What’s happening at the Library: Things are getting dark

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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By James Gardner 

Clark County Public Library

Such a statement often comes after absorbing the news thanks to our constantly connected phones, and I will concede that just about any current newsfeed can feel dark. Still, I’m also talking about literal darkness, what Spongebob Squarepants might call “Advanced Darkness.” Dec. 21st is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and its longest night. The lack of light, particularly in December, a month unknown for its warm sunshine, affects both mind and body. The darkness can actually add to the weight on the hearts of many, a weight that cannot be displaced–for some, it can even be multiplied–by the holiday season.

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The holidays are a joyous time for some, but for others, it is simply stress. The holidays make some people anxious, like there are not enough hours in the day (imagine how those people would feel about the Winter Solstice when there is the least amount of hours in a day). The holidays often leave some people depressed as it reminds them that someone is missing in their lives. While many holiday movies offer promises of discovering the warmth and fellowship of a merry Christmas, some people simply existing during this season feel anything but merry.

Perhaps this realization that the holidays can be both the best and worst day for people is why Dec. 21st is also Look on the Bright Side Day. As a Gen-X person, I am suspicious of any day that tells me I have to be happy, but I am behind the general concept, if not its instructions. For some, finding happiness is simply finding that positive viewpoint (to use another cliche, that person might have to “turn that frown upside down”). However, sometimes, that positive outlook takes some time to find. It may require that person discovering something about themselves or find joy in a new hobby or life goal. It might require spending time with friends, family, or a good therapist. The library has books that might offer some solace during the holidays, whether you’re looking for a self-help book like Jordan Ackerman’s “Romanticize Your Life: 365 Simple Ways to Embrace the Beauty of Everyday”(158.1 Acke) or some simple pleasure reading. We have programs where you can learn a craft or a skill or simply commune with like-minded individuals. That’s why I propose Look on the Bright Side Day be changed for Look for the Bright Side Day, simply because it might require some searching through the noise of newsfeeds and the darkness that can seep in a person’s perspective this time of year, but the library is a great place to help you look for your own happiness.

And we have lights!

Of course, we also have programs like these taking place this week:

On Tuesday, Dec. 19th, at 6 p.m., the library allows patrons to create their own popcorn garlands. Popcorn garlands are a classic Christmas decoration, with origins dating back to the 1840s. Some things just never go out of style! Make a beautiful popcorn garland for your Christmas tree. We will have popcorn, dried fruits, and other decorations to make your garland unique. Contact the library at (859) 744-5661 to register or use Evanced.

Tuesday, Dec. 19th, at 6 p.m., is also the monthly meeting for Write Out There!, the library’s writing group. We have all kinds of awesome writing prompts to get you started and we also do workshops where other writers can share their work and get feedback. Bring anything you’re working on, or just bring paper, pencil or laptop to do some writing and have some fun. Contact James Gardner at jgardner@clarkbooks.org for more details.

On Wednesday, Dec. 20th, at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show features a classic 1947 film full of Christmas magic. After a divorced New York mother hires a nice old man to play Santa Claus at Macy’s, she is startled by his claim to be the genuine article. When his sanity is questioned, a lawyer defends him in court by arguing that he’s not mistaken. Popcorn and snacks will be provided.

As a reminder, the library will be closed on Dec. 24th, 25th, and 26th, as well as on Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st.