Holiday cheer continues at libraries with Muppets, dogs, cooking
Happy holidays from the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Delaware County District Library. This time of year is certainly filled with family and friends, and to allow the library staff to enjoy time with their families, we will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. All branches will resume their regular hours on Wednesday with several terrific programs scheduled.
The “Muppet Movie Marathon” begins Wednesday with the screening of “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” On Thursday, you are invited to watch “Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas,” and on Friday, “Follow That Bird!” will complete the marathon. All movies begin at 2 p.m. and will be shown in the Youth Services activity room at the Orange Branch.
At the Ostrander Branch, you can enjoy activities all day long on Dec. 27th, beginning at 11 a.m. with the Kids’ Cook Club. At 12:30 p.m., join in the fun of “Book Bingo,” followed by “LEGOs” at 1:30 p.m., Wii and gaming at 2:30 p.m., a craft program at 4 p.m., and the showing of a special movie at 6 p.m.
“Paws for Reading” will be at the Ostrander Branch at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 29. You can register your child at the Ostrander Branch Library to have a trained therapy dog listen to him or her read a favorite story. Call 740–666-1410 or stop in to register.
For the adult crowd, the “Cook Book Club” will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Delaware Main Library. If you love to cook and try new recipes, this club is for you. Check out Soup by Michael Fullalove — try a few recipes at home, then make and bring your favorite dish to the library for sharing. The Cook Book Club is led by one of the library’s best cooks (her contributions to library potlucks attest to that!), Sara Kennedy. Join her and others, and come hungry!
Not surprisingly, the questions we answered at the library were focused on Christmas. It was great fun to research these answers.
Are poinsettias poisonous?
According to Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, and contrary to popular belief, poinsettia plants are not poisonous. Contact with the sap of a poinsettia plant may cause a mild, itchy rash. Eating the leaves or stems of a poinsettia plant may cause a mild stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea — but severe signs and symptoms are unlikely. Reactions to poinsettia plants are more common among people who have latex allergies since latex and poinsettia plants share several proteins. Of course, you should always check with your health care provider if you have any questions at all about poinsettia poisoning.
Why does Santa Claus put coal in the stockings of naughty kids?
The tradition of giving misbehaving children lumps of coal is associated with Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas and la Befana. Nothing that I can find in the legends or history about any of these figures gives a concrete reason for giving coal, but Christmas Miscellany points out the common theme of convenience. Santa and la Befana both get into people’s homes by the fireplace chimney and leave gifts in stockings hung from the mantel. Sinterklaas’ assistant, Black Pete, also comes down the chimney and places gifts in shoes left out near the fireplace. When filling the stockings or the shoes, if the holiday gift givers had a child who did not deserve a present, they could conveniently grab a lump of coal. Coal is not the only “gift” for naughty kids. La Befana and Sinterklaas also leave bundles of twigs, bags of salt, garlic and onions.
What is the legend of the Christmas spider?
This story has its roots in Germany, and as the story was recounted in Christmas Around the World, a family living in a small home worked together one Christmas Eve day to clean the house. All the spiders living in the house escaped to the attic as the cleaning took place. Later that evening, after all had gone to bed, the spiders were delighted to see that at least one place in the home remained that would be suitable for a spider — the Christmas tree! Having nowhere else to go to spin their webs, they dashed up the trunk of the tree and leaped from branch to branch, making for themselves a new place in which to live. When Santa Claus arrived he encountered the web-covered tree and somewhat of a difficult dilemma: did he keep the tree wrapped in spider webs and disappoint the family? Or should he remove the webs and destroy the spiders’ new home? Santa’s solution was to turn the spider webs into shimmering silver strands that turned the tree into a brilliant decoration. His action thrilled the family and saved the spiders. That is why today many people decorate their tree with tinsel — in honor of the Christmas Spider.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call 740–362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting delawarelibrary.org or directly to Mary Jane at email@example.com. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!