Nursing the Holiday Hangover: Share a Story Together

by On December 26, 2013 in General, Holidays

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It’s a familiar scene in many households. The post-gift giving carnage and communal exhale after the expectations for the winter holiday season have been released, and we find that while we may be rich in family, friends, egg nog, chocolate and leftovers, not much has changed. New socks, new soap, new dongles and doohickeys may occupy ?our physical spaces, but while things are probably messier, they remain almost the same, despite the frantic preparations and stress of the holidays. To what end?<!–more–>

The kids have thoroughly exhausted and probably abandoned the wrapping paper wasteland, the tree is leaning a little too far to the right and we can finally turn the damn Christmas Carols off. We are experiencing the post-gift-giving let down, and hair-of-the-dogging ourselves through the holiday hangover. Some of us get downright depressed, some of us start jonesing for school and work to resume, and some of us just keep the party rocking til New Years.

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Whatever your proclivities or inclinations during this time of year, however, one thing remains constant. The most precious time we can spend together as a species, let alone as families and friends, is in the act of sharing stories. Sitting around a table playing cards, digging out a board game, going for a late night walk, learning to knit or cuddling up on the couch to read together are all ways to foster the sharing of stories, fiction or non-fiction, personal or produced, from one person to another. We often don’t really NEED new things at this overly commercial time of year, and while it feels good to get a really thoughtful gift from someone, the novelty invariably wears off and we resume our state of equilibrium as it existed before.

Stories don’t gather dust, don’t go out of style and they feel like a relaxing balm to our hyper-scheduled psyches. Forget about that bit of scotch tape that’s stuck on the carpet, grab a loved one and share a story together. It’s the best gift we can ever give one another.

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Cen is a children’s librarian in Silicon Valley, and a children’s digital services consultant at LittleeLit.com. She has driven a bookmobile, managed branch libraries, developed innovative programs for babies, young children and teens, and now helps other libraries incorporate digital media into their early literacy programming. She attended the California State Library’s Eureka Leadership Institute in 2008 and now serves on the American Library Association's ALSC Children & Technology committeetaschen.

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