Decking the (library) halls
By Janna Odenthal Post-Tribune correspondent December 24, 2012 9:30AM
Six-year-old Taylor Whitworth, of Valparais, Ind. meets with Santa Claus during the holiday open house Dec. 6, 2012, at the Valparaiso branch of the Porter County Public Library Public Library. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
UPCOMING CRAFT SESSIONS
All ages are invited to make a free penguin craft Wednesday, Dec. 26, and a free Muppet craft Friday, Dec. 28, in the Youth Services Department during library hours at the Valparaiso branch of the Porter County Public Library, 103 Jefferson St. Call 462-0524 for more information.
Updated: January 26, 2013 6:12AM
Stockings were hung by the chimney with care at the Porter County Public Library’s Valparaiso branch recently. Children gathered for the first annual Deck the Halls open house celebration in the Youth Services Department.
Upon the handmade hearth, nutcrackers seemed to guard strands of garland, lights and other Christmas decorations that visitors created and hung upon a nearby tree.
Kate Lambert, assistant head of youth services, coordinated the event.
“It was everything I hoped it would be. The kids always want to help set up the Christmas tree,” Lambert said. “So this year I thought it would be a good idea to have an occasion where the whole community could come and join in the Christmas spirit and decorate.”
At one decoration station, youths made Kwanzaa chains of red, green and black construction paper. At another, they traced their hands onto blue paper, then added yellow paper “flames” to their fingertip Hanukkah “candles.”
Coffee filters were transformed into wings, which were attached to handmade angels. Glitter and sequins were glued to various shaped paper ornaments. Red and white pipe cleaners were twisted into candy cane formations and hung upon the tree.
Nikki Ma, 6, of Valparaiso, dressed for the occasion in a red velvet outfit with white fur collar and a matching Santa hat.
“I made four candy canes, an angel and another ornament. I’m going to decorate the Christmas tree at home with them,” Nikki said. “I want Harry Potter Legos for Christmas. Santa’s going to bring it to me because I’ve been good.”
Between visiting the various stations, children snacked on cookies, perused items at the book sale and listened to carols being played on a piano. Several sat upon Santa’s lap and listened as he read holiday stories from a rocking chair.
Josh Sterling, 7, of Valparaiso, participated in the festivities that day. He bought a reindeer at the book sale and later visited Santa Claus.
“I sat on Santa’s lap. I asked him for a blue teddy bear. I don’t have one, and I get lonely,” Josh said. “I’m going to leave chocolate chip cookies and milk for Santa. I’m also going to put out carrots and apples for his reindeer.”