Borrow some of these great gift ideas

Friends of the Hinsdale Public Library leader checks off her shopping list at village stores

Diane Nelson is president of the Friends of the Hinsdale Library, with her previous stint as a board member giving her a total of seven years volunteering with the group to support the library and the greater community.

"I enjoy supporting the library's programs as well as getting to know patrons and staff members," Nelson said, noting that the group recently celebrated its 80th anniversary. "We just bought an AED for the library."

Residents can see the Friends giving out books at the Fourth of July parade, and the group also provides an annual scholarship to a graduating library page. The Friends have also sponsored a number of "After Dark" programs.

"We do a wine night or the Trivia Night every year," Nelson said. "We'd have music concerts - jazz, blues - or an author come in, a lot of different entertainment that's free to the community."

The pandemic has limited those activities, but an outdoor concert and children's book reading at the Farmer's Market were able to be held this summer. The Friends is fulfilling fellowship for her.

"It's a nice group of people. We meet about once every six weeks, so it's not too much," she said.

Library promotion is not just a sidelight for Nelson works as a district teacher librarian in Darien District 61.

"I run three libraries for our district," she said, nothing that she is in her 10th year and has a background in special education and English language learning."

The mother of three grown sons looks forward to being in warmer environs for Yuletide.

"I plan to celebrate the holidays in Sanibel Island, Fla., as well as the Tampa Bay area," Nelson said.

And festivities related to her son's wedding next June will also factor into the itinerary.

"I'm also co-hosting a destination co-ed bridal shower for my son and his fiancé at Zoo Tampa during the holiday season," said Nelson, noting the couple had to delay their nuptials because of COVID-19.

"It's hard to move a wedding!" she exclaimed.

• Nelson quickly locks on to an 84-piece set of "The Joy of Christmas" holiday dinnerware for her son Scott and his fiancé – so they'll be fully equipped to host next Christmas. The Courtyard, $195

• Some Latika Body Essentials geode bath bombs - in moonstone and turquoise varieties - are sure to be a smash as gifts for the ladies in Nelson's regular tennis group. "I play a little bit of tennis. I'm not good," she quipped. Work+Shop. $9.95 each

• A Italian-made hooded sweater made of rain wool would make a great addition to the wardrobe of her oldest son, Clark. Burdi, $625

• Nelson picked out a lovely poinsettia for her principal at Mark DeLay School, Lisa Kompare, to help deck her holiday halls. "She would love that. She does a lot of entertaining," she said. Blue Iris, $85

• Let it snow for outdoor enthusiasts like Nelson's son Mike and his girlfriend, Kayla, for whom she selected Picture eco-friendly ski jackets, specifically a black ripstop Stone style (Mike) and the black Famer model (Kayla). King Keyser, $220-$330

• A painting by Michael McConnell entitled "Gentle Green" with a rabbit as its subject catches Nelson's eye. "I would buy it as a gift to my sister Nan and her husband, who are both artists," she said. Virgil Catherine Gallery, $800

• A 24-inch 14-karat yellow gold box chain would look lovely around the neck of Nelson's mom. "It looks really glamorous," she said. Fine Gold Jewelers, $1,360

• Nelson picks out a pair of black work shoes for herself to make sure her feet make it through the day pain-free. "I wear a lot of black clothes and need comfortable shoes to run the libraries," she said. Kingaroos, $120

• Her family would be highly likely to accept an invitation to enjoy six prime grade New York strip steaks to celebrate, well, any occasion. Prime "N" Tender Meats, $37.98 each

• Nelson is ready to add more bling into her own collection with a pair of Venetian glass earrings with eight aquamarines and featuring a Neptune Poseidon Siren design. Caffray Jewelers, $1,395

• An Archipelago Havana glass jar candle would give Hinsdale Public Library staffers Karen, Molly and Nancy all the feels this holiday season and through the winter. Fuller's Home and Hardware, $37.99 each

• Who wouldn't love a polished nickel chandelier to glam up a newlywed home? Nelson has Scott and Anna's nest in mind. Circa Lighting, $3,499

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean