There’s that feeling again – a nostalgic longing for the good ol’ days that permeates every Christmas season. No matter how wonderful each Christmas is in your adult years, somehow you can’t quite recreate the magic you felt as a child. In fact, you may feel that your childhood memories grow happier as the years accumulate.
You’re not alone. Studies show that as we age, our memories subtly change by adding a “rose-colored lens” that makes the past look better than it actually felt at the time. The future seems uncertain and grim by comparison, so we naturally retreat toward our comfort zones. At Christmastime, that longing to live again in an apparently happy and secure past becomes stronger than ever, and we seek out those traditions that help us feel grounded again.
At the Botetourt County Libraries, we understand both the value of traditions and the imperative of innovation. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that the only constant thing in life is change. Times change, and libraries change with them. We’re not just storehouses of books anymore; we’re community centers that connect ideas and people in many different ways.
At the same time, libraries act as an anchor in a sea of change. We’re here to support you when your life is disrupted, whether it’s an unsettling medical diagnosis or a child’s first day at school. We’re here to bring you up to speed when you feel like technology and world events are moving too fast for you to catch up. We’re here to help you find free local resources when you’re struggling. We’re here to guide you to the right outlet when you’re bursting with ideas and want to create something the rest of the world can enjoy. We’re here when you need to escape to a world of fiction or find a hero you can emulate. We’re here when you’re curious and want to know more about…well, anything! We’re here to protect your privacy when you’re searching for answers to sensitive questions. We’re here when you need to talk to someone who cares. And if you just want to sit and read honest-to-goodness real-paper books like you remember doing as a child, we’re here for that, too.
Next year is the Botetourt County Sestercentennial celebration, a time when we proudly look back at our history and all we have accomplished. It’s also a new year, an exciting time where we look forward to forming new traditions, connecting with our neighbors, and improving our lives. This Christmas, take some time to cherish happy memories and enjoy those special traditions that ground you and draw you closer to family and friends. While you’re at it, join our excitement as we look forward to a new year of learning, growing, and navigating a bright future with you.
~ Julie Phillips
Botetourt County Libraries