look perfect, but so what?
A local church’s or school’s Christmas program can be very special, fun time.
Here at the Green Branch Library, we are hosting a Christmas Open House in late November. Our Paws for Reading partner, Maverick the Wonder Dog will be here. Maverick loves to be read to and he will be waiting for any young, eager or reluctant readers on Monday, November 30th at 6:30pm. Cookies and punch will be available as well.
Coming to the library, either for story time or just to browse with your young ones is a gift that costs nothing and might well be remembered for a lifetime.
Here are some books that you could enjoy together:
Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (1814-1894) and John Philip “The March King” Sousa (1854-1932) were both born on November 6. Could you imagine listening to jazz music without saxophones? Could you imagine any patriotic celebration without listening to “The Stars and Stripes Forever”?
Music around the world and certainly in the United States would be so different if not for these two men. In 1846, Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone and many of its incarnations after realizing that the size and length of the brass tube would change the sound. How could we have had the Jazz Age without saxophones? John Philip Sousa was a music man–having been an inventor, composer, and conductor. Sousa toured the world with his carefully selected band members, composed 136 military marches as well as numerous other types of music and invented the sousaphone (a large tuba type instrument that the player wears around his body).
For more information:
All library locations will be closed Wednesday, November 11 for Staff Development Day. There will be no bookmobile or library delivery services. Fines will not be assessed and no library items will be due that day.
The mobile app, online website and resources, and the library catalog are available for use.
Library service will resume and all locations will reopen Thursday, November 12 during regular business hours.
Time we all “Fall Back” and turn our clocks back an hour . Daylight savings time had been inconsistent in the U. S. for years. In 1966, President Johnson signed the Uniform Time act to his weekend is the t make it nationwide. The department of Transportation is the keeper of Daylight Savings Time. Hawaii and Arizona are the only 2 states that don’t observe today.
That was the day the 26th President of the United States was born in New York. Before he was president he served his country in the Navy, you may remember Teddy and the Rough Riders.
To learn more about our 26th President visit your local library and look up these titles.