Teen Festivus Party

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I’m not really a holiday person. Due to my Grinchiness, I wanted to host an alternative Christmas party for our teen crowd. So, I channeled my inner Frank Costanza and decided a Festivus party would be awesome.

As expected, almost all of the teens were unfamiliar with Festivus. To educate them, we watched the episode of Seinfeld that introduces the story of Festivus. There were a variety of reactions to the episode. Some¬†thought it was funny, some didn’t get it at all, and others thought it was sexist and made light of child abuse. Festivus dinner was served during the episode screening (not a traditional one, because I didn’t feel like making meatloaf).

unnamedOnce the episode finished, we moved on to the Airing of the Grievances and Feats of Strength. I gave teens slips of paper to write out their grievances and we placed them in a big box because I was concerned about letting a gaggle of teens hurl insults at each other. Most of the grievances turned out to be school-related, anyway.

In order to avoid jail time, the teens didn’t wrestle. Instead, we did a hula hoop contest and Festivus pole limbo as our Feats of Strength. Winners received mini-Festivus poles. To make our Festivus pole and the mini-Festivus poles, I just spray painted some PVC pipe silver. Not difficult at all.

Approximately 17-20 teens attended the Festivus party. We created a Facebook event for it which received a lot of attention, but mostly from adults. This could definitely be adapted as an adult event and it would probably draw in a good crowd.

Great Passive Programming – Secret Santa Reading Challenge

Secret Santa Reading ChallengeThe branches of my library system always have some excellent programming. They are constantly impressing me with the creative stuff their staff plans. This year, the Fairview Public Library is hosting a Secret Santa Reading Challenge. They wrapped books up like presents and put them under their Christmas tree. Patrons check out the wrapped book, take it home, unwrap it, and read it. Once they’ve read their Secret Santa book, they can fill out a review slip to be entered in a drawing for a Visa gift card.

I think this is an awesome spin on the whole “Blind Date with a Book” trend that’s going on right now. It’s also a great way to implement passive programming at your library. Even if your library can’t afford to raffle off a prize, patrons will still be curious about what book they might get.