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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Have Yourself a very Freegal Christmas

Thanksgiving is over. Nobody can give you a dirty look for playing Christmas music now.

So if you’re looking for something different to play this Christmas or just need a new copy of an old favorite, you should check out Freegal.

Freegal is one of the library’s digital services, which lets you download DRM-free mp3s of your favorite songs. Moreover, once you download a song, you can keep the mp3 forever. Put it on your phone, your computer, your iPod–wherever you want. It’s yours.

If you have a Mentor Public Library card, you can download five songs for free every week from Freegal. Note: It’s difficult picking just five because there are so many options.

So here are just a smattering of your seasonal choices.

Welcome to 34 consecutive days of Christmas music

Welcome to 34 consecutive days of Christmas music

1. Kelly Clarkson, Wrapped in Red
Clarkson’s Christmas album is already ubiquitous. You can start downloading songs from it now for free. (If you have the patience to spread it out over a couple of weeks, then you can get the entire album. And, yes, I still call them albums.)

Personal favorite: I’m always game for a new cover of Run, Run Rudolph. I’m less enthusiastic about Baby, It’s Cold Outside, which is pretty much the holiday version of Blurred Lines.

2. Harry Belafonte, Christmas
Belafonte could sing about muddy slush and it would still sound great with his voice, so it’s a delight to hear him sing these carols.

3. Dolly Parton, Home for Christmas
As a general rule, I love Dolly. This is doubly true during the holidays.

4. Ukulele Christmas
This album’s for all the people who loved Israel Kamakawiwo`ole’s version of Over the Rainbow. And, no, these standards aren’t performed by IZ, but they have that same combination of earnestness and sweetness.

Personal favorite: Auld Lang Syne, but you might also like the Over the Rainbow/We Wish You a Merry Christmas medley.

5. Kirk Franklin, Christmas
If you need some gospel music this time of year, Kirk Franklin and the Family have you covered. Standards like Go Tell It on the Mountain and O Come All Ye Faithful sound sweeter than ever.

6. Harry Connick Jr., When my Heart Finds Christmas
Connick has a lot of Christmas albums in his discography. This one’s my favorite but they are all available on Freegal.

Personal favorite: I Pray on Christmas.

7. Parranda All-Stars: Navidad
There’s a lot more to Latin Christmas music than Feliz Navidad. This album is a good place to start.

8. NSYNC, Home for Christmas
Any NSYNC fans out there? There must be some. These guys only sold 50 bajillion records.

If you bought the CD or even *gasp* the cassette when you were in middle school, here’s a chance to update your medium for free.

9. Glee Cast, Blue Christmas
If you don’t like Glee…

10. Elvis, The Classic Christmas Album
Freegal has the Elvis version of Blue Christmas too.

What are some of your favorite Christmas albums?

If you’re having trouble with Freegal, MPL Librarian Mary Pelton made video explaining how to navigate its web site.

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It’s a Peanuts Thanksgiving at Mentor Library, Charlie Brown

We hosted a special screening of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Wednesday, Nov. 26. The children also and offered a feast of popcorn, toast and ice cream.

We hosted a special screening of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and also served the kids a feast of popcorn, toast and ice cream.

Where’s the turkey, Chuck?

We may not have had any poultry at our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving party, but we had enough popcorn and ice cream to make Chef Charlie Brown proud.

We screened the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Wednesday at our Main Branch and even served the same lunch as Charlie Brown did for his friends—popcorn, pretzels, toast and ice cream sundaes.

Rachel tosses the football during the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving party.

Rachel tosses the football during the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving party.

Afterward, the kids tested their football skills (as not to get tricked my Lucy) and transformed plastic utensils into Peanuts pilgrims.

The menu at our Thanksgiving party

The menu at our Thanksgiving party

For more photos from Mentor Library programs and events, check out our Facebook page.

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A lot to be thankful for this year

This is Maddalyn. She's one of the reasons we're thankful this year.

This is Maddalyn. She’s one of the reasons we’re thankful this year.

We have a lot of reasons to be grateful at Mentor Public Library and a lot of people to thank.

Let’s start with our volunteers.

So much of what we do depends on our volunteers. We couldn’t deliver books to our homebound patrons without the volunteer drivers. There would be no Paws to Read without the therapy dogs and their owners. Many of our programs depend on the money that the Friends of the Mentor Public Library raise during their book sales at The Read House. (If we have to single out one person from this helpful group, Dennis Hauer has raised more than $25,000 for the library from online book sales!)

The teens who help run our children’s programs in the summer, the St. Gabriel parishioners and employees from Selman who painted our second floor, and the Boy Scouts who built a pergola outside of our Headlands Branch—we wouldn’t be the same without you!

Andrew Brachna, one of our homebound drivers, brings books and movies to patrons who couldn't get them otherwise.

Andrew Brachna, one of our homebound drivers, brings books and movies to patrons who couldn’t get them otherwise.

We also need to thank our Board of Trustees. They offer their time and expertise to make Mentor Library the best library possible.

And our partners! We work with a lot of organizations, businesses and nonprofits in our community. Some of them support our Summer Reading Programs. Others have teamed with us on our Core Card, book clubs or on programs. And then there are groups like the Mentor Community Arts Commission who support us with grants.

Thank you all! It’s a pleasure to work with you.

Diva, one of our therapy dogs from Paws to Read, interrupts Leah's reading for a canine kiss.

Diva, one of our therapy dogs from Paws to Read, interrupts Leah’s reading for a canine kiss.

Finally, we want to thank our patrons—every single person who crosses our threshold, whether it’s to use our computers, read our books or check out a movie. Maybe you just need a clean well-lit place to study. We’re thankful that we can help.

A library is ultimately a reflection of its community; and, if we’re a good library, it’s because of your support and patronage.

Thank you and we hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for making us part of your lives.

Thank you for making us part of your lives.

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Try one of the online book clubs at Mentor Library

Pick from more than a dozen online book clubs—from romances to science fiction, new releases to classics.

Pick from more than a dozen online book clubs—from romances to science fiction, new releases to classics.

Mentor Library has book clubs for art lovers, mystery enthusiasts, teens, seniors, American Girl fans and more.

And they’re all great (largely because the people who come to them are wonderful.) Besides, a book club’s a fun way to discover new books and chat about them with like-minded folks.

But what if your schedule is too erratic for a traditional book club? Is there still a way for you to participate?

Of course!

There are 14 online book clubs you can sign up for through Mentor Public Library. They include clubs for classics, new releases, romances, science fiction, audiobooks and more. (Here’s the full list.)

All you have to do is give your email address. Then, chapters from the clubs’ books will be emailed directly to you.

It’s a great way to sample books without having to commit to them. You get a couple of chapters emailed to you. If you have time, read them. If you love it, check the book out from your local library. If you don’t have time or don’t love it, skip the book and try again next time.

And if you really love the book and want to talk about it, each book club has a moderated forum where you can talk about it with other readers.

Check out your options and join a book club that works around your schedule.

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