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Written by Jimmie Epling   

‘Tis the Season to Shop Smart…

Let the Library Help

By Jimmie Epling

As we count down the days to one of the biggest holidays in the United States and maybe around the world, people are checking their lists – maybe even twice!  When you want to pick just the right gift, it may seem a little odd at first, but you might want to think about the Darlington County Library System too. 

Does someone close to you have an e-reader, a tablet, or television on their Christmas wish list?   Picking the right one is a challenge.  Ever bought something and as soon as you opened the box, it wasn’t quite what you thought it would be?  Remember the three hours it took you to put together that special toy on Christmas morning?  And what about the gadget that sounded so great that special person just had to have and a month later it was used up or broken?  Before you take the plunge and spend your hard earned dollars on that must have gift, you might want to take a look at Consumer Reports.  You can look up the ratings and prices and you will be a smarter shopper and you’ll end up with a gift that they really want.  The Library subscribes to Consumer Reports, its sister magazine Shop Smart, and magazines and guides which look at items and rate them for you. Whether in the end you believe their ratings or not, the information given is valuable when making your final decision.

If you have a collector in the family and want to buy that special person something to add to their collection, stop by the Library to do your research.  We have all kinds of collector guides with values for your use.  Guides to coins, stamps, toys, guns, comic books, baseball cards, and so much more can be found at the Library.  You just might want to stop by after Christmas too to check on those toys you got as a child that are packed away in a box in your basement or attic.  You never know what valuable treasures you might have that were once inexpensive toys in your youth!   

Have you decided you aren’t purchasing gifts this year?  If making gifts for your loved ones and friends this year appeals to you, the Library has many, many craft books that have wonderful ideas and instructions for creating a one of a kind gift.  Sew, knit, crochet, saw, hammer, fold, stir – you pick how involved you want to get and we’ll be glad to point you to that section of the collection.  Every year, I have made a small gift for each staff member.  One year was a cinnamon scented gingerbread man ornament.  Last year was a scented sachet with the Library logo on it.  This year, it will be the library man symbol.  The ideas were inspired by what I found at the Library.  The instructions I also found at the Library.     

Maybe you are ahead of many of us and have all your gifts purchased – have you wrapped them all? Believe it or not, the Library has books on wrapping. You can use fabric and create something special that they won’t want to unwrap, or maybe it will be the trim you use that makes your gift stand out. Either way, we have books that will lead you through creating a special package.

Are you hosting a gathering at your house this month? Do you need to see all kinds of ideas for decorating your house, your mantel, your tree? How about those wonderful Southern Living Christmas books?  They come out every year and we have them, plus a host of other idea books for you to borrow.  They’ll give you decorating ideas, special drink recipes, and even a countdown punch list to your gathering. Your holiday celebration will be something special when you do a little research at the Library.  Almost every December magazine also included gift tips, decorating ideas and stories to warm your heart. 

Have you considered a Library Card as a gift?  A library card opens up a world of knowledge, fun, hope, possibilities, and experiences for a person!  While you cannot get a card to put under the tree for your special someone, take your loved one to any one of our four locations to get a card.  Whether it is an adult or a child, there is something for everyone at the Library.  If your head is just spinning from all the preparations, we have some light reading for you with magazines like People, Southern Living, Outdoor Life, and Reader’s Digest.  You can check out everything except the newest issue and take them home with you, too.  The Library has a selection of books full of holiday cheer (some with instructions on how to make your own too) on display as you walk in the door.  We have over tens of thousands of stories waiting to be read by young and old.  If you need a good story to curl up with after all the gifts are open and the dinner dishes cleared away, you will find it at the Library.

Take time this holiday season to enjoy some of your favorite classic movies like Rudolph or Frosty or try one of the newer holiday stories from Tyler Perry or Tim Allen.  My personal favorite is “A Christmas Story” (without the commercial interruptions).   It is still as funny now as the first time I saw it.  So remember the Library is the place where you can find a holiday movie to pop into the DVD player, put your popcorn in the microwave, grab your favorite blanket and relax.  

Whatever your taste or mood, the Library has entertainment for you. Take time out to read holiday stories to the children in your life.  When your children are little, stop by the Library to gather up some Holiday books that they could pick from every night for bedtime stories this December.  Take the opportunity now to make those memories while you have the chance.  They will be priceless.

Remember, even library workers need some time to celebrate and gather with loved ones.  The Library will be closed Wednesday, December 24 through Friday, December 26. We will be open again Saturday, December 27 at 10 am.

From the staff of the Library we wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!

December 15, 2014 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 January 2016 )

Word of the Week

Snowbird (noun) A person who vacations in or moves to a warmer climate during cold weather.  A northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.  The Library is the perfect place for a snowbird to find something good to read while wintering in South Carolina!


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