Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter Holiday Program

We decided to revamp our annual program this year for several reasons. Doing things the same old way can make them a bit stale to begin with, so I am always looking for a balance of tradition and freshness. The huge turnout at our Family Fright Night told us our old format of stories then Santa then crafts just might not work any more. At the same time, those were all elements people enjoy.

An addition to the fun, a couple patrons responded to my remarks that I would like to include other holiday celebrations. While I fully realize Hanukkah is not "The Jewish Christmas" and wouldn't normally put them together, they happen to start on the same day this year, and Hanukkah is a lot easier to celebrate with kids than, say, Yom Kippur.

We started off by scheduling two story times, on the hour and half-hour. And then I lost my voice! Lots of tea with honey, and I was able to croak through okay. Fortunately, everyone came to the first reading, so I didn't have to repeat after all!

I started by talking about how many holidays there are throughout the year - some serious, some just for fun. Yesterday, for example, was National Hot Cocoa day, which is a most excellent holiday to celebrate.

A more 'major' holiday coming up is Winter Solstice, December 21. As with each holiday, I asked who in the room might celebrate it, and how. We talked about Yule logs, incorporating nature, and making goals for the coming year. One of mine is to be more regular with my blog, so you guys can hold me to it!

Next up was Hanukkah. We have a great wood Hanukkah kit that checks out, so we looked at and talked about each of the pieces, then read:

This Is the Dreidel

(Another one I like to use is Latke, the Lucky Dog)

Next up was Christmas, with, of course:

Mary Engelbreit's The Night Before Christmas

By this time my voice was cutting out, so I didn't read through the Kwanzaa book, just mentioned each of the seven principals from it:

The Sound Of Kwanzaa

I have noticed almost all my Kwanzaa books have checked out this year, where they normally just sit there on the display, which is great!

During the whole hour, we had Santa set up near the fireplace for chats and photo ops.

Of course he had little goody bags to hand out, to make sure everyone was getting properly sugared up.

Our Santa is so awesome! He really takes his time with each child, and makes them all feel at ease. Puppies, too!

Here, he is explaining what these children have to agree to if they are sure they want a slingshot for Christmas ;)

We also had several games and crafts in different parts of the library:

Melissa set up this cute little letter station a couple weeks ago:

She even made that mailbox!

Easy station to set up: guess how many in the jar.

(It was around 640 - a lot more than I would have guessed!)

Of course, you have to have the dreidel game! Chocolate gelt was crazy expensive, so I toyed with different ideas and finally realized pennies are...well, only a penny each! 

Bowling for snowmen:

Pin the heart on the Grinch:

Yarn wrapped ornaments:

Fishing for candy canes:

It's harder than it looks! 

And puzzle making with old holiday cards and popsicle sticks:

I think everyone had a good time...I know I did! Now, back to the tea with honey...

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