Holiday Stress

So, are you just as stressed out as I am about the holidays? I have come to dislike the November-December holiday blitz. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy very much eating turkey on Thanksgiving and I enjoy very much opening presents on Christmas day, but I do not like the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready for those few hours of enjoyment on those two days. I wish that we can have Christmas after Thanksgiving. Have you noticed that almost every store or home had their Christmas decorations up at least a week before Thanksgiving. What is that about? I don't understand that logic. I can understand wanting to spread the holiday out as long as possible, but can we at least get the current holiday over with before we get to the next one?
Okay, enough of my ranting. I have a plan to de-stress. I like to craft. It makes me happy, and this is the perfect time of year to do so. I like to make presents for my family and friends. This year I am making felt toys for the little ones. I bought some fabulous fabric in New York City this fall and am making some scarves for the ladies in my life. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to make for the men, have any ideas? If I can't think of anything, I'll go local and shop for something perfect. Maybe, I'll tuck in a massage or pedicure for myself among all that crafting. How's that for de-stressing? What do you do to relax this time of year?
Here's a very short sampling of some great craft books available at the library, search "handicrafts", "crafts", "holiday craft", and any other good combination of keywords in our catalog to come up with more.
Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara
Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts by the fabulous Martha Stewart
Complete Book of Home Crafts: Projects for Adventurous Beginners by Carine Tracanelli
Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec
Rediscovered Treasures by Ellen Dyrop
Want to do a little shopping, but want to avoid the big boxes? Check our directory database AtoZ. Do a custom business search in either one, then do the following:
  • select Keyword... under Business Type,
  • select City under Geography,
  • select Number of Employees (or Employee Size) under Business Size
  • type "knitting" (or whatever else!) in the lookup box under Keyword
  • choose Austin under Texas in the city section
  • choose 1-4, 5-9, and 10-19 (the fewer the number, the smaller the business)
  • then click update count and view results (or search)

Voila! Chances are the list you get will be the smaller, locally owned businesses in town as opposed to those big box stores you're trying to avoid. Pretty cool, huh? Now, you can show all your friends what you've learned and perhaps earn a nice thank you/holiday gift in return.

Relax and enjoy the season.

*Picture from

Originally posted: Friday, November 25, 2011
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