Some of our Favorite Things

the-grinch

I asked my coworkers at Mentor Public Library what their favorite Christmas story, movie or song is. For your convenience, I’ve linked their answers to where you can find them in our collection.

Dee from Circulation: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Boris Karloff version)
Kim from Children’s: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) and Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Sue from Administration: Jolly Snow by Jane Hissey
Ed from IT: A Christmas Story
Leslie from Circulation: White Christmas (the movie)
Sally from Shelving: White Christmas (the song)
Morgan from Shelving: Carol of the Bells
Barb from Tech Services: Christmas Carol (both the book and the film starring Alistair Sim)
Mary from Tech Services: The Bishop’s Wife
Rita from Circulation: It’s a Wonderful Life
Torey from Circulation: This Christmas by Donny Hathaway
Kristin from Reference: The Muppet Christmas Carol
Meredith from Reference: All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
Mary from our Children’s Department: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and O Holy Night by Josh Groban
Judy from Circulation: The Santa Clause and Underneath the Christmas Tree by Kelly Clarkson
Lisa from Children’s: A Charlie Brown Christmas (both the movie and soundtrack)
Kelly from Finance: Miracle on 34th Street
Tiffany from Tech Services: Elf
Mary Beth from Tech Services: Lilies of the Field
Julie from Tech Services: The Christmas Donkey by T. William Taylor
Lynn from Administration: The Hallelujah Chorus
Caleb from Circulation: 2000 Miles by The Pretenders
Amanda from Reference: A Garfield Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Cailey from Reference: The Year Without Santa Claus
Pam from the Mentor Headlands Branch: Sound of Music
Mary from Reference: Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer by Elmo ‘n Patsy
Jason from Community Outreach: I Hate Christmas by Oscar, the Grouch

You can find all of our favorites at Mentor Public Library. What’s your favorite Christmas song, movie or book?

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Catching Gingerbread Men at Mentor Library

Emily traces the outline of her cookie man with frosting during a holiday story time on Saturday at Mentor Public Library.

Emily traces the outline of her cookie man with frosting during a holiday story time on Saturday at Mentor Public Library.

Children didn’t have to run too fast to catch their own gingerbread men during a holiday story time on Saturday at our Main Branch.

Kids decorated their cookie men with frosting and candy. They also listened to “Gingerbread Boy” by Paul Galdone and sang along to author Erin Dealey’s “Deck the Walls.” (“Deck the walls with mashed potatoes/Fa la la la la la la la la…”)

Mentor Public Library has several other holiday programs for both kids and adults scheduled this December, including a Holiday Cookie Exchange on Dec. 10, Deck the Halls Family Story Times on Dec. 11 and 17, a Countdown to Christmas on Dec. 13, and a Holiday House Party on Dec. 22.

For information on these programs and more, check out our event calendar.

And for more photos from our holiday story time, visit our Facebook page.

Jules sneaks a bit of frosting while decorating her gingerbread man.

Jules sneaks a bit of frosting while decorating her gingerbread man.

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Season’s Readings: 12 Christmas Stories

Christmas CarolWith respect to the 12 days of Christmas, here are a dozen seasonal stories to see you through until the New Year.

1. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

If you like Sedaris and his droll sense of humor, you probably already consider this collection of short stories a classic. If you don’t like Sedaris, I don’t know if there’s anything in here that will change your mind. But if you haven’t read any Sedaris, then SantaLand Diaries–the story of a 33-year-old man working as an elf at SantaLand–is a great point of entry.

2. A Different Kind of Christmas by Alex Haley

Haley’s best known as the author of Roots and the ghostwriter of Malcolm X’s autobiography. That sort of resume doesn’t immediately make one think of Christmas. However, A Different Kind of Christmas is true to both the season and Haley. It tells the story of a young man who’s trying to help one of his father’s slaves escape on Christmas Eve.

3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

You know this one: stingy lender, hobbled child, three ghosts, humbug. Even if you’ve seen a half-dozen movie versions of this story, you should still read the book. It has some of Dickens’ finest writing. (And, if you’re looking for a movie version, my personal favorite is the Muppets.)

4. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Let’s be honest. It’s easy to make Christmas stories (especially those involving children) saccharine. But this story about a 7-year-old boy and an elderly woman, who is also his best friend, hits the sweet spot. It’s a beautiful rumination on odd friendships and growing up.

5. Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Even if you don’t know Macomber by name, you probably still know her stories. She’s responsible for the stories behind several Hallmark films. If you enjoy Hallmark films, you’ll love Macomber’s books. If you don’t, there’s always Holidays on Ice.

6. Matchless by Gregory Maguire

Maguire–the writer behind Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister–gives his version of the Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. Fair warning: You’ll probably cry when you read this (but you already know that if you’re familiar with the original.)

7. You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

Burroughs was on his sixth memoir by the time he wrote You Better Not Cry. That’s even more than Winston Churchill. You would think Burroughs would be out of material by now, but his Christmas-tinged recollections range from sweet to sad and never miss their mark.

8. Winter Dream by Richard Paul Evans

You were expecting The Christmas Box, right? That’s his stadium hit, his Layla or Stairway to Heaven. But Evans has written a lot of seasonally appropriate tomes. This one incorporates the Old Testament story of Joseph and his prophetic dreams and gives it a modern retelling.

9. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Don’t let the dead-eyed motion-capture movie deter you. This story is a classic.

10. Decked With Holly by Marni Bates

This YA book about a girl pretending to be fauxmantically involved with a mega-popular rock star is over the top in all the right ways. Teens who liked Bates’ Awkward will get a kick out of Holly too.

11. Santa & Pete by Christopher Moore & Pamela Johnson

Did you know that Santa used to have an African accomplice named Pete? You know about the elves and Rudolph; but, somehow, Santa’s most important helper has disappeared in the annals of time. (If you liked Moore’s story about Jesus’ forgotten friend Biff, then you’ll get a kick out of this too.)

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Most people think the instance where the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes is a nice moment. But cardiomegaly can lead to congestive heart failure. It may have even contributed to Secretariat’s death.

That aside, this book is pretty much perfect. I read it every Christmas… and Easter… and most Octobers… and sometimes in June.

 

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Thank You for Canning Your Fines

You donated hundreds of pounds of food to help your neighbors in need. Thank you!

You donated hundreds of pounds of food to help your neighbors in need. Thank you!

You made a difference.

Whether you donated a single box of pasta or emptied your entire pantry, you made a difference by donating to this year’s Can Your Fines food drive.

The food you gave may already be on the table of a local family who needs it. We delivered your donations to food pantries at St. Bede, St. Gabriel and St. John Vianney on Tuesday.

A volunteer at St. Gabriel's food pantry helps unload food you donated.

A volunteer at St. Gabriel’s food pantry helps unload food you donated.

While we don’t know exactly how many pounds of food you gave, permit us to use a more anecdotal measurement. We filled two dozen boxes—which, in turn, filled the entire Mentor Library van—with your donations.

That’s a lot of food. And that food will help a lot of families.

So thank you. I know we thanked you before, but it bears repeating.

Thank you for giving. Thank you for caring. And thank you for making a difference.

The weather during the deliveries may look dismal, but everything's relative. Last year, it snowed.

The weather during the deliveries may look drizzly, but everything’s relative. Last year, it snowed.

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12 Christmas Specials You Can Watch for Free on Hoopla

In the mood to watch something seasonal but don’t feel like leaving home today?

That’s not a problem. With Hoopla, you can stream more than 300,000 audiobooks, movies and albums to your phone, tablet or computer anywhere at anytime. And it’s free with your Mentor Public Library card.

Here are 12 different Christmas movies and TV episodes that you can start streaming now.

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1. Madeline’s Christmas

All lists that can include Madeline’s Christmas should, including lists about holiday specials, beloved children’s literature characters, and pandemics.

There’s not a whole lot of plot to Madeline’s Christmas (but since when has Madeline been about things happening.) Basically, Madeline must take care of her classmates who have fallen ill around holiday time.

That’s right. Any cartoon character can save Christmas! Madeline saves the holiday and cures the common cold. Is there anything this adorable moppet can’t do?

2. The Office (UK)—BBC Special

No, not the one with the Yankee swap. This is the original British The Office—the one that inspired the American variant and made Ricky Gervais your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.

This isn’t just a Christmas special. It’s also the finale. Can David Brent (Gervais as the pre-Michael Scott entertainer/boss) find a date in time for the office Christmas party? And will Dawn and Tim—the British versions of Pam and Jim, but you probably figured that out—make it work?

3. The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas

Ready to have yourself a Munster little Christmas?

Eddie is missing Transylvania so the rest of his family rallies around him in this holiday Munsterpiece.

4. Archie’s Weird Mysteries, The Christmas Phantom

Speaking of holiday monsters…

We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of Archie’s Weird Mysteries. Simply put, some television executive thought it would be a good idea to turn the Riverdale gang into the Scooby-Doo Crew.

Consequently, in this series, Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead solve mysteries with a supernatural twist. It’s every bit as awful/awesome as it sounds.

If you want a seasonal sampling, check out The Christmas Phantom. It’s the best Christmas special about a specter lurking in a department store that we’ve ever seen.

5. The Night Before Christmas

Or if you’re looking for something more traditional, you can watch as Anthony Edwards narrates this Christmas classic.

6. Strawberry Shortcake, Berry Merry Christmas

Just when you thought this shortcake couldn’t get any sweeter, she made a Christmas special.

Get ready for some adorable. Strawberry Shortcake and her friends make Madeline look like Edgar Allan Poe.

7. Christmas with the Addams Family

Uncle Fester gets stuck in the chimney while dressed as Santa. That’s all you needed to know, right?

8. The Story of Christmas

Christmas isn’t just about mystery-solving teenagers and princess-saving plumbers. (Oh, we’ll get to the Mario Christmas special later.) It’s not just about Santa Claus or talking snowmen either.

The Story of Christmas recounts the tale of Jesus’s birth simply and sweetly. Watch it with your kids if they start to forget the reason for the season.

9. Bah Humduck! A Looney Christmas

There are hundreds of iterations on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but this is the only one with Plucky Duck.

Ergo, it must also be the best. (Though we also acknowledge the awesomeness of A Muppet Christmas Carol.)

10. Christmas Kiss

Consider this the obligatory romantic comedy option.

On second thought, maybe you’d be better off borrowing one of our copies of Love Actually.

11. Franklin’s Magic Christmas

Franklin’s having a difficult Christmas. His grandpa’s sick, Faraway Farm is snowed in, and his sister Harriet is driving him crazy.

I wonder if the holiday will teach him any special lessons about appreciating his younger sibling.

12. Super Mario World, The Night Before Cave Christmas

As is probably obvious by now, we have an enormous soft spot for Christmas specials that border on the ridiculous.

And what can be more ridiculous than Christmas with Mario and Luigi, especially when Mario is trying to stop King Koopa from stealing a bunch of cavemen’s Christmas gifts?

Nothing. There is a not a single thing that can be more ridiculous than that.

If you want to watch any of these videos but don’t know how to use Hoopla, you can check out this video tutorial that one of our librarians made.

And check out Mentor Public Library for more awesome holiday books, movies and music.

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