More Joy continued from page 13 am-now kind of present. Whether you’re baking, writing a holiday card, or visiting with family, focus on being present and enjoying the experience in the moment. “Instead of worrying about the future or anguishing over the past, remain in present time being fully immersed in whatever you are doing,” recommends Clyde. “Being mindful of the moment helps you reduce stress and feel more at peace and can have lasting benefits beyond the holiday season.” Consider your priorities. You can’t do everything. You know that. And expecting to do everything in the few short weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is insane. Consider what’s most important to you during this time of year. Is it spending time with family? Make your travel plans early, or send out a letter of greeting so that you can connect with your kin. Is it showing appreciation for your friends and neighbors? Schedule an open house or potluck, or just make a conscious effort to smile and say hello, or to stop by a friend’s house with some home-baked goodies. Is it important for you to give back and help others in need? Make sure you schedule time to volunteer, donate to a food bank, or clean out your closets and make charitable donations. Prioritize whatever it is that feels like an expression of your values this holiday season. Don’t be pressured into taking on more than you are comfortable with or making your holiday fit someone else’s concept of what a holiday should be. It’s your life, your family, your time - make memories that matter to you, and stay stress-free while doing so. Danielle Rice is the founder and publisher of Piedmont Family Magazine. Threads that Bring Us Together D By Rianna Von Rodeck o art and craft hobbies have the potential to bring family, friends and community together? The answer is a resounding yes! Whether it’s quilting with friends, taking part in a knitting group at the library, or making Victorian Christmas ornaments with members of a local historical society, you can find fulfillment, community, and enrichment while pursuing your favorite hobby. The Piedmont region offers a wealth of opportunities for those looking to make contact with others in the community who are interested in similar arts and crafts. Take quilting, for example. This basic and traditional art has remained an integral part of American society. One of our living historians at Heritage Day in Warrenton shared his thoughts: “Quilting is a very traditional skill that is still being carried on today, It’s the thread that binds us together.” Quilting opens the door to an unlimited world of creativity and ingenuity. Many quilters find quilting to be not only a means of relaxation but also a unique and artistic form of self-expression. “For me, quilting is a stress reliever,” said a local resident from Catlett who enjoys quilting with her daughters and friends. “It’s such a relief for me to go to a quilting party and realize that I’m not the only one who struggles with life’s little everyday problems.” Fauquier County has a number of quilters. Grandmothers make quilts for their granddaughters, local churches sponsor quilting events to aid in disaster relief, and local groups such as The Fauquier County Quilters and the Remington Sewing Guild offer opportunities to everyone. All of these groups are free and open to the public, and they welcome new members who want to learn and enjoy a part of our cultural history. What makes quilting so unique and special? First of all, quilting has become a lasting symbol of American heritage, a beloved piece Threads continued on page 23 2013 • Issue 6 Piedmont Family Magazine 19