The Thanksgiving holiday is an opportunity for families to gather at the dinner table, express their love, enjoy each other’s company, and give thanks for what life has to offer. On Thanksgiving Day, people watch the parade in New York, the national dog show, and football games, but the holiday feast is the main event. Many families showcase a variety of food choices from their respective regions or countries.
Some families could decide to have mashed potatoes with their turkey instead of macaroni and cheese. Many people prefer collard greens to green bean casserole, or sweet potato pie over pumpkin pie. Apple, cherry, and blueberry pies might also make an appearance. Even though turkey, ham, and other meats can be served during Thanksgiving, plenty of plant-based or meatless options are now available for vegans and vegetarians. Many pescatarians will have seafood as one of their main entrees for their feast.
Being thankful for the time that you spend with your family and friends is vital. Our society has had its recent share of trials and tribulations, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. We as a nation have a lot to be thankful for. So please, cherish the people you love and the time you have to celebrate together during this holiday season.
Brandon is a Customer Service Specialist at HCLS Central Branch who loves reading, football, and taking nice long walks around his neighborhood.
Welcome to the Year of the Tiger! The Lunar New Year is the most important social and economic holiday for billions of people around the world. Tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, the holiday was originally observed as a time to honor household and heavenly deities and ancestors. Today, Lunar New Year brings friends and family together for feasting and festivities in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia, and other countries all over the world.
This website, recommended by our presenters, offers a helpful guide where you can discover more about everything from food and drink to clothing and decorations for Lunar New Year celebrations. In addition, we have an assortment of books and other materials available at HCLS to help families learn and celebrate.
In recognition of this significant holiday, HCLS is celebrating with an online class, Learn About the Lunar New Year Celebration, in partnership with Howard County Chinese School. A panel of middle and high school students and parents share the histories and traditions of the Lunar New Year celebration in a variety of Asian American Pacific Islander sub-communities. Join us on Saturday, Feb 5 for a combination of short presentations, Q&A, and interactive educational games with prizes.
Additional upcoming children’s classes with Lunar New Year-themed sessions include:
Howard County Library System wishes you all the best during the holiday season. Thank you for reading our new blog, which we began in May. We hope you’ve enjoyed the reviews and maybe discovered a new electronic resource or two.
We published nearly 95 posts this year; here were some of the most-read posts of 2020:
Most people in the United States have heard of Chanukah. Though there are about six different accepted spellings for the holiday, “Chanukah” has always been my preference and that’s what I’m going with here. You may know it is the festival of lights. Many even know the tale of the oil that was only enough for one day miraculously lasting for eight days. Growing up, I always learned that while the oil was a fun story, the true triumph of Chanukah was that a small band of resistance fighters defeated a larger, more well-equipped military force. My family celebrates by playing dreidel, cooking and eating latkes, and, of course, lighting the candles. Although we exchange gifts, I’ve never felt like that is the most important part.
While Chanukah is not among the most sacred Jewish holidays, it is a time of joyous celebration, and we certainly want to take advantage of every opportunity for that during this challenging year. If you’re looking to introduce your child to some Chanukah-themed stories, take a look at these titles from the HCLS collection. Clicking on any of the titles below will open a tab with that title listing in our catalog.
Chanukah with Your Favorite Characters: Many familiar children’s book characters have a book in which they celebrate Chanukah. Here are a few of those titles.
Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat provides a twist on the traditional magic pot story. A young girl is rewarded for a good deed with a magic pan that cooks up latkes (potato pancakes) on command, but when her younger brothers can’t remember the words to make it stop, they end up with more than they expected.
This volume shows readers a way that families of different backgrounds can combine their traditions into meaningful celebrations for everyone. While dealing with what may be a familiar sibling interaction to many, the main characters honor both their father’s Jewish and their mother’s East Indian heritage.
I remember reading books about the All-of-a-Kind Family growing up, so I was excited to see this picture book arrive on our shelves. A Jewish immigrant family living in the tenements of New York City in 1912 celebrates Chanukah together, with interactions that feel familiar even today.
Even though this title is in our picture book collection, it walks readers through the step of preparing olive oil to light in an old-fashioned Chanukah menorah, from beginning to end. Follow a young Israeli girl as she watches the olives grow and helps her family harvest them before finally lighting some of the oil on the first night of Chanukah.
Eliana is a Children’s Instructor and Research Specialist at HCLS Elkridge Branch. She loves reading, even if she’s slow at it, and especially enjoys helping people find books that make them light up. She also loves being outside and spending time with friends and family (when it’s safe).