Happy holidays from your friends at CCPL

Published 3:53 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

By John Maruskin   Whatta week!
In the words of Louis Jordan: “Let the Joy Begin!”

Today the Winter Solstice occurs (or occurred, depending on when you’re reading this) at 10:59 AM. Winter begins. But, days lengthen. Happy Solstice.

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 22 nd is National Date Nut Bread Day (toast lightly, add butter-Yum!). Thursday the 23rd ’s Festivus. If your shower curtain rod appears attached to a stand in your living room, that’s a Festivus miracle. Friday, December 24, Christmas Eve. Who’s that up on the roof? Saturday, Christmas, a miracle, a festival, a holiday for readers.

How do readers celebrate the Holidays? Here are two of many ways. First, there is the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, trans. Christmas Book Flood.

Icelanders give each other books on Christmas Eve and then they curl up in their favorite reading places with a Yuletide beverage of choice and spend the rest of the night reading.

There are dozens of choice Christmas books on display in the Library right now. Stop in to find just the right one for your own cozy Christmas Eve reading. The Library also has plenty of Holiday cookbooks with wonderful recipes for Yuletide beverages.
Another Christmas book custom is reading a Victorian or Edwardian era ghost story out loud after dinner on Christmas night. This tradition has been making a comeback the past few years.

The Library has a plethora of ghost story collections. One of the best is “Ghosts: A Haunting Treasury of 40 Chilling Tales,” selected by Marvin Kaye (call # F Fantastic Ghos), especially the story “Smee”, by A M Burrage. “Smee” is about a group of people who play hide and seek in a haunted house and one of them… Well, you’ll see. It’s eerie, not ghastly.

Call the Library to see if “Ghosts” is still available or check your online account. If it’s checked out, call 859-744-5661, ext. 110 or email john.clarkbooks@gmail.com, and I will print a copy of “Smee” for you or email a PDF.
We fantasticate with impunity at the Natvity because, as Marcellus tells Horatio in Hamlet, scene

1: Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Savior’s birth is celebrated.
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time (1.1.178).

Whichever Library reading, listening, or viewing materials you’d like to have for the Holidays get to the Library before 8 PM on
Festivus. The Library will be closed Friday through Sunday, December 24, 25, 26, so staff can enjoy their own Jolabokaflod. Happy Holidays from your friends at the Clark County Public Library. In the words of my fairy godmother, Lenora Perkins: “Happy Everything.”