Christmas table sorted

Read these popular recipes and save time preparing for the big Christmas cooking marathon. From traditional Christmas food to Instagrammable cake decorations, this selection of delicious recipes will take your stomach on a joy ride!

The Christmas table
“The Christmas table: festive menus & table crafts to celebrate the season in style. Planning the Christmas Day feast is an enjoyable thing to do each year for either a small or a large gathering of friends and family. This book showcases ways of organising the perfect menu, with  many fabulous recipes to choose from. Also, there are beautiful but simple suggestions for decorating the Christmas table with both modern and traditional themes.” (Catalogue)

Christmas express : quick, delicious & easy recipes for the festive season
“Preparing food for Christmas can often mean days of labour-intensive cooking. If you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is opening presents, then this book is for you. Using clever tricks and quality shortcuts, we show you how to create your favourite festive foods and flavours in a fraction of the time. It is all about spectacular food with minimum fuss. Enjoy over 100 illustrated recipes in this books.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Celebrating Christmas
“Over 100 new recipes to show off on Christmas Day and over the holidays make this a standout book to have and use for years to come or to give as a gift to a loved one. The fabulous recipes and ideas are right up to date and will guide the reader through the Christmas festive season. The book is themed by celebration opportunity- Christmas Eve Brunch Family Lunch Christmas Night Boxing Day There’s everything in this book that a home cook needs to know about the festive season.” (Catalogue)

Fill the tins : easy baking for home / Gray, Sophie
“This substantial, beautiful baking book gives you all the recipes and tips you need for successful home baking. Sophie Gray is an expert home baker with lots of helpful hints as well as a thorough and exciting range of recipes for every baking occasion. Including cakes and cupcakes; slices and tray bakes; bready things; pies and pastry; Christmas recipes; lunchbox stuff and more. Full of classic recipes plus fresh new tastes, this is the ONE baking book everyone needs to own.” (Adapted from Syndetic Summary)

Christmas basics : simple easy to follow recipes for the festive season
“This book is written by Pamela Clark, food write associated with Australian Women’s Weekly for 5o years. A lot of cooks come up with wondrous feasts at Christmas gatherings. This cookbook will teach you all the tricks for producing just about every recipe you’ve ever dreamed of that’s suitable for the holiday season. Included are tips, hints, accompaniments, time lines with photos to guide you through the many fabulous recipes.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Christmas with Kim-Joy : a festive collection of edible cuteness / Kim-Joy
“Kim-Joy’s baked creation was in the final of the Great British Bake Off 2018, and Baking with Kim-Joy was her bestselling debut book. Sharing her simple decorating techniques and delicious flavour, Kim-Joy will delight novice and seasoned bakers with her melted snowman cake pops, white chocolate igloos with marshmallow seals, penguin bao buns and incredible inspiration for designing your own magical gingerbread village.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids / Strand, Jessica
“Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids will bring the whole family together for some good holiday fun. It’s for every occasion: Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, and Boxing Day! Step-by-step instructions, helpful templates, and color photos make it a cinch for little ones to follow along. Best of all, the materials and ingredients are inexpensive, easy to find, and even easier to turn into amazing gifts and decorations.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

 

Christmas Around the World

Did you know that candy canes are from Germany; model railways that run around Christmas trees are American; turkeys are replaced by KFC in Japan; advent calendars are handmade in Switzerland; and midnight mass are followed by fireworks in Portugal? And of course, the Pohutukawa trees are iconic Christmas trees in New Zealand. Read the interesting selection about the world’s Christmas traditions in this blog.

A very British Christmas : twelve days of discomfort and joy / Marsden, Rhodri
“This is a twelve-stage sleigh ride through the best, worst, strangest and funniest aspects of the Christmas holiday, with cultural icons saluted, national habits dissected and personal reminiscences from those who’ve eaten all the mince pies and lived to tell the tale. The essential Christmas stocking filler for every Brit who’s ever found themselves on a deflating air bed in their parents’ spare room wedged up against the washing machine come Christmas Eve.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Christmas : a biography / Flanders, Judith
“In Christmas: A Biography, social historian and best-selling author Judith Flanders casts a revealing eye on the myths, legends and history of the season, from the origins of the holiday in the Roman empire to the emergence of Christmas trees in central Europe, to what might just possibly be the first appearance of Santa Claus in Switzerland! The acclaimed author of The Victorian House and The Victorian City tells the story of the celebration of Christmas.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

American Christmas
“The Christmas season is a time for being with family and friends, for mixing ageless traditions and new ideas. American Christmas will help you discover fresh ways to entertain with festive menus, handmade party favors, and colorful decorations. Eight celebratory occasions—from a New England cookie exchange to a cozy fireside Christmas Eve supper, or a Wine Country Christmas dinner—showcase the true Christmas spirit. Detailed plans help you stay organized.” (Catalogue)

Scandinavian Christmas : over 80 celebratory recipes for the festive season / Hahnemann, Trine
“In Scandinavia the whole period of Christmas, from the first Sunday in Advent to New Year’s Day, is marked by festivals and celebrated in traditional but beautifully contemporary style. Hygge, cosiness in Danish, is about being inside with candles, great comfort food and lots of cakes and sweets. Jars of decorated cookies, gingerbread houses and clogs filled with little presents.”  (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Rick Steves’ European Christmas / Steves, Rick
“Rick Steves, America’s expert on Europe, teams up with co-author Valerie Griffith to explore the rich and fascinating mix of Christmas traditions: Christian, pagan, musical, and edible in Norway, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. Romans cook up eels, Salzburgers shoot off guns, Germans buy “prune people” at markets, Norwegian kids hope to win marzipan pigs, and Parisians ice-skate on the Eiffel Tower.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

A New Zealand Christmas : three centuries of Kiwi Christmas celebrations from the Alexander Turnbull Library / Ell, Sarah
“This sister volume to the successful Map New Zealand is a treasure trove of Christmas Kiwiana from down the years. Drawing on the Turnbull’s extensive collection, the selection of utterly charming Christmas cards, Christmas Day dinner menus, photographs, recipes, advertisements and poster art show the various ways in which we’ve celebrated Christmas and our nation over time..” (Adapted from Fishpond)

Festivals in the Southern Hemisphere : insights into cosmic and seasonal aspects of the whole earth / Samson, Martin
“Many Christian festivals traditionally draw imagery and symbolism from the northern hemisphere seasons. Rudolph Steiner shared cosmic, spiritual imaginations for the northern hemisphere, and in this book Martin Samson develops a useful equivalent guide for the southern hemisphere. He concludes that the essence of Christian festivals works at the same time for the whole earth, but take on nuances through the opposite seasons.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Festive vegan feasts

Looking for some delicious vegan options for the holidays? Find something delicious below! We’ve also included a link to browse more vegan cookbooks on our catalogue.

More vegan holiday cookbooks


Vegan Christmas cookbook : over 70 amazing recipes for the festive season / Oakley, Gaz
“The first ever vegan Christmas cookbook, from YouTube and Instagram sensation Avant Garde Vegan. Vegans and vegetarians everywhere will have the best holiday period ever with Gaz Oakley’s fantastic alternatives to the traditional turkey and trimmings. Gaz is an expert in bold flavors and textures, so everyone can enjoy a spectacular centerpiece and amazing food throughout the festive season. ” (Catalogue)

The superfun times vegan holiday cookbook : entertaining for absolutely every occasion / Moskowitz, Isa Chandra
“Bestselling author, vegan goddess, and comfort food queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz is back with her biggest book ever — to prove that making festive vegan food for any occasion can be easy, delicious, and superfun. You’ll start with New Year’s, stop for Valentine’s Day on the way to Easter and Passover, and cook through Hanukkah, and Christmas. And with more than 250 seasonal recipes, you’ll mix, match, and remix for every celebration in between — filling your life with holiday cheer the whole year round.” (Catalogue)

Happy vegan Christmas / Jönsson, Karoline
“Roasted nuts and vegetables, fragrant citrus and cloves, jewelled lingonberries and cardamom buns fresh from the oven – these are the delights that make a Scandinavian vegan Christmas. Inspired by classic Scandinavian Christmas cooking and seasonal dishes from around the world, this is a treasure trove for vegans, veggies and flexitarian foodies. Inspired by both classic Scandinavian holiday cooking, as well as seasonal dishes from around the world, this is an indispensable treasure trove for the vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian foodie. Roasted nuts and vegetables, fragrant citrus and cloves, jeweled lingonberries, and cardamom buns fresh from the oven–these are the delights that make a Scandinavian vegan Christmas.” (Catalogue)

Vegan Christmas / Fitzjohn, Audrey
“This book is a foolproof guide to making plant-based meals for the holidays. You could start your guests with a round of blinis and faux caviar. Then, when they’re getting snacky, bring out the arancini and dairy-free aioli. When you’re laying out the big dinner spread, you can offer your vegan guests tempeh and mashed sweet potatoes, stuffed pumpkin, and many more devilishly starchy options. Then, for dessert, roll out the chocolate truffles, a black forest cake, fruit pies, and more Plus, who even needs meat or animal products, when you’re surrounded by your friends and family?” (Catalogue)

Come along to festive family storytimes!

Meri Kirihimete, Pōneke! It’s that time of year again! The festive season is right around the corner, which means that our libraries are getting themselves all ready to provide storytimes most merry and mirthful for your jollification. So, why not grab the family, jump in your fuzziest pyjamas (or cheeriest Christmas costume) and head on down to your local library to join in on the fun?

Continue reading “Come along to festive family storytimes!”

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete from your library

Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager

2019 has been an unprecedented year for Wellington City Libraries, a real year of highs and lows.

The closure of the Central Library in March 2019 affected both our customers and staff deeply, and underscored how valued the Central Library was to us all.

The closure set in motion a huge chain of events, which is still in progress. This included opening two new CBD Libraries, Arapaki and He Matapihi, with a third CBD library  on its way in 2020. Although Arapaki is only 250sqm, it’s had over 225,000 visitors since it opened in May. We’ve also started the fit out of Te Pātaka in Johnsonville, where we’ll be relocating all our Central Library collections and making them available to request. We’re excited to get these up and running.

We’re delighted about the opening of Waitohi, the new Community Hub in Johnsonville, which includes the new Johnsonville Library. Waitohi opened on Saturday 14th December, and is a beautiful facility which connects the Johnsonville Library, Keith Spry Pool, Waitohi Kindergarten, Johnsonville Community Centre and Common Ground Café. Sam who is the owner of Common Ground café also used to run Clarks in the Central Library, and it’s lovely to be able to welcome him back into our facilities.

Throughout the year, we’ve run all kinds of programmes and events, such as He Timotimo, Eavesdropping Underwater, Chinese Language Week, Ozobots vs Minotaurs, and Beyond the Page, to name just a few.  We’ve had a wonderful response to our events in 2019 and we’re looking forward to bringing you lots of new events in 2020.

I would like to end my message with a huge thank you to all our customers. Your support during what has been a difficult and busy time for all the Library staff and your positive response to the new libraries we’ve been opening in the CBD and in the hub at Waitohi has been so heartening for all of us. Our sincere thanks to you all.

Kia pai ngā hararei (have a happy holiday)!

Laurinda

Meri Kirihimete from WCL’s Library Manager

Kia ora koutou
2018 has been another busy and exciting year at Wellington City Libraries. From Virtual Reality to Crafternoons, Creative Writing Workshops to Let’s go Lego, we’ve had a year jam-packed with interesting activities and events. This year we’ve been delighted to start a number of new programmes including Code Club, which has been the subject of great feedback from kids and parents alike.

A particular highlight for me was marking 125 years of Suffrage. The banners in the Central Library entrance, voting booths, and 1893-esque photos taken by staff gave the whole event a feeling of excitement and importance.

2018 has seen us break ground on Waitohi, the new Johnsonville Library and Community Hub. From small beginnings early in the year, the new building is now flying up. Waitohi will have a dedicated Makerspace and we’ll be running lots of interesting programmes there. I’m looking forward to seeing it open this time next year, and the staff can’t wait to show everyone the new spaces and reimagined precinct.

Having taken over the role of Library Manager in June, I would also like to thank our previous Library Manager Chris Hay. Chris did a wonderful job of managing Wellington City Libraries over the previous 2 1/2 years, and is now enjoying the role of Manager of Tūranga, the new Central Library in Christchurch.

Our library never (or hardly ever) sleeps! We added more than 86,000 new items into our collections, and have been privileged to have 2.6 million people through our doors this year so far. Thank you all for continuing to be such enthusiastic library users!

We hope you have a wonderful festive season, and look forward to seeing you all again in 2019.

Ngā mihi nui,
Laurinda

It’s Christmas Storytime Time Again!

Deck the Halls with Books of Jolly! Fa la la la la….

Christmas Storytimes are back!

Dust of your jingle bells, catch a sleigh ride, and follow the reindeer footprints into your local library for fun family storytimes to get your into the festival Christmas spirit.

These storytimes will be filled with stories and songs for the Christmas season, and are suitable for families with children of all ages. Come along in a Christmas costume, or your coziest pyjamas!

All storytimes start at 6pm and run for 45mins.

When and Where:

Monday 17th December

Brooklyn, Cummings Park (Ngaio), and Miramar Library,

Tuesday 18th December

Central Library, Children’s section

Thursday 20th December

Wadestown, Karori, Khandallah, Mervyn kemp (Tawa) and Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Libraries, and Island Bay Community Centre

Friday 21st December

Newtown and Johnsonville Libraries

These are free events, and bookings aren’t required.

Stocking up on Christmas titles!

The Christmas Secret

Christmas spirit at the library! Immerse yourself in new and classic titles from a variety of authors from different genres who use Christmas to showcase their storytelling talents. Whether it’s Ali Smith’s Winter, musing on how we present ourselves to family, or Agatha Christie setting Poirot and Miss Marple baffling cases for Christmas there is great reading material for the holidays.

Some authors regularly return to the celebration theme with series set around Christmas, Debbie Macomber, who brings a new feel good Christmas gift every year and Anne Perry who delivers Victorian mystery novellas adorned with all the trimmings. James Patterson and John Grisham’s fast paced seasonal titles play foil to the romantic holiday offerings from Jenny Colgan and Karen Swan.

Enjoy our tailored Christmas collection!

Syndetics book coverTwelve days of Christmas : a novel / Debbie Macomber.Twelve Days of Christmas
“Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how, by killing him with kindness. To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Christmas secret / Karen Swan.
“Set on the beautiful island of Islay in Scotland, The Christmas Secret is a gripping and heartwarming novel. Alex Hyde is the leaders’ leader. An executive coach par excellence. Lochlan Farquhar, CEO of Kentallen Distilleries, is a maverick, an enigma and a renegade, and Alex needs to get inside his head before he brings the company to its knees. It should be business as usual. She can do this in her sleep. Only, when she gets to the remote island of Islay, with the winter snows falling, Alex finds herself out of her comfort zone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWinter / Ali Smith.Winter: A Novel
Here comes Winter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer’s leaves? Dead litter.
The world shrinks; the sap sinks.
But winter makes things visible. And if there’s ice, there’ll be fire. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter. It’s the season that teaches us survival. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Christmas revelation : a novel / Anne Perry.
“Christmas is coming and the streets of London are full of festive cheer. As young Worm returns to his home at the Portpool Lane clinic, he encounters the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and, spellbound, he follows her until she is dragged away by two evil-looking men. Convinced that she is in grave danger, Worm begs Squeaky Robinson to help him track her down. But Elouise is embroiled with dangerous criminals who want information that only she can tell. They will stop at nothing to get what they want and, with Christmas day fast approaching, Worm and Squeaky must conjure up a daring plan to help Elouise before it is too late.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe adventure of the Christmas pudding : and a selection of entrees / Agatha Christie.
“Agatha Christie’s seasonal Poirot and Marple short story collection…first came a sinister warning to Poirot not to eat any plum pudding… then the discovery of a corpse in a chest… next, an overheard quarrel that led to murder… the strange case of the dead man who altered his eating habits… and the puzzle of the victim who dreamt his own suicide. What links these five baffling cases? The little grey cells of Monsieur Hercule Poirot!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMerry Christmas, Alex Cross / James Patterson.
“It’s Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again–a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything–and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas at the Cornish cafe / Phillipa Ashley.
“Return to the Cornish Cafe in this gorgeous festive romance – the perfect book to curl up with this Christmas. Christmas will be slightly less turbulent than summer, won’t it? Demi certainly hopes so. A storm is brewing in more ways than one. As surprises unfold and truths are uncovered, can Demi and Cal finally open up to each other about their feelings?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSkipping Christmas / John Grisham.Skipping Christmas
“Imagine a year without the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition. This is just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they plan to skip Christmas and embark on a Caribbean cruise instead. But as this weary couple is about to discover it’s not as easy as that.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Darling Dahlias and the poinsettia puzzle / Susan Wittig Albert.
“It’s Christmas, 1934, and the citizens of Darling, Alabama, are unwrapping a big package of Christmas puzzles. Mildred Kilgore and Earlynne Biddle are planning to open a bakery on the square–if they can come up with the right recipes. Charlie Dickens faces two of the biggest puzzles of his career as an investigative reporter, and one of them involves his wife. Cute little Cupcake’s talent as a singer and dancer makes her a tempting target for an unscrupulous exploiter; Lizzy must enlist the Dahlias to protect her, while she herself is confronted by a romantic puzzle. And Sheriff Norris is forced to reopen a puzzling mystery that the town thought was solved and follow a string of clues that lead to a deadly situation at the nearby prison farm.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn island Christmas / Jenny Colgan.
“Christmas on the remote Scottish island of Mure is bleak, stark – and incredibly beautiful. It’s a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love – unless, of course, you’re accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings?” (Syndetics summary)

 

Get The London Times that was printed on your birthday! (or your Mum’s!)

The Central Library is offering to library members its hard-copy vintage collection of The Times, dating from 1946 through to the start of 1976.  Each issue is for sale at $5 per copy but there is only one copy of each date. Please note that this collection excludes the Sunday Times which was, and remains, a separate newspaper editorially

This is an ideal quirky gift for anyone born between 1946 and 1976; please pre-order your copy by visiting or phoning the 2nd floor reference desk at the Central Library on 04 801 4114.

Major historical and cultural events covered during this period include:

The moon landing in July 1969
The resignation of President Nixon in August 1974
Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman at ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in Zaire, October 1974

You can still access and read this entire date-range of The Times for free via the Times Digital Archive on My Gateway.

Just in time for Christmas, come in, grab a copy and delve into the past.

Discover the joy of Christmas crafting!

Make your own decorations in the run-up to Christmas using ideas and inspiration found in the books we have selected for you! Wellington City Libraries wishes you all a joyful Christmas season!

Syndetics book coverA very pompom Christmas : 20 festive projects to make / Jemima Schlee.
“Pompoms, a crafting favourite, are easy to make and can be used to create nearly anything you can dream up. With the 20 festive projects in A Very Pompom Christmas, you can transform your living space into a winter wonderland. Crafters of all skill levels–even children–won’t have any trouble creating the projects and spreading the holiday spirit.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaper stars : 25 festive decorations for every occasion / Karen-Marie Fabricius.
“Scandinavian style is a popular design trend that is here to stay, and paper stars are featured heavily in this style. In Paper Stars, well-known artist Karen-Marie Fabricius provides 25 charming designs, each with detailed step-by-step instructions and gorgeous photographs. These pretty paper stars are not only perfect for Christmas, but they also look wonderful year-round, hanging on a window, from the mantelpiece, on cupboard doors, or as unique adornments for birthday presents. Making these paper stars is a fun craft for the entire family.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScandi Christmas : over 45 projects and quick ideas for beautiful decorations & gifts / Christiane Bellstedt Myers ; photography by Caroline Arber.
“Christiane Bellstedt Myers has developed a beautiful collection of Christmas essentials using natural materials and traditional colour themes of red and white, and green and silver. The four chapters cover a wide range of crafts, including collage, embroidery, sewing, and baking, and take inspiration from Scandinavian traditions to bring the magic of hygge to your holiday celebrations. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSew advent calendars : count down to Christmas with 20 stylish designs to fill with festive treats / Debbie Shore.
“This is the perfect guide to sewing fun, personalised advent calendars for loved ones – perfect for filling with festive treats and handpicked goodies. There are 20 designs included, from traditional flat-pocket calendars to hanging cones and festive pouches, for both adults and children alike, along with a treat-filled calendar for the family dog! The book contains all the techniques needed to make the calendars, and every project is shown clearly step by step, with helpful tips and advice throughout. Using Debbie’s friendly and easy-to-follow instructions, readers will want to get crafty and create new festive family traditions!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA year in crafts : 52 seasonal projects to delight and inspire / Clare Youngs.
A Year in Crafts is packed full of innovative projects that you’ll really want to make. Be inspired with 52 beautifully simple step-by-step ideas to get you crafting throughout the year. You’ll be truly inspired with Clare Youngs’ lovely projects, so whether you want to make each project in turn as the year progresses, or dip in and out of the book, you’ll never be bored with A Year in Crafts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMini felt Christmas : 30 decorations to sew for the festive season / Sachiyo Ishii.
“Making your own decorations in the run-up to Christmas is a pastime that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. In this delightful book, well-known crafter Sachiyo Ishii shows the reader how to make fabulously cute and easy-to-make felt decorations to adorn your home during the festive season. The techniques and stitches needed to make all the projects are explained carefully through clear, step-by-step photographs at the beginning of the book, and all the templates required are provided at the back. This wonderful book is a feast of ideas and inspiration for a creative Christmas.” (Syndetics summary)

The 12 Storytimes of Christmas

It’s that time of year where it’s great to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas fever and find some time to spend with your family. And where better to do that than at Wellington City Libraries, listening to stories and songs for the Christmas and festive season. So bring the kids down for a wonderful evening and get lost in the magical world of stories.

Island Bay Library: 7th December, 10.30am

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 7th December, 6.30pm

Brooklyn Library: 11th December, 6.30pm

Karori Library: 14th December, 6.30pm

Wadestown Library: 14th December, 6.30pm

Johnsonville Library: 15th December, 6.30pm

Newtown Library: 15th December, 6.30pm

Central Library: 16th December, 2pm

Miramar Library: 18th December, 6.30pm

CPK Ngaio Library: 18th December, 6.30pm

Ruth Gotlieb Kilbirnie Library: 21st December, 6.30pm

Khandallah Library: 21st December, 6.30pm

Holiday hours 2016/2017

Summer snowmanA warm seasons greetings to all our library borrowers and visitors with best wishes for a happy holiday season. Here are the opening hours across all our libraries from Saturday 24 December 2016 to Wednesday 4 January 2017. Click on the table for a larger view or follow this link. Please note all our libraries will be closed the statutory public holidays from 25-27 December and also 1-3 January. Brooklyn, Khandallah and Wadestown libraries will also be closed 24 and 31 December. Our libraries resume regular opening hours on Wednesday 4 January. 1617holidayhours-small Of course our eLibrary isn’t going on holiday: we have eBooks, eMagazines & eAudio to keep you entertained, along with daily newspapers & eMagazines in PressReader. Happy holidays everyone!

Twelve storytimes of Christmas

Come one, come all! Jump on your sleigh and slide down to your local library to get into the festive spirit at one of our special family Christmas Storytimes. These free events are lots of fun with games and activities, carols and festive stories. We would love to see you in your best Christmas costume, or cozy pyjamas.

Island Bay Library: 8 Dec, 6.30pm

Karori Library: 8 Dec, 6.30pm

Brooklyn Library: 12 Dec, 6.30pm

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: 12 Dec, 6.30pm

Wellington Central Library: 14 Dec, 6.30pm

Wadestown Library: 15 Dec, 6.30pm

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: 15 Dec, 6.30pm

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 15 Dec, 6.30pm

Johnsonville Library: 16 Dec, 6.30pm

Newtown Library: 16 Dec, 6.30pm

Miramar Library: 19 Dec, 6.30pm

Khandallah Library: 22 Dec, 6.30pm

Deck the halls! We look forward to seeing you there. (No need to book; just turn up)

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Katie’s Christmas Picks

One of our librarians, Katie, has put together some more Christmas picks for the upcoming season. Enjoy!

Cover imageBatman returns.
Fancy a movie where Batman and Christmas rolled into one? Yep, Batman Returns has all these things. In this dark and chilling sequel to the 1989 film, Batman, directed by Tim Burton. This movie takes place during the holiday season where Gotham in under threat by a corrupt businessman, (Christopher Walken), the monstrous Penguin (Danny Devito) and Catwoman, (Michelle Pfeiffer, who absolutely rocks as Catwoman), it is up to Batman (Michael Keaton) to save the day and… perhaps Christmas. Overall Batman Returns is an awesome experience for Batman fans to watch during Christmas.

DVDRecentPicks2Four holidays.
In the mood for a little comedy over Christmas that features familial struggles? Then Four Holidays is the movie to watch. A couple, Brad and Kate (Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon), struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas day. Overall it is a heart-warming film guaranteed with lots of hilarious moments where you will laugh yourself to tears.

Cover imageOutrageous fortune. A very Westie Christmas.
Join the Wests this Christmas as they go on their annual Christmas-New Year sojourn to their favourite holiday spot, Tutaekuri Bay. As we revisit the family – Cheryl is a walking emotional disaster zone. Van is raving to Aurora about chose Tutaekri Bay is but Jethro has decided this is the year he will decline the tempting offer of camping. A good movie to watch that celebrates Christmas kiwi style.

DVDRecentPicks4Tim Burton’s The nightmare before Christmas.
Fancy something dark for Christmas. Then The Nightmare before Christmas is the movie to watch. When Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, is weary and bored of the same routine year after year. But when he discovers Christmas Town, he decides that the citizens of Halloween Town will take over Christmas this year, but with dangerous consequences. Another Tim Burton Christmas classic.

Cover imageThe family man.
Fancy a modern and alternative take on Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, then this what The Family Man offers. Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni star in this holiday drama about a Wall Street bachelor, who is stunned to wake up in suburban New Jersey on Christmas morning, in some sort of parallel universe. Over the next few weeks, he gets a glimpse of what his life would have been like if he’d married his old girlfriend: a house in Jersey, two children, bowling trophies, a job at his father-in-law’s tire store, and a lot of love from his wife Kate. However the question is, which life will he choose? Overall a moving, heart-warming movie.

Library book bike in the Santa parade

9633939On Sunday 13 December 2-3pm Santa Claus will ride into town for the Wellington City Council’s Capital Christmas Santa Parade. Starting on Lambton Quay and ending on Manners Street, onlookers will be treated to a Christmas spectacular with around 1000 entertainers participating in this year’s parade.

The Wellington City Libraries book bike will be pedalling its way through the city, along with a dance troop all the way from Beijing, the Minions, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Mr & Mrs Potato Head, Peter Rabbit, Spot the Dog and Santa! Our library elves will give away free books and balloons before and after the parade.

When Santa’s visit to Wellington is over, parade-goers can head up to Cuba Street to check out the street’s festive makeover and enjoy a gathering of street performers.

The Central Library is open 1:00-4:00pm on Sunday afternoon. Make sure you come in and grab more bargains for Christmas gifts at the book sale.

 

Christmas & New Year holiday hours for 2015

Summer snowmanWe will be closed for a few days break over Christmas & the New Year so here are our opening hours across all our branches for the 2015/2016 holiday season (from 24 December-4 January). Click on the table for a larger view or follow this link. Please note we will be closed for four days from 25-28 December and also 1-4 January. Our libraries resume regular opening hours on Tuesday 5 January.

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Christmas yarn craft meetup at the Central Library

Join our yarn craft event on Saturday 19 December at the Central Library for inspiration and help making some unique gifts. Monica, our coordinator for the day, will have spare needles and yarn for those who would like to try knitting! You are welcome to bring along your own knitting or crochet project to work on. This is a family-friendly event with a touch of Christmas cheer and we hope to see you there!

Sessions will run 12.00 – 1.30 pm and 2.00 – 3.30 pm

Christmas Crafts small

You are, of course, welcome to knit and crochet in the library outside the hosted session times. Be sure to browse our extensive collection of craft books and magazines on the first floor (you’ll find large and small books on our shelves at the call number 746.43)! We also have a growing collection of ebooks you can check out here not to forget Zinio eMagazines.

Let your library sort out your Christmas presents

Christmas is getting closer and closer and you may still be wondering what present to get for family or friends. If you want to purchase affordable and useful gifts, look no further than your local libraries!

Calendar 2015Library 2016 Calendars
This collectable and unique calendar contains vintage photos of the libraries in Wellington for the past 175 years. It’s definitely a good choice of gift for your friends and families.

Concession cards
Treat your friends and family to DVDs, CDs, magazines, best sellers and reserves by giving them library concession cards. These are a convenient way to pay for your items. In fact, why not buy one for yourself? Full details on the features are here.

Library CDs
The Whispers in the Wind CD, a collection of 10 children’s stories by Wellington authors, is on sale at your local library for $9.50. Hear Wellington authors; Joy Cowley, Janice Marriott, Fleur Beale and more read their own stories for 5-12 year-olds – it’s a real treat.
Plus for the younger set – jam-packed with 33 traditional rhymes and songs, the Baby Rock & Rhyme CD is $12. Suitable for 0-4 years, it’s a perfect stocking filler.

WCLBagsHand bag 2015 resizeLibrary Bags
Searching for a good-sized bag to carry all your Christmas presents? Then consider our library bags, still a steal at $3,  – and our children’s bags are perfect at $5 each for the togs and towel if the big day happens to turn out warm. Our new library bags are designed to fit CDs, DVDS and other small gifts, for sale at the library for $2.50.

A Christmas message

johnstears-blogsizeHello and season’s greetings!

2014 has been a busy year here at Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces.  We began the year with our Book Bike out around the waterfront with giveaways and library information for both residents and visitors. It also took story times out to the beach at Oriental Bay.

2014 ended with a very successful ‘Cans for Fines’ promotion. Around 4000 cans were donated during the fortnight and these have been distributed to food banks around the city and will go towards making someone’s Christmas that little bit better.

In between we added around 100,000 new items to our collection while our customers have borrowed just under 3 million items and visited us nearly 5 million times either on-line or in person. We moved further down the track towards confirmation of a new library for Johnsonville. Our Community Centres and Halls have also been busy with a full programme of activities.

I want to thank you for your continuing support over the last year and wish you all a very safe and happy festive season. I look forward to welcoming you back to our libraries and community spaces in 2015.

John Stears
Libraries and Community Spaces Manager
Wellington City Council

 

Christmas in the trenches – some very special greetings

Syndetics book cover In 2008, Sarah Ell collated a selection of New Zealand Christmas images, including Christmas cards, Christmas day dinner menus, photographs, advertisements and poster art, from the Alexander Turnbull Library. The result of this collection is the beautiful book A New Zealand Christmas : three centuries of Kiwi Christmas celebrations from the Alexander Turnbull Library. Featuring beautiful images and informative captions about Christmas in New Zealand throughout the years, it also features photographs, Christmas cards and other printed images from World War One at Christmas time. This beautiful edition is an interesting and indulgent read any time, but particularly at this time of the year! Place your reserve here.

When Great Britain first declared war against Germany in 1914, New Zealand did not have its own army. Training camps were urgently set up in Featherston in Wairarapa, at Narrow Neck in Auckland and Awapuni near Palmerston North. The main camp was established at Trentham in Upper Hutt.

The Maymorn camp was built as an overflow camp 7km away from Trentham. It was the home of the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the New Zealand rifle brigade, then the 11th Infantry Reinforcements, until the camp was closed in 1916.

This image shows the tables set up for Christmas dinner at Maymorn camp on 25 December 1915.

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Tables set for Christmas dinner, Maymorn camp, Wairarapa. Allen, S T :Photographs of the Tauranga Bridge and Maymorn Camp. Ref: 1/2-112210-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22329286

After arriving at Anzac Cove to find scores of Australian dead and wounded scattering the beach, the Anzac soldiers were instructed to create a network of dug-outs to provide some shelter from the Turkish barrage. The men lived in these dug-outs in filthy conditions with inadequate food and water, as well as frequent outbreaks of dysentery and other diseases.

This photo, showing two soldiers in a dug-out in Gallipolli, was taken not long before the Allied withdrawal from the ill-fated peninsula on December 20. This brought an end to the horrific eight months suffered by the New Zealand, Australian and other Allied troops who landed at what later became known as Anzac cove on April 25, 1915.


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Christmas celebrations in dug-out, Gallipoli. Martin, W W :World War One albums of Mr Laurie C Mackie. Ref: PA1-o-308-22-3. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23211213

After withdrawing from Turkey, New Zealand troops were redeployed to France. Germany had invaded France and Belgium, and the British planned to attack the Germans in the Somme region, to relieve pressure on the French. The Battle of the Somme began in June 1916, followed by a second push in mid-September, which involved New Zealand troops. By Christmas 1916, around 1.2 million men on both sides had been killed or wounded.

This Christmas card was sent home to New Zealand from war-torn France.

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Sparr, fl 1916. Sparr, fl 1916 :Compliments of the season from France, 1916-17. Onward. N.Z. Quo fas et gloria ducunt. [Postcard. 1916]. Ref: Eph-A-WAR-WI-1916-08. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23106539

This Christmas menu is from the Sergeants’ Mess at the New Zealand Army Service Corps number 6 camp at Sling, near Bulford on the Salisbury Plain in England. It was dedicated to the memory of Gallipolli and the newly minted ‘Anzac Day’. The menu shows the men ate well through the day, from bacon, liver and chips for breakfast through a full roast dinner of turkey, beef and chicken to leftover roast, mince pies, jam tarts and beer for supper.

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[Sling Camp (England)] :Remember ANZAC, Gallipoli, 25th April, 1915. Christmas 1916, New Year 1917 / [Cover on menu / list of members].. [Sling Camp (England)] :Remember ANZAC, Gallipoli, 25th April, 1915. Christmas 1916, New Year 1917 / [Sergeants’ Mess, New Zealand Army Service Corps and Details, No 6 Camp, Sling, Bulford, Salisbury Plain, England. [Menu / list of members]. Bennett Bros, Military Printers, Salisbury [1916].. Ref: Eph-A-WAR-WI-1916-02-front. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22590424

This Christmas card from 1916 reflects a sense of imperial and national pride, following New Zealand’s rush to support Mother England against the German aggressors. It was printed for Mr and Mrs Hardie of Wanganui and bears a poem on the cover.

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[Greeting card]. A right loyal greeting. “Land of our birth, we pledge to thee, Head heart & hand, in the years to be”. Xmas 1916 … from Mr & Mrs A. St.N. Hardie. Wanganui, N.Z.. Various artists :[Box of assorted Christmas cards. 1860s-1919]. Ref: Eph-A-CARDS-Christmas-1916-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23139304

By Christmas 1917, New Zealand troops were still at war in Europe and New Zealand headquarters was at Chateau Segard in Belgium. This photo shows the New Zealand divisional commander, Major-General Andrew Hamilton Russell, carving a turkey for officers.

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New Zealand Commander carves the turkey on Christmas Day, Chateau Segard, 1917. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013034-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22904056

At the time of this Christmas card’s release in 1917, New Zealand had been at war for three years. This card clearly depicts the sense of distance felt by those in New Zealand that had loved ones fighting overseas, with the imagery of hands clasped across the distance between New Zealand and “somewhere in France”.

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Frank Duncan and Company. Postcard. Christmas greetings. Hands across the sea. NZ Postcard published by Frank Duncan & Co., High St., Auckland. [1917]. Ref: Eph-A-CARDS-Christmas-WWI-1917-02. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22780721

This card was posted to New Zealand from France in 1918, clearly expressing the sender’s desire to return home with the poem on the front: “God gave all men all earth to love / But since our hearts are small / Ordained for each one spot should be / Beloved over all. / Gorse behind the windy town, pollen o’ the pine / Bell-bird in the leafy deep where the Ratas twine / Ferns above the saddle-bow, flax upon the plain / ‘Tis where Pohutukawas bloom we long to be again”.

The drawing of the damaged windmill on the front of the card is thought to depict a windmill at Courcelles in northern France, which withstood repeated shelling and became a landmark for New Zealand troops fighting in the area.

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To Pater, with all good wishes from Bob. Somewhere in France, 4/11/18. “God gave all men all earth to love … ” [Map of New Zealand, by Johns]. 1918.. Cheerio from France. Christmas 1918. A “Diggers'” landmark / Johns. [Card].. Ref: Eph-A-CARDS-Christmas-WWI-1918-03-inside. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22432725

New Zealand troops were easily identified from other colonial troops by their hat – their distinctive headwear, which became known as a lemon-squeezer, is said to have been developed in 1911 by Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who felt that the fore-and-aft dented hats worn by his troop collected water too readily. He redesigned the hat so that water ran off more easily. Malone’s Wellington regiment adopted this style of hat and was more widely distributed from mid 1916 to other troops. They became a highly visible way to distinguish New Zealand soldiers from other colonial troops.

These cards both show New Zealand soldiers in lemon-squeezers – the first dates from 1917 shows a Kiwi soldier resting on a milestone which is engraved with ‘France to New Zealand, 13,000 miles’ The second is from 1918 and was designed by solider and artist Lieutenant George Patrick Hanna.

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Bell, William Frederick, 1895-1920. Bell, William Frederick, 1896-1920 :Aotearoa. [Greetings card. 1917].. Ref: Eph-A-CARDS-Christmas-WWI-1917-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22857458

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Perry, Murray (Mrs), fl 1975. ‘With every wish that’s brightest & best’ / G P Hanna. N.Z. Division, France. Xmas 1918.. [Ephemera relating to World War I. 1918. Folder 1]. Ref: Eph-A-WAR-WI-1918-02. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23253028

If you’d like to find out more about cards and postcards sent home to New Zealand during World War One, we also recommend this book:

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand and the First World War : 1914-1919 / Damien Fenton ; with Caroline Lord, Gavin McLean and Tim Shoebridge.
“The full story of New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War” (Publisher information)

All images and accompanying information sourced from Sarah Ell’s A New Zealand Christmas: Three Centuries of Kiwi Christmas celebrations from the Alexander Turnbull Library.

28th Māori Battalion Christmas 1943

In honour of the festive season, I thought I would share with you some images and clips of Māori Battalion Christmases past from the National Library & Māori Battalion websites (along with a book if these photos inspire a culinary experience!).

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Two men from the Maori Battalion digging up a hangi of pork and potatoes for Christmas Dinner at the Maori Training Depot, Maadi. Shows three soldiers pushing dirt aside with spades, while others look on. Photograph taken on 25 Dec 1943, by George Robert Bull.
Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Uncovering the Christmas hangi at the Maori Training Depot, Maadi Camp, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04877-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22828401

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Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion taking food from an uncovered hangi used to cook Christmas dinner at Maadi Camp in Egypt, during World War II. Photograph taken on 25 December 1943 by George Robert Bull.
Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion with uncovered hangi at Maadi Camp on Christmas Day, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Robert Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04882-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22895567

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Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion eating potatoes after opening the hangi used to cook Christmas dinner at the Maori Training Depot in Maadi, Egypt. Photograph taken on 25 December 1943 by George Robert Bull. Far right; Dave McClutchie.
Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Members of the 28th (Maori) Battalion eating hangi-cooked potatoes on Christmas Day, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Robert Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04878-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23176964

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Looking along one of the tables well laden with Christmas dinner at the Maori Training Depot in Maadi Camp, Egypt. Photograph taken on 25 December 1943 by George Robert Bull.

Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Looking along one of the tables laden with Christmas Dinner at the Maori Training Depot, Egypt – Photograph taken by George Robert Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch : Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04887-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23102454

If these images inspire you to make your own Christmas hangi, check out our collection. We have many books that will help you out.

Hangi / Wena Harawira.
“The cooking of a hangi meal on a marae is explained, with full colour photographs of an actual hangi and its preparation. The history of the hangi is explained, ingredients identified, and a step-by-step timetable given. A recipe for potato bread is also included.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKai time : tasty modern Māori food / Peter Peeti.
“Drawing from the abundant fare that the New Zealand land and sea have to offer, charismatic Maori chef and television personality Peter Peeti shares his culinary knowledge and favourite recipes in this wonderful book. Based on the popular show on Maori TV, Kai Time on the Road (now in its sixth season), Peeti reveals not just a flair for cooking but also his passion for hunting, fishing and procuring ingredients direct from the source. Including such delectable dishes as: Eel and Whitebait Omelette; Venison with Blackberry Jus, Kumara and Potato Rosti and Pikopiko; and Roast Garlic and Thyme Prawns on Coconut Jasmine Rice, Peeti redefines Maori cuisine by blending traditional Maori ingredients and practices with the many modern culinary styles of New Zealand. The end result is overflowing with melt-in-the-mouth flavour and all recipes are remarkably easy to create. The best way to cook up a feed, according to Peeti, is directly after the fishing or hunting trip, on a makeshift stove on the beach or in the bush as the sun starts to go down ¿ the food simply couldn¿t be fresher or tastier or the surroundings more inspiring.” (Syndetics summary)

And finally… I highly recommend you listen to this song clip, on the 28th Māori Battalion website. Recorded in North Africa in 1942, it is a recording of ‘Silent Night’, sung by wounded soldiers of the 28th Maori Battalion at the No 2 New Zealand General Hospital. The Māori version is sung by Ngati Toa nurse Wiki Katene.  Moving and truly beautiful, it is well worth a listen.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas to you all.

A pukeko in a ponga tree! New Zealand Christmas picture books

There are some amazing Christmas picture books around, but one thing you really notice looking at many, is how cold they make you feel! The stories they tell are often those of a Northern Hemisphere Christmas.

I remember reading wonderful, chilly Christmas books as a child — like Shirley Hughes’ Lucy and Tom’s Christmas — and not being confused by this at all (I think the thing I appreciated most about Lucy and Tom’s Christmas were the amazing illustrations — Shirley Hughes! — of all the presents they made for their family), but around this time of year, it’s always nice to pull out and enjoy Christmas books that are set in New Zealand, written by New Zealand authors, and written specifically with a New Zealand audience in mind — featuring beaches and barbecues and complete with sweltering, overdressed Santas. So, here goes with a list!

Syndetics book coverA pukeko in a ponga tree (the twelve days of Christmas) / adapted by Kingi M. Ihaka ; illustrated by Dick Frizzell.
“A New Zealand adaptation of the traditional Christmas song, featuring such gifts as four huhu grubs, seven eels a swimming, and a pukeko in a ponga tree” (Library Catalogue)

We say: On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a pukeko in a ponga tree! This is such an iconic title, with great illustrations to enjoy with your child!

Syndetics book coverA kiwi night before Christmas / Yvonne Morrison ; Deborah Hinde.
“A retelling of Moore’s Christmas poem, with a New Zealand twist.”

We say: This one is also available with sturdier, board pages to share with younger children.

Syndetics book coverThe Christmas caravan / Jennifer Beck ; [illustrations by] Robyn Belton.
“Children’s Christmas story about a boy called Simon who decides to decorate the caravan he and mother share and enter it in a competition for the best decorated home. The other residents of the caravan park contribute by tidying the grounds and recycling rubbish into useful adornments. Text illustrated by Robyn Belton who also illustrated, author, Jennifer Beck’s award-winning, ‘The Bantam and the Soldier’.” (Syndetics summary)

We say: Short-listed for the NZ Post Book Awards in 2003, and we think you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!

Syndetics book coverA Kiwi jingle bells / Yvonne Morrison ; Deborah Hinde.
“A New Zealand version of Jingle bells describing a summer Christmas holiday at the beach” (Library Catalogue)

We say: Lots of fun to sing along with!

Syndetics book coverA Kiwi Christmas carol / words by Chris Gurney ; pictures by Philip Webb.
“The story of Dickens’ A Christmas carol retold with a New Zealand twist.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe elves and the cloakmaker / words by Chris Gurney ; pictures by John Bennett.
“A Kiwi retelling of the traditional story of The elves and the shoemaker. In this case the cloakmaker Kahu and his wife are weaving cloaks and fall asleep and the Patupaiarehe come in the night to finish them off.”

Syndetics book coverAll I want for Christmas is my two front teeth / [words and music by] Don Gardner ; illustrated by Katz Cowley.
“Poor Monkey’s two front teeth are missing! The Tooth Detective is on the case, but maybe Santa can help. Will Monkey get his special Christmas wish?”–Back cover.

We say: From the author of The Wonky Donkey — need we say more?

Syndetics book coverGrandma McGarvey’s Christmas / story by Jenny Hessell ; illustrated by Trevor Pye.
“Grandma McGarvey sets up camp in the caravan park on Christmas Eve, but she hears Santa can’t make it this year – he’s sick in bed. Usually Grandma McGarvey would step in, but this year she’s got her own Christmas party to run. She goes back to her caravan, changes into her dressing gown and sleeping cap and gets ready for her Christmas Eve feast. But the flames from the Christmas Pudding scare the dog, who hides up a tree! While rescuing the dog she stumbles upon the families of the camping ground, who are having a party outdoors. Dressed as she is in her red dressing gown and cap, the children mistake her for Santa! So Grandma and the dog decide to stay and join the party” (Publisher description)

Can you think of more? We’d love to add titles we’ve missed in, so comment and let us know!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

Hanukkah | Festivus | Christmas | New Year

Hanukkah – Saturday 8th December – Sunday 16th December

microsoft clip artHanukkah/Chanukah/Chanukkah/Chanuka/Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday.

Want to know more:

Festivus – Sunday 23rd December

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  • Festivus is a secular holiday seen on Seinfeld.
  • The name “Festivus” has now begun to be used as a general term for any type of December party not related to religious holidays. It has been referred to as “Festivus for the rest of us,” and described as “another way” to celebrate the holiday season without participating in pressure and commercialism.
  • To celebrate one puts out an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” and takes part in the “Airing of Grievances” (consists of lashing out at others and the world about how one has been disappointed in the past year), “Feats of Strength” (a wrestling match and tradition states that Festivus is not over until the head of the household is pinned), and “Festivus Miracles.” (the labelling of easily explainable events as miracles).
  • For more information: festivusbook.com and festivusweb.com

Christmas – Tuesday 25th December

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  • Explore Christmas and find interesting facts, stories and recipes on Wellington City Libraries’ Kids Catalog Web.

Other useful links in our collection to help you celebrate:

New Years Eve – Monday 31st December

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For fabulous food and beverage ideas:

Christmas in your home

Christmas is approaching and we have selected books that we hope will help you to achieve a memorable festive season. Whether your decorating your home, your garden or cooking for your guests, we have everything you need to spend a great Christmas at home.

Syndetics book coverHandmade Christmas : over fifty gorgeous projects to craft your own Christmas.
“Packed with budget-friendly ideas and creative ways to make your Christmas truly special, this collection of delightful projects has everything you’ll need to celebrate Christmas in style. With over 40 projects, Handmade Christmas has plenty for beginners, as well as more elaborate designs for experienced crafters. The book contains stunning photographs, templates and step-by-step instructions for beautiful handmade details, including gorgeous cards, quirky gifts, delicious baked goods and vintage-inspired decorations. All of the projects are easily adapted to suit your own distinctive style to add a personal touch to Christmas”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCandlelit Christmas : decorating with candles for the holiday season / John Terrell Fry ; photographs by Nancy Nolan.
“As Fry proved in his first book, “The Candlelit Home,” there is no more stylish, effective, and inexpensive way to transform a home’s atmosphere than with the judicious use of candles. This book illuminates easy, inexpensive, and dramatic ways to change the mood with candles.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDecorate for the Christmas season / the editors of House beautiful magazine ; text by Sally Clark.
“Here are all of the magazine’s very best, most creative ideas, all gathered in one elegant, lushly illustrated volume, rich with imaginative plans for decorating during this most festive season. Christmas angels nestle in yards of pleated silk ribbon, and holly and ivy brighten mantels. Dozens of wonderful trees and unique ornaments, as well as beautiful ideas for wrapping gifts, bring the Christmas spirit to life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage Christmas crafts / Sara Toliver.
“Presented here are four unique ways to go back in time and add charm to the holidays: Victorian Vintage, Shabby Chic, Country Style, and Personal Vintage. For each, you’ll find directions for projects, ideas for decorating, and enticing pictures to inspire and evoke nostalgia. Craft cardboard villages just like Grandma used to. Make new ornaments look antique and aged, as if they were passed down through the generations. From a gathering of lighted tapes glowing on the floor, to red ribbons tied around the banister, to wreaths, Santa Claus figurines, and food heaped everywhere, each design is glorious.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlanet Christmas : the world’s most extreme Christmas decorations / Chuck Smith.
“No one can resist smiling at these houses a-dazzle with twinkling lights and decked with flying reindeer, jolly snowmen, inflatable Santas, plastic sleighs–and every other sign that hearts are overflowing with Christmas cheer. It’s become a holiday tradition around the globe to drive through the neighborhood to look at these extravagantly decorated homes. “Planet Christmas” offers a world tour of the best and the brightest, from Auckland, New Zealand, where the Ballentine family pumps clouds of artificial snow off their balcony, to Peters Township, PA, where sightseers view Santa and Mrs. Claus presiding over a Santa’s Workshop 50 yards wide.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHave yourself a very vintage Christmas : crafts, decorating tips, and recipes, 1920s-1960s / Susan Waggoner ; photographs by Jeff Elkins.
“Susan Waggoner, author of STC’s successful “It’s a Wonderful Christmas”, “Under the Tree”, and “Christmas Memories” is back again with another instalment of nostalgic art and engaging text about the wonders of the Christmas season in years gone by. “Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas” is a natural follow-on and will appeal to buyers of the previous books as it is loaded with advice and how to information designed to help readers get the look for every decade from the 1920s through to the 1960s. Waggoner takes this book one step further by combining decorating ideas and inspiration with delightful nostalgia and the crafts projects readers have been craving. The book will include decorating ideas and projects from vintage magazines, crafts projects and step-by-step instructions to re-create some of the most popular items from each decade, recipes for homemade treats like walnut fudge, divinity, and butter mints, and of course the popular first person recollections of the way Christmas really looked from the 20s to the 60s.” (Summary from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverGluten-free and vegan holidays : celebrating the year with simple, satisfying recipes and menus / Jennifer Katzinger.
“Entertaining friends and family can be a challenge when youre vegan and gluten-free. It can be even trickier when youre not, but a family member or close friend is. So what do you do when you want to prepare a gluten-free and vegan holiday dinner for eight? Turn to Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays for help! Jennifer Katzinger, author of the popular Flying Aprons Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book makes celebrating the holidays simple and stylish with seventy delicious, satisfying recipes for our most cherished holidays. Here youll find both sweet and savoury gluten-free and vegan menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, for a romantic Valentines Day dinner for two, for springtime Easter and Passover celebrations and many more. Whether youre gluten-free and vegan or not, youll please the ones you love with these simple yet sophisticated and pleasing menus.” (Summary from Amazon.co.uk)

Our favourite Christmas movies – what are yours?

Here are some of our favourite Christmas movies, as well as movies set around this time of year. Our picks range from Dickensian Muppets to Tim Allen in The Santa Clause, and Gremlins tearing up the town. Plus, classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. We’d love to hear your picks too!

Amazon cover linkThe Muppet Christmas carol (1992)
We love the Muppets! Get in the spirit of the season as the Muppets tell their version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Michael Caine is Ebenezer Scrooge, Kermit the Frog is Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy is Emily Cratchit and Robin the Frog makes for possibly the cutest Tiny Tim ever. The whole affair is narrated by “Charles Dickens”, aka Gonzo the Great, and it’s about as heartwarming as you can get! Essential Christmas viewing.

Amazon Cover linkIt’s a wonderful life (1946)
Possibly the classic Christmas movie of all time. George Bailey, a desperate man on the verge of suicide, is visited by his guardian angel, Clarence, who shows him how important he is to those around him and what their lives would be like without him. Our only possible bone to pick with this movie, is its somber warning of his wife Mary’s fate had he never existed – what’s wrong with being a librarian, we ask you?! (In fact, we think it’s quite a Wonderful Life!) Still, this is definitely one to watch.

Amazon cover linkTim Burton’s The nightmare before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween – but alas, they can’t get it quite right. Sally, Jack, skeletal reindeer, gorgeous stop-motion animation from Tim Burton – perhaps not quite traditional Christmas fare, but still a wonderful watch.

Amazon cover linkGremlins (1984)
Well, we seem to have given up on traditional holiday movies, but who can go past Gremlins? This is another movie set at Christmas, and if you like mild horror and hilarity, and enjoy Christmas, this one’s for you:
“Billy Peltzer’s father buys him a new cuddly pet. But heed these three warnings: Don’t ever get him wet. Keep him away from bright light. And the most important thing, the one thing you must never forget: no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs… never, never feed him after midnight!” (Library Catalogue)

Amazon cover linkHoliday Inn (1942)
A musical affair with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and music by Irving Berlin. A song-and-dance man leaves show business and opens up an inn in Connecticut with his former partner. Believe it or not, the song “White Christmas” was written for this film. Another classic Christmas movie, complete with lots of crooning. Watch and enjoy!

Amazon cover linkLove actually (2003)
A romantic comedy for Christmas! This film explores the ups and downs in the relationships of eight London couples in the weeks building up to Christmas. An all-star cast, including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney and Colin Firth. Lovely.

Amazon cover linkMiracle on 34th Street (1947)
Back to the classics. “The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentleman with twinkling eyes, an ample belly and a snowy beard is hired as Macy’s department store Santa. He claims his name is Kris Kringle and soon fills everyone with Christmas spirit… except for his boss, Doris Walker, who’s raising her daughter to not believe in Santa. But when Kringle is declared insane put on trial, everyone’s faith is put to the test as young and old alike face the age-old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?” (Library Catalogue) With Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara.

Amazon cover linkThe Polar Express (2004)
Some have found the animation a little jarring, but this is just so Christmassy we don’t believe you can go past it! An adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express.
“Santa Claus does not exist. Or does he? For one doubting boy (voice of Daryl Sabara and Tom Hanks), an astonishing event occurs. Late on Christmas Eve night, he lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa’s sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine’s roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor (voice of Tom Hanks) invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.” (Library Catalogue)

Amazon cover linkThe snowman (1982)
Another adaptation of a classic book – this time Raymond Briggs’ The snowman.
“A wordless animated short film set to music that tells the story of a lonely young boy and the incredible adventure he has, when the snowman he builds one Christmas Eve magically comes to life. A gentle fable of friendship and the power of the imagination.” (Library Catalogue)

Amazon cover linkBad Santa(2003)
This one is very definitely a black comedy – produced by the Coen Brothers. Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Lauren Graham.
“A miserable conman and his pint size partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper, only to rob department stores on Christmas Eve but run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid.” (Library Catalogue)

Amazon cover linkThe Santa clause (1994)
Screened almost every year at Christmas along with its sequels, this is a family favourite. It’s towards the very beginning of Tim Allen’s screen career, and a lot of fun. Popcorn required.
“When a man inadvertantly kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.” (Library Catalogue)

So – a few of our favourites. Browse more Christmas movies on our catalogue!