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No matter what holiday you celebrate, create a tradition with the kids

By Erika Kosin
Rowan Public Library
SALISBURY – Think back to your childhood during the holidays. What do you remember? Many of us cherish the times spent with family. I always remember sitting with my siblings and cousins around a block of cheese laughing as we geared up to play a rousing game of cards or Trivial Pursuit.
I think fondly of that time, even if as the youngest, I was always the one that the older kids did not want on their team. As we are now ensconced in the holiday season, think about activities that you can share with your children to create memories they will cherish. It may be one event you can attend as a family or a series of things leading up to the holidays. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, make the festivities memorable by creating family traditions.
Not sure where to start? The library can help. From cookbooks such as the Usborne’s “Little Book of Christmas Cooking” to holiday decorations found in the book “Christmas Decorations Kids Can Make” by Kathy Ross, you can spend quality time with your children while preparing for the holiday.
Grandparents, aunts and uncles love homemade gifts from their favorite children, so why not check out “Holiday Gifts, Favors and Decorations” by Helen Sattler or “Holiday Crafts” by Alan and Gill Bridgewater? Each book contains crafts and ideas for both Christmas and Hanukkah.
For those gearing up for Kwanzaa, you will find fun ideas in “Crafts for Kwanzaa” by Kathy Ross. “How to Make Holiday Pop-Ups” by Joan Irvine can be fun and engaging for the crafty child, showing them how to create homemade pop-up cards for various holidays that they can share with family and friends.
For those of you who are not crafty or may be challenged in the kitchen, you can look for cultural traditions from around the world by perusing the “Festivals of the World” or the “Christmas in” series. Both contain holiday and festival traditions from different countries; there is even one that focuses on American Christmas traditions of yesteryear called “Christmas in Colonial and Early America.”
Another idea is to find a fun holiday picture book that can be shared with your children. Make it a tradition by reading this book as a family every year.
Family traditions may include making crafts, baking cookies, sharing a holiday story or attending a special event. The most important element of a family tradition is the time spent together. This holiday season, sit back, relax and enjoy making memories. I know your children will.
Check in with Rowan Public Library to see what fun programs are happening this holiday season.
Salisbury Salutes Sidney Blackmer: RPL will celebrate the life and work of Salisbury native Sidney Blackmer through Dec. 2. RPL will also have items from the Blackmer Collection on display. Along with these displays, RPL will run a free film festival featuring some of Blackmer’s films. The films are free but some may not be appropriate for younger audiences. Today, 3 p.m., films “Disorder in the Court,” featuring Blackmer’s wife, Suzanne Kaaren Blackmer, “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo.” Dec. 2, 3 p.m., television episode called “The Premature Burial” and the film “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Children’s Storytime: Weekly Storytime through Nov. 29. For information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters – Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds; Wednesdays, 11 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds); Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds); 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds).
South – Mondays, 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds); Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (6-23 months); 1:30 p.m., Preschool Time (3-5 years); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18-35 months).
East – Mondays, 9:30 a.m., Baby Time (6-23 months); Mondays, 11 a.m., Toddler Time (18-35 months); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3-5 years).
Teen Iron Chef night: Check out what’s cookin’ in the Iron Chef competition. For more information call 704-216-8234. All 5:30-7 p.m.; East, Monday; headquarters, Tuesday.
Book Bites Club: South only. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer. Book discussion groups for both adults and children will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information call 704-216-8229.
Displays for November: Headquarters, Blackmer exhibit; South, Doll Club by Jim Beaudoin; East, Thanksgiving by Mary Earnhardt.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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