<img class=” size-large wp-image-2447 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”488″>The moment that&nbsp;<em>Decemberley&nbsp;</em>was created was one of my most favorite inspirational moments of the year. It was back in October, and our Children’s Librarian was using an Ed Emberley book to draw a skeleton on an activity table. I commented to her as I walked by that I loved what she was doing, and then that I was still trying to come up with a theme for December. A few seconds later “Decemberley” popped into my head and I laughed so loud that I think I scared my team.

And thus, Decemberley was born. This truly has been one of the funnest themes that we’ve had. And what’s better is that it isn’t holiday-specific! I had a goal to keep our library as holiday-neutral this year as possible, and with Decemberley, I think that we’ve found an annual winner. I mean, I don’t like repeating themes and such, but Ed Emberley’s work is so diverse that I think that we can come up with a new take on it every year.

So this year’s Decemberley celebration came together when I discovered <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>this fun snowman printable</a>&nbsp;(it’s the one at the bottom of the page)&nbsp;from Ed Emberley’s blog. I tweaked the original for our displays to have green and blue colors.

I then noticed the little circles he used to represent snowflakes and I had an idea that really excited me. I had <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>pinned this</a>&nbsp;a year ago, and I could just see it translated into 2-D punched-out circles. But what would make it more Emberleytastic? Fingerprints! Shimmering blue fingerprints!<img class=” size-large wp-image-2436 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”389″> <img class=” size-large wp-image-2437 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”396″>I made every single one of those “flakes” with each one having my unique fingerprints in unique patterns. Besides emulating Emberley, I liked how fingerprints and snowflakes share the <em>every one is different</em> quality.

Can I tell you how very much in love I am with these snowflakes? <em><strong>I ADORE THEM!</strong></em> They twirl, shimmer, and shimmy and just make me happy. I have seen many children coming in the door who seem a bit transfixed by them, and that makes me so very happy. In my mind, they’re being transported into an Ed Emberley book. I also love the fact that we show parents that crafts and decor don’t need to be store bought. They can make really cool things with everyday around-the-house objects.

For marketing and displays I chose what I considered to be <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>an “Emberley-esque” font</a> from <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”></a>. The biggest use of this font was&nbsp;for our winter/holiday book display. I printed out large versions of the letters (the front side blue, and the second reverse letter white) and tried our own version of <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>this</a>. It worked out fabulously (but I had to take down the “Wintertime” letters after the first day to reinforce the “W” which had gone floppy&nbsp;overnight).<img class=” size-large wp-image-2439 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”438″>I wish that I had the photography skills to capture how fun these letters&nbsp;are. They are so very dynamic, and very different than anything we’ve done before. And yes, each letter has more shiny blue fingerprints.&nbsp;<img class=” size-large wp-image-2438 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”779″>For some time I had wanted to do something with the lonely endcaps&nbsp;that face our DVD collection. I saw <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>this on <em>Pinterest</em></a> and asked Brittany to come up with three unique snowpeople for our&nbsp;endcaps, and she did!<img class=” size-large wp-image-2440 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”631″> <img class=” size-large wp-image-2441 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”438″>These snowpeople&nbsp;make me smile every single time that I see them. They have also been a delightful surprise for many patrons who aren’t used to anything special in that area.

To drive the Ed Emberley theme home, I hand-drew the 16 steps to make Emberley’s snowman, and put them up on our whiteboard. Above that is&nbsp;a sign encouraging kids to make their own version of the snowman, and then we could take a picture of them showing off their creation. Finally&nbsp;we’d take that photo and put it on <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>our kids’ webpage</a>. It’s been awesome.<img class=” size-large wp-image-2442 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”459″> <img class=” size-large wp-image-2443 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”438″>I also included the snowman directions as a handout by the activity tables since Emberley is beyond awesome and <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>lets teachers/librarians use his printables</a>.

To continue the snowman theme, I couldn’t help myself, and I created a “Put Olaf Back Together” passive scavenger hunt. I used the <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>free Disney printable</a> for the Olaf parts, did my “laminate it with packing tape” trick, and then created half-sheet “I Built a Snowman” worksheets.<img class=” size-large wp-image-2444 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”779″><a href=”″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Here is where I found the font</a>. The download for it is in the upper-right hand corner of the page.

Honestly, there were three reasons I opted to do this particular program: 1.&nbsp;<em>Frozen&nbsp;</em>is just a weensy bit popular, 2. it was crazy-easy, and 3. I really <em>really</em> <strong><em>really</em></strong> wanted to see kids take a crack at drawing Olaf (and that part hasn’t disappointed in the least).

For our&nbsp;<em>Great Wall-o-Pun&nbsp;</em>this month, we tossed&nbsp;around quite a few snowy puns, but nothing really caught us. Then Brittany got an evil glint in her eye and said, “What if I drew Grumpy Cat, and then had the word ‘s-NO-w’ next to her?” Five minutes later, after I stopped laughing, she got to work on it. And here Grumpy Cat is, in all her Dickensian glory:<img class=” size-large wp-image-2445 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”412″>All of the books on display have to do with holidays, snow, ice, weather, cold sports, etc. To touch base briefly on this, since it seems to be on a lot of librarians’ minds this year: I chose to use generic words in our displays not just to be considerate of others, but mainly because, as a small library, it allows us to put more items on display. If we used&nbsp;”Christmas” in our displays, then the displays would have to remain empty once those books were gone (and they go very fast in our community). With a word like “wintertime,” we&nbsp;get a lot more bang for our&nbsp;buck and can display a greater variety of items.

We were smart (<em>yay!</em>) and saved both the yarn snowballs and game stand from last year’s snowman snowball toss. Insta-passive program that fits the theme! And boy, does this remain a popular activity. Even without the snowballs out, toddlers&nbsp;<em>love&nbsp;</em>to open and close the tri-fold in a peek-a-boo fashion.<img class=” size-large wp-image-2446 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”779″>Finally, I saved the <em>most popular</em> thing for last: our front windows. Brittany designed and prepped everything for each panel, and then I had the fun task of taping them up – and truly it was fun. Our goal was to have a <em>very</em> simple front window that was still eye-catching. What we didn’t expect was how <em>much</em> the children would love it.

I hadn’t even finished the job when the first preschooler came bounding up to the front door, excitedly tapped on the glass, and exclaimed <em>”SNOW!!!”</em> And that’s been the general reaction from the preschool-on-down crowd. I think the only other time we’ve had such an enthusiastic response to our windows was when <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Mary created abstracted versions of popular kids characters</a>.<img class=” size-large wp-image-2448 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”438″><img class=” size-large wp-image-2449 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”779″>To add a little uniqueness to the windows, we encouraged kids to help us decorate the front windows during a downtown holiday event that occurred a week after we put up this window. I pre-punched a bunch of white circles, and then put out a shimmery blue ink pad, along with a sign giving parents and children instructions. When the snowflakes were finished, they could bring them up to us, and we would add their snowflakes to our windows.<img class=” size-large wp-image-2450 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”776″>It wasn’t the wild hit I was hoping for, but still 17 kids proudly brought up snowflakes to use for our decorations. I hope that this month any time that they go by our library they will get a sense of pride that they helped make our place look special.

<img class=” size-full wp-image-5813 aligncenter” src=”” alt=”Ed Emberley inspired library celebration called &quot;Decemberley.&quot; |” width=”1398″ height=”1135″> <img class=” size-large wp-image-2452 aligncenter” src=”″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”441″>On the image above you can see the level of detail I tend to have when doing displays (<em>be afraid, be very afraid</em>): that’s packing tape that’s holding each snowflake up. I’ve trimmed each piece of tape to be a rounder shape, as well as removed the ragged cut edge. All it takes is a box cutter, fingernails, and patience. The 20 minutes it takes to do this saves me a month of seeing something that would drive me crazy: something that looks slapped together.

And there you have it: our inaugural Decemberley! This was a rather epic post, so I didn’t go into extreme detail on how we did some of this. Feel free to ask in the comments or shoot me an email at

Happy Decemberley, everybody!

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