From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian

I believe the first holiday program I organized at the library was in 1996, maybe ’97. I was still pretty new to the game so asked those I knew well to participate: Tedd and Kay Inman to provide music, and my mother to read one of her favorite Christmas stories. I can’t remember how many people showed up—possibly 20-25.

Then came a hiatus due to the building project and after Gail and I visited another library’s program one December, we came back saying, “we can top that.” And we did.

Not much music but lots of food, as in sit-down and eat lunch food. Being a victim of our own success, we scaled back and Coffee & Carols was born. Pretty simple formula—holiday treats, coffee and later cocoa, readings, and carol singing—but one that quickly became a patron favorite (mine, too).

Like many things, Coffee & Carols became a casualty of COVID. We went virtual in 2020, which meant you could listen to Phil Carter’s wonderful renditions of favorite carols over and over (and many of you did). But we’ve not had in-house caroling since 2019.

I wasn’t sure I could plan another Coffee & Carols but knew I had to bring Phil back one more time. Our new monthly program, “A Cup of Conversation” has been very successful so I decided to tweak it this month so on Thursday, December 7, the library is hosting “A Cup of Christmas” at 10:00 a.m. Think Coffee & Carols 2.0—first we’ll have Diana Carter (Phil’s better half) reading a Christmas story near and dear to my heart (she likes it, too) followed by Phil tickling his keyboard as we belt out Christmas carols. There will also be goodies and the best hot chocolate in town.

This is one of my favorite days of the year, a time when people share the Christmas spirit and relive memories as we sing carols from childhood. There’s a warmth in the room that isn’t just from Bev’s famous cocoa. This year’s event plans to be extra special, which is why I want to share it with all of you.

“The best gift I find to offer you Is a full cup of Christmas cheer.” I hope you take me up on it.