11-20-2015 3-34-42 PMHey, it is me again, Margaret. I am back for my second installment of “The Center of Everything.” It has been a crazy few weeks since my last article. In that time, the Center has had a surprise birthday party, a baby shower, hosted the Storytelling Festival, and held a local political announcement. Whew, it has been a wild ride, and that is just what happened last week. We have so much more planned for the upcoming holiday season. Can you say “party, party, party?” Still needing a place to host that family Christmas brunch? We have great spaces, and a few Sunday afternoons left. 11-20-2015 3-35-10 PM Speaking of the holiday season, have you started your shopping yet? I am usually finished by this point, but this year I am a little behind. I recently read the following gifting guideline: select something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. The last part of that list really spoke to me. I love to read. I am rarely without a book in my car, purse, or on my nightstand. I am talking about real books, people. You know, the ones with paper pages and spines. The ones you can stack on bookshelves and share with others once you are done. I am not knocking e-books, but they just aren’t the same. How do you wrap an e-book? Don’t bother contacting me about this; you will not be able to change my mind. Technology is great, but some things are better old school.I am planning on giving a book or two. 11-20-2015 3-34-53 PM So this holiday season, I think I might need to spend a little time in a bookstore with my favorite cup of coffee and do some shopping. Whether you are young or old, you never stop learning, and what better way to do that than read? Reading a classic to a child during the holidays is a great memory/moment for both the reader and the child. The Polar Express, The Night Before Christmas, If You Take A Mouse to the Movies, Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear - there are so many great books to choose from, I may be shopping for a while. Look out local merchants, here I come! Did you notice I said local merchants? In our little slice of hometown heaven, there will be two special upcoming retail therapy events. Park, walk and shop – it is that easy. We have already decked the halls for the Christmas Open House, November 21st and 22nd here at the Center. Santa will be here, so don’t forget to bring your list! And I can’t wait to shop the vendors of our on-site Merry Market. There will be over 12 vendors participating this year. Also, remember Small Business Saturday is Saturday, November 28th. Stop by the Center that day or anytime to enjoy sweet treats, hot chocolate, coffee, and other goodies from Square Clock Coffee and take a peek at our Santa in the window. Now, I know I said this last time but just in case you missed it and you needed a last minute gift idea, we still have a few tickets left for the Committed Holiday Concert. The date is December 6, 2015 and will be held at McCandless Hall at 7:00 p.m. This a cappella singing group from Huntsville was NBC’s “The Sing Off” Season 2 champions. Reserved seating is available for only $15. Call me at the Center at 256-233-8264 for tickets and information. That is all for now, there is a new book calling my name. Center for Lifelong Learning - 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 - 256-233-8262 By: Leisl Stanford

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