LIBRARY NOTES: ‘Dickens Week’ Nov. 27-Dec. 1 will help ring in the season


For the Hood River News

Charles Dickens and Christmas are forever linked in our minds. Ebenezer Scrooge stomping down the snowy streets of London biting the head off anyone who dared to wish him season’s cheer. The Ghost of Christmas Future looming before him in his bedroom, darker than the night. Tiny Tim.

This year the library is offering you the chance to renew some of those connections, indulge in some nostalgia, have some fun, and even learn a lot during “Dickens Week,” Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

Festivities kick off with a party on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 5:30-7 p.m., celebrating the great author’s 200th year. (His actual birth date was Feb. 7, 1812, but it’s simply more fun to celebrate Dickens at Christmastime.)

Everyone’s invited to come by and help decorate the library’s holiday tree — birthday cake and cider for all!


Wednesday, Nov. 28, will be Family Movie Night, 6:30-8 p.m. Bring the kids for popcorn and the classic tale retold in “A Muppet Christmas Carol,” starring Michael Caine as Scrooge and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. (Yes, you read that right.)


Next, you can join lovers of “A Christmas Carol” for a discussion of the beloved novel in the reading room of the library on Thursday, Nov. 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m. (led by yours truly). We’ll look at many aspects of this timeless tale, including how Dickens has influenced our culture’s image of Christmas — and of ghosts. Bring your best memories of the story and be prepared to share. There will be refreshments here, as well.


Finally, the celebrations conclude with “Mr. Fezziwig’s Holiday Ball” on Saturday, Dec. 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dust off your top hat and shine up your pocket watch for an evening of Dickensian revelry for the whole family. Enjoy delicious food, live music, and dancing.

For even more fun, come dressed as your favorite Dickens character! Prizes will awarded to one adult and one child for best costume.

As a very special treat, the evening will be rounded out by the CAST theater group performing a scene from its upcoming production of “A Christmas Carol.”

What could be more heartwarming and appropriate for the season than to gather up the family and spend some time with the wonderful Charles Dickens and the irascible Ebenezer Scrooge?

See you at the library!

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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