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Holidays 2013 Survival Kit Image4

Ah, the holidays.

There are any versions of cherishing the holidays as there are families. They may watch (for the 27th time!) Ralphie’s quest for an air rifle in A Christmas Story or George’s redemption in It’s a Wonderful Life.  Never any shortage of baked goods around this time, either. If a tree is involved, out come dusty boxes of ornaments and in comes a five foot evergreen. Others will light the Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. It’s all good.

But the holidays also bring something which strikes fear into the hearts of parents: Children with no school to go to!  A few hours of TV-movie nostalgia and cookie-munching and tree decorating may not be enough. Where to find things for them to do, watch, listen to, and — yes, even over the holidays — read?

Here. Video games help the holidays speed by. If the holidays are a “blast your enemies”-free zone, maybe they’d go for electronic hockey or Sims or Diego. If blasting is allowed, they could get in touch with their inner Harry Potter. A little laid-back wizarding — in Kinect, Wii, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS, or Xbox — might be just the thing.

Christmas and campy movies go together. The Adult Services department at the Niles Public Library can connect you with White Christmas or remakes of A Christmas Carolour KidSpace department can also set you up with Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Muppets, or Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Also, cherished Christmas and Hanukkah CDs pay homage to everything from jingling sleigh bells to dreidels to a fat man in a red suit. Paul Zim’s CDs bring Hanukkah traditions alive, and everyone from Dora to Nick Jr. has Christmas CDs. And let’s not forget stories on CD, for example, the boy/dog duo in Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas.

Finally, books — something for everyone. For the “read to” set, does it get any sillier than the picture book Dinosaurs’ ChristmasFor warming the heart, try Dewey the Library Cat (true story), about orphaned kitten Dewey, who showed up in winter and made many a Christmas special at his small Iowa library. Want a classic?  Try How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And don’t forget books to show you how to bake, cook, and decorate your way through the holidays.

And the best part: The cost is zero, zip, zilch. Not bad for multimedia resources that add sparkle to year’s end.



About Paul F.

I fell in love with the library when very young and in the most unlikely of places: the library on an Army base. When I wasn't being carted around the world as my colonel-father got new assignments, I had my nose stuck in a book. That, plus having lived on 3 continents by age 8, taught me something important: people's lives are interesting, are lived very differently in different places, and provide an endless variety of stories (not to mention our amazing planet/universe, the stuff of stranger-than-fiction "nonfiction")... So no wonder I am at Niles Public Library, where books, digital media and programming team up to offer the stories, information, and community we treasure.

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