Now that we have Thanksgiving tucked under our conspicuously loosened belts, its time to turn our attention to the rest of the holiday season. Whether we commemorate the birth of a Savior, celebrate the Festival of Lights, or just see this as a time to cherish family and friends and soften out hearts to those around us, opportunities both to revel and sustain will abound in the coming weeks.
Here in Newport, we are very fortunate to be able to enjoy many incredible community events, particularly during this time of year. Of course, we all know about the boat parade, and the lighting of the menorah, but listed below are a couple more events, ideal for book-lovers, families, and anyone wanting to get into the holiday spirit that are not to be missed!
On Saturday from 2-4 p.m., the Newport Beach Public Library will host “A Celtic Christmas.” Located at the Central Library in the Friends room, this event will be an afternoon full of song, humor, and stories, and will feature a reading of Dylan Thomas’ classic holiday poem “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”
The event will allow families to get a glimpse of how the holiday is celebrated in the British Isles, and participate in some of their time-honored holiday traditions.
For those with young children, Barnes and Noble, Fashion Island’s “Elf on the Shelf” event is a must! Two Christmases ago, a young elf by the name of Shmo arrived on our doorstep, tasked with the very important job of reporting to Santa himself regarding the goings on in the Crabtree household. Along with Shmo came a book, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell.
In case you remain uninitiated to the story of these wildly popular elves, families can “adopt” an elf, who comes to stay from Thanksgiving to Christmas, reporting back each night – while the household sleeps – to the North Pole to let His Jolliness in on how the children are behaving. What makes the visit so much fun is that each day, the elf pops up somewhere new in the house, sending the kiddos on a scavenger hunt to find him or her. Beware however, many of these elves have been known to be mischievous, and have even spawned entire blogs and Pinterest boards chronicling their antics.
On Dec. 8 at 1 p.m., the store will host a special “Elf on the Shelf” story-time. There will be activities, treats, and of course, plenty of elves looking for a good home for the holidays.
In the spirit of giving back — something I think we all strive to do this time of year, regardless of religious background, or holiday affiliation, Barnes and Noble is also hosting their annual Holiday Book Drive. Now through Jan. 1, the store will be collecting books to give to an organization in need.
This year, the books will be donated to the St. Cecilia School’s Children’s Literacy Center. In a stroke of doubly good fortune for the school, City National Bank will match all donations through their “Reading is the Way Up” program.
What could be easier? There is no long-term commitment, and it’s a low cost investment –but one however, that will yield a huge return.
While you’re there picking up that shiny new elf, let the little guys choose an extra book that they think another boy or girl their age might love, and teach a hands-on lesson in philanthropy and the Spirit of the Season…whatever your season may be.