November 20, 2009 — It’s the return of the annual “Holiday Store,” a children-only gift shop set up in the meeting rooms of the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.
“It’s become a family tradition for a lot of people” the week after Thanksgiving, said Between Friends gift shop Manager Shelli Kaminski.
The shop is filled with treasures at kid-friendly prices – everything is priced 25 cents to $5. There’s even something for those hard-to-buy-for Dads and teen-age brothers.
Library volunteers will help youngsters shop for family, friends and teachers with their own money, and help them wrap their gifts for free when they’re finished.
The Holiday Store runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6, and it kicks off with a special visit from Springfield holiday favorites Santa and Sandie at 9 a.m. Nov. 28.
On that day only from 9 to 9:45 a.m., kids are invited to Elf School, prizes, drawings, refreshments and stories with Sandie. Kids can get their picture taken for free with Santa from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
The Holiday Store opens officially at 10 a.m. and runs through 7:30 p.m.
After that, the Holiday Store will be open for shopping from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays Nov. 29 and Dec. 6.
It’s a great way for kids to stretch their dollars in this tight economy, and their gift gives twice. Profits from their purchases support the Summer Reading Program offered throughout the library district for children and teens.
Kaminski, who launched the project more than five years ago, says the chance to shop independently gives kids a chance to practice their math and budgeting skills, and shapes good spending habits.
Kids can pick up a free Holiday Store envelope now at any Springfield-Greene County Library branch that has store hours, a place to write their gift list and budget, and a place to stow their cash.
“It’s very heartening to see how seriously youngsters take this,” Kaminski said. “You can tell they have carefully and thoughtfully picked out something a person would truly love – ‘My grandma would really like this. She may have a lot of these, but not from me.’”
Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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