Holiday House Party at the Library

Amber Maltba adds the finishing touches to her graham-cracker house during a Holiday House Party

Amber adds the finishing touches to her graham-cracker house during a Holiday House Party.

Kids decorated graham-cracker houses with some sweet accouterments during our Holiday House Party earlier this week.

The children customized their homes with gumdrop chimneys, candy-cane doors, blue Pixie-Stick dust for snow, and frosting—a blizzard of frosting.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos from our Holiday House Party.

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Stream classic and quirky Christmas specials with Hoopla

santa-claus-2918_1920In 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 500,000 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 25different Christmas movies and TV episodes that you can start streaming now.

1. Yo Gabba Gabba Christmas

The characters learn about giving with some catchy music and a lot of fun.

2. Holiday Inn

The classic! Bing Crosby plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. Fred Astaire plays his former partner and rival in love. Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady.

3. Andy Williams Christmas Show

This collection features 24 of Andy Williams’ best Christmas songs from his weekly series.

4. Eloise: Little Miss Christmas

It’s almost Christmas Eve for Eloise, the Plaza’s most famous six-year old. She and her friends have decided to put on a holiday show like no other.

5. A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa

The Muppets have made three or four million different Christmas specials. This is admittedly one of their lesser known films, but it’s still stuffed with Pepe-the-King-Prawn goodness. (Yes, Kermit and the gang are also here, but Pepe is our favorite.)

6. Madeline’s Christmas

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. Madeline saves the holiday and cures the common cold. Is there anything this adorable moppet can’t do?

7. 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?

8. Inside Lyndey’s Kitchen: Celebrating Christmas

Lyndey Milan shares some of her favorite recipes for a classic, contemporary, or even lazy Christmas—whichever suits you and your family best.

9. The Nutcracker Ballet

The classic ballet performed by the Ballet of the Slovak National Theatre. (For a different take, check out Maurice Sendak’s version of The Nutcracker.)

10. Babes in Toyland

Toys come to life in this holiday classic. Enjoy both the Annette Funicello and Drew Barrymore versions.

11. One Christmas

Starring Katherine Hepburn. A young man is sent to visit his estranged father for Christmas in 1930 in New Orleans.  Based on an autobiographical short story by Truman Capote.

12. Abbott & Costello: The Christmas Show

This delightful Christmas special stars the hilarious Abbott and Costello and features Margaret Whiting, The Nicholas Brothers, Buster Shaver and Olive, and Tom and Jerry.

13. One Magic Christmas

It’s a Disney film starring a plucky 6-year-old girl and her guardian angel. This is either too saccharine or perfect for you, depending upon your taste, and you already know which it is.

14. A Merry Friggin’ Christmas

Not family friendly, but the cast is packed with comedy all-stars, including Robin Williams, Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, and Candice Bergen.

15. The Night Before Christmas

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

16. The Irish Tenor Trio: A Classic Irish Christmas

Peter Stanford, Dean MacRae and David Bacon sing “The First Noel,” “Oh Danny Boy,” “Amazing Grace,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “Jingle Bells” and more across a backdrop of delightful Christmas scenes and beautiful Irish landscapes.

17. Gumby’s Christmas Capers

Gumby and Pokey celebrate Christmas in this compilation of skits from their many shows.

18. Max Lucado’s The Christmas Candle

Legend has it every twenty-five years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights the Christmas Candle will receive a miracle.

19. 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.

20. Christmas with the Addams Family

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

21. 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.

22. Bah Humduck! A Looney Christmas

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

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

23. Krampus: The Christmas Devil

This flick’s perfect if you want to mix some Halloween with your Christmas. (There’s also Krampus Unleashed if you want to have a movie marathon.)

24. 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.

25. 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.

(For console equanimity, you can also watch Sonic Christmas Blast.)

By the way, if you’re looking for Christmas music, you can stream dozens of holiday albums for free with Hoopla and Freegal.

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.

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Season’s Readings: Christmas Books for Kids

Share classic Christmas stories and new favorites with your family this Christmas.

Share classic Christmas stories and new favorites with your family this Christmas.

Looking for a seasonal book to share with your family.

We’re happy to make some suggestions—21 of them, to be exact.

1. The Nutcracker

Not the original ballet, though you can borrow that from us too. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s tale has been re-imagined by everyone from Tom & Jerry to Barbie. It’s also inspired dozens of picture books. Our favorite is illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

2. Angelina’s Christmas by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig

Speaking of ballerinas … Angelina rescues a retired postman, Mr. Bell, from loneliness on Christmas.

3. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A classic that reminds children of the value of belief. If your kid loves the book, they might enjoy the movie too.

4. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

This beautifully illustrated tale of a snowman that comes to life has no text. That makes it perfect for young children who want to tell you the story themselves.

5. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The charming fable of a stick man who gets lost when a mischievous dog plays fetch with him. He wants to get back to his family before Christmas but he’ll need Santa’s help to do it.

6. Drummer Boy by Loren Long

Illustrator supreme Loren Long tells the story of an accidentally abandoned toy that finds its way to the nativity.

7. Carl’s Christmas by Alexandra Day

A picture book with few words but a surplus of charm. Carl, the family dog, must watch the baby on a busy Christmas Eve.

8. A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe and Michael G. Monroe

An evergreen wishes to be a Christmas tree, not realizing how special it is already to all the forest animals.

9. How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Yolen and Teague’s dinosaurs teach kids about Christmas fun and etiquette. (They have a Chanukah book too.)

10. The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Teeka works on Santa’s farm, and she learns the value of being considerate while rounding up his wild reindeer before Christmas Eve.

11. Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold

A mishearing of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” leads Olive, a well-intentioned pup, to assume Santa needs her help.


12. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

Dozens of world-class illustrators have offered their rendition of Moore’s perfect poem. Jan Brett and Tasha Tudor made two of our favorites.

13. The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown and Jim LaMarche

The lovely story of a lonely fir tree who longed to be part of a forest.

14. When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke and Paul Howard

A wacky romp starring Santa, an unreliable reindeer named Twinklestar, and Jeremiah Goblynch, the unsavory leader of the Council of Yuleland—wonderful for older kids.

15. The Legend of Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

DePaola retells a Christmas legend from Mexico about a young girl who’s afraid to give the baby Jesus her meager gift. DePaola’s written and illustrated about a dozen Christmas stories. They’re all splendid.

16. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Brett Helquist

Dickens’ original might be a little heavy for younger children, but Helquist’s illustrations add vitality and humor without undercutting the story.

17. Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Jonathan Toomey—a Scrooge in his own right who the neighborhood kids call “Mr. Gloomy”—is the best woodcarver in the valley. His life changes when a widow asks him to carve her a nativity scene.

18. Dream Snow by Eric Carle

Carle illustrates a farmer’s beautiful dream of snow.

grinch-1038238_128019. Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus by Chris Plehal and James Bernardin

In New York City in 1897, a young girl writes a letter to the editor of the New York Sun, asking for proof that Santa Claus exists.

20. Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne’s

Jack, Annie and the Magic Tree House visit Camelot, and they must save the kingdom on Christmas Eve.

21. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

We’re pretty sure you already know this one, but we weren’t going to not mention it.

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More Christmas music with Hoopla Holidays

Stream Christmas classics for free with Hoopla and your Mentor Public Library card.

Stream Christmas classics for free with Hoopla and your Mentor Public Library card.

Still need more Christmas music? Even though we made you a playlist with 25 holiday albums that you can download or stream for free from Freegal?

We have you covered.

With Hoopla and your Mentor Library card, you can stream up to 12 different albums for free each month. And they have an enormous catalog of Christmas music from which you can choose.

Here are some of your favorites, but feel free to browse around the Hoopla site and see what they have.

(By the way, if you don’t know how to use Hoopla, you can check out this video tutorial that one of our librarians made.)

1. White Christmas (40 Unforgettable Classics)

There are hundreds of Christmas compilations with different legends singing different standards. This is one of the best. You want Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday? You want Peggy Lee and Elvis? You want “White Christmas” and “Ave Maria?” This album has you covered—40 classics from the artists you want to hear sing them.

2. The Ultimate Motown Christmas

The Jackson 5 singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” Stevie Wonder singing “Ave Maria,” The Supremes singing “Joy to the World,” Four Tops, Johnny Gill, Marvin Gaye, even the Funk Brothers playing “Winter Wonderland”—after all, it’s not Christmas without some soul. Speaking of which,Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle also have Christmas albums you can stream via Hoopla.

3. Bing Crosby Sings Christmas Songs

For a generation, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is the Christmas song, but Bing has more classics than that in his catalog. Hear him sing everything from “Adeste Fideles” to “The Christmas Song.” And if you’re in the mood for a Rat Pack Christmas, check out holiday albums from Frank Sinatra,Dean Martinand the whole gang.

4. Muppet Christmas Carol: Special Edition

I’m not saying the Muppets own Christmas, but you could make a pretty awesome holiday playlist just using Muppets soundtracks.

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas

The only downside to listening to Vince Guaraldi’s classic soundtrack is you won’t be able to get “Linus and Lucy” out of your head for a couple of days. You’re probably humming it already. If you’re looking for other kid-friendly Christmas albums, try Veggie Tales’ A Very Veggie Christmas.

6. Christmastime in Larryland

Meanwhile, this one’s definitely not for the kids. But sometimes you just want to hear Larry the Cable Guy fart “Jingle Bells.” If you need more blue-collar Christmas, Bill Engvall has you covered.

7. Christmas with the Ray Brown Trio

Ray Brown’s one of the greatest jazz bassists of all time, and this album’s perfect for jazz fans who will snap if they hear “Run, Run Rudolph” one more time. For more Christmas jazz, check out Ray Brown’s old bandmate Oscar Peterson.

8. This Is Christmas (Elvis Presley Performing Timeless Christmas Classics)

If Bing owns “White Christmas,” then nobody sang “Blue Christmas” like the King. He also has a beautiful version of “Peace in the Valley.”

9. Bach: Advent & Christmas Cantatas

For lovers of classical music or for those who need background music during Christmas dinner. More classical Christmas: The Royal Philharmonic take on seasonal standards.

10. Glen Campbell Christmas

Compiles some of the best holiday songs from across Glen Campbell’s career. “Pretty Paper” is a favorite. For more Christmas country, try Alan Jackson’s Let It Be Christmas.

11. Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites

“I Really Don’t Hate Christmas” is probably my favorite Christmas song. Thank you, Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

12. An All-4-One Christmas

What? Sometimes, you just want a New Jack Swing Christmas.

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Learn how to design models for our 3D printer

Want to use our new 3D printer but don’t know where to start?

We’re hosting a free class where you can learn how to design models for 3D printers at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at our Main Branch.

Chris Butrick will teach you how to transform an idea into a design and a design into a fabricated, three-dimensional object.

The class is open to all, but we do ask that you register beforehand. You can sign up online or call us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 216.

By the way, if you’re looking for resources to spark your creativity, you can visit ThingiverseTinkercadMy Mini FactoryInstructables or Shape Do for other design models that people have created.

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