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The year 2020 changed how we celebrate the holidays. We Zoom with family members instead of gathering in person. We may be pinching a few more pennies, while missing family and friends even more this holiday season.

The Kanawha County Public Library Book team thought it might be a nice opportunity to look at making some new traditions, saving some family stories and finding a way to balance the holiday stress.

Staying closer to home, we are looking for more things to craft. “Quick and Easy Christmas” includes 100 crafts in a wide variety of mediums, such as knitting, crochet, paper crafts, sewing, sugar crafts, felt, jewelry making, cross stitch, mosaic making, decoupage, polymer clay and needlepoint. All the crafts use materials that are easily sourced and come with easy-to-follow instructions for all levels.

Looking for fun and crafty ideas for holiday decorating and gifts? Trying to avoid the shopping crowds this season? “Christmas at Home: Holiday Decorating, Crafts and Recipes” by Valerie Rains has 200 ideas to inspire your creativity. Whether it’s decorating the tree or creating a special gift, this book has tons of great ideas to explore.

Homemade gifts have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. “Have Yourself a Homemade Christmas: Scrumptious Recipes, Handmade Crafts & Heartfelt Gifts to Make Your Spirits Bright” by the well-known Gooseberry Patch is full of holiday ideas from recipes to packaging ideas. This book even has traceable shapes and design, making it easy for the whole family to participate.

If holiday cooking is not your forte or you are looking for a simple holiday meal, check out easy recipes from “Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Slow Cooker Feasts: 650 Easy Holiday Recipes.” With recipes ranging from entrees to desserts, this cookbook is sure to make holiday cooking easier.

Adding a new cookie to your holiday mix is a yummy option. “Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookies” offers up 75 recipes that have been through the test kitchen to make sure yours will be delicious. It includes yummy recipes for mint peppermint sticks, cherry linzer bars, razzy jazzy thumbprints, dulce de leche sandwich cookies and more. Are you getting hungry?

The holidays are a time when everyone tends to think back. It is the perfect time to try and gather those memories together. Katie Funk Weibe has written “How to Write Your Personal or Family History.” A former teacher, Weibe knows what you need to get organized and helps people work through writer’s block and the fear of getting started. This is certainly the year to get started on saving the tales of your family.

Author Jen Hatmaker has been exploring and processing the areas in her life where she was spending too much time, energy and emotion to her own detriment. In “7 Days of Christmas” Hatmaker looks at seven days during the Christmas season as points for all of us to make changes. She asks readers to consider how to balance generosity and restraint during a holiday season that has become so overwhelming and veered away from its meaning. As with other books by Hatmaker, she shares stories from her own life and journey. Join her in a plan to rediscover the meaning of the season.

The holidays can be a particularly challenging time for those experiencing the loss of a loved one. “It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand” by Megan Devine discusses an issue that impacts many, especially during the holiday season. This book is not only for those directly experiencing loss and grief, but for those who are looking for ways to support friends and loved ones through the grief process.

It’s no secret that 2020 has been a hard year for many people. Author Rachel Hollis tackles ways to put the pieces back together after a life-altering event in “Didn’t See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart.” If you have experienced grief, the end of a marriage or the loss of a job, Hollis offers advice and suggestions to help readers “put life back together.”

These are just a few of the craft, cookbooks and personal psychology titles at Kanawha County Public Library. If you don’t see what you need, please feel free to ask our staff for other suggestions.

Contact the main branch of the Kanawha County Public Library at 304-343-4646 or visit