Our calendar of festive events was enjoyed by all, even though with the timing of Christmas and the late break up of schools we had to pack a LOT into a few days of holiday!
Sadly not many pictures were taken – perhaps a stipulation by Father Christmas? But please take the reports by Westminster Music Library and, here, Paddington Library to be representative of a whole lot of fun being had across the borough.
In the middle of December, we welcomed the members of the Westbourne Park Baptist Church Community choir, who staged a nativity with Mary and the three wise men in Paddington Children’s Library. Audience participation was very much forthcoming and along with the resounding carol singing there was abundant gold, frankincense and myrrh, not to mention mince pies, biscuits and fruit juice.
A bit later in the month, Paddington Children’s Library hosted a busy Christmas party for the under fives, with special guest Father Christmas in what looked like a brand new suit! This was Father Christmas’ first visit to our new childrens’ library in Queensway. It has been nearly a year since we moved into the former shop and it is time to reflect on and celebrate the popularity of the Under 5s, the burgeoning homework club with our fabulous volunteers and the numerous class visits, plus the art exhibition courtesy of Lyndons Arts Trust. It has certainly been a good year. Father Christmas was suitably impressed. He was also impressed with the behaviour of the children, all of whom received well deserved presents – a cuddly toy and a book each.
Library staff would like to thanks to the South East Bayswater Residents’ Association for its generous support of both events.
Happy New Year!
So it’s that time of year again, the tree has gone up, we’ve covered the place in tinsel, the Santa hats have been dusted off and we’re starting to get sick of certain songs already… yes, Christmas time is officially upon us.
And it wouldn’t be Christmas without us sharing the many festive musical events we’ve held in Westminster Music Library since the start of December…
Opening proceedings with a cracking selection of winter themed arrangements were the fabulous Opal Flutes flute choir, a bunch of keen amateur musicians of all standards and from many walks of life; as well as the standard flute we’re all familiar with, they also boast players of piccolo, alto flute and bass flute. So popular are they that they even have music specially arranged for them, Jingle Bells never sounded so good.
Having bid them all the very best for the festive season, it was time for the Music Library staff to take over and present the madness and mayhem that is the Under Fives Christmas Party, as ever with the help of the indispensable Georgina from Victoria Children’s Library:
“Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Under Fives Christmas Party in the Music Library, it’s right up there with the Queen’s Speech”
And of course there was a visit from the one and only Father Christmas (we know who you are, and your secret’s safe with us…).
Our musical entertainment managed to conjure up a lot of happy faces although there were a few tears. It’s amazing how competitive parents can be when it comes to the race for getting a Christmas present for being “good all year”…
Once Santa had departed to continue his gift distribution and we’d tidied up the tinsel, our thoughts turned to our grand finale Westminster Music Library Christmas event – a carol evening including mince pies and silly stories, and the amazing musical accompaniment of Knightsbridge Brass, a quintet of brass players from The Band of the Scots Guards.
A little different from Trooping the Colour, they were all game enough to trade in their bearskins for Santa Hats and provide exceptional musical back up for the carolling crowd – which reached a record breaking number this Christmas.
And that’s us done for this year’s Christmas celebrations in the Music Library, although we’re still eating the mince pies…
Posted in Children / Teens, Music, Victoria Library
Tagged brass, carols, children, Christmas, Father Christmas, festive, flute, Knightsbridge Brass, music library, Opal Flutes, party, Santa, singing, under fives, woodwind
The 2016 Westminster Libraries & Archives online Advent Calendar is here! Treats behind each door number become live at midnight each night, starting tonight. Each day we will entertain you with local history photographs, useful tips (on festive cookery, local activities, crafts for kids and much more) and more bits of interesting Christmas knowledge than you can shake a candy cane at.
For real world enjoyment, here’s a great idea – make a book Advent Calendar!
Of course, our Advent Calendar is really all you need. However, in the interests of fairness, objectivity and all round librarianly generosity we thought we’d share a few other online calendars we’ve found…
- St Margaret Mary Parish, Illinois
A biblical reading for each day of Advent, with a piece of religious art alongside each. As a religious Advent calendar, it started on 27 November this year.
- Open University Library
We love this one from the OU.
- Orkney Archives
Christmassy pictures, letters and sound archives from Orkney.
- Booktrust: Discover a new book every day
The reading charity highlighted 24 of their favourite children’s books in 2015 – but books don’t get stale.
- Bookriot’s Literary Advent Calendar
Christmas poems, essays, and short stories from the US site.
- National Museums Liverpool
Featuring surprises from their collections and displays. There is also a lovely online ‘Christmas Museum‘.
- Horniman Museum and Gardens
A different object from their collection every day this month on Instagram.
- Ashmolean Museum
Beautiful images from the University of Oxford museum.
- It’s a Shape Christmas
Design students, graduates and professionals are each given a shape and asked to design a digital artwork. One is released each day and any donations made in response go to charity.
- Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar
An image a day from space.
- Economist Daily Chart Advent Calendar
The 24 most popular maps, charts, data visualisations and interactive features of 2016, ending up with their most popular infographic of the year on 24 December.
Not sure about the music, but it promises games, puzzles and surprises…
- The Children’s Society
Well-being Advent Calendar, with reflections on scripture.
- Royal Navy Advent Calendar
With Christmas messages from serving personnel.
- And in the real world, we wish we could get down to Hove for some of the annual Beach Hut Advent Calendar openings. What a great idea!
We’ve discovered in previous years that many of these calendars are only publicised in Advent itself, so we will add others to this post as we come across them – do check back for more. And if you’ve found one you’d like to share, please add it in the comments!
Last Sunday, 27 November, was the first day of the Christian religious season of Advent. In November?!? Yes – Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the nearest Sunday to 30 November. As the first day of Advent does not reliably fall on a particular date, most of the daily Advent Calendars that are bought or made nowadays begin on 1 December and are a countdown of 24 days up to and including Christmas Eve, 24 December.
We’re pleased to announce the return of the Westminster Libraries and Archives online Advent Calendar. In keeping with the more ‘usual’ format, the daily entries will begin on Thursday 1 December. Those of you who have enjoyed this little celebration of all things festive, interesting or seasonally useful in the past will recognise some of the themes and pictures – it’s Christmas after all, a time of familiar traditions as well as novel gifts. But while many an old favourite will feature, we’ve also unearthed new treasures and will be asking you to take part in a new ‘Christmas Favourites’ survey.
So add wcclibraries.wordpress.com/advent-calendar-2016/ to your favourites, look out for daily reminders and tweets, and join us in a particularly librarianly lead up to Christmas!