Happy Holidays you merry patrons and welcome to KPL QI Global Winter Holidays! With our “World of Reading” for the winter nearly in full swing, what better time than now to take a look at a small sample of interesting holiday customs from around our world. Joining me on the panel can be all of you! Just comment below with any facts, thoughts, and/or your own family traditions you would care to share. I would love to hear from you.

Move over Charlie Brown there is another cartoon character who owns the holidays… well in Sweden. The program is called “Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas” we would know it as “From All of Us to All of You” and has been broadcasted each year since 1959.  The viewing figures are most impressive, the record being set in 1997 where just over half the population tuned in.

From cartoon ducks to festive arachnids, we now drop in on an Eastern European folktale that explains the origin of tinsel. The tale tells of an impoverished family that could not afford to decorate their tree but upon awaking found that spiders had done it for them. As the morning light touched the cobwebs they became silver and gold. It is most prevalent in Ukraine where trees are adorned with spider and web shaped ornaments.

On this global tour, up next, Mexico. In particular Oaxaca City, where on December the 23rd you can attend The Night of the Radishes. This festival has been around since 1897 and its main attraction is an exhibition of sculptures made of radishes of all sizes and shapes.

It’s the very Kentucky Fried Xmas! Christmas is not a celebrated holiday in Japan but thanks to some very effective marketing back in the 1970ies a bucket of “Christmas Chicken” remains a strong tradition. So much so that Japanese KFC’s will take reservations far in advance and lines for the fast food will often stretch out the door.

Looking for something a bit more “locally” to enjoy? Well visit us here at your Kirkwood Public Library as we kick off our 2017-2018 Winter Reading! Get signed up for great prizes and fun events, all while enjoying a terrific book! Winter Reading goes until February 11th! Which of us shall read the most? Want to keep the “weird” going? Might I suggest and author event on December the 3rd at 2pm. Secret America: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure!

Author Event and Signing: Secret America: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

Well off I go “quick, quick, quick” but as I do I will leave you with a quote (and very good advice) from British comedian Joe Lycett. “Take it from me, when your mom says ‘surprise me this Christmas’ she doesn’t mean ‘fill the oven with live bees’. Thank you Joe.

I’m Ryan. I’ll be in the library. Whichever holiday you celebrate please enjoy.

Ryan Drinkard is a Library Associate for the Kirkwood Public Library. For the better part of the past two decades he has managed many major and minor book stores in the St Louis County area. He enjoys playing video games, comics, dissecting movies, and reading. His favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, and Agatha Christie.