Celebrate "Cinco de Mayo"

Today, May 5 is also known as Cinco de Mayo, the holiday commemorating the victory of the Mexican army over the French in the town of Puebla, Mexico on May 5, 1862. The day is celebrated mainly in the town of Puebla and in many places in the U.S., especially cities with significant Latino populations. People participate in parades, eat indigenous foods and dress in traditional Mexican clothes. The day is often confused with Mexico's day of independence which is September 16.

To celebrate in Ann Arbor, head to the Firefly Club where a dj will spin Salsa music and you can indulge at the taco bar. Festivities begin at 9 p.m. Or check out books and cds from our collection and whip up your own Mexican specialties to the tune of your favorite Latin music.

V-Day = Feb 14

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Around this time of year a conversation staple is Valentine’s Day. Questions of “what are you doing, where are you going, who are you going with” are floating in the air. If you’re not doing anything and tomorrow may as well be February 26th for all you care, there are some books that may make you laugh and smile. The Anti- Valentine’s Handbook is a girl’s guide on how to laugh and survive V-Day, for the younger set there’s Love Stinks (and no, Katie Kazoo is not into mushy gushy stuff), and there’s Hating Valentine’s Day, a fiction story with A Christmas Carol-esque twist where a single woman is visited by a ghost who is trying to change her “no time for dating” mind.

Happy New Year!

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Ready to ring in 2009? We know how they celebrate at Times Square. In fact, you can watch a live webcast of people celebrating in New York and around the world. In other countries, people have different ways of celebrating the new year. In Mexico, people eat one grape for each chime of the clock and make a wish for the new year. In Venezuela, people wear yellow underwear for good luck. In Japan, people eat soba noodles because their length symbolizes long life. At midnight, Greeks eat a cake called a vasilopita with a gold coin baked inside. Whoever gets the piece with the coin will have a good year. So "drink a cup of kindness yet" for 2009.

The Man Who Invented Christmas

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When Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, he changed the way the holiday is celebrated, revived his career, and created a tale that has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time. Tomorrow, December 19th, is the anniversary of the original publication of "A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas". Here at the AADL you can pick up a copy of Les Standiford's new book The Man Who Invented Christmas : How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits for a behind the scenes look at the holiday classic. Standiford says his title is "a bit of an exaggeration — but not much." Happy Holidays!

Take a Holiday Adventure!

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Check out a Museum Adventure Pass, good for admission for 2 to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, and enjoy the current holiday tours. From the flocked modern tree adorned with original pink and purple teardrop shaped glass ornaments made especially for a party hosted by Eleanor Ford, to the15-foot Christmas tree in the grand Gallery space where many holiday galas where held, each room is decorated in the season’s best and tells a unique story about how the Ford Family shared holiday traditions. Outdoors, the Fords’ daughter Josephine’s Play House is decorated in true gingerbread house fashion with icicle lights and huge candy canes lining the path. Ford House Holiday Tours begin Friday, Nov. 28, and run through Sunday, Jan. 4. Tours are available 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. There are a limited number of Adventure Passes available at each AADL location and they are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A Magical Christmas of Magic

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Yo, drop the needle, it’s Christmas. That’s Albus Dumbledore’s message. And it’s pretty much a great idea. Second only to putting A Magical Christmas of Magic by Harry and the Potters in your CD player, turning up the volume, and dancing around in your Christmas pajamas while you wrap presents. (For the non-wrappers, non-dancers there’s always head-bobbing and hot cocoa sipping.) This CD is such a fun treat. Draco, Neville, Harry, and the gang lend their voice for all original Christmas songs, including; Money for Christmas by The Gringotts Goblin Choir, Seasonal Depression by The Whomping Willows, and All I want for Christmas by Draco and the Malfoys. If you’re into Harry and the Potters but not Christmas, the AADL also has a few other discs to suit your fancy: their fabulous self-titled album, Harry and the Potters and the power of love, and Voldemort can't stop the rock! Put the needle on the record!

Free Fun For All at the Metroparks

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The Huron-Clinton Metroparks are saying thank you to you with free entry and free boat launching at all parks on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, Nov. 28. What a great way to trot off the pumpkin pie, get the kids outside and get a last look at fall colors. Hudson Mills and Dexter Huron offer trails, playgrounds, riverside fishing, and plenty of nature watching.

Trash Talk for Tree Town

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Turkey Time Trash tips: if your regular trash/recycling day is Thursdays, it will be Friday, Nov. 28, this week. If trash/recycling day is normally Fridays, it will be Saturday, Nov. 29. Get that last bit of yard cleanup done soon because curbside compost pickups end Saturday, Nov. 29. And a final FYI: City Hall offices will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, Nov. 28.

Cobblestone Farm Museum’s Country Christmas

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Sunday, Dec. 7th noon to 4 pm
2781 Packard Rd., Ann Arbor
(734) 994-2928
Suggested donation of $1.50 kids, $3 adults, $7 family for program support

Cobblestone Farm will be presenting a 19th century Yuletide celebration featuring live dulcimer music with the Village Strings, a chance to meet Father Christmas, see holiday cooking on a wood stove, and go on tours of the decorated farmhouse with costumed interpreters.
The museums will also have an exhibit commemorating Pearl Harbor Day (December 7th) and showing examples of a 1940's era Christmas. The gift shop will be open and the animals in the barnyard will be out for the kids to see.

For more information on an old fashioned "country Christmas," check out The Pioneer Lady's Country Christmas: a gift of old-fashioned recipes and memories of Christmas Past by Jane Watson Hopping.

Nov. 6th is "National Men Make Dinner Day!"

National Men Make Dinner DayNational Men Make Dinner Day

Are you a man who regularly cooks for yourself and others? Then you can pass this holiday without notice. However, if you are of the male species and do NOT normally fix the family meal or make a fast food run on a daily basis, this holiday is for you! (Apron is optional, tool belt with cooking utensils allowed)
This not a holiday for the faint of heart - normally celebrated on the first Thursday of each November, men have 12 rules to follow. Don't worry guys you don't need to be Martha Stewart, just choose a "published" recipe from any source without help. "Getting the recipe from 'her' cookbook is allowed, but man gets bonus points if the recipe isn't already somewhere in the house." And beer CAN count as an ingredient! Need a cookbook suggestion? Check out Extreme barbeque: smokin' rigs and real good recipes by Dan Huntley.

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