Jay County Public Library 
315 N. Ship Street, Portland, IN  47371 
(260) 726-7890 or fax (260) 726-7317
Monday-Friday 8 to 8   Saturday 8 to 5


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“...the stockings were hung by

the chimney with care…”


Do you know why we hang stockings by the chimney? Long ago and far away, a poor man whose wife had died had three daughters of marrying age. They were very poor, and in those days, no man wanted to marry poor girls. Saint Nicholas heard about the three poor daughters and decided to give them gold. He didn’t want to just hand it over to them, so the story goes that he threw it down the chimney of their house. At night, they often hung their stockings by the fire to dry, and the coins landed in the stockings. In the morning, the daughters were thrilled to discover that someone had left them a gift.

The story spread, and people began to place stockings by the fire in hopes that St. Nicholas would also give them coins. St. Nicholas has become Santa for many children and the practice continues today. Though small gifts are more likely to be found than gold coins, children are still delighted by what they receive.

There are many ways to learn about Christmas and other holiday traditions in this country and in others. Try the following books, all found in the juvenile non-fiction section at J394.2663 :

Celebrating Christmas by Christina Goodings
Christmas by Alice K. Flanagan
Christmas by L.L. Owens
Christmas Around the World by Emily Kelley
Christmas in Many Cultures by Martha E.H. Rustad
Holly, Reindeeer, and Colored Lights:the Story of the Christmas Symbols by Edna Barth

Online, try the following links:

Christmas Trees and More gives information about Christmas trees and well, more!

How Christmas Works - The Complete Guide to Christmas Traditions has answers to a wide variety of Christmas questions, including "Is December 25 really the day Jesus was born?", "Why is mistletoe hanging over the front door?", and "Why is Christmas sometimes spelled Xmas?".

Christmas Round the World contains a collection of links to Santa Claus sites, Christmas humor, stories, sing-along carols, recipes, and crafts.

Worldview Christmas Click on the name of a country to learn about Christmas traditions around the world. Also features links to Christmas symbolism, ornaments, and early American Christmas traditions.


Calling All Moms!

Want to give your children the opportunity to make something special just for you without knowing what it is?  Send the kids with Dad to the library on Tuesday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m. 

They'll get the chance to make you some cool presents, pick out some Christmas items to check out, and spend some quality time with Dad (or another caregiver). 

YOU get cool presents for Christmas AND an hour alone while they're at the program!

It's a win-win situation.

Call the library at 260-726-7890 to sign up your family.


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Story Time

Mondays with Miss Linda at 11:15 a.m.
Tuesdays with Miss Mary at 11:15 a.m.

Join us
5th (Monday)
& 5th (Tuesday)
13th (Monday) & 14th (Tuesday)

Children must be accompanied by an adult caregiver who stays with them during the entire Story Time.
No registration is necessary.  Just come!


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THADDEUS REX:  Read Like a Rock Star! @ Arts Place

Arts Place will present award-winning children's songwriter and acoustic rock singer Thaddeus Rex and his seven foot dinosaur, Rock, in Hall-Moser Theatre at Arts Place, Portland Center on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. 

The Center is located at 131 East Walnut Street in Portland, Indiana.  Call 260-726-4809 or visit the Arts Place website for ticket information.

Early in his career, a teacher was impressed with the way Rex used books to inspire his songwriting and encouraged him to share his passion for reading in his shows.  Her idea stuck and Rex's mantra, "Read Like a Rock Star!!," was born.

A Portland resident, Thaddeus Rex often visits Jay County Public Library with his family to check out materials. 

You can read like a rock star anytime -- just visit the library and check out books.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll become as famous as Thaddeus Rex.



Don't forget that books and bookmarks make terrific stocking stuffers, as well as great last minute gifts!



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An "Endless Possibilities" Gingerbread Person

You will need:

Using what you have around the house can make a project easy to do.  So for this gingerbread person craft, use any of the following materials:

Cork board
Brown or tan craft foam
Brown grocery sack
Brown or tan felt
Paper (any color, plus a brown crayon or marker or paint)

Marker or small wiggle eyes


You will do:

Using a gingerbread man or woman cookie cutter, trace around it on the material you have on hand.  No cookie cutter?  Draw a picture of a gingerbread person yourself - it doesn't have to be perfect.

On your gingerbread person, add eyes, nose, buttons, a scarf, mittens, apron, whatever you want!  You could use markers, paint, magazine pictures, paper, real buttons, material scraps, cotton balls, pompoms.  Anything ... really.  Add a ribbon to the back and hang on your Christmas tree, doorknob, refrigerator handle ... the possibilities are endless!


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